Getting It Together

I found a beautiful pair of metal swans in California at a flea market. They aren’t bookends as they are sculpted on all sides. Perhaps these were a pair of table decorations made out of some sort of metal... and they are hollow.


I checked with my framer—he has this exact style of frame. I only had a corner sample so I was pleased that it was available. This frame will cover enough of the pegs to complete the square composition. Now all I have to do is figure out how to engineer this.


I tried several orientations but setting the swans at a 45 degree angle highlighted the “S” curve of their necks. This makes for an unexpected form and it almost makes the swans disappear. I don’t think that art is only about making things “new” or “unexpected” but it does add to seeing things fresh, and to the beauty of a work.


The challenge is that I am always putting things together that don’t have any logical reason to be together. Then again, logic really doesn’t seem to be part of the process. This process is an exploration of pure form in the service of beauty.


Still, how to engineer this? I don’t weld so I usually depend on mechanical fasteners and glue. Usually I just have to think things through and I frequently come up with an approach. Solutions have even come to me in my dreams. I do marvel when that happens. How am I solving problems in my sleep? Where are these ideas coming from? As of yet, however, I am stumped. The swans are heavy, perhaps a solid three pounds each.


I am seeing my dear friend Dave soon. He has helped me put these together over the years. When I am stumped, he has always come to the rescue. He has been invaluable in figuring these problems out. So we will see if he can help me get it together.



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