Thomas Arthur Schaefer
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Friday, July 21, 2006

Stick A Fork, A Knife And A Spoon In Him... He's Done, Done, Done

Today I’m developing the labels that will go on the backs of all the work for the show. I have a heck of a lot of them to create though.
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The title for the show has been chosen
Retroconsumerism I: Sweet Tooth
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I’m still working out concepts for the invite card and poster... but I have some pretty darn clever ideas running through my head right now. I’ll probably brain-storm some more this evening with Kanka.
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Last night I accomplished a ton of work and even decided to add another set of pieces into the mix. So where to begin. The ‘Nik-L-Nip Bisects’ are pretty much finished. I cleaned them and added brown paper to their backings. All that is left to do now, is affix the wall hanging brackets, add the labels to the back and sign them. So there’s at least 10 finished pieces. I completed building 18 ‘Donut’ frames, but I needed to order more balsa to complete the 3 dozen (36) total works I want for the show. There are going to be a set of 2 dozen that are chocolate glazed with rainbow Jimmies and then the other dozen will be 4 sets of 3. Each a little different than the others. I was able to build out the frames in record time last night because I decided that it was probably in my best interest to use my power saw to cut some of my wood instead of cutting them by hand with an X-acto blade (not the most efficient method, but that’s the way I always did it in the past). Needless to say the power tool usage was a ‘smart’ move. I still have to putty and sand the frames and then prime them. This weekend I will conduct tests on using Jimmies on the edges instead of hand painting them. I’m still planing on hand painting the dozen that are varied, but they are gonna cost you more at the show. Time is money...
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I resurrected the first ever set of ‘Peeps Bisects’ that I did 3 years ago. There are 10 in all and they are all purple. Each has faded in different strange ways. I abandoned these pieces back then because of the fading, but also because I coated them with Polyurethane instead of the Polycrylic I used in the batch I created this year for the ‘My Peeps’ show. I was just never fond of how they turned yellow because of the polyurethane... it’s actually the same process the Nik-L-Nips went thru (but I still completed those). I think the other reason they were abandoned was because the polyurethane never set correctly and there were drips and globs throughout each work. The building of these works is a process in itself as Kanka would tell you (he assisted me on the last set - 3rd attempt). I didn’t get the technique right until I was on that 3rd attempt at trying to coat those darn marshmallow rabbits. Everything has to be done at once - dipping, straining, placing. If you let any time go over or under you end up with shredded peeps or peeps too saturated in poly that leave puddles. So to rescue these pieces I’m doing a few new things to them. First, I’m pin-striping the frames in purple and white and then the fun begins. This weekend, probably Saturday night, I’m going to burn each one of them and then re-coat the entire structure in polyacrylic. They should turn out bad-as-hell. I imagine them looking like mini car wrecks. All the mistakes currently in them will melt away into a perfectly unique set of paintings. I’m very excited about doing this to them, as it’s something I had envisioned a year or so back. I even labeled the box that they’ve been housed in with big black letters 'BURN THESE'. But of course I’m not burning them to destroy them like I’ve done other works. This time the fire and smoke will be my paintbrush and patina. It’s gonna be really cool.
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But now on to another topic related to the show. I have this idea that the pieces need to really feel like store bought products. So much so that I’m considering shrink wrapping each work and affixing a price label to them. Almost like they were wrapped Twinkies in a convenient store or something. I just think this would look beautiful. And considering that I’m looking to have almost 100 pieces at this show (well in the 80’s possibly). I think that if each work was built in this fashion it would bond them together even more. Even setting them up on old grocery store racks... I mean this could just be the coolest looking thing ever. Of course, when I do ‘Retroconsumerism II: Fluoride’ next year, it’s going to have to be bigger than life. Maybe for that one I’ll rent out a real store... or even a dentist office... hmmmm.
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Gonna be a busy evening ahead of me.

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