Sunday, July 22, 2018

Albert Carl Neil Charles Tyler Kurt Stephen and Me* Forrest C. Greenslade, PhD, 2018

energy infinitely expanding
particles and their evil twins
or waves it’s uncertain
everything related but chaotic

Voiding a black nothing
lusting attraction forcing elemental marriage
molecular gathering gaseous worlds
clotting exploding flaming
capturing lesser spheres
spinning in their influence

On one such orb
cooling in its unique place
condensing gasses
raining upon the surface
conjuring ever increasing complexity

In this water world
solid masses drifting
continents forming and reforming
in the ooze
creating itself in its own image
the helical first
directing invisible architecture

Tiny spheres begetting tiny spheres
begetting spheres of spheres
begetting tubes of spheres
begetting tubes within tubes
begetting swimmers creepers
racers climbers and flyers

Tooth and claw
the fittest fastest hungriest
sexiest and brainiest prevailing
fruitfully filling the orb
subduing it and having dominion
over the swimmers and over the flyers
and over every living thing

Honoring various gods or various one gods
slaughtered the unbelievers
building monuments to various gods
or to various one gods
or to themselves

And unto themselves
erecting great cities
devising great technologies
diversifying great cultures
painting on cave walls
printing on papyrus
casting in stone
iron bronze and cathode
sending texts bursts of ones and twos

And all this so I can utter
these words to you

* Einstein’s thought experiment about two people, one in the middle of the train and one on the platform, observing lightning strokes  as the trail sped by gave me an early primitive idea of space/time relatively. Two TV series “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” narrated by Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson inspired me to wonder about it all. I studied Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” in several biology and philosophy courses in college and graduate school. Tyler Volk, in his book “Metapatterns: Across Space, Time, and Mind”, expanded my understanding of the overarching architecture of living things  I met Kurt Vonnegut in New York and had a lovely conversation about his writing and his philosophy of the absurd. His books “Gal├ípagos” and “The Sirens of Titan” colored my thinking about most things. Finally, I just finished Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time” which prompted me to revisit a poem that I had written some time ago.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Even More Enamel Fun

Kathryn made these two freestyle enamel pioeces at the House of Metalworks.

More Enamel Fun

Kathryn scanned mu signature chop and created a plastic stencil of it. We returned to The House of Metalworks and played with making enamel on copper pieces. More fun!

My signature chop stencil

Kathryn cooking the piece

Up close

My chop as a pendant

Friday, April 6, 2018

Enamel Jewelry Lesson

My daughter Kathryn Armstrong gave me a quick lesson in creating enamel jewelry at The House of Metalworks in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. It is a quick and easy way to make functional art -- and great FUN.
Torching a piece

My finished poiece

Happy student

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Wild Kingdom -- Creating a paper maquette

I am beginning to work on my exhibit for the 2018 -- that's right 2018 -- North Carolina Botanical Garden Sculpture Show. The concept is "Wild Kingdom -- A Wildly Colorful Collection of Critters". They will be sculpted in steel and displayed among the plant materials in the garden, similsr to my 2017 exhibit, "Facing Humanity" in the Garden.

The first step in the process is working out the design elements for the pieces. I use paper maquettes to design the sculptures prior to fabricating them in steel. I select an image of the animal's face to serve as a model, in this case a giraffe. I make several copies if the image.

I cut the images up to separate dimensions of the face.

I trace the shapes on construction paper.

The construction paper shapes are then cut out.

The elements are then reconstructed, using spacers, into a three dimensional maquette.

The maquette will be deconstructed and the elements will be used a patterns to trace onto steel to be cut with a torch for the metal sculpture.

Stay tuned...

Friday, August 18, 2017

A visit to the J. J. Audubon Center

Carol-Ann, Kathryn, Nicole and I visited Community Conservation and Education Director Amy Weidensaul at the Audubon Center in PA.

I brought Amy a giclee of a painting that I did of a Great Horned Owl inspired by an Audubon print in Birds of America.


We had a lovely tour Audubon's first home in the US and got to see some rehabed owls up close.

Oscar the Screetch Owl

Oscar -- Thought "he" was a boy but she laid an egg
\Oden the Great Horned Owl -- Very talkative!

More about the Audubon Center

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Making faces

Facing Humanity

For several months, I have been sculpting faces inspired by individuals in many countries around the globe.They will be an assemblage in this year's Sculpture in the Garden exhibit at the NC Botanical Garden. It is an exploration of the diversity and unity of us.

Here is how I create them.

First, I select an interesting face from a part of the world. I don't consider the face to be representative of the country. It just catches my attention. 

I make an armiture out of hardware cloth, an kind of chicken wire.

I then make a composit concrete using cement, peat moss and an acrylic fortifyer. I model and carve a likeness of the subject face.

The faces will assembled into an exhibit at Sculpture in the Garden at the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

Come to the Garden and enjoy sculptures by artists from all over our state presented against wonderful plant materials.

Sculpture in the Garden