Building up again?

Mouth House_Akkermans

Here are some photos of things I’ve been playing with in the studio, stuff I’ve been making.  I’m not really sure what it is yet.

Merry Go round_Akkermans

– Merry Go Round (Please excuse the bad photo.)

Windmill in progress_Akkermans

– Windmill (in progress- will move hopefully, as I’m interested in making it kinetic.)

Barn_Akkermans

And this barn I’ve built….

Barn2_Akkermans

… which I’ve been playing with projecting inside of, with a pico projector.

Since starting my MFA here at Waterloo, I’ve blown everything up, and am currently in the process of building things up again.   I’m not sure how things will come together, but that is the point of doing my MFA, to figure that out and hopefully come up with an interesting body of work.  These are just the first few steps in that direction (hopefully).  I think that the “trying to capture a real moment” that I’ve been doing as well might end up colliding with these, but at this point, I have no idea how.  We’ll see.  🙂

Artist: Tom Haney

I saw this artist’s work at the Toronto Art Fair, but have rediscovered it more recently. I love the intricacy of these, as well as the way he uses simple mechanics to make them move and give them a bit of magic and personality.

See more at Tomhaney.com

Tom’s blog is also particularly great- shows a lot of in progress shots so that you can see how he works.

New Work: Inner Theatre

Inner Theatre

Inner Theatre (2014). MDF, polymer clay, plexiglass, paint, music box and custom electronics.  17” x 13” x 7”.  

This work is part of Melancholia, the new series I am working on.  Inner Theatre uses a music box and custom electronics to recreate a feeling which I associate with my experience with depression.  The hand with spiral motif symbolizes a personal journey.

Jennifer Akkermans_Inner Theatre_2

Inner Theatre

 

Inner Theatre, A mechanical sculpture by Jennifer Akkermans. from Jennifer Akkermans on Vimeo.

Contemporary Automata Artists

Here are some artists who are using automata and mechanical principles in their artwork.  I like that these draw from traditional techniques, but each artist has added their own unique twist, to make their own things.

Dug North

Dave Johnson

Gary Schott

Mihai Bonciu

Juan Pablo Cambariere

Ogopogo!

This one took me a little longer than an evening, to work out the details of the mechanics, finding a way to do it so that they did what I wanted and didn’t interfere with each other.  I think the motion on this one is exactly as it should be!

I’m not sure exactly where this is going, as I’m not intending to make too many of these little toys.  I am finding learning about the mechanics interesting, and am now getting quite good at being able to make what I want in my little woodshop of a studio.  I’m looking at a few other kinds of things for methods of constructing things- weathervanes, marionettes, etc.  I’d love to get some sound in there as well- music box style.    I am envisioning this combining with other things in my repertoire, once I feel I’ve got some basic skills and knowledge of the material and process.  I think this is the beginnings of “post-IMR” (although I’m not quite done with that yet….).

Stay tuned for more!

Flying Pigs

Flying Pig (Jennifer Akkermans)

Here’s something I did just the other day (see the video). I wish I could manage to be this productive every day.  Or, more days than currently.  It’s been an uphill battle lately.  (I’m at 15 rejections, and my recent health problems have set me back a bit.) Maybe that’s why it’s a flying pig- everything I want to do seems so incredibly daunting right now.  That’s natural, I guess.  Fly, little pig!  Onward and upward!

Anyway, it’s not the most perfect thing I’ve ever made, and if I were to do it again, I’d definitely make some changes, but it did the trick of helping me learn about constructing these kinds of things.  It was a good idea to start simple and build on it, although my ideas are way more complicated than I think I’ll ever have the skill to make.  I’ve been doing a lot of sketching and drawing, trying to capture all the crazy ideas, some of which I hope come to fruition.  This is the time to be thinking ideas, before I know what my technical skill can and probably can’t make- before I design projects to fit my mechanics.  (I’m thinking large, and eventually my little skill saw just might not cut it… pun intended!  Best $35 I’ve ever spent!)

Filmed in my messy studio… of course.

Anyway, building things….. making a mess…. playing again!

Birthday Splurges!

As it’s coming up next week, I bought myself a couple of things for my birthday.  Meet Gerardo, my new studio sock monkey!  He has such a happy tail!

He fits my studio perfectly- he’s spunky and funky, and colourful.  Has a bit of attitude, and is unusual.  I think he’s a great addition.

The sock monkey is much more fun than the other part…. research.  I’m also planning to put part of my payment for the Art Gallery of Calgary show towards some materials, some electronic parts and building supplies.  Before I do that, though, I need to decide what I need.

 

Some books from Amazon:

Twyla Tharp, the Collaborative Habit (I absolutely love the other book I have of hers, the Creative Habit.  It helps a lot when I need to reground myself, when it seems difficult to work.  Often times, it helps me get going again, reading a section which stands out to me.  But that may be another post…!)

Making Things Move (Dustyn Roberts) is about building simple kinetic machines… lots of info on mechanisms, materials, basic electonics, motion… physics, actually. I’m hoping this will help get more moving Morphoids started.

The Arduino Cookbook (Michael Margolis).  This one is a beast.  673 pages of technical stuff and arduino code.  (Gulp.)  However, if I get even a little out of this, it’s worth it.

Making Things Move and the Arduino Cookbook aren’t easy reads… I have taken both out of the library, but to get the most out of them, I will need to write in them, underline things, sticky tab pages, break the bindings, you know, USE them.  (It seems that in buying myself a birthday gift, what I’ve really done is give myself more homework!)