Don’t Fly With Scissors

I had many scissors left over from my acquisition of relinquished scissors from the New Zealand Aviation Security Service for my Rock, Paper, Scissors sculptures and so I was experimenting with shapes I could form with scissors and stumbled upon an avian shape.

With many forgetful passengers relinquishing scissors and other hazardous items at airport security gates, creating sculptures that reminded people to be careful when flying seemed obvious. Four harmonious pairs of scissors are wired together for each sculpture.

Don’t Fly With Scissors #1, Red and black scissors/wire, 27 x 33 x 7 cm
Don’t Fly With Scissors #2, Blue, red and black scissors/wire, 30 x 30 x 6 cm

Due to size, comfort and safety issues, it is not recommended to fly with scissors. With their aerodynamics, they would most likely fly like sheep and rather plummet. If the scissors could fly, I imagine they would soar similar to this video:

Don’t Fly With Scissors Flying, video 1:48 (no audio)

Don’t Run With Scissors

Like most of my work, Don’t Run With Scissors is a visual pun and pokes fun at both the art world and luxury sneaker consumers with a single impractical but wearable shoe sculpture made from scissors.

I had acquired a large number of relinquished scissors from the New Zealand Aviation Security Service for my Rock, Paper, Scissors sculptures. With the remaining scissors I started to create some other sculptures, the most obvious ones being the aircraft/bird shaped Don’t Fly With Scissors. While constructing these, my thoughts progressed to the childhood warning “Don’t Run With Scissors” and thus formed the idea of creating an impractical running shoe made with scissors.

Don’t Run With Scissors, scissors/paper/thread sculpture approx 22 x 33 x 25 cm

Creating the shoe

Using my own foot as a model for the proportions, I wired together scissors to get the basic shape and then at the Ashburton MenzShed, I bent and welded the scissors into place. I then used waxed thread and the plastic handles of a pair of scissors to form the laces. After this I created a tongue/upper of the shoe from layers of paper which I glued and then hand stitched a waxed thread edging. I hand embroidered the logo onto more layered paper and attached this to the shoe. I wrapped thread around any wires connecting the scissors to hide them and make the shoe slightly more comfortable.

Creating the branding and shoebox

I checked the translation of scissors in as many languages as I could and the Hungarian word for scissors, olló, was the word that I thought most resembled a pair of scissors and had the potential for a shoe brand.

Don’t Run With Scissors shoebox lid, paper/inkjet print/acrylic paint, approx 22 x 33 x 3 cm

Using papier-mâché I recycled and exaggerated a shoebox to fit the shoe and serve as a plinth for the sculpture. Acrylic paint and inkjet prints of the logos and labels give the box the look of an authentic product. The QR code on the price label can be decoded to a link to this article about the sculpture on the artist’s website. The pricing is that of the sculpture and is deliberately ridiculous in fitting with the range of luxury sneakers – shoes that are ridiculously expensive and designed to look like running shoes, but not intended for running in.

Wearing the shoe

The shoe is a tight fit for my left foot and so the sizing is equivalent to 46 EU / 12 UK / 13 US / 29.5 CM. During the sculpting of the shoe, it has also fitted my right foot but is currently too difficult to put on. Walking with the shoe is possible, but slightly uncomfortable. It has the feeling of a heavy boot. Running while wearing the shoe has not been attempted and is not recommended as it may damage the shoe or the surroundings.

Wearing the Don’t Run With Scissors sculpture

Exhibiting the shoe

This sculpture has been entered into the Ashburton Society of the Arts 2021 Annual Exhibition at the Ashburton Art Gallery. The exhibition runs from the opening on Monday 5 July 2021 to Friday 30 July 2021.

On stage

It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Baby

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Time Warp. Photo by Ashburton Online.

I was recently on stage again in Variety Theatre Ashburton’s Its Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Baby. Featuring over 30 songs, the show had the tagline “The Songs we Sing to, Dance to, Laugh to and Cry to” and it did that with songs grouped into brackets such as The Flirtys, Country Classics, One Hit Wonders, Love Hurts Sometimes, Kiwi Classics and Inspirational. A bracket of songs on domestic violence titled “It’s Not OK EVER” was emotionally powerful and to lighten the mood it followed with the audience singing along to Sweet Caroline and Delilah. I played the role of a reluctant volunteer beside an overly enthusiastic volunteer with cue cards for the songs.

It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Baby Programme
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In the Dungeon (dressing room). Photo by Ashburton Online.
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And then I kissed her. Photo by Ashburton Online.
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Trouble. Photo by Ashburton Online.
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Time Warp. Photo by Ashburton Online.
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Pretty Girl. Photo by Ashburton Online.
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Don’t mess around with Jim. Photo by Ashburton Online.
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Don’t mess around with Kim. Photo by Ashburton Online.

Ashburton Online has more photos of the show on Flickr.

Roles

As you can see from the above photos, I played a variety of mostly comedic roles – Loser Sidekick, Disinterested Cue Card Holder, Tough Guy, Zombie, Pretty Girl, Jim and a Balloon Boy in the Just One More bracket. There were several quick costume changes as well as makeup for some complete transformations. Curling my hair took ages was worth it for the laughs when I turned around in Pretty Girl.

Reviews

The show was enjoyed by all those I talked to and local media published some reviews.

30 Year Hiatus

It has been about 30 years since I last performed on stage, so it was great to get back into singing, dancing and acting. As a child I was incredibly shy, but since being involved in theatre I have overcome the fear of performing in public and during this show I was never nervous. I am keen to join the next production – auditions are being held soon for JC Superstar.

