I'm not the Immortal Artist. You are

Immortal Artist is dedicated to exploring all aspects of experimental art and creating new and innovative techniques which other artists can use to strengthen their own work.

The blogs creator, experimental artist Grey Cross pursues and discusses art across a wide spectrum of artistic mediums. They include painting, sculpting, body art, digital art, and photography. With an emphasis on teaching artists to utilize today's social networks to further their own art and reputations.

This blog uses the Living Blog concept, an idea created by Grey Cross

Grey Cross Studios/Immortal Artist Operations

New Orleans

Email: greyacross@aol.com

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Urban Decay Sculpture #6 - Creating the Sky Tower Ruin (Steps 1 & 4)

This massive 10 foot high sculpture will be reminiscent of the Seattle Space Needle. Once the basic structure is built, an aging process will begin to turn it into an urban ruin for the Dystopia Project.

The process for creating these is done in stages. The first stage, as you see here, is merely putting the foam together like a big puzzle. Searching out shapes that work well for the overall composition. Once that is complete, then the pieces will be formed together and the whole structure put on a weighted base. Details will be carved into it using a heat pen. From there an aging process will be done using a heat gun to turn it from a pristine tower and into an urban ruin. After that the real details can be created and graffiti added to the whole piece. You can follow along here as each step is created. 

Step 1 - Mounting the Base Tile

It may not look like much, but the very first step is the most crucial. If the base isn't set right, the rest of the building can collapse. 

For this piece I am using an 18" tile and an angle cut 3" high piece of styrofoam. The foam is sealed to the tile using foaming glue. I've positioned the foam to one end of the tile so that I can create a building entrance and foyer later. I've weighted the foam down so it doesn't ride while the glue dries.

Step 2 - Mounting the Lower Spire

The key to the lower spire is strength and stability. A lot is resting on this high up above and if you get too much wobble, your screwed. The lower spire is 7 feet high. 

Good measuring is essential with this. The spire must sit dead center on the base. 

At the dead center, I've placed a hole that reaches down to the tile base. I am mounting a 12" piece of rebar in the hole snuggly with foaming glue and a matching hole in the center of the spire. This should give the spire a lot of added support just like it would in a real building. glue is placed on the upper portions of the rebar around the rebar and the spire set firmly in place.

I've used a level to make sure the spire is straight and I've weighted it above and to one side to keep it level and straight while the glue dries.

Once the spire glue is dry then I'll use a small amount of natural clay to fill in any gaps around the spire. The clay with be overlayed with a thin layer of glue. Once dry the spire should be almost strong enough to support weight at the higher levels. 

Step 3 - Adding Base Supports

Now I'll add three supporting pieces to the base. These are created not only for added support at the base, but also for design purposes. We want the lower portions of the tower to be bigger than the higher levels. These widen it out a bit and give us more to work with while also adding stability to all four sides of the lower spire.

First I'll start with two matching L pieces that will fit snug along both sides of the lower spire. 

Once dry I'll move on to add a very thin layer across the front that will raise up the last piece just a little over the dry clay at the front. 

Last I will add a front strip that goes up about halfway on the front of the lower spire. This will support the spire from falling forward and snapping off. But I will also use this as part of the design.

Once this is dry, I will fill in any gaps with natural clay and glue making a very solid tower base.

We are now ready to move up the structure to the skydome and the upper spire. 

Step 4 - Skydome and Upper Spire Construction

The next part is constructed separately from the rest of the structure. When it is eventually added it will not be permanent, but be attached by a flat piece of velcro. The reason is that the tower is so tall (over 11 feet when completed) that getting in and out of places may be difficult. By making the upper portion removable it gives us flexibility of movement. 

I am using two circular pieces and a cube of styrofoam to form the Skydome. I've centered the cub and attached it with glue. 

Next I've marked the exact center of the second circle and inserted a thin wooden dowel into it. This is similar to a toothpick but a lot longer. This will allow me to mark the exact center of the structure which has also been marked beneath in the cube. Once the glue is in place, the dowel will be inserted through the second circle and into the cube below. 

If done right, the final Skydome should look like the Seattle Space Needle without windows. 

Next I'll attach the upper spire to the top of the Skydome.

Last I will attach a narrow triangular piece to the very top. I've saved this piece of foam for awhile, knowing I would want it for some project later. Thats a weight on the top of it to make sure it sits flat while the glue dries.

With that, the superstructure is now complete and ready for designing. I've moved it outside under a tree just to give it some scale. No small piece as you can see that the very top is obscured by the tree branches.

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