Saturday, November 29, 2008

Good day/Bad day

Today started out great....I finished my shark sculpture...made an awesome hat for it...had a great coffee...watched the newest episode of Dexter...had Thanksgiving leftovers for lunch...Life was good.

Then when going to deliver the shark sculpture to the Icebox, tragedy struck (am I dramatic...just a little, maybe) of the back fins broke....ah! I instantly turned into an absolute wreck, while my dear husband devised the repair plan. We delivered him and need to go back monday to finish the repair job. I'm not quite over the traumatic experience of it breaking yet, but hope to be by Monday... Sheesh...

Anyway, here is a sneak peek view for fancy blog readers:

Close up of his hat

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Not quite there but almost...

Worst lighting ever and totally washed out, here is another shot of the shark in progress. (Digital camera is broken and cell phone camera is all I have to work with...)

Shark in progress (Yes, he's still wearing a birthday hat...this time a different color....
more on that later...)

Spent all weekend on him in my FREEZING COLD studio. The process is direct plaster over carved foam. I'm using lathe in the fins instead of foam so they'll be thin, but still reinforced.
Since the piece is to be placed directly on the floor of the gallery space, I'm concerned with people walking into/messing with the fins so I may further reinforce them with sculpting epoxy.
Right now I'm working out the coloring of the patina and the birthday hat. I want the piece to stand out against the color of the floor and the hat to stand out against the color of the piece, with the two colors working well together...we'll see what I come up with...

Anyway, please come see the shark finished at Perspectives, a group show of CFEVA fellows at the Icebox. Here's the info:

December 3 - December 20, 2008

Reception: Thursday, December 11 6 - 9 PM
Location: The Ice Box, 1400 N. American Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122
Hours: Wed-Sun 12-6pm

Utilizing the grand scale and unique feel of the Icebox Project space, CFEVA’s Career Development Program Fellows present a diverse exhibition of works including photography, installation, painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and book arts.

Artists: James B. Abbott, Julia Blaukopf, Anne Canfield, Jennifer Chapman, Elizabeth Crisman, Christopher Hondru, Darla Jackson, Joelle Jensen, John Karpinski, Keiko Miyamori, Jedediah Morfit, Katie Murken, Matthew Neff, Caleb Nussear, Tara O’Brien, Sean O'Neil, Scott Pellnat, Serena Perrone, Peter Prusinowski, Cecelia Rembert, Kara Rennert, Paul Rider, Marisha Simons

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sharks and more...

I am currently making a life-size shark for an upcoming show at the Icebox...First, I'm sculpting it out of foam and then will coat the foam with either plastic or plaster to create the final surface.

Shark in progress (Yes, it's wearing a birthday hat. More on that later.)

It's still in the foam carving stage and definitely in need of adjustments, but so far so good...the foam carves like a dream (a very messy dream), the shape is coming along well, I like the concept behind the piece (more on that later) but the only thing that's REALLY bothering me is the size...Now maybe Jaws has ruined me into thinking all sharks need to be like 15ft long.... or maybe making giant boots have ruined me into thinking everything else I make is now tiny, but either way, I've got the beginnings of a 6 1/2 foot shark sculpture sitting in my studio that I think is "just too small"...and "just doesn't seem scary enough". Sheesh...

Also in progress is a bizarre animal scenario/installation, and these animals are also being carved out of foam and coated directly in either plaster or plastic. So far Katie Brown (best intern ever) and I have been busy carving the following out of foam: an owl, a crow, a rabbit, a chicken, a raccoon, and many little birds. On the way is a baby deer, a wolf, a cat, and some other little surprise guests. What the hell are they all doing you ask? Well more on that later :)

Animals in progress with shark (Yes, they are all wearing birthday hats. More on that later.)

French babies are the cutest ever....

Taken from Katie Henry's blog this is THE CUTEST EVER....EVER!

Once upon a time... from Capucha on Vimeo.

Map of Boot Locations

Here's a link to a map of all the locations of the boots in Philadelphia, as well as a description/artists statement for each piece.

Map of Boot Locations

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Inquirer Article

Here's a link to the article about the boot project in today's Inquirer:

And here's where they talk about me :)

"After Lutz floated a proposal up the chain of command, the university picked Moore graduate Darla Jackson to sculpt a boot.

Jackson completed a 12-inch sample within a few weeks. Upon approval, she started building the 6-foot rubber mold.

