Thursday, October 16, 2014

As I reported previously, for numerous reasons I've been pulled away from art for the last few months.  I did manage to get PVC Whatever painted for a show of local artists at Artistree in Pomfret, Vermont.  That's PVC Whatever above.  Click on the graphic below for show details.

Below is a view north from the shoulder of Burke Mountain (Vermont), taken in July.

Monday, October 6, 2014

parenthetical e

A visit to [e]merge has led me to the following draft formulations.

All TVs to be placed under bathroom sinks. All hotel room art to be replaced with SO MUCH ART THE ROOM CAN BARELY CONTAIN IT. All parking garages, everywhere, to contain photographic scrolls and color-shifting abstractions and cyberbeehives and neon and feather snow and highly intentional heaps of broken stone.

Thank you for your attention to these matters.

Monday, August 18, 2014

PFF 2014

Several EFAC members and friends had a fine Philly Folkfest -- drop us a comment if you found one of our cards. We were camped under the big top at Smegma/Neon with the pictured bxiie artwork and an orange neon Smiling Banjo by Evening Neon. I am sure I have more to say about the weekend, and all the fabulous creativity on parade (sometimes literally) by our fellow festerlings, but I am too tired. Check back later!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Bxiie - Out of Circulation

I've been pretty busy doing other things the past few weeks.  Here's what I was doing before I got distracted.

This is PVC 6; the largest piece I have done so far.  This has been in process this entire season and was the impetus for the evolution of my heating/melting technique.  It's not actually done yet; I managed to char two of the tendrils and mar part of the flat part through too-effective heating.  I need to do some sanding and repair.

This is PVC something-or-other.  I've mislaid my art log and so have no idea what number this is without lining everything up and counting them off.

This is the current state of my 'furnace'.  The cinder blocks contain and direct the heat much more efficiently than the last iteration.  Filth suggests that I'd get even better results if I used fire brick but this is working pretty well for now.

This is an experiment with HDPE (high density polyethylene).  It looks really cool while it's melted but when it stiffens back up, it turns back into the color of the milk jug it started out as.  Between last year and this, I've experimented a few times with HDPE without any good results.  I still think there's something good to be found, though.

 This is a different PCV something-or-other.

I'm busy for a few more weeks but I'm hoping to get back to work in late August or early September.

Monday, July 21, 2014

A few snapshots of drop-off and installation at Artomatic Takes Flight...

AOM14 set on Flickr

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Report on Our Recent Activities

The Extinct Flightless Arts Collective has been active in the following (and other, secret) ways:
  • Tranquility
  • Oracule
  • Pigment II
  • FilthyRusty

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


The mechanics of my regular art creation process have to do with cutting and then bending plastic. This is very easy to do when the material is a credit card; scissors work well for cutting thin PVC and the plastic is readily bent. With larger pieces, however, both of these steps are a little more difficult. Thicker PVC requires power tools to cut. Heat must be applied to the plastic in order to make it pliable.

I've been using a jigsaw to cut the plastic. This works pretty well. I've made improvements in this area by moving to a more powerful jigsaw and by using jigsaw blades that are specific for PVC rather than general use blades that will work on plastic.

The application of heat has been problematic. In order to make the PVC bendable, the entire thickness of the plastic has to be raised above 200°F. Until now, I've been using a heat gun to heat the plastic. A heat gun is essentially a really hot hairdryer.

Heating with the heat gun is a slow process because the gun only heats a small area. In order to heat the plastic, the heat gun must be held very close to the surface; within a quarter of an inch or so. The heat gun needs to be moved constantly in order that the surface of the PVC does not char.  It takes a very long time using this technique to heat the plastic enough through the entire thickness so that the plastic becomes pliable.  Also, when using a heat gun only a small section of the plastic is pliable at a time. For larger pieces, this technique is not practical. A particular piece that I'm working on, PVC 6, is 2' x 4' and requires quite a bit of heating in order to get the shape that I am pursuing. The below photograph shows the current state of PVC 6; I have bent about 1/16 of the amount of plastic that I need to bend and I have spent about an hour and a half with the heat gun to get to this point.

At the suggestion of a friend, I have started to experiment with a forced air kerosene heater. Last evening, I tried this technique for the first time and it was a rousing success.

This photograph shows a piece that I made last week, PVC 5. This started out as a 1' x 2' x 3/8" slab of PVC. After cutting it took just under two hours over several sessions with a heat gun to bend the plastic as shown.

I apologize for the poor quality of the above photograph; immediately after this piece was produced it was selected for a juried show (details below) and I did not have the opportunity to take good photographs of it.

The below photograph shows the piece I made yesterday, PVC 7. This started from the same size slab of PVC as the above item. I heated this slab for about twenty minutes with the forced air heater after cutting. This made the entire slab pliable all at once allowing me to bend it much more easily and to introduce much nicer curves into the artwork.

I will be using a forced air heater at least for the rest of this art season (melting plastic is an outdoor activity and so my art season is April - October). The heat gun will still be part of my toolkit; it will be useful for detail work or where I just need a small application of heat.

I am showing nine pieces at the Nuance Gallery in Windsor, Vermont from May 31 through July 12. This includes four tabletop sculptures and five credit card devices. The Nuance Gallery is located at 85 Main Street in Windsor. Should you happen to find yourself in the wilderness of Central Vermont, please stop in and check out the show.

Nuance Gallery Facebook Page