Old 02-13-2013, 02:03 PM   #1
oggbashan
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Fresh Blood?

I'm trying to create a 3D artwork for a local exhibition and I have struck a problem.

I want to show drops of blood being squeezed out of a pile of stones. The 'blood' has to appear liquid and shiny but actually be dry and hard.

I had thought of layers of pillar box red enamel paint but it doesn't work.

Any suggestions?
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:06 PM   #2
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blood

Perhaps red polymer clay with a glossy finish?
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by stephenchapman View Post
Perhaps red polymer clay with a glossy finish?
Thank you.

Perhaps it might work, or a plasticine clone like playdoh if it hardens.

I've just ordered some cheap 'vampire blood' on eBay. Anything is worth trying but I might have to varnish it.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:30 PM   #4
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melted wax might also work.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:58 AM   #5
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Ideally I would use a garnet, spinel or similar gem (even red paua shell), but for something more budget friendly: Metallic red acrylic paint ($2 or less at Michael's), metalflake red spray paint, red metallic nail polish...
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:10 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by sunandshadow View Post
Ideally I would use a garnet, spinel or similar gem (even red paua shell), but for something more budget friendly: Metallic red acrylic paint ($2 or less at Michael's), metalflake red spray paint, red metallic nail polish...
Nail polish might work. The effect I want is dribbles of blood from between a pile of stones. I'll have to experiment.

This is my first attempt at an art work for about thirty years and I'm getting slightly concerned about the cost of the materials. I can afford them but I'm used to translating an idea into a story at almost no cost except my time. A physical art work needs the art material and each item costs more than I expected it to.

Perhaps I'm being too ambitious.

The idea of the exhibition is that the items are offered for sale and a percentage of the proceeds goes to a charity. I think the cost of the materials alone will be about 40 pounds. I can't see anyone paying that much for an art work by me.
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:22 AM   #7
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eBay's Vampire Blood has arrived.

I have to heat it in a microwave before applying. It says it will harden in one minute and can be washed off with warm soapy water (but the small print says 'Repeated washings may be necessary').

Since I'm applying it to stone, and not to my skin, I don't think that I'll need the 'repeated washings'.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by oggbashan View Post
eBay's Vampire Blood has arrived.

I have to heat it in a microwave before applying. It says it will harden in one minute and can be washed off with warm soapy water (but the small print says 'Repeated washings may be necessary').

Since I'm applying it to stone, and not to my skin, I don't think that I'll need the 'repeated washings'.

Perhaps it would be clever to coat the stones with a mat varnish before adding red things which will probably absorb into the stones and leave a stain impossible to remove. If that is too expensive shellac is good but it's yellow/ amber. (I imagine the stones are white and porous.)
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:21 AM   #9
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Perhaps it would be clever to coat the stones with a mat varnish before adding red things which will probably absorb into the stones and leave a stain impossible to remove. If that is too expensive shellac is good but it's yellow/ amber. (I imagine the stones are white and porous.)
The stones are black and white. I'm trying to reference Marcel Duchamp's 'Why Not Sneeze Rose Sélavy' which used marble cubes. I have used a black and white mosaic tile. The pieces were too thin but peeled from the packing and glued in pairs they become cubes. Both colours seem fairly impervious as I have already used glue and that didn't sink in at all. I'm unlikely to need to re-use the stones or the art work. I thought that the mosaic tiles were ceramic. They're not. They are real marble.

But I have just re-read the submission guidelines. Any medium/2D.

My attempt is 3D! In a few minutes I will go to the gallery and plead. I hope they'll be sympathetic. They liked my 3D exhibits in their last event even if they were 'found' objects rather than deliberate art works.

Duchamp's original:


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Old 02-16-2013, 11:34 AM   #10
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When I was in Europe there was a guy who had an exhibit in almost every gallery. It was a blank canvas with a slit across it. That was all he did and they all had it. I don't know why he'd slit it when leaving it untouched would at least have indicated potential. Perhaps you should glue the stones to a canvas and have the blood flowing down the canvas. Even better if you covered a frame with two canvases that buckled as they squeezed the rocks in the middle like tectonic plates. If collage is acceptable perhaps a picture of a mine site, stuck on the canvas, would be even more topical with the rocks being squeezed in the middle. Perhaps you could experiment and discover a better way to present it as 2d. Stuck on a canvas, I suspect the concept would run close to acceptability. If you want, call it Olympic Dam. I think its the world's biggest mine- certainly it's no minor, and Olympic is a word which conveys the strength to crush.
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:48 PM   #11
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Thank you for the suggestions.