To make the boots, she poured three layers of polyurethane plastic into the halves of the mold. The hollow, 40-pound sculptures took three days each to make, and by the end of three months, Jackson said, she was dreaming of boots.

"It's a blend of different kinds of Victorian boots," Jackson said of the cast.

"We wanted something that wasn't too feminine, but we wanted to show details and wrinkles. These boots had been worn, but they still had a long way to travel."

The process happened a bit differently than they describe it (like sculpting the giant boot before making the rubber mold of it) and the three days per boot mentioned was for the casting only (and didn't include the months of sculpting and mold making) but other than that I am totally happy with the article.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Opening and Inquirer...Thursdays are exciting!

So tomorrow is a very exciting day. Aside from the fact that I don't have to work and can spend all day in the studio (woo hoo!), tomorrow an article about the boot project I worked on will be in the Philadelphia Inquirer (Yay!) AND the members of The Other Woman Collective (Aubrie Costello, Laura Graham, Laura McKinley and myself) have an opening at the Random Tea Room tomorrow night from 6-9pm (Double yay!)
Also it's 2nd Thursday, so definitely check out some of other great places in the North Philly area...Kelly & Weber Fine Art Gallery in the Crane Building, The Philadelphia Sculptors Global Warming show at the Icebox, Arcadia Boutique, Project Basho and Rebekah Templeton Contemporary Art.
If you fear venturing out of Center City, no worries, then just head on over to Moore College...the Fine Arts department is having an open studio night (Look for Katie Brown, a talented sculpture major/fabulously wonderful intern!)

Here's the info on The Other Woman Collective Show:

The Other Woman Collective: Recent Works
November 13-28

Opening Reception: Thursday, Nov. 13 from 6-9 p.m.

The Random Tea Room & Curiosity Shop
713 North 4th Street
(between Brown and Fairmount)
Philadelphia, PA

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sharks, Jellyfish and Giant Pinatas, Oh my!

Last night, in the middle of making many a random sculpture, I decided I wanted to sculpt a large shark, and therefore that meant I needed to make a trip to the aquarium. We happen to have a nice lil' aquarium just over the bridge so today Justin and I went for a visit. And while I didn't get a single good reference photo (Canon Powershot be damned!) I DID get to pet a shark, a stingray, a jellyfish, a sea cucumber (?!) a starfish and a sea anemone, all of which were amazingly awesome. I also saw ALOT of sharks, hippos, stingrays, etc and left feeling very much inspired to make a giant shark...

And then on the way home, I got a call from my studio mate saying that she was about to be an extra in a commercial for Carnival Cruises that involved a giant pinata and 8,000lbs of candy...sure enough Justin and I were there.

The candy was awful...a week old and sticky and weird (Big Hunk...who has ever heard of that before?) but we still had a great time.

Needless to say, I didn't get a thing done in the studio today (yikes!) but promise to make lots of things in the weeks to come.
More on that later.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Darla Jackson Sculpture 3.0

Wow it's been a long time since I posted anything! Sorry for being lame....but in my defense, here's what I've been up to:
1. Finished the boot project....Woo hoo! For anyone who doesn't know, this entailed sculpting a 6 foot high Victorian boot, making a mold of it, and casting 12 of them in polyurethane plastic....Yowza. They were all delivered to Moore alumni for them to paint, embellish, design and alter. I did one with The Other Woman Collective, the art collective I am co-founder of with 3 fabulous other ladies.
Here's a photo of ours finished:

It is now at The Kimmel Center until May 2009 (!!) so go see it!

And while I'm still waiting on my photos from the opening at Moore, where all 12 finished boots were shown together, here is a photo of the first 6 that were finished:

They all came out amazing. Kudos to all the ladies who worked on them!
And I will definitely post more photos when I get them!

2. I left my full time job to have more time for making art. While I'm still working part time, having 2 extra days per week to work on sculpture is amazing. Scary but amazing.
And I have a wonderful new addition to the studio....Katie Brown, my intern! Yesterday was her first day and we carved foam for some new sculptures I am working on, which was awesome....more on that to come!

Other than the above two things, I've just been trying to get my ducks in a row and sort out my life after a crazy, boot filled summer. I've got some shows coming up and some new work on the is good.

PS- No idea why all the photos below disappeared....I got a new website and think that has something to do with it, since all the photos were linked to the old one....will fix it one day, I promise...