Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
The Creative Kids Museum at the
TELUS World of Science - Calgary
My name is Geoff Sandhurst, and I am a full time sculptor. I usually work in metal, and I am enjoying working with a new medium – recycled water pipe for the Totems project for the Mindscapes Exhibit at Creative Kids Museum at the TELUS World of Science – Calgary.
The first Totem ready for delivery – if my son’s army of Bionicles can be defeated! This Totem will have Textures applied to it at CKM before installation.
The grid drawn out as a guideline for the animal tracks on the second totem. I planned the tracks on paper, but I had to keep in mind that the flat paper pattern was telling a story on a totem in the round in spinning sections.
The sections will spin on each other, and when matched up correctly, you will be able to see the path that each animal has taken around the totem.
Thank you to the CKM at the TELUS World of Science – Calgary for the opportunity to work on this fascinating project. I am looking forward to keeping you updated on its progress. You can subscribe to updates on my blog at email@example.com.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I ‘m honoured and excited to be contracted to create this kinetic sculpture for the TELUS World of Science, Calgary. The project developed through conversations about an interactive sculpture demonstrating the use gears and pulleys. The theme of the tractor was suggested as a man-made creation that has an impact on nature to tie in to the “Mindscapes’ area at the Creative Kids Museum at the TELUS World of Science, Calgary. This man made creation was given a twist – it was to transform into something else to show how man can interact with machines to cause change. Man’s impact can develop into something new, interesting, and helpful. It can also be terrifying and the impact not known for years to come.
I started the development of the kinetic sculpture with many sketches, taking the ideas discussed at the meetings and combining them in a variety of ways until the ideas started to gel together. I researched different gears and pulleys and looked at the work of other kinetic sculptors and found some amazing websites on the internet:
I recommend checking out following websites that I came across in my research:
Boston Museum of Science, The Clark Collection of Mechanical Movement Models http://www.mos.org/exhibits_shows/current_exhibits&d=1781
Theo Jansen, Kinetic Sculptor - http://www.strandbeest.com/
Arthur Ganson, Kinetic Sculptor - http://www.arthurganson.com/pages/Sculptures.html
The next stage was to create a small scale model of the sculpture. I first made one to work out the general movement of the artwork. Then I intended to create a full working model of the kinetic sculpture. After trying to source metal gears and pulleys to create a working model, I realized that it was not realistic to create a full working model. It was time consuming and was resulting in a model that would not be able to be replicated in large scale. The same types of gears were not necessarily readily available or cost effective when going from small scale to large scale. It was time to move into creating the actual sculpture.
1st maquette to work out movement of artwork.
Incompleted 2nd maquette with some working gears. My Daugher Kierra is turning the gears.
1. There is the gear box that drives the entire sculpture. It is to be encased in clear plastic so that everyone can see and experience how turning the valve with human power, drives the gears that move the sculpture.
2. The framework of the sculpture rises from the gearbox and attaches to the ceiling beams. It supports the kinetic artwork as well as allowing the movement of the sculpture.
3. The kinetic sculpture is the third component and the most challenging. It is made from found tractor parts and purchased new and used mechanical parts.
The Gear Box: The gear box phase is ongoing. I have sourced and received most of the gears for the gearbox. I am not satisfied with the size of the beveled gears that are the first gears to be driven by human power. I want something with more visual impact. I am looking for a crown and pinion now from a large truck or tractor. This is a photo of the sketch of the gear box on my drafting table.
I have started gathering parts for the artwork of the Kinetic Sculpture. Because I am working with found parts, I have to be creative and take the opportunity to purchase it while I can. I can’t go back and buy it later – it will be crushed or shipped elsewhere, like China! I have picked up lots of interesting items. Here are some of the parts I have found so far using a Massey Harris Tractor:
I recently saw a video by Dewitt Jones, a photographer for National Geographic, http://www.dewittjones.com/html/keynotes.shtml . He talked about acting “as if”, when we think that we are not interested, do not care, or feel that something is beyond our abilities. I found this very empowering. I often work “as if”. I go on the internet and act “as if” I am a researcher. When I start with my first google search, or library visit, I often don’t’ know exactly who, what, where I am looking for. But I continue, acting “as if” I know how to find the information that I need. I learn more and more with each search on the internet and discussion with the librarians until I find what I am looking for.
When I am building a sculpture I act “as if” I am an artist. I don’t feel that I am one. An artist to me is Salvador Dali or Leonardo da Vinci. I act “as if” I know what I am making. I have an idea, but I don’t know if I will be able to find the parts, or have the time I need to make the parts. Many times my initial drawings come close to the sculpture, but sometimes the sculpture evolves into something completely different.
This kinetic sculpture is challenging, interesting and fun. I am looking forward to keeping you updated on its progress. You can subscribe to updates on my blog at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Thank you to all the people that responded to my inquiry for gears. I am pursuing their leads and have appreciated connecting with their group.
I work in isolation in my studio, and I am finding the internet an amazing way to feel connected in the world wide community.
