Mike Roig, Sculpture

Chapter 3, Early to mid February

I guess I've just been more in work mode than wanting to sit in front of this computer. The updates have been a little slower in coming than with some previous projects, but as you can see here the work has progressed apace. The weather has been predominately mild, inspiring little motivation to want the excuse for extended desk duty.

I love the bolt-up connection of the base sections, just something muscular and rugged feeling about it. A lot of the appeal of large fabricated sculpture can be the marriage of industrial ethos with that fluidity of line that even the crudest of steel components can be persuaded to adapt. Strength and grace, we admire it in architecture, dance, nature, human character. One without the other makes for poorer stuff.


photo by David Poulos, www.camerart.com                                              photo by David Poulos, www.camerart.com

I  opted for a more articulated silhouette for the birds this time. Working from a series of photos of starlings, the inspiration for this sculpture with their sculptural murmurations that you can find pictured all over the web, I found a shape that I felt captured some of their energy while also creating a shape that will capture the wind.


photo by David Poulos, www.camerart.com                                            photo by David Poulos, www.camerart.com

The armature that will hold all this swirl of motion begins to take shape. Everything moves along deliberately at this phase, the big visual "Wow" moments interspersed with a couple of days doing nothing but building bearings sets, hours of sanding in the sheen to the stainless steel, and carefully aligning the parts so they will carry the motion smoothly. It's all good, meditative winter's work, with plenty of time to listen to good stories on podcasts from the web*, and enjoy warming by the fire in the wood stove.

Eventually I decided to further put the birds in motion by creating a pattern of shifting wing and tail shapes that will further the illusion of dynamic motion once these birds begin to fly.

*I  thought I'd close today's missive with some recommendations for those of you who might, like me, enjoy some good stories while you work. I've come to really enjoy listening to podcasts from the Moth, the Monti, and Mark Maron's WTF. The Moth, and it's more North Carolina-centric cousin the Monti, are forums for people who have interesting stories to tell - some famous, many not so much. In each case they do this in front of an audience without notes. Clay and I have also been enjoying going to the Monti's live shows - highly recommended.

Mark Maron interviews fellow comedians about their lives, and the sense of craft they bring to build a life in the arts. It's a very different approach to the creative life, and yet I find I really enjoy hearing about how they go about finding their voice and building a career, some wildly successful, some stumbling, and yet like any life in the arts, persistence is all. Check them out. - Mike

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Murmuration Ch 2, January 2013


Public Sculpture