I couldn't get an answer today but if my piece isn't acceptable there are exhibitions over the next couple of months that it would be suitable for.

I'll try to ask again on Monday, or just turn up next Saturday and see if it is rejected. 'Rejected' art seems to be more saleable than accepted.

Or...

Devious plan. I could hire the small room next to the exhibition and put my object in there on its own.

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Old 02-21-2013, 12:01 PM   #12
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1. The fake Vampire Blood worked once I had ignored the instructions. They said 'Heat it in a bowl of water in a microwave for 10 seconds on Medium Heat'. It took 30 seconds on full power.

2. The item is completed and drying (or at least the fake blood is). All it needs is the label.

3. I finally got a sensible answer about whether 3D art is acceptable. It is, and it's welcome because they get too much 2D.

And last, but not least: Thanks for the suggestions.

P.S. My wife says "They'll never understand it. It's far too complex."
She could be right.

I'll include an explanatory cheat-sheet.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:16 PM   #13
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Thanks for the updates Ogg! I've been following the process with interest.

(I pondered some less viable directions, but realized that you had things under control).
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:12 AM   #14
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Thanks for the updates Ogg! I've been following the process with interest.

(I pondered some less viable directions, but realized that you had things under control).
Thank you, Throbbs.

It has been an interesting exercise, not just because of the work translating my ideas into a solid form, but also because I had to think hard about Marcel Duchamp's work. It helped me to know that "Rose Sélavy" was his nom-de-plume and that he considered the name "Rose" as an anagram of Eros.

"Why Not Sneeze?" - The work is about unexpected weight and unusual material. In some senses it is a late pregnancy when sneezing can have an effect on the squeezed bladder. The bird (lightness) has left the cage (freedom) and has been replaced by gravid weight (Pregnancy + responsibility). The thermometer is measuring temperature and also indicates medical interest. The cuttlefish? Bone, therefore inevitable death, and calcium useful for a healthy pregnancy...

My work?

It has an overt meaning about the improvement of working conditions for those producing sugar cane from slavery to Fair Trade but even then there are overtones. How 'fair' is Fair Trade? How much is still exploitation of poorly paid hard work in difficult conditions? How much of Fair Trade is whitewashing over an unpleasant reality? Can we as consumers trust the label? (In the UK at present with the horse meat scandal the answer must be - not much.)

The French Revolution promised The Rights of Man including freedom from slavery but the reality was that many former slaves in the French Colonies starved. European (and American) traders continued to exploit those working in the sugar cane plantations. While slavery was abolished the people still suffered.

The personal meaning I'll keep to myself. But producing something that is exactly what I wanted to produce is immensely satisfying. The technical skill was minimal but just within the scope of my disabilities, so part of the meaning is making the best of what I had (materials and abilities).

I'll try to take pictures of it, but I probably won't upload it. It is too personal and the real me isn't oggbashan.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:56 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by oggbashan View Post
Thank you for the suggestions.

I couldn't get an answer today but if my piece isn't acceptable there are exhibitions over the next couple of months that it would be suitable for.

I'll try to ask again on Monday, or just turn up next Saturday and see if it is rejected. 'Rejected' art seems to be more saleable than accepted.

Or...

Devious plan. I could hire the small room next to the exhibition and put my object in there on its own.
i approve of this devious plan.
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:47 AM   #16
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i approve of this devious plan.
Not needed. It was accepted and stopped the proceedings as everyone stopped to say WTF!, then started laughing.

It will have a prominent place in the exhibition.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:44 AM   #17
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Exhibition opens 10am tomorrow.

I wonder what the public response, if any, will be. The usual suspects will turn up, many of them very acerbic art critics, and rant on Facebook about the incompetence of the younger generation i.e. those under 80!
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:23 PM   #18
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It is on display in a prominent position but...

... they installed it back to front.

It was easy to turn it round.
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:47 PM   #19
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Attended the private view tonight.