If anyone in the Calgary area has gears of this diameter please email me!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
••Formed Recycled Steel
•Approximately 3 feet in diameter
•Approximately 4 feet high x 2 ½ feet wide
•Moving neck, wings and Tie
•Approximately 2 feet x 1 foot
•$5000.00 + GST
•Approx 6 feet Tall
•Finished for indoor or outdoor Display
•Caterpillar parts and formed steel
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Thank you to Lynda Sea and The Avenue for including me in the March issue and for permission to post the article here. I will post it tomorrow, as for some reason the image will not post tonight.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
The worst part? keeping track of paperwork and keeping my books. Luckily, my wife, Corinne, helps out a lot with the paperwork. There are highs and lows with creativity. When I get into a low, its hard to break out of it.
The best part? I am my own boss and can generally work my own hours. However, this can lead to working too long, too late, too hard and leave little time for family and friends.
Monday, March 10, 2008
I will tackle one question at a time, so it will take 8 entries to answer them all. If any students have questions for me, please feel free to have your teacher email them to me.
I received a list of questions to cover for Career Day. I am going to answer those questions here, so that any students that are interested can see what I would have talked about that day:
1. What has been your educational journey up to this point in your career?
I always loved drawing but my designated high school was an academic school with no art program. I didn't do well in school and had a lot of help studying from my mom. She was a high school teacher. I had poor reading skills and was in the lowest level classes. I did NOT enjoy school at all.
I ended up taking summer school correspondence courses to get all my credits to graduate high school. Looking back, I wish I had had the courage to go to the technical school that was available.
I was offered a job by my neighbour at a muffler shop when I was 17 . I learned to weld there. I think I would have applied my skills to art no matter where I worked. For example, if I had worked in a wood trade, like cabinetry, I might be a wood carver instead of a metal sculptor.
I would take the used parts and start building sculptures. One of my first was a 6 foot muffler man made out of mufflers, resonators, springs, pipes and brakes. Lucky for me, the area supervisor for the muffler shop was supportive of my art and had the muffler man on display outside his office for a while. It was also used in a fun company team building video and at a career day at SAIT. I have a couple of pictures of "Muffler Man" here. Please note he is wearing my hat!
I am telling you this story, because when I was your age, I started on the path towards two careers, one as a journeyman mechanic and one as a professional artist. It took me until I was 40 years old to finally become a full time artist. I am glad that I have another career to fall back on, but I wished that I had picked my back up career, instead of letting it pick me. I didn't plan my career path, and ended up just following through with the first real job I had in high school.
I enjoyed being a mechanic when I was working on the older vehicles. I didn't find electronics very exciting. As cars evolved, they started to have more electronic components, and my joy in working on newer cars faded. I miss the character of the older vehicles. I still love old cars and have a 67 GTO and a 67 Grand Prix.
I took private drawing lessons when I was a teenager. I took my mechanic's apprenticeship in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I took a one year apprenticeship in plumbing and learned how to hold a hammer drill at the top of a giant ladder, among other things!
Outside of work skills, I took a lost wax casting course and about 3 months of private lessons from a jeweller in the early 1990's.
In 1996, I took an excellent course in Haystack, Maine from Tom Muir. He is an amazing silver smith and although I only had a two week course with him, it has had a lifelong impact on me. You never know when you will meet someone that has an incredible impact on your life. When you have opportunities, take them, as they might never come again. I have been trying to take another course with Tom ever since, but my schedule and finances never meshed with his courses.
Another opportunity arose when I took a course from Jeff de Boer (http://www.jeffdeboer.com/). I had come across his work in Reader's Digest and admired his mouse armour. My wife, Corinne, was taking her break at work and was checking out the ACAD website for classes. What are the chances that she found one that he was offering that started that very day! You needed a prerequisite or the instructor's permission and the class started in 2 hours. Her boss generously let her leave early from work. She came home and found me very sick at home. She packed up my portfolio, and our 2 year old son and me and drove us to the course. She didn't want me to miss the opportunity and did everything possible to get me there! She and our son waited in the truck for two hours in an amazing rain storm, so they could drive me home at the end of the class. Jeff reviewed my portfolio and accepted me into the course. He later offered me a job in his studio and I worked for him for three years as a Techical Assistant. It was a great learning on the job experience that enhanced many of my skills. I assisted on many projects, including cat armour, bronzes, and the tin toy carousel sculptures at the Westjet Terminal. Being able to work on metal full time made me realize that I did want to be a full time sculptor. Later, when I started working full time, Jeff sub contracted part of the barbed wire horse at the Glenbow Museum to me. You never know what an opportunity will lead to.
Other opportunities came up to work at places like F and D Scene Changes http://www.fdscenechanges.com/ and Heavy Industries http://www.heavyworld.com/ . I developed my skills in reading blue prints and work on large scale sets and props. I learned how to weld aluminum at F and D.
I do not have an art degree or certificate. For the most part, I am self taught. Sometimes I wish I had gone to art school, as I often learn skills the hard way, from trial and error. I couldn't afford to attend art school. Also, a close family friend that was an art teacher recommended that I didn't go. She felt that I might lose some of my individuality. It was a comfort to me to believe this, since I couldn't afford to go anyways.
I chose to set myself up financially with a house and a back up career first and then pursue my career as a full time artist. I fell in love at age 22 and got married. 10 years later we had the first of two wonderful children. With that came a lot of responsibilities. We all have our own experiences and choices that step by step take us down the journey of each of our lives. I don't think there are any right or wrong paths to the career as an artist. I do think it is a difficult career that each artist pours a lot of heart and soul into.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Below: left is the Transparency and right is the Template.