Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dusty: the birth of an idea

Meet Dusty, the copper wire dust bunny. This week's Illustration Friday's topic is "dusty."

The number one question a children's book author is asked on a school visit is: "Where do you get your ideas?" I'm sure other artists also field this question frequently. Here's a peek into how the idea for Dusty came to me.

My 10 year old son wants to learn how to solder so he can make sculptures. He got some large gauge copper wire and a soldering gun from my father for Christmas. The first attempt was a failure. So I went to Home Depot to look for materials that might be easier to solder, and found some stranded wire. I couldn’t buy a small chunk to play with; I had to buy the whole spool: 250 feet. So the question in my mind was “What other crafts can use this wire?”

Tuesday night I spent some time with my artist friends. Sarah had bought some miniature bottle for us to play with. Woody amazed us all by making a polymer clay rabbit that fit in the bottle. (My brain was now primed with rabbits.)

Wednesday night I had tap class. My instructor remarked that the janitorial team at the rec center wasn’t doing a good job, as she pointed out the large dust bunnies in the corner of the room. (rabbit reference number two.)

Friday, the Illustration Friday prompt came in: Dusty. Later I thought, “hmm, I could do a gesture drawing of a rabbit, it would look sort of like a dust bunny.”

This morning I walked past the spool of stranded wire. All the things that had been going on in my brain this week began to bump up against each other and snarl, like a dust bunny, in the corners of my mind. Then I knew what to do, make a wire sculpture of a dust bunny.


catewrites said...

This seems like a thoroughly understandable and logical progression of thoughts and ideas. Welcome to the world, Dusty!

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

Magnificent!! I love this little bunny! How did you do that??? Awesome!

Heather Hanlin said...

@Vanessa, It is sort of a "wire felting" process. I separated the strands of wire, took some single strands and started squishing them together, pushing them into shape as I went. Then I threaded the beads on a strand of wire and sewed them in.

Hi I'm Laurie... said...

Oh gosh! I LOVE dusty!