Art I Made in Q1 2020

Looks like I didn’t have much occasion to produce cool art projects, but did churn out a few good projects and a lot of nice little exercises. The major project during this time was getting a job, with a contract ending in January and a new job not coming together until the end of May, I had 6 weeks of hardcore job hunting with some art making. (The job hunting developed into a pretty amazing little code project, as I created tools to automate aspects of my job search and drastically increased the number of applications I could send out per week.)

Looking at this art makes me sad. I miss events, participants, and audiences. However, this also cements my preference against investing time into works for my house or the street. It’s much nicer to be appreciated, and large events with educated audiences provide that to me most.

Boxes and Planters

I wanted to build a box that looked like a rubik’s cube. Here I’ve tried really hard to measure it all perfect, but still have little error margins I fixed with caulk.
Framing is fairly straightforward, drawing from what I learned making the bench for Friendship Park in Q4–19. (I think it’s the same wood?!)
Bam it’s a cube.
The cube made it to the party, was enjoyed there, and stayed on as yard furniture for a house with a toddler. Seems to be a good piece for a toddler, which is great. Some random Sunday afternoon, in situ.
Ok, but really there are a few ways to make a “cube.” The design I did above is very hard to build. Here’s a very simple design. All pieces are the same size! This has a gap at every corner (8 gaps). No internal framing at all!
In this cube, all pieces are the same size AND square! It has 2 corner gaps.
This cube opens in a very strange way. So cute.
Here’s a cube with unmeasured pieces! It’s fairly charming and quirky and made a fine planter.
This isn’t a box, but it’s a rather boxy planter that lets us have some greenery at this window.
I bought the plants first, asking for plastic boxes about this size, then build the planter to fit them.
Boxes and planters! Right? The major innovation here is that I used much less wood, did easier things with it, and used fabric to do the hard work of holding the dirt.

Cardboard Delight

Due to a friendly misunderstanding, I built this large cardboard castle for someone’s birthday party.
It was great fun to build and I got to hang out with people I don’t see much otherwise.
I’d assumed they’d fight using this, so I made knives. (By 11pm the castle had been utterly flattened.)
Knives are um basically they’re blades with handles.
I think that’s it. Isn’t that basically what a knife is?
Only this is a knife cake. Yeah it’s a cake. Made of knives. So you “cut it” by grabbing a knife out of it!? They’re attached with tiny pieces of hot glue, but the real trick is that they’re sitting in the offcut, so they all fit pretty dang good.
This was a popular cake!

Other Birthday Art

This dinosaur shooting range at my friend’s birthday was a hit. What a lovely weird room to have in a house party. Revelers invented “drive-by mode,” where competitors load up the gun with many rubber bands, then must shoot while walking by. The birthday boy told me that someone gave him a fully loaded rubber band gun and told him it was hist turn to head to the garage and do a drive-by. Excellent. Need I mention this was a $20 project requiring almost no work?
My mom asked for Kubb for her birthday. It’s a pretty great outdoor game and it turned out I could make it with the table saw.
For her 75th birthday, mom wanted a 75. About 12" high and hanging freely. I decided to go with stacked plywood, which meant a lot of jigsaw time. Forming the glyphs was a fun challenge too, and I ultimately just made up these numbers, rather than working from a typeface. Whoo!
75, center top.

Art in the Wild

Added the fabric with a hammer tacker. So fast. Anyway, this fabric had been sitting forever at my home. It’s nice here! It helps out the string art.
Threw together this pyramid in one day. I had been thinking about it for a specific location on my block for a while. This would have been very easy except that pyramids are hard to build and there’s a lot of wood on here I beveled and mitered.
Hi!!! Sadly this was gone within two weeks. Stolen? Thrown away? Idk. Street art. Really, I don’t like putting my energy into public art because if it’s unapproved it can get disappeared so easily! If it’s approved, you have to make something you probably don’t want to make. But we were doing Shelter in Place at the time, so that’s what I could do.
Time to make a piano!
Originally, I wanted to make a piano for a festival. The piano would live in the woods at the edge of the party, with lights and plants in it, and a keyboard. So cute. But everything’s cancelled these days, so I just built the shell.
This was about as hard as building a locomotive. The specifications for an upright piano are pretty clear, unlike trains.
Loaded with planting trays, soil, plants, and ready to roll out!
Painted the faux keyboard here, with stencil for the black keys. This piece of land is totally unused normally and right at a major intersection. It’s not busy, but plenty of people walk and drive by.
I asked a few friends to add to the piece. This is early Shelter in Place, so people came by on their own time and added plants, paint, dominoes, and poetry. Sadly, the piano was gone in two weeks. Disappeared.


My carpentry is getting very solid and easy. I can do a wide range of things and am even making some things nice, instead of rough. However, my motivation to produce art is down and I am forced to confront digital art. A few weeks into a socially-distant world, I am still uninspired by and uninterested in digital art. In-person experiences are so much richer and remain critical to my work, as the elements of surprise, scale, light, touch, and interactivity I’m most interested in are missing from digital experience.



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