My 1/6 scale model of the humpback whale tail for our ‘Fluke’ project
The arrival of spring typically finds Ene and myself juggling proposals, installations and fabrication at the wowhaus studio, having spent the rainy months laying the groundwork for new production in public sculpture, furniture and product design. We’re particularly excited about a new commission from the City of Santa Cruz to create a public project for the new NOAA Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center. We proposed making a full scale whale tail to be cast in bronze and sited at the new building’s entryway courtyard, for which we also designed a colorful hardscape. Based on the stylized tail of a diving humpback whale, the sculpture is called ‘Fluke’ and will be approximately 13′ long and 3.5′ high.
rendering of ‘Fluke’, showing the hardscape (illustration by Chemisa Kellogg)
I carved a 1/6 scale model of the sculpture, which is now being scanned by Scansite in West Marin County, one of the world’s most reputable 3d scanning services. A full scale 3d model will then be CNC cut in foam, which we will texture with plaster before molds are made and it is cast in bronze by Berkeley’s Artworks Foundry. I carved the model from old growth coast redwood and Alaskan yellow cedar, both species native to the Pacific Coast where the humpback whale makes its annual migration. The tight grain allowed me to cut precise, symmetrical contours by eye using tiny spokeshaves, the grain’s pattern changing subtly enough with each shaving to match the two sides. I would occasionally rub the model with wood ash to expose slight imperfections.
Our ‘Watershed Creek Marker’ project is being installed at 5 sites in Oakland (photo: Ken Katz)
(photo: Ken Katz)
Meanwhile, Ene has been working with a construction crew in Oakland, installing the cast bronze stepping stones for our ‘Watershed Creek Marker’ project at five sites throughout the City. To read more about the development of this public art project, click here and scroll down.
research for the visual identity of SHED, a project in development in Healdsburg
I’ve also been working closely with Cindy Daniel, Doug Lipton, and Mark Jensen Architects, designing furnishings and consulting on the visual identity and material culture for SHED, an innovative new concept combining local food and garden-related retail, and community gathering under one roof. The project will soon be under construction in Healdsburg, CA, and I’ve thus far designed and prototyped three new chairs, several built-in seating and retail display units, and two types of table, one of which has a stacking base and easily disassembles for storage. I will post more as this project takes shape. Meanwhile, please click here to follow earlier posts.
prototype of my shed stool concept, which can be modified for use as an indoor/outdoor cafe chair