Saturday, April 15, 2017

Owl pellet discovery

     I had an exciting discovery in the woods the other day which won't sound exciting at all to most of
Great Snowy Owl
you I would imagine.  I found, what in ornithology is called, an owl pellet.  Essentially a pellet is what an owl pukes up on occasion.   It is made up of indigestible matter like bones, teeth,exoskeletons of insects, fur and feathers.  The one I found was all dry and obscured on the ground but I am pretty good at finding hidden things.  Now why on earth would I be excited to find something such as this?  Well perhaps I shouldn't be as excited as I am, but I have a very good reason which you will discover at the end.  You see I found something remarkable inside.  Let me explain, so what
Pellet soaking in water
you do with one of these pellets is to suspend it in water and allow it to fall apart.  Then you can sift through the remains and discover what the owl was having for his meal by looking at the bones.  You can play anthropologist.  So where I live there are several kinds of owls such as the Great Snowy Owl, the great horned owl, the barred owl and great grey owl.  I don't know which type of owl the pellet came from, but you could probably figure that out by the contents too.  What I want to determine is what do the wee bones came from.  So I put the pellet in warm water and let it sit for five minutes to loosen up a bit.  Then I gently stirred, poked and prodded it with that sculpting tool until it came apart.  With tweezers I picked up the little bits and put them out to dry while separating the

various parts into groups.  

     What became abundantly clear to me after just a short time analyzing the bones was that this was not simply a squirrel or pigeon the owl had caught and eaten.  I had discovered something far more remarkable, in fact, it could change how we see the world.  So I must admit that I am not a "professional" anthropologist or Boney McBonester as I prefer to term them, and it is true that this was the first pellet I have ever found and dissected.  I may not be "qualified" to say for certain what these bones are from, but
Faerie bones
there is something I have to say.  

      I don't want to toot my own horn but I have found something on my first attempt that Boney McBonesters have never discovered in centuries.  

I am fairly certain these bones come from a Faerie.

     My best guess is the faerie was flying about looking to chat with a gnome or something.  Maybe was on an errand from Gandalf but that is something I can't know for sure.  Ok well I am pretty sure she was on a mission from Gandalf.  So lets just say she was on a mission from Gandalf of great importance and was not watching up in the sky as vigilantly as perhaps she should have been.  I expect she was singing a song and the lovely notes caught the attention of the owl and it came down and ate her.
Likely source of the bones

Delicious faerie dust marinade.

     Anyway, so I really think this is my calling.  As I said I have never actually done this before and on my very first try I have discovered indisputable evidence of the existence of faeries.  I think that is pretty good for a first try.  It encourages me to test out my theory that Unicorns were originally put on Noah's ark, but they fell off the deck, due to over crowding,  and turned into Narwhals.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Bronze casting wax model stage

In my last post I mentioned that 30 bronze sculptures of the Dancer from my work "Hand" will be for
Stage three wax mould
sale.  They are 4 inches tall and will be ready in about three weeks so I am pre selling them to Second Life people first before I go to rl.  Currently 12 of the 30 are sold.  Those still available are listed below...

The Dancer 

1st =  $400 US dollars + shipping (sold)
2nd= $375 (sold)
3rd= $350
4th= $325
5th= $300

6-10 =  $275 (sold) (sold) (sold)
11-15= $250 (sold)
16-20= $225
21-25= $200 (sold) (sold) (sold)
26-29= $150 (sold) (sold) (sold) (sold)

I have some new pictures of stage three in the process to make the final bronze work.  In this This one shows two supports that keep the wax in place as it cools off (they will be removed). 
stage three wax model.
stage each piece individually is made into a wax model.  The process continues from here with the prepared wax shell completely covered in layers of heat-resistant plaster which then will be placed in an oven. While heating in the oven the plaster dries and the wax melts and runs out. The plaster mold is then packed in sand, and molten bronze is poured through some holes, filling the space left by the wax.

Yay exciting!  So everything is on schedule and the next stage will begin!

