Airing Our Dirty Laundry

Clothesline project for Domestic violence awareness

“Don’t air your dirty laundry in public!”  How many times have we heard that phrase?  But sometimes in order to bring light to a problem, airing it out is exactly what is needed.   The Clothesline Project has created a federated art installation to call attention to the problem of domestic violence , where our dirty laundry is quite literally hung out for all to see.

This past Friday, our local Family Service Association participated in the project and created an installation in the music alley downtown for all to experience.

At a time where many survivors do not feel heard or supported, this was a great public awareness moment, that even in your sleepy little town, horrid things happen behind closed doors.   Sometimes, the only way to clean our dirty laundry is to let it air in the wide open sun.

Listen, Love and help them heal.

Final Passivation

IMG_3817 Yesterday finished assembly and this morning was the final passivation.

Early in the process we do a hard passivation with Nitric Acid, but at this point it is a special Citric acid solution that cleans and passivates.

Passivation sprayBecause it is a much less acidic solution, this one can be applied with a squirt bottle, and it tends to cling and stick to the metal.

We let it sit and do its chemical magic with the Stainless Steel,  and then Rinse like crazy.  After a few trials, we figured out that a regular garden hose just did not give the rinse we wanted without taking a very long time, so the last few have been power washes like the one this morning.


Hoist Away- the Final Gear gets Mounted

IMG_3803It was a moment to freeze in time just a bit ago when the final gear got mounted.

No video, because I was working the hoist chain to lift it into place, but some great shots to give you a preview of what it will look like.  IMG_3801

This picture with Dave standing next to it ( he is 6’1″) gives you a sense of real life scale.

The rest of today will be mounting that last piece of glass in place, and then all the final  clean and polish work in prep for the move later this week.    Although the statue is imposing enough at 8′ tall, and 2000 lbs, I like this angle on it as the gears, like Kokomo, reach for the sky. IMG_3804

Fast Action

I could not resist playing around with the high speed setting on my camera as the sunlight faded and the fountain lights starting creating small geysers of colored water……


How to make Art a Reality….

The last few months, our lives have been possessed by a unique partnership and a 18′ tall sculpture.

In case you have not seen the tweets, the facebook or G+ posts- or seen me with stain and paint embedded on my hands- we are now neck deep in The Infernal Device. This Art Prize entry is a unique partnership between three groups of artists- Todd Cahill, builder of the windmill, is based out of Massachusetts. Ogre and I are the builders/creators of the body of the Machine, and responsible for all of the structural, engineering bits. Myke Amend, Steampunk artist  extraordinare, is creating a 21 foot long mural on a 7 sided wooden “drum” that will rotate in the center of the sculpture. There are tons of pictures of the building of the machine/sculpture on the Infernal Device Facebook page.

After months of creative stretching and hard physical labor, we need your support. there are several things you can do to help make this an amazing success.

1. If you are in Grand Rapids, come out on Friday Sept 16 and help us move this pieces of the sculpture from the warehouse to the Gerald R Ford Museum, which will be our venue for the duration of Art Prize. We will need some extra hands both to load and to unload and do final assembly on site.  Drop me a note or comment if you are able and willing.

2. If you are within driving distance of Grand Rapids, come and vote for our entry. Ogre and I will be there in person Opening Weekend ( Sept 24- 25), but Myke Amend will be there every day. We are looking for volunteers to plan/organize some Steampunk parties or outings around the Device as well.  Votes that are entered between Sept 21- 28 will determine the Top 10 who are announced on Sept 29. We need as many votes as possible during that first week to continue in the contest.  You can register online to vote, but you must visit an Art Prize venue in person to vote. There is more information on the Art Prize Voting page.

3. If you want to support our entry and efforts, but are too far away to visit and vote, you can donate cash to help cover costs.  Between now and the end of ArtPrize, we will have 10 nights of Hotels ( many thanks to the Grand Rapids Radisson for an artist discount rate) , at least 3 rounds trips- some while hauling the trailer and  food enough for survival.  If we win, we will be able to recover material costs, but if we do not, we will have invested several thousands of dollars out of pocket on top of everything else. If you would like to see us continue to build cool art, consider dropping some cash in the hat. The best news is that we are sponsored by the Kokomo Art Association, so we are officially a 501(c)3 and all donations are tax deductible.

  •   We are set up on TweetDonate:  Just Tweet : “$XX TweetDonate to @roguepuppet”  and you will get an @ tweet to a donation link.  Be sure to put the amount in place of the XX. 
  •  Donate privately & securely via paypal.  (see the button above)
  • Send a check:   make it payable to Kokomo Art Association / in memo: for Infernal Device             

                       to: Infernal Device c/o Brauns 3385 Sycamore Lane, Kokomo IN 46901. 

Most importantly? Get out and enjoy some art- if you can not get to Art Prize, find your nearest gallery, museum or college exhibition. Take a few hours and let the art seep into your soul . 

Updated NOTE:  9/12 updated: working with some GR installers/distributors and the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association… all great folks, and hoepful that by eod tomorrow something will work out.  Will update with the names of our helpers when it is finalized.  [that our Solar Panel Sponsor is NOT going to come through. I will have to buy solar panels ASAP. This is either $600 we are looking to raise, or accepting loaners. If you are a solar panel company and want free PR, we will borrow and give back, with option to buy if we win.]



How to Maintain a Tradition and still Innovate Art.

This hexagonal structure is a furnace that gets rebuilt every couple of years.

It is the furnace where they melt the ingredients for Kokomo Opalescent Glass.  We are incredibly lucky, here in the City of Firsts to have the oldest remaining factory in the US who still makes old fashioned Stained Glass sheet glass.  They have been making art glass on this site since 1888.  The glass comes in a multitude of colors/color mixes and textures that are “printed” into the glass when it is rolled into a sheet.

This glass, that starts its life as what looks like a pile of sand, and gets carried by running men in giant metal ladles to go into the rollers, has ended up in many cathedrals around the world.

The results of combining up to 5 colors of glass at a time and a multitude of textures is a series of rooms of gorgeous sheet glass- each one slightly unique in all the world.

In addition to being shipped globally to repair old stained glass ( a series of batches went out to Japan this summer to assist with repair stained glass in cathedrals damaged in their recent catastrophes), this glass also ends up in new art, like that made locally by Little Town Glass and OgreWorkshop. Look Carefully at glass in the top cog- what do you see that was created by the mixing of the glass?

The KOG factory does tours all week. The day we were there, there were stained glass lovers from three different states and some local folks as well. It made a great Geek Family Outing for three generations of our family that day. You can see more pictures, including shots of the glass blowing section of the factory, in this album: