Monthly Archives: September 2014

As in Blue

This is the color of blue. All apart for painting. I‘d love to show a pic of her put together again, I’ll try, but I spend too much time dancing Tango to put her together, take good pictures and take apart again for delivery to ArtPrize in Grand Rapids this weekend. I’ll at least put up good pictures of her when installed at the site.


Here’s my personal page on the ArtPrize site, and here’s the page for the venue where I’m hosted, 300 Ottawa. This is a great site, across the street from the famous Calder sculpture La Grande Vitesse, and the people there are super-nice.

BTW my vote code is 56214.

Whatever you have heard about ArtPrize, you should go and read about it yourself. In my opinion, it is a innovative and an expertly run event. This is the fifth year, and it continues to evolve. For instance, this year there is a public vote prize as usual, and a professional juried prize too.


Blue Woman together

All the limbs to go on now, and that’s all except for paint. It is so simple looked at this way.

Left leg is clamped into position using the jig. The bracket is held by hand in the right position, and an outline is penciled on the leg & body pieces. Look closely and see that the bracket is already drilled with four pilot holes, one in each quadrant. Still hold the bracket in place, I tap a nail through the pilot holes to make a small mark on the surface of the leg & body.




The bracket is placed in the drill press and a four holes 7/16” drilled  following the pilot holes, to accept the barrel of the Tee nuts, which are then hammered into it. There’s spikes too that hold them securely into the wood.  the holes in the leg piece are 3/8”, the size of the bolts, and are drilled  carefully straight with a hand held drill, centered by the nail marks which were made on the surface.



Where the straight edge of the bracket meets the curved edge of the body an accommodation must be made. On the model, that line along the junction of the leg and body is just a glob of hot-glue; Here it needs to be a cut line beveled to the same angle of the bracket for it. The excellent Bosch saber saw is good for this job.


No details shown, but thread the bolts through the pieces and into the bracket’s Tee nuts, and the leg and body are attached together. There’s some jiggling to get this done. You might think a helper would help, but it can be easier to hold things into place with your own head, shoulder and feet, while you use your hands to turn the screws in.



Cat: "Can I help?"  - Man: "You don’t have thumbs."

The attachment feels solid and secure to me. Pulling on or shaking the leg doesn’t feel like it could snap off or break away at all. Still, thinking, “A lot can happen” , I see it “couldn’t hurt” to reinforce these brackets with  more hardware, namely screws, to add extra mechanical connections to the part.



Onto the right arm. At  this point it is starting to dawn on me that I can take measurements off of the model which are actuate enough to place the position of the arm & body relative to each other without the need of the jig to suspend the pieces for judgment by my eye. This is done mostly by finding the perpendicular of the junction line of the parts, and extending that to the visual apex of the roughly circular arm or leg piece.


I’ve turned the whole thing over onto sawhorses this time, so I can work without crawling under. Mark and cut the straight edge matching the bracket angle. This one’s easy, it’s 90 degrees.


Clamp in place, tap in nail-marks through pre-drilled 1/8” pilot holes in bracket, and because I have better working position, I drill the 1/8”pilot hole further through the facing wood now.


Remove and drill the bracket. Drill the 3/8” holes into the body at pilot holes. How Tee nuts go in.




The same steps again for the arm.




And put the screws in, and assemble together.



Turned back over (legs removed).



Left arm, and last one to do. This arm is uniquely placed with the bracket on the front surface of the body. I put the head legs and arms back on so I can see. I entirely measure on the bracket this time without need for the jig; I have experience at this now.


Measure for and place the bracket on the arm. This time it’s the arm which gets the straight edge cut into it’s circular perimeter.




There she is mostly, but what still remains is to do her beautiful breast.





"Amazing, you actually did it"


The breast attaches by fitting into a slot cut in the face of the left –side body. The slot position is measured off of the model, and adjusted in length for 1 1/2’ depth of Once again, the excellent Bosch saber saw is good for this. Use a new blade, live it up. Somewhat nerve wracking; it may look like I know what I’m doing but I’m making it up as I go along.




The Blue Woman Sculpture fully assembled together for the first time:







Hurray! Let’s paint BLUE.

BW 3

The body can go together now, and the attachment of the limbs.

The body is set upon the floor, and the head-piece is clamped into position with the help of a jig to hold it in place while adjustments are made, viewpoints are checked-out, comparisons to the model are referenced, and markings are drawn.


Mounting holes to the bracket are measured, drilled, Tee nuts inserted, and the head is fastened on. Nice.






The right leg goes the same. It is clamped into place and compared to the model.


At this point I’m not certain about the best way to arrange, mark, and drill the mount bracket for the leg, and I’ll have four of these to do, so I want to get it right, have a system, and repeatable. The four holes on two pieces to be joined must line up accurately, or it’s a mess.


I drill a 1/8” pilot hole centered in each quadrant of the bracket. I then mark the placement of the bracket, and hold it with nails through the pilot holes. One at a time, I remove a nail and drill the pilot hole deeper through the leg or body part. Then I can remove the bracket and drill the four 3/8” holes for the bolts, through the body and leg following the pilot holes. I put the bracket on the drill press to drill the holes for the Tee nuts nice and perpendicular. I don’t want that angled or it will be difficult for the bolts to thread into them. That’s how I figure it, and this first one’s a test. I have better pictures of this to follow, during the mounting of the other three limbs.




This works. I can even do it mostly by myself without a helper. I feel this will come together quickly now, well, not exactly, because there’s a lot of complicated marking and drilling to do for each bracket and limb, so I’ll say instead, come together reliably.

A system, Ahh!