If you are interested in purchasing one of the editions then please send me an email to  I will be accepting payment through paypal and wont accept any payment until they are all finished and I am happy with them.  Then at that point I will contact everyone by email for shipping details and payment.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Bronze casting of the Dancer

Zbrush not actual sculpture
     In my last post on Hand I mentioned that I had some exciting news to talk about.  So sometimes I will cross over my artwork which I create for the the virtual space here in Second Life, with something in "real life".  In the past it has been things like Museum exhibits at the Menage museum in Moscow, the Jewish museum in Berlin, with oil paintings of my avatar or characters and so on.  I have kind of taken a fairly big jump into the expensive realm of Bronze sculpture.  I have a million projects in my mind that I really do mean to get around to eventually.  One was to create sculptures of my characters in Second Life, and a while ago I did create some sculptures of the daughter of gears in
Zbrush representation of the bronze
metal and then also another in hydrocal.  The hydrocal feels to light in your hand and the metal one was attached to a backing.  What I wanted was a nice small bronze sculpture that was nice and heavy in my hand.  I don't know I just like to hold heavy little things.  It is a peculiarity of mine.  Anyway my friend Toy really pushed me to get this done and within a month I will have 30 bronze sculptures of my model the Dancer.  These will be for sale first to Second life residents with the remainder going to a real world gallery to be sold.   Once they go to the gallery they will triple in price so if owning one of these interests then don't wait too long to tell me.  I will put my email at the end of this post and they can be reserved.  Each of the sculptures will have an edition number and my
initial 3d printing
signature under the base.  So the first one poured from the mold will have a 1 and the final casting will have a 30 engraved.  I will be doing posts through each stage of the creation process with pictures.  Right now I have just been sent the 3D printing of the model for testing purposes.  The images above are done in Zbrush of the dancer and I have created a patina where the skirt is a bit greyish blue.  This patina will be matched fairly closely on the final bronze.  So what you see in the zbrush 3D model is very close to what the final will look like (and I will naturally show the final in pictures when I get them).   To the right here is the 3D printing and I am really pleased with how it came out.  It actually looks pretty nice just white like that.  Ok so here are the details.  The sculpture will be 4 inches tall and probably weigh about 2lbs.  It will fit right in my hand and be heavy! rrrrrahaha I can't wait.  I will carry it all over the place.... possibly talking to it but I probably shouldn't admit to  that.  These will be the prices per edition and you would tell me which edition you would like to purchase.

initial 3d printing
The Dancer 

1st =  $400 US dollars + shipping
2nd= $375
3rd= $350
4th= $325
5th= $300

6-10 =  $275
11-15= $250
16-20= $225
21-25= $200
26-29= $150

If you would like to pre purchase one of the 30 bronze sculptures then send me an email to reserve the edition.  My email is....

The Dancer from "Hand"

If there is interest by people in owning a physical sculpture of my work then I am thinking I will
make more for other characters.  The Rabbicorn, Mr Zippers, The Daughter of Gears and so on.  Anyway I am really excited and will share more posts soon as I get more images.. it is done through the lost wax casting process so the next images will be of the wax moulds.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

"Hand" final post - The Dollhouse

The Dancer
    As we come up to the final scene in the story of Hand we pass through a few rooms and obstacles.   The first is past the Dancer who I have a very exciting post about next week.  I have taken the plunge to do something RL with her and will share it soon.

     So first we come to a room with a variety of boxes, planks and other debris that the kids have placed in order to make a ramp or stair past a hole in the floor.   They did this because the emergency
escape running along the outside of the building has collapsed in one part.  The visitor gets to climb this in the light of day but as they get to the next floor of the apartment we discover it is one that has had all its windows boarded up making it quite dark inside (if you used Firestorm then you will see just this level go very dark as I have set the windlight by altitude)  while in the dark you come across a dancer in a room with another Spiderbot peeking in projecting an advert for the Shelterball. Another set of boxes and ramps to climb in the dark and you have reached the top floor where Flutter and the others live.

