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Monday, May 31, 2010

Jeff de Boer

While researching different styles and layouts of samurai armor I came across a rather unusual artist, Jeff de Boer.

He was born in 1963 in Calgary, Canada. His dad was a tin smith, so he grew up around metal working and all of the possibilities it allows. He decided at a very early age (5 years old) that he wanted to be an artist. He spent most of his time drawing, painting, and creating 3-D objects. He built his first suit of armor during his senior year of high school, a rather impressive feat. He took a few years off from school after graduating to further develop his craft, even learning from a local blacksmith. In '84 he attended the Alberta College of Art and Design, majoring in jewelry design. It was then that he merged his two skills to build the first ever suit of armor for.......... a mouse.

15th Century Maximilian Rat
Mouse Armor

He became an established artist shortly after graduating in '88. He developed 4 distinct bodies of work; armor for mice and cats, armor for executives, "exoforms", and space objects. in 1994 he had his first solo exhibition called "Articulation", including some 140 works. THis show travelled across Canada for 2 years.

He continues to work to this day, and even instructs at ACAD in Jewelry Design and Presentation.

Samurai Siamese
Samurai Cat

Dog Mask
Dog Mask

White Knight Cat
Cat Knight

Emergency Jet Pack
Emergency Jet Pack

So, who want to volunteer their pet?

Friday, May 28, 2010


Big stroke of luck today! My brother was dissecting a cat in his AP Biology class today, and I think you know where this is going. He has the same teacher I had for advanced bio way back in high school. This made it very easy to obtain a new skeleton. It's macerating right now, so in 2-4 weeks there should be a very clean skeleton waiting for me.

The big problem here is the skull.... it was cut in half to study the brain. However, bolting it back together with metal plates should add a cool texture to it. Unlike the last skeleton, this one will be used in a very abstract manner.

That is all for now.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bust A Nut

The metal suit for A Sight To Behold is nearing completion! It's getting very heavy and cumbersome. So far this is what I have;

-entire left arm, fingers need re-designing
-chest and back
-mask frame, fabric cover begins tomorrow
-entire right leg, including a foot cover.

I ran into a chilly problem with the upper leg cover today, which needs desperate reworking. First, it's cold and brisk when first put on, and not very enjoyable. Second, the connecting hooks touch a rather sensitive part of the anatomy............ even less enjoyable. I might completely scrap this section of the leg after a rather painful moment.

Anyways, pictures of this massive undertaking will be up soon. It looks awesome, moves amazingly, and will turn heads.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Concept Statement

It's taken a while for me to figure out how I'm going to tie two completely different sections of my senior thesis together. When I first proposed the ideas of the immersive river scene and the WireWear the only two similarities were that they were made out of wire. Now I have a more solidified idea.

I have been making these fish and oddball animal sculptures for around 3 years now, so it would only make sense to include them in my senior thesis show. In fact, a large global circle of aquaria hobbyists admire my work and often buy them off of me. These sculptures have a natural, organic feel to them, despite being made out of metal.
The WireWear has a more mechanical and unnatural feel to it, but still retains some organic shapes and themes. Inspiration for the large scale pieces is often drawn from my synesthetic experiences with music and sound.

After some contemplation, I've finally tied the two together.
My entire body of work will be based off of dualities and clashing forces. For example, the river creatures will be a mixture of freshwater inhabitants from all over the world and thriving in different habitats (coldwater vs. tropical, hard water vs. soft water, acidic pH vs. basic pH, predatory vs. herbavorous). Along with the mixture of fish, reptiles, and invertebrates that would never be able to survive in the same body of water together, they are also made out of mostly inorganic materials, yet have an organic feel.
The WireWear will have a different set of dualities all together. These include the living vs. the dead, human vs. inhuman, civilized vs. wild, serene and beautiful vs. threatening and grotesque, etc. Most of the pieces will be based off of synesthetic experiences, infused with animals and plant parts that will tie into the river scene. One that I am looking forward to building is a suit of samurai armor mixed with a lionfish, based off of what I see to "Shogun" by Trivium. To make it even better, one of my friends who is half Japanese will be modeling it. Here are some other ones I am working on;

-Minimalistic wire suit that infuses the human figure with an orchid, based off "Last of the Wilds" by Nightwish and "In The Wilderness" by Gojira

-Deep sea fish mixed with the human figure using EL wire (illuminated), based off "Ocean Grave" by Disarmonia Mundi, "Embrace of the Endless Ocean" by Amon Amarth, and "The Heaviest Matter in the Universe" by Gojira

-Human form mixed with praying mantis, no musical influence yet.

