Thursday, April 8, 2010
I Made an Archer
It's been a long while since I got my welder and since then I've gotten a good deal better at using it and know what works well with. I've also gotten my scrap pile back up in size and there's been some nice goodies on it from sources as different as the woods behind my house and the local Harley Davidson dealership. Three of the best pieces to it were a pair of slightly scraped up exhaust pipes and a chunk of a motorcycle frame that reminded me of a slender torso.
I'd been thinking about getting a decent bow and arrow set to practice and get some stress off with, and with a pair of pipes that looked like a set of legs and a chunk of frame that looked rather like a fit chest, I decided that those and some motorcycle handlebars could be used to make a nice sculpture of an archer. I figured a human figure would be pretty cool to make and since I just so happen to be in such a shape myself I also had a decent pattern to go on too. As I was making it there were countless little moments I'd check the angles and shapes of things I'd done against how I'd do them myself. This photo of myself (taken by Bri Miller) was actually very useful in getting the positions of the arms right. I hadn't realized the drawing arm was basically turned upside down before seeing myself doing it.
As with the dinosaur, I started from the feet and worked my way up. The feet are made of hardware from a garage door with their angles and positioning modeled with my own as a rough reference. The left arm is a truck jack, and the right arm uses a small shock absorber to spring back and hold tension on the bicycle chain that is the bowstring.
The head was easily the most difficult part to make. I didn't have anything that already looked something like a head, so I had to find all sorts of little bits and burn my hands holding them in place while I tacked them together. having on welding gloves made it too awkward to not let some parts slip. I especially like the way the eyes came out. One is part of a bicycle's crank and the other is a ball joint from a car's steering rack.
The fingers were all made from motorcycle chain. #420 for fingers and #428 for the thumbs. The arrow head was the only part made from plain stock specifically to look like it does.
When it was all said and done, I moved the archer off of the temporary wooden base I made for him and welded up a steel base made of railroad tie plates my friend Barbra gave me and an old motorcycle highway bar with a nice twist in it. I also ran over the whole archer with a wire wheel to get the bulk of it's rust off and sprayed it all down with some gloss clear coat. He's looking pretty snazzy in the front yard now taking aim at passing cars, bikes, and one bright orange dinosaur.
Barbra also came by to see the archer and take some very nice photos of it just after the first sun-shower of the year. The first photo of this post is one of hers in face. They came out very nicely and you should definitely check out those any other stuff of hers here ,here ,and here. She also did a nice backdropped photo of my orange dinosaur here.