     When you first enter their home you might notice a variety of things
sitting around which seem out of place.   For example a TV set and vacuum cleaner which don't work without power, nor do the kids really even understand what their function is.  But why would they collect them?  The children, along with the occasional steering help from Milkdrop, try to piece together what the old world was like.  The comb the cites and libraries and have focused on old children's books called Fun with Dick and Jane.  The would cut out and staple different pages that seemed to elaborate on what life was like or more specifically what a family was.  The Dick and Jane's that they have cut out all have a connection to how they are feeling or what they
are trying to understand or missing.  Flutter uses the mannequin hand as a surrogate mother.  And the children also collect various things from the pages they see.  But their biggest treasure is a dollhouse.  They have, over time, collected all the parts to fill the doll house from the ravaged city.  Tiny beds and chairs, children dolls and on the couch lay a father doll.  They had everything except one missing piece.  The mother doll.  And that is what Flutter carried home in her suitcase throughout
the story.  During her days search she came across a 1959 Barbie doll and excitedly she brings her home to the other kids.  How the children learn about families and the past is by playing it as a sort of game.  They play at being a family and on different days they each get to pick one character from the family to be.  They role play the stereotypes they have learned and, Milkdrop hopes, they will eventually create a new society whose goals and morals the Singularity AI can shape.  Milkdrop is starting the world again with these children and others.

     The children also collect references to the sleepers.  Mainly stories about sleeping beauty or things going away.  Flutter craves a family as do the others, but they also are building a family with the subtle guidance of Milkdrop.  In the final portion below Flutter unveils the Barbie doll to the other children.  The 1959 doll, the first Barbie I believe, inexplicably has her in a bathing suit.  Teddy, from the previous story Gretchen and Teddy, can be seen being held in Gretchen's arms and is a PowerPet that existed during the period

before the long sleep of society.  He is old and broken but remembers how it used to be.   He mentions that the Barbie looks cold and instantly draws the ire of Birdy, a boy who.. well... always pretends to fly like a bird hence his name.  The Barbie has already become a idol of sorts, mere moments after emerging from Flutters suitcase.

Below is the final part to the story "Hand".

Ironically it was my tenth rez day yesterday in the virtual space, and Hand is the latest chapter in the overall narrative that began almost ten years ago with the Rabbicorn.  I hope you enjoyed the story.

Dick and Jane
 Flutter gently, almost reverently, took the Barbie doll out of its packaging.  She held it out for the other kids to see as though presenting a religious relic found amongst the bones of a lost civilization.
Gretchen whispered to Teddy  "It's a mother."  The PowerPet was old and damaged, there was a distinctive whir as it looked down upon the doll.  "She looks cold" he said in its warm teddy bear voice. 
"You are just jealous Teddy!"  exclaimed Birdy  "All mothers dressed like this!""No they
The dollhouse
replied Teddy who had existed before the big sleep.  "Did too!"  Countered Birdy using the ageless children's retort.  "Well Jane doesn't"  stated Billy Boots looking across at the Fun with Dick and Jane pages mounted on the wall.   

"Not Sleeping Beauty either."  They all turned to look at Willow, their unofficial leader.  She had been looking quietly and steadily at the dollhouse.  The Father on the couch, the children upstairs.
     "It doesn't matter," she said finally.  "The Dick and Janes don't tell us everything."  After a moment she continued "Whose turn is it?" 
Flutter stood up excitedly "It's my turn today.. and I pick the Mother" 
"Of course you do," said Birdy.  "I am next and I pick the Daddy."  Everyone groaned.  Birdy
was not a very good player and all preferred him to be one of the children instead. 
"Gretchen why don't you be the daughter and Billy Boots you be the son.  I will be the fact checker."  Said Willow.  Birdy stepped towards the doll house  "As the Daddy I tell the TV to make dinner." 
"TV's can't make dinners!" shouted Billy Boots "Mothers do that!""And sometimes Fathers" added Gretchen.  "Well then what about TV dinners!?"  Said Birdy victoriously.  They all turned to look at Willow the
Sleeping Beauty
checker for a ruling.  "TVs told stories to the family, sometimes during dinner, but they didn't cook."  she said decisively.  Willow turned to Flutter.

