Sunday, September 9, 2007

Freshwater Fish Mobile

Minnesota to the Bronx A grand collaboration between two newly acquainted fellows, with an instant connection to some sort of cosmic primal buddy-system. A conversation with Lawrence, from the Bronx, New York---the idea man for this concept--is like sitting in with Dizzy Gillespie and Django Reinhardt at one of their celebrated jam sessions back in the mid to late 40s. The ideas come fast and furious, bouncing off of each other with little metallic clicks and whooshes of contemplative jazzy ethereal phrases--cheeks filling with air with the unfurling of fantastic collages of seemingly endless layers of thoughts. I'm the slightly rumpled fellow from Minneapolis, Minnesota letting the words inform my senses (art)--in realizing the dream Lawrence wants rendered in stained glass. An enjoyable journey from start to finish: Fish Mobile from Minnesota to the Bronx.

The main concept was to make a mobile with fish in motion--organically designed, and to avoid the sterile qualities of Lawrence's perceception of the modern man in blue dungarees. A very enjoyable journey for me, with false starts and stops--a deep sea diver, various bug costumes, improvised phrases, humorous detours...and eventually this.

Two walleyes (4"x5" and 4.5"x5"), a northern pike (4"x6"), a largemouth bass (3.25"x3.5"), a rainbow trout (4"x5") and a sunfish (4"x2.5")--made from Kokomo blue/purple/amber textured iridescent, Wissmach creamy white iridescent and clear ridged’s an iridescent production.The eyes and mouths and other assorted details are hand painted with a vitrea 160 permanent glass paint by pebeo. After taking an Amy’s Spinach Pizza out of our Acorn oven, I popped the painted glass pieces in. While waiting I paired the pizza with a Duvel’s ale, watched a bit of Truffaut’s the 400 Blows, et cetera, et cetera. Eventually each piece of glass is carefully and at the same time exuberantly copper-foiled, fluxed, flummoxed and soldered with a lead-free solder. Then the fun begins, as copper rods of varying diameters, swivels with ball bearings, rings and solder are ceremoniously plopped onto the work bench for the balancing act of assembling the fish into a mobile. As a general rule, accordion music accompanies this process.

The swivels that connect the rods together have split rings, which (with some finger gymnastics), enables the mobile to become two separate mobiles with three fish each, or each fish can potentially be removed and hung in all the windows of your adobe hacienda, and later reassembled into the fantastic six fish mobile.


Patty said...

WoW! I feel like I have gone out to dinner, seen a play, and visited an art museum, all in one blog reading. Very nice post (not to mention a fantastic piece of art)! Is this piece going to go on Etsy? Just curious - my husband would be all over it if it weren't for that danged sunfish. ;-)


Brian Western said...

hey patty--it's finally on its way to the bronx after cooling its heels in my etsy shop for the last four months...phewth! thanks for the wonderful comment.

Alice said...

I love your stuff...Anything that recycles or reuses makes my list, and I am addicted to glass!

Mind if I link to your blog? You are very entertaining and I look forward to seeing what you are up to...Off to check out your etsy shop...