Everyone I knew commented on it but stripping away the polite verbiage the response was WTF?
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:01 PM   #20
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Attended the private view tonight.

Everyone I knew commented on it but stripping away the polite verbiage the response was WTF?
pfft.

pearls before swine, eh?
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:34 AM   #21
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pfft.

pearls before swine, eh?
Not sure that's wholly fair. Some of those present are very competent and intelligent artists but they see these events as an opportunity to sell their work. They couldn't see the point of a work that took many hours to make and was marked "Not For Sale".

The representative from Fair Trade appreciated my work and some of its symbolism but not the references to Marcel Duchamp. Those who saw the Duchamp didn't see the whole Fair Trade message.

I suppose that I was putting too much into it. It was the only work that needed a crib sheet - which most people read - but I doubt that any of them have actually seen the work involved in harvesting sugar cane, and the dangers present.
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:41 AM   #22
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The next open exhibition is in April. I've started assembling materials for another 3D work.

No fresh blood this time. The fresh blood in my current work is surviving well and still looks wet.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:22 AM   #23
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This is a picture of my artwork. I'm not good at photography.

The exhibition ends tomorrow.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg duchamp01.jpg (91.4 KB, 140 views)
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:00 AM   #24
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This is a picture of my artwork. I'm not good at photography.

The exhibition ends tomorrow.
As a 3D piece it requires more views (ideally in person, of course).
The "White Cubes" are an actual real-world product? Are they sugar Cubes?

I don't get the off white triangle.

The cage looks a bit like a suet birdfeeder cage? if so that gives a sense of scale for me. Are the "bamboo"-looking sticks sugar cane?
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:03 PM   #25
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As a 3D piece it requires more views (ideally in person, of course).

The "White Cubes" are an actual real-world product? Are they sugar Cubes?

I don't get the off white triangle.

The cage looks a bit like a suet birdfeeder cage? if so that gives a sense of scale for me. Are the "bamboo"-looking sticks sugar cane?
I agree that it is better seen in person and viewed from several angles.

White Cubes - those in the box are real sugar cubes (Fair Trade, of course!). The black and white cubes in and from the cage, and tumbling between the cage and the box of sugar cubes, are marble.

The off white triangle was bleached by the camera flash. It is actually Gold colour, for the Golden Triangle of Trade. Manufactured Trade Goods went from England to West Africa where they were exchanged for slaves; slaves went from West Africa to the Caribbean where they were sold and the proceeds bought: Sugar to be taken to England. There was a substantial profit made on each leg of the Golden Triangle.

The cage is a bird feeder. The whole piece is about 15 inches long, six inches wide and six inches high, standing on a plastic box of the same dimensions, therefore total height is 12 inches. Underneath the plastic box, and seen through it, are pictures of Duchamp's two versions of "Why Not Sneeze, Rose Selavy?".

The sticks are bamboo canes, the closest I could get to sugar canes, but also representing the rattan canes with which slaves were beaten.


This is an edited version (names and locations removed) of the handout:

Cane Sugar: Evolution

Homage to Marcel Duchamp’s “Why Not Sneeze Rose Sélavy?”

The simple idea: Sugar has changed from slavery and the Golden Triangle to FairTrade.

Components:

Bird Feeder referencing Duchamp’s Bird Cage and also the cages in which slaves were kept before loading and on the slave ships for the voyage to the Caribbean.

Black and White Marble Cubes. Represent both the sugar and those involved in sugar production, slaves and overseers.

Cane – for Sugar Cane which was produced in the Caribbean by slave labour (not the Sugar Beet grown in East Anglia).

Red: Blood from the death of slaves in transit, and blood shed to produce the sugar.

Golden Triangle: The trade routes. Manufactured Trade Goods from England to Africa to be exchanged for slaves; Slaves from Africa to the Caribbean; Sugar from the Caribbean to England.

Coins: The money made at each stage of the triangular trade. French coins because Duchamp was French and also because they have the wording: Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite (Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood). The French Revolution abolished slavery throughout all French Colonies and gave former slaves a vote.

Further interpretation depends on what I think of Duchamp’s original work; much more about the concept of what is or is not Fair Trade; whether the label Fair Trade means what it says; and the difference between perception and reality…


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