Thursday, February 25, 2010

Jeans Filled with Concrete

Why not do something interesting with your old jeans?

 In 2006, artist Ron Pruitt was part of an exhibition in New York where he filled old jeans with concrete, arranging the objects in dance-like poses on the floor of the Gavin Brown’s Enterprise Gallery in Greenwich Village. You can see a couple of images on this web page:

In this 5 minute video the artist talks about his motivations. Warning ;) video contains some artspeak:

Other artists and architects have explored the idea of using flexible material as a mold. After the concrete sets, the mold is removed. In Pruitt's work, the denim jeans are left in place.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Book Available as PDF

I have just made my Concrete Handbook for Artists: Technical Notes for Small-scale Objects available as a PDF download from my web site. The 12MB digital file is available for $15. I'm confident that once people see and read the PDF version of the book many will want the "real" version in its original paperback form. I'm also hoping the PDF file will get wider distribution of the book.

One of the big advantages of a PDF file is that it is searchable on your computer. I searched for the word "metakaolin" for example, and Acrobat Reader found it 26 times in the digital file, including the definition and sources of supply. In the paperback copy you can use the index, but the PDF version is much faster. You can also print out the whole book, but this is 135 pages, so I don't imagine too many people will do that. It's at that point where I would personally buy the paperback edition. And the PDF file doesn't include the color cover. I had to cut that to keep the file size down to a reasonable amount. Other positives for the digital format? No shipping costs, which for the paperback is now $3 in Canada, $7 to the US, and $13 to all other countries. And no paper is used, just ones and zeros.

If you're interested, here's a link directly to the PDF order page:

You might be wondering what got me started on all this. Someone emailed from Chile with a request. "Do you have a PDF version of the book? The post office here is so slow and unreliable." That got me thinking about the process so I gave the first digital copy to him.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Social Networking and Concrete

I am continually amazed at how information spreads through the internet, and how we discover people that we never would have discovered 10 years ago. I have several Google Alerts set up so that when particular words appear on the web or in the news I get a notice. Today this led me to a Facebook group for an artist from Covington, LA who works with concrete and glass. Michael S Eddy is the sculptor's name, and you can join his Facebook page here. From his page I discovered many other sculptor and sculpture groups and concrete connections.

On the negative side, there is one concrete sculptor whose work comes at me through Google Alerts almost every day: videos, new photos submitted to many web sites, promotion for a book. It almost verges on spam and I suspect a full-time promoter working behind the scenes to get this work noticed. I must admit this kind of overwhelming coverage turns me off the work. I guess it's a fine line between ignoring the new media, and spending too much time on promotion. Perhaps this is the old war between what is considered "art" and what is a "business."

If I have any advice to give, it would be this (based on my own personal reactions) — do the work, put your energy and your creativity into your art. If the work is good it will be noticed. But don't deny the new media either. If it feels comfortable and natural, use it. And if your work is good, you'll have the confidence to write about it, blog about it, create a Facebook page or maybe even tweet about it!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sculpture Winner

Congratulations to Ian Wyndlow of Ladysmith, BC who has won the 2009 Best Sculpture Award from Cheng Concrete Exchange for this pedestal sink. The sink is constructed of stacked polished concrete blocks and glass. The stack gives the illusion of being precarious, but is actually well-balanced. Wyndlow's concrete business is Liquid Stone Studios.

Here's a link to more images of the structure.

(An interesting footnote to this blog post would be whether something is considered a "sculpture" when it has a function, but I'll leave that discussion for another time.)