11/6/09

putting the F in un


(same bones different lighting, just fun to look at)

i fancy these bones. its a stinky rather gross process cutting the bones. i recognize that it could have been much more labor intensive were i the one to have to cultivate them. from what i understand these bones are donated to dan by ranchers. i guess all ranchers have areas where they unload their dead animals and lucky us we get to play with them. most of the marrow has dried, the oils nearly gone, but some of the bones i cut were moist inside...smelled like death and old manure. i left some of the bones in our loft overnight and by morning i smelled the stench. put them outside for ants and sunshine, i dont have time to put them in warm water and clean off the bacteria, that could take days or weeks and i think next week is the deadline to have something to show for myself. so i've scraped them with a knife and am making do with what i can. i'm a bit of a hypochondriac at times so every time i would cut a bone and all that fine dust would fly up into my face, even with a mask and eye protection i imagine something hideous. best leave that alone.

i've cut all i can find of bones that give me these cool open rings. it will be a small table top and more decorative than functional. if i had the time and wherewithal i believe i would just make a lattice of them and somehow connect them, but again, the pressure is on to get something made and i'm going to have to put some wood under these bones; there is a chance i will find wood that will allow for me to maybe cut some circles out under the bones so you can see through to the floor. haven't yet decided that. the table top wont look like what you see above, i was just playing with possibility and while i like this look, it began to look too catholic/holy, too doily-like to my eyes and i'm going to do it a bit differently.

today went by fast as usual, leaving me wondering what did i do? i got up early today, made me almost feel like my game is back, and tod and i went to one of dan's storage areas to look at some cedar tree limbs he and the crew picked up the other day. they were disassembling two small storage buildings that someone donated to dan for materials and tod thought the cedar might be good for my table legs since i wasn't having fun with what was available. turns out they are cool but i ended up using something else. those will hopefully get used in another piece SOON. so that took some time, then i forced myself to go to the job site and ask for help. rudimentary stuff really. i myself am a bit shocked that i've built so much in the past but when it comes to more traditional work suddenly am clueless. i also am self taught when it comes to using my tools and in front of a 'real' carpenter i was stuttering and stupid beyond belief. i barely knew how to screw a screw in. i was a moron. i can't wait for a smidgen of confidence to burrow into my being, i'm getting tired of feeling lost and incapable. no matter. i did it, got a little help, learned a few things came home and began working more on my table leg assembly.

around the corner there is a young guy who used to work for dan, i consider him an artist and fellow scrounger. he likes to look in dumpsters and has made furniture for himself and had shown me a collage he was working on. he is finishing up school and teaching some but i can tell he still has an interest in working with his hands and its obvious he is talented. every time i am out on our porch doing something he stops by for a quick hi and hows it going whatcha doin. today when i saw him i yelled that i needed his brain and asked him to tell me how to measure two angled legs for a level cross cut. here tod and i had the leveler out but no clue if you could use that to figure out how to cut something to make it even. DUH you turn it upside down and draw a line. my learning curve went to the moon today. it's the little things i can deal with and that astound me. i wont retain the special names of things or the fractions and formulas, i've already forgotten what i was taught about the tools since i was here but my hands remember what is to be done and that is all that matters i guess.

another cool thing, the owner was here cleaning out the cavernous lower level of this old sears building we all live in, and we got to pull out things that would otherwise go to the dump. yes, we found out there is a dump and where it is and thats as good as gold. got a large table/shelf piece, a dusty rocking chair that is in great shape (hideous to me but its comfi and tod likes it over the floor or hard folding chair). got a few more things and before i knew it the day was over and i still have made little progress on that table. fits and starts and lots of marinating. i realize that it just takes a lot of time and space for me to make something. it is very rare that i ever plop out something just like that. right now i feel even more conscious of it as others are actually waiting to see what i do (at least i feel they are even if its just out of curiosity)

13 comments:

AnitaNH said...

Hey, Paula, good for you that you found the dump. It's a weekly trip I look forward to! Thanks for the technical assist on bailing out of face-you-know-what!

self taught artist said...

well we haven't been there yet, so who REALLY knows what its like...
so did you off yourself there in fb?

Daphne Enns said...

Hi Paula.

I would love to see the table almost like a museum display case where the bones are laid out on a sheet of glass, and possibly glass on top with framing around the whole thing or a layer of epoxy resin to set everything

There's just so much you can do with this and I would imagine that somewhere out there is some abandoned window with glass in tact. If you got one with mullions then there'd be nice sections, again going back to the notion of a museum display. I know it's your project but I'm excited by it.

jeanamarie said...

good to hear you were able to work through some of the blocks!

AnitaNH said...

Yes, FB is history as long as I don't log in again over the next 14 days. Hoping the stream of pseudo-spam and virus attachments will become hist. as well!

Chris said...

I like the way those bones look just arranged together. like a lattice. Too bad you couldn't attach them that way. Seems labor intensive. Can you glue bones?

Margaret Ryall said...

Paula,
When I saw your little thumbnail in my blog list I though the bones were antique lace. I was curious to see what you were up to. What I found was even better . These bone (you have guts to be slicing them) are exquisite when you lay them out. I can't wait to see what you do with them.
I've been reading along with every post but truly your change and getting yourself organized was giving me heart palpitations. Now that you've settled somewhat I can breath again.

self taught artist said...

hey daphne, my sister had the same thought and while i like it, i realize i'm up for a more simple look.
anita, thats horrible you got viruses and unwanted stuff on FB. will miss seeing your daily necklace photos there.
yes chris i can glue them but the sides aren't thick enough, me thinks, i would need a more industrial adhesive and again, time is the issue.
margaret, appreciate your thoughts and glad you can breath better now :) i hope i've entered into a more functional life here (as opposed to sequestered on the mountain in Vermont)

andrea said...

I agree with what Margaret said. There's soemthing elementally perfect about the shape of the sliced bones and seeing them in a grouping is even better. I wish you had more time to explore this the way you want to.

Kim Hambric said...

Sounds like the juices are flowing on those table/bone ideas. I like the thought of cutting through the wood in places so you can see through.

Not good a turning a screw, huh? Can't imaging what you'll be able to do in a few weeks.

sarala said...

These look great. It reminds me somehow of your puzzle assemblies. Glad to hear you got some stuff from the basement and found the dump.
Regarding stinky bones--I think you can use bleach--it should eat all the dead tissue and leave bone. Old time anatomists used to use maggots but that is just too gross if you ask me. Amazing what trivia you learn as a biologist/doctor.

Janet said...

A lovely mosiac - I can see them buried in a resin as a table top.

self taught artist said...

yep janet, yesterday i was thinking this charcoal mortar that they (the house people builders) have used with round wood would be good. its getting last minute and i have to do something and this is IT no more bones to cut like this so whatever i do has to work first time.