Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

welcome to the collapse
Clusterfuck Nation
Peak Oil

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   wire humanoid
Thursday, January 16 2014
The first thing I did this morning was to resume work on wire sculptures. I hadn't gotten much from one of the Youtube videos I'd watched yesterday, though it had reminded me of the potential utility of wire mesh. I didn't have any chicken wire (which is a good compromise between sturdy and bendable), though I did have some much stiffer square-grid wire mesh. Cut into rectangles, I found it easy to form into cylinders and flattened-cylinders. With a few cuts, of wires into the grid, it could also be used to make more organic shapes. That was really all I needed for making a humanoid, so I proceeded to make a reasonably-good humanlike creature about 20 inches tall.
After completing the wire work, I wrapped my creature in a kind of twine, thereby making it easier to attach a skin to him using wood glue. For years I've had the idea of skinning such a creature using paper from hornets' nests, and I've collected a number of nests to provide the necessary raw material. Unfortunately, the nest I'd collected had been savaged by Hurricane Irene and none of the piece of paper I managed to harvest from it were much bigger than a postage stamp. Still, I was able to skin a lot of my humanoid in hornet paper. I also used a number of other natural skinning materials, include shed snake skins, oak leaves, and hydrangea flowers. For a spiky cap of hair, I used a native American Chestnut husk that I'd gathered from one of the few American Chestnuts in the nearby forest healthy enough to bear fruit. To give my humanoid a creepy face, I used a section of hornet brood combs, into two of chambers of which I glued steel screws for "eyes."
My wire humanoid project took up a lot of my day, for more of it than the project should have. I'd intended the humanoid to be one of the cheap art objects to be sold for $50 or less at the annual KMOCA benefit. But the thing about art is this: as an artist, it's difficult to anticipate how long your engagement with a work is going to go on for. If the inspiration for the production of a piece is the need for something cheap and yet you spend all day making one piece, the thing to think is this: at least I got off my lazy ass and made art.

Today's humanoid. (Click to enlarge.)

In the late afternoon, Gretchen noticed that our satellite DVR wasn't receiving a reliable signal. Live broadcast was full of pixelated artifacts and the weird scene ghosting that comes when lossily-compressed streaming video data is interrupted. This problem started a few weeks ago and has been getting worse, leading me to suspect the satellite dish on the solar deck had wandered out of alignment. So I climbed up on the roof with some wrenches and talked to Gretchen via DECT 6.0 phones in intercom mode while I made adjustments to the dish (both pan and tilt). Eventually Gretchen got sick of reporting the readout from the "aim dish" screen, but since that mode also made diagnostic tones, I was able to set up a phone to just transmit those. Still, no matter what I did I could not improve the signal. I'd made marks on the dish's mounting hardware indicating its original settings, and (to the extent it worked at all), it seemed to work best with those. In the end we had to tell Dish Network to send a technician. (They try to nickel and dime their customers for these things, but Dish Network is in such tight competition with DirecTV that they can't be as assaholic as, say, Verizon DSL, our only possible broadband internet provider.)

This evening I smoked some pot, at which point my humanoid looked brilliant (as everything I do when I'm sober looks when I'm stoned). Later Gretchen returned from a benefit for Pam, the woman who owns the Garden Café and who is suffering from some sort of cancer, and the little storm cloud over her head through a wet blanket over my self admiration. Gretchen was still freaked out and saddened about Walter's disappearance, wondering how we're going to break the news to the people from whom we got him.

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