"Music Box" was scaled around the neck of a trashed mandolin that one of my local supporters, Susan James, gave me. The body is shaped around a piston from an automobile engine, and the head and shoulders are made from a doorknob. The wings are made from some of the mandolin body and a clock gear. I used the strings (in need of being changed years ago) from my own guitar.
I'm still thinking about what exactly this one "means," beyond the obvious connection between wrens and their songs. As I was working on this and thinking about it, I found myself listening to REM's "Everybody Hurts" over and over again. It's a song about hanging on, especially though long, lonely nights. I think what resonates for me is the unending, self-contained spirit of these tiny, fearless birds whose morning songs signal that the day is right around the corner.
The second bird is "The Red," an owl made from an old red gas tank I bought from a junk store in eastern North Carolina during a trip this spring with my daughter. I bought the tank for $5 (I tried to get it for $2, but Windy could tell I wanted it) not knowing what it would be. "The Red" by Chevelle popped into my head on the way back from TAG and it the piece was there to be made.
One of the things I wanted to do with "The Red" is take that simple little "red" gas tank and let loose the different shades and textures. Emotions, like objects that we can see and touch, are complex, variable, and never all one color.
I perched this one on an old 1930's lamp stand, cut so the owl is about at eye level.
I'm kind of fascinated by this one because of its connection to internal combustion. It's made from a gas tank. It has the glass fuel petcock inside. It has spark plugs. It's a post-steam creature that produces power by burning within. I kept thinking of that line from "Red Dawn" where the guy says that the anger inside keeps him warm.
I captured the making of "The Red" on video. Enjoy!