"Your turn" and everyone watched expectantly.

Flutter looked down upon the mannequin hand, then gently placed it within the suitcase.  She took the Mother doll to the front door of the dollhouse and then said in a whisper.

"Honey, I am home."



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

"Hand" post nine - Juniper

"Juniper! Juniper!"  Flutter whispered excitedly to the figure on the bed who was draped under some blankets.  "I have the final piece to the house with me!"  Flutter watched the head and shoulders under the blanket turn to her voice like some unresolved clay. 
"It is not safe out there Flutter, come under with me."  Flutter climbed under the blanket with Juniper and held her close as the opened the suitcase to show her.  "So beautiful" said Juniper. "What do you think will happen?" 
     Flutter thought for a moment then replied excitedly while bouncing "I am not sure but I go first tonight!"  The blanket rose a bit above the bed as she bounced and Flutter felt a burst of cold air invade the warm blanket world.   "Oh lucky" said Juniper with just a hint of envy.  "What do Dick and Jane say will happen?"
  "They don't so we will have to make it up."  Flutter put the prize back into her suitcase and gave Juniper a hug, before sliding out from the half light of Junipers blanket world.

 The visitor has a few precarious places to navigate before getting to this part of the story.  The first
part involves some old wooden planks assembled to the outside of the apartment building with a ladder to the next floor.   We can see Flutter walking this portion pretending the hand mother gives her help in navigating the rickety planks.  Flutter has naturally done this part hundreds of times and needs no help
crossing to the Slinks building
being the agile girl she is, but what we need and what we want are two different things sometimes. A bit later we cross some long planks spanning a chasm to an old Slinks building, and then we return to another broken window in the apartment building.
     So I am an evil person.  It is true.  These parts are unforgiving and should the visitor fall they must start again unless they have come with a friend who can teleport them back up.  One of my philosophies when creating an immersive environment is that the visitor must feel a sense of engagement to the extent that they fear for the themselves to some degree.  In other stories people could actually "die" in my artwork and would be sent out of the story.  While this one isn't that ruthless, it can be stressful to walk the wooden planks knowing that a fall would still be
A PowerPet and its owner
somewhat horrible in its own way.  A few people told me they were sweating as they slowly walked these areas and to me that is exactly the kind of engagement and investment I would like in the story.  I really feel that working hard to get something, in this case the story itself, leaves a much stronger impression than being handed something.
   Along the way we find a few more sleepers.  One has long since run out of food in his canister and now sleeps in bones.  On a comfy rug on the floor beside them lays
The Obese man
a dependent Powerpet whose food ended along with their owners and they too lay waiting as bones and computer parts.   In another room is the Obese man.  For an artist it is fairly easy to take a beautiful subject and make a lovely artwork that pleases people.  What some artists crave is to test themselves with an ugly image and attempt to make it beautiful in its own way.  I think perhaps one of the most famous of these attempts was a reaction by Mary Cassatt to a comment by Degas where he said "What do women know about style?"  they were great friends and he was a rather caustic personality.  Mary took an unconventional
Mary Cassatt
subject and through her skill as a painter made it beautiful.  Degas later bought it.  I was thinking of this because yesterday someone sent me a comment on a flickr picture taken of the Obese man which said "Les trucs de Bryn me mettent toujours dans un sacré malaise. je trouve ça limite malsain.... my opinion!"The translation from French to English being something like "Bryn's stuff always puts me in a state of discomfort. I find it unhealthy limit .... my opinion"  I realize this comment was meant to be a negative attack, but I couldn't help but be pleased.  I don't think an artists job is to try to make people comfortable.  The story behind Hand is not meant to be comfortable but to have social commentary on a range of topics.