-Abstract illuminated wire armor, based off "Dialogue With the Stars" by In Flames and "Celestial Furnace" by DIsarmonia Mundi

-something inspired by ancient Greek armor (more details once I get back from Greece)

and finally,
-Center piece armor. Nearly a full suit which integrates the human body with the Goliath Tigerfish, based off "A Sight to Behold" by Gojira

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Progress Update and Arthur Ganson

I've made a small dent in my work or the senior show. I have 2 hatchetfish done and 3 more frame for the large school, the frame for the Panaque catfish, the left arm, chest cover, mask frame, and most of the back cover for the armor, and some work done for a wire suit for one of my friends at home, who happens to be going to CNU in the fall.

And now for an inspirational artist.

Arthur Ganson is one of those obscure artists that remains enigmatic to the public eye. It ends up that Ganson has influenced me since I was a child. I used to play with these things called Toobers & Zots when I was little, which he designed. He is a kinetic sculptor who uses wire to make gears (VERY hard to do). He specialized in Rube Goldberg machines (use several steps with simple machines to accomplish a simple task) with existensial themes. Many of them accomplish completely useless tasks, but that's part of the brilliance.

This one oils itself, and that's it!
"Machine With Oil"

"Machine With Wishbone"
I like working with bones, so this one is an obvious favorite.

"Knife Throwing Machine"
Kathy knows that this one should never be shown to a certain someone I used to live with......

This one is just plain weird. A chair and a cat, stuck in an eternal struggle.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Metal Fishes

I've been working on drawings for some of the "inhabitants" for the immersive river scene I plan on creating for Senior Sem. I've researched some rather interesting creatures through my expansive knowledge of freshwater life. I'm going to stay true to size, shape, colors, and patterns for all of these, so quite a few will be quite large. I'll include the intended length of the actual sculptures along with some pics. Here are some photos of what these creatures actual look like;

Click the pictures to view them in full.

Pallid Sturgeon, 5-6'
pallid sturgeon

Paddlefish, 3-5'
Paddlefish Pictures, Images and Photos
note the albino/leucistic one in the back

Asian Arowana, 30"
Fire Red Arowana Pictures, Images and Photos

Royal Panaque (the big one), 13"
Blue eyed panaque and royal panaque Pictures, Images and Photos

Hatchetfish, 3" There will be a large school of these
Marble Hatchetfish {Carnegiella strigata) Pictures, Images and Photos

Tiger Shovelnose Catfish, 36"
tiger shovelnose catfish Pictures, Images and Photos

Polypterus delhezi, 14"
Polypterus delhezi Pictures, Images and Photos

Mata mata turtle, 16"
Mata mata

Giant Yabby (Astacopsis gouldi) 25-30"
giant crayfish

Payara, 2-3'
payara Pictures, Images and Photos

African Tigerfish, 3-4'
Hydrocynus vittatus Pictures, Images and Photos

for a better idea......
goliath tigerfish

I doubt I will be able to make all of those, but it's a goal.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

There Will Be Light!

I was searching for some wire armor suits last night, which from what I've found don't exist yet. I did find something very, very cool though. It's called electroluminescent wire, or EL wire for short. If you're a Daft Punk fan, you've seen it already;
Daft Punk Pictures, Images and Photos
Auto tuners have made this material popular, but artists have started to use it for wearable artwork in recent years.

I found a supplier that sells it at a good price. I do not plan on using it to make form fitting suits. Instead, they will accent protrusions and extensions. Basically, I'll be turning people into deep sea creatures, like this!
deep sea fish Pictures, Images and Photos
Anglerfish Pictures, Images and Photos

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Felipe Linares

Linares is an artist that I discovered in January 2009 during a study abroad trip to Mexico City. I have been a fan of a Mexican folk art called alejibres for quite a while now. They are colorful wood carvings the represent animals with eye catching colors and patterns. A common pattern found in alejibres are tiny dots, usually white, that break up areas of solid color.

Linares has branched out from the wood carvings and uses papier mache as his medium. His works are also much, much larger than traditional alejibres. One of his most memorable pieces an be found at Museo Delores Olmedo. This piece is an impressive Dia De Los Meurtos display that consumes an entire room. Several life-sized skeletons are gathered around a kitchen table covered in food, enjoying the festivities. He has even included a dog skeleton, which has snatched a link of sausage.
He also has a smaller display at the Fowler Museum at UCLA depicting a rather humerous (no pun intended) scene from Don Quixote, composed entirely of papier mache skeletons of both people and a horse.

Felipe does not work by himself, but has entire family producing these impressive sculptures as well. So here is what he does;

One of his many Dia de los Meurtos skulls


an alejibre