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Sticks

Many of these dancing stick couples have been completed recently. Time to post the finished pieces. There are similarities and differences as you will see. This blogging as a means of record keeping is working for me. I agree with my critics that my writing style needs work. Whatever! Having images to save and share as well as dates and other documentation is far better than the notes I tried keeping when this artwork thing started to happen.

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Cool Fire Hazard!

Stick people picture frame with a candle. The “naked” stick man pictured dancing in the field was a very early one and he did have fun showing off and getting into trouble exposing his branches. Once he was stolen and used in a prank that offended some of the proper passers-by in the little Northwestern Connecticut town where I grew up. Very bad stickman!

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Finishing Lots of Dancing Stick Couples

There will be quite a few of these coming out this summer. I can’t stop making them. It is harder than it looks to find, match, shape, fasten and finish them. When they are done a good one looks like it was easy or found like that or grew that way.

Sometimes I get lucky, but few of these are fast or easy.

More detail is being considered. The minimal shaping  seems consistent with the simplicity of the material and composition of the pieces. The very first ones were simply straight cuts instead of rounded heads.

I have been tempted to add things to some of the stick people. One couple was supporting a mobile. I don’t think there are any pictures of that one. A friend ended up with it but I can’t remember who it was. Maybe it’s time to revisit that idea.

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Invasion of the Stick People

Never before have there been so many stick pieces in progress at the same time. There are 35-40 pieces trying to get done enough to move out of the studio and into lives of there own. They are being done step by step in a “batch” process. The matching, sizing, rough shaping and temporary joining are done. The Pinning, glueing and final sanding/detailing is in process. The pinning requires some tricky drilling that really has to be done holding the piece in my hand guiding the drill bit through the points of contact. Sometimes this is not easy and often the drill bit comes close or even touches my fingers. Some of the smaller sticks need a starting hole made by an awl so the drill bit does not “walk” off the point. Many of the “pins” or doweling on the small pieces are simply tooth picks pushed through the holes and glued.

Anyway, all this to say that in the last round of stick work I managed to poke holes in myself with a drill bit, an awl, and two toothpicks!

Time to do something else for awhile!

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Candlesticks

There was a time when I produced this kind of thing. Some sticks have the shape of a person kicking up a leg when turned upside-down. Sturdy ones are good for making coat hangers or hat racks. Some are suitable for dancing couples. None of these have been posted yet. Stay tuned, they will be!

Anyway, early on this seemed like a good idea. The hangers are. Candlesticks and incense burners made from what could be used as kindling probably is not such a good idea! No more were made after one caught on fire. A story for another post when I find the photo of it before the fire and take a digital picture of it.

Yes, it was back when people used film and you didn’t know what the picture looked like until you sent it off and it came back in the mail. Yes, snail mail. 12-24 maybe 36 photos was the limit per roll of film and the whole process took like 2 weeks and cost more than 2 weeks of digital plans that can do all that and much more 100x better and 1000’s of times faster!

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Hunting for Material

There was a new pile of brush in the stump dump along the path we hike. I can’t resist looking for sticks to use.

Loaded up the wagon and went for a walk.

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Hunted for sticks

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and had a little success.

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Too bad whoever piled the brush broke it up with a tractor. A few good pieces were broken. Better luck next time!