We move along and see a candle with an ant trapped in amber.  Clicking this brings us to the story of Elliot Amber.  I am going to talk about Junipers comment
"What do Dick and Jane say will happen?" and Flutters reply "They don't so we will have to make it up." at a later post.  It is an exchange that
Elliot Amber
makes more sense at the end of the story and, as with most of my work, requires the reader to revisit earlier pages to see connections.

     Juniper is a character seen in previous works such as Imogen and the Pigeons and the Singularity of Kumiko.  Each character that I create is a representation of a part of me.  They are not all of me, but a sliver, or a piece.  Juniper has a poem which defines her which you can see in the machinima below.  She hides from the world as people do in many forms around the world, but also, as is my focus, in the virtual space.  This is not meant to be critical of those who hide, the beautifully broken.   I have never been one to blindly swallow the comments of those who suggest the virtual space creates this.  The simplistic mind uses a broad brush to define others.  Juniper may be seen as being broken, but to me she possesses heightened empathy and an a sensitivity lacking in others.  She doesn't want to Twerk nor does she need to be seen by everyone.  She sees and craves the root or heart of a maelstrom which spins and obstructs, she sees past the world and its distractions to the one simple thing she desires most.  To hold hands under the blanket with someone she loves.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

"Hand" - post eight - Advert Spider

(part five) Advert Spider
Flutter and the Spiderbot

     Flutter opened the door to a room finding an Advert Spider clinging to the outside of the apartment building.  When it saw her it began projecting an advertisement upon the designated wall inside the room.  "Oh hello spider" said Flutter in a familiar sort of way.  "Greetings Ms Flutter, may I say, with all due respect, that you are looking a bit tired today?"
     "I think, perhaps, you need a bit more "You" time Ms Flutter.  Are your children brimming with curiosity and asking endless questions?  You could always enroll them in Retelevise, a 16 week program which will imprint your child onto a device or media such television, social media or general media.  This will return the "You" time to your day so you may relax in a VR and drink a coffee.  And are those wrinkles around...."  Here Flutter interrupted the advert spider.  It was important not to let them get on too much of a roll.  You could make friends with them, in a limited sort of way, but today she was too excited and wanted to get home.  "Thank you spider, but you know very well that I have no children.  I don't really even know what you are talking about"  The Advert Spider, long bereft of adults to advertise to, still attempted to fulfill its programming.  "My apologies Flutter, have a wonderful day and I will speak to you soon when I have even more exciting opportunities for you!" 
"By the way Ms Flutter," Spiderbot continued "do you have spider points?! you can redeem them for...."  But Flutter had already left the room.

A Spiderbot projecting for Flutter
      A theme that regularly runs through my work over the last ten years or so has been the aware
machine.  A man made machine that recognizes and interacts with the humans around it.  Some are more advanced than others such as the Rabbicorn and Mr Zippers who could love or the Daughter of Gears who was the human mind of a young girl inside a machine.  Others like the Veralynnbot fulfill their programming yet still possess
an attachment to humanity.  The Spiderbots in this part of the story are Government sanctioned advertising robots that are permitted to walk apartment buildings and project advertising onto designated walls.  As it says on a plaque attached to their back "It is a serious offense to obstruct or disable the HomeAdvertiser".  At this stage in their society advertising bombarded the population in most forms similar to how we are, yet they found that too many were not reading the passive advertising so it was permitted to allow a more "engaging" variety... the Spiderbot.
     Flutter knows and spends time with all the Spiderbots as well Veralynnbot and others.  Had she not been in a hurry to get home she might have chatted with the bot for a while in a limited way.  The Spiderbot can have a conversation but it must try to advertise within a certain amount of time.  It may even try to interact with the Veralynnbot or the sleepers in their pods.    The Spiderbots have been roaming the city since its collapse trying to promote the paid advertising of its obsolete society. 
     In this work, as with others of the past, advertising can be found in various spots of the story.  I
use advertising as a means to help define and elaborate on the society within my stories rather than spend time in the actual narrative describing it.  It helps fill in parts to the greater whole without having to unnaturally fit too much of that type of description into the text of the narrative.  The visitor to my story can shape a view of the society on their own.  An important thing for me when creating an artwork is to not simply force the viewer into a passive state where I tell them a story and they simply listen such as in most other mediums.  The viewer uses their own creativity and explores in any way they like as an active participant.  They interact with the work rather than are told what to think and the culture and society they come from often helps shape their interpretation.  Hand has had about 15,000 visitors so far, and all from different parts of the world.  What I have discovered with this story and many others is that someone from Japan, for example, sees different things in the narrative than someone from Germany, the middle east, Africa or a tiny hamlet in Sweden.  It is a shared experience which, in some cases, has the person beside you interpreting it in a very different way than you are.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

