Monday, September 28, 2009

Sculpture shopping

I have an idea for a sculpture for one of the the front garden beds. These are two brick semi-circles about 18" deep, filled with  rich soil and a tangle of herbs and wild plants. Barry built them years ago, so they have had a long time to get shaggy. I am inspired by some feather-topped canes growing  in the one closest to the porch. What I imagine is a wire folly,  pergola, obelisk-- a tall pointy thing-- in scale with the height of the grasses that reach  about ten feet. I check out a mini version of my concept at Home Depot's garden center. 60 bucks, too neat, manufactured and regular-looking and it's only four feet tall. Tallahassee Nurseries probably has a larger version, of mock-Victorian iron (love it) and it's undoubtedly several hundred dollars. Art to me is about re-purposing so I hunt for materials. My idea is more of a twist at first, and I can vividly picture it but can't imagine what to use to make it or where to get the ingredients. I wish I was a welder with an old iron works to rummage. I see a giant warped upside-down tomato cage, rising to a point with a garden gazing ball on top. This unit will nestle right into the existing foliage, but still be arresting. I want to enhance and highlight, to play up what is already established plant-wise, not scrape away everything to start over with bare dirt like a roadway construction project.
This pile in above photo is at Ron Macon's perpetual yard sale extravaganza in Greensboro, two I-10 exits west of Tally. What I discovered there changed my concept somewhat. Three perfect 12-foot pieces of thin rusted re-bar, not so heavy as to be impossibly unwieldy and also flexible (important). I spotted some equally weathered metal bands off an old barrel lying nearby. These will be graduated circles to lash the three poles to, forming a tripod. Not twisty like I first thought, but not totally stiff either. I am flexible too, I realize and I can adapt my design to the materials at hand. It is more important to make something than just dream and wait. I also found a bundle of flexible wires I can use to weave with. Oh, and an old gas-cooker base that I could paint a bright color. This might fit near the top of the sculpture, with three bold  metal squiggles like  hooks that I could attach some curly wires to, threaded with big glass beads to catch the light.

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