"Hand" - part seven - Milkdrop

      Leaving through a creaking fire escape door the visitor climbs the metal stairwell up to the next floor.  In one room lay another sleeper.  A naked man with a faint smile on his face, due to something pleasant no doubt occurring in his virtual life.   Often the rooms the sleepers are found in are completely barren of all expected furnishings.  There are few with book shelves, stoves, fridges, entertainment screens or even
furniture for hosting a guest.  The rooms are now functional spaces to hold the pods.  Apartment buildings already are an inefficient use of space when compared to the pod apartments.   Across the hallway into another room we find part four of the story.

Flutter walked into a room to discover a pale boy sitting upon a giant white moth.  A little rabbit hopped about pestering them both.  "Oh mother this is Milkdrop, he is the Singularity
Milkdrop and Flutter
  She paused a moment as though arranging her thoughts.  "He is more like a person than the Advert Spiders and Drones, but he is not like the other kids.  He is very nice though, he makes games for us like Turing Weekend or Turing pups and kittens.  We have to pick which things are real or pretend."  Flutter smiled to Milkdrop "Milkdrop this is my mother."  
     The Singularity AI looked upon Flutter and replied earnestly.  "That is a plastic mannequins hand taken from the Christmas display window at Robins clothiers,"  He paused for a moment.   "However, it is a pleasure to meet you Hand."
"Mother come pet the moth, it is so soft and powdery."   Flutter caressed the moth gently with the
Milkdrop from Singularity of Kumiko
hand.  The moth barely reacted having been petted countless times before.  Flutter stood up.   

"Well goodbye Milkdrop we must get back, I have finally found the lost piece to the home, and I get first pick tonight!" 

"Goodbye Flutter, goodbye Hand" replied Milkdrop.

     You may have recognized Milkdrop from the Singularity of Kumiko or The Gathering artworks.  In the Singularity of Kumiko he appeared later in the story when the doctors feared the introduction of Mr Zippers, her childhood PowerPet, to her induced coma didn't go as planned.  He was a mysterious character who we now discover is the physical representation of the Singularity AI
Milkdrop from The Gathering
which controls everything.  Essentially Humanity entrusted its future to a mind that grows exponentially.  The advancements and inventions arrived rapidly but while Milkdrop began is life programmed to be close to human in its goals and morals, exponentially it changed its perceptions on what was best for the world.   Milkdrop determined that it might be prudent to start over again where humans were not destructive parasites on a planet, but something more benign with less materialistic and violent goals.       Humans created a concept called an economy which dictated decisions that were detrimental to their habitat, yet they ignored the planet and its natural sustainability to house life.  Strangely backwards.  The planet, being indifferent to that which grew upon it, had developed a fine balance, over time, that had allowed for life to exist on its surface.  Milkdrop truly appreciated this remarkable and unlikely balance that allowed for humanity to exist, and determined that humanity should follow first the biological laws of the planet before the man made laws whose importance was vastly over rated by humanity.  This, Milkdrop felt, required a reboot.  A reboot that required a gentle euthanasia of the affected population.  Flutter and the other children were the Adam and Eves or perhaps the Dick and Janes of the new world.