Coincidentally just after opening night, a video of the show that first got me started in theatre was shared on YouTube [warning: 2.5 hours of low quality audio and video]. I never saw Woodville Little Theatre’s show Brylcreem live in 1986, but rumour about the show and after-party motivated me to want to join the back stage crew for their next production. With this in mind I went along to rehearsals of Streetcats in 1988 intending to be in the background but I got cast in the show and made my debut on stage.

Knitting Needles

One of the ladies at the Ashburton Society of the Arts Monday Art and Craft group gave me some unwanted knitting needles for recycling.

What do you do when someone gives you knitting needles? You knit with them. So I started knitting them into a sculpture.

Knitting Needles, metal and plastic knitting needles, 36x10x22 cm
Knitting Needles, metal and plastic knitting needles, 36x10x22 cm

The knitting needles were a mix of individual plastic and metal needles with different colors and sizes. The metal needles were quite pliable and relatively easy to knit with.

Knitting Needles (rear view), metal and plastic knitting needles, 36x10x22 cm
Knitting Needles (rear view), metal and plastic knitting needles, 36x10x22 cm

Some of the plastic knitting needles were brittle and so they snapped into multiple pieces and flew around the room when I tried to knit them and so I have threaded them into the weave. Softening the rest of the plastic and metal knitting needles in boiling water helped for coiling them into a ball.

Face the drama

What will you face today?

Choose your drama: Tragic Comedy or Comedic Tragedy

Face the Drama – Tragedy, acrylic on wooden disc
Face the Drama – Comedy, acrylic on wooden disc

At the Ashburton Society of the Arts’ Monday Art and Craft group, we each received a wooden disc and were challenged to create something with the theme of faces. Above is my contribution, based on ancient theatre masks, with the faces painted on each face of the disc and “Choose your drama: Tragic Comedy or Comedic Tragedy” written, with my signature, on the edge.

This artwork is also practical. For those who struggle with procrastination, it doubles as a huge coin when you need help deciding how to face the drama of the day. Will your day be tragic or comedic or both?

This painting is currently in the exhibition at the Ashburton Society of the Arts‘ Summer Exhibition (21 Feb – 21 March 2021).

Clairmont, inspired by Clairmont’s The Chair

The Ashburton Art Gallery currently has an exhibit of Mount Hutt College Year 10 Students’ work inspired by The Chair by Philip Clairmont. We went to the opening of this exhibit and it was fascinating see the work and to hear how the students had developed the work.

The gallery has the original of The Chair also on display and is running an activity for the public to submit their own artwork inspired by The Chair. Below is my submission based on Clairmont’s work and the Clairmont Swivel/Rocker Chair by Kincaid Furniture Company, Inc.

Clairmont, Fineliner pen on card, 147x210mm
Clairmont, Fineliner pen on card, 147x210mm

Hand me the money

Hand me the money, shredded paper, 10 x 6 x 12 cm + 10 x 22 x 5 cm

I recently shredded years of old bank statements and recycled some of them into these statements of the different hands in economics, trade and giving.

Open handed (right)

Using an outline of my right hand traced onto cardboard, I built up the sculpture, gluing individual strips of shredded bank statements. The right hand is light weight, but firm.

Depending on your politics, you might see those on the political right as tight fisted and money grabbing, but instead I have portrayed the right as open handed, giving and receiving, serving each other. Not a hand out begging, but lending a hand to mutually help each other.

Tight fisted (left)

I pasted individual strips of shredded bank statements on my closed left fist and then carefully removed the sculpture and filled the hollow fist with more shredded bank statements before applying further strips to the outside. The left hand is heavier but softer than the right.

Again, depending on your politics, you might see those on the political left with an open hand sharing the wealth and giving to those in need. Instead I have portrayed the left as a fist, raised in angry defiance. Grabbing for money and power at the expense of others.

The invisible hand

Between the two hand sculptures is an invisible hand. In economics, the invisible hand is a metaphor for unseen forces that move the free market economy. We cannot see what the invisible hand is doing. Perhaps it is open handed, perhaps a closed fist, perhaps something in between giving a rude gesture.

Hands apart
Hands together
Hand in hand

The Bible has a lot to say about money. This verse is apt.

‘But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. ‘

Matthew 6:3 NLT

Cork Screws

Cork screws, hand carved cork, 50 x 20 x 20 mm
Cork Screws, hand carved cork, 50 x 20 x 20 mm

This visual pun came to mind as I was contemplating what to do with my collection of corks.

Cork Screws (close up), cork 50 x 20 x 20 mm
My collection of Cork Screws, photograph.

Cork is difficult to carve, creating chunky shavings and so it is a delicate and time consuming process. I attempted to carve one cork which claimed to be recyclable and seemed to be made from a kind of rubberized paper material. It was very difficult to effectively work with and so if you want to carve your own cork screws, stick to the natural corks.

Cork Screw #3, recyclable cork (50 x 20 x 30 mm)

More photos on Flickr.

Practical Rubber Cheese

I get my share of spammy comments and junk feedback on this website. Often they are from server bots testing for security vulnerabilities or trying to get their spam links posted on the website.

Practical Rubber Cheese, Digital Image

From time to time I read through all the recent messages to the website to make sure I am not missing out on a good deal on “конвективные секции котлов (convection sections of boilers)” from RanertgopriliVR in Moscow or to help AllenMutVW who is “looking for a demo of the game named X-Hex”.

And it always good to get a message of appreciation like this:

My children and I are excited to have found such a nice site, it is really what my friend and I have been hoping for. The detailed information here on the web page is definitely appreciated and will assist my family and friends a lot. It looks like each member gained a lot ofunusually deep amount of detailed information about the things I am always studying and the other hyper links and knowledge really exibits it. I am not usually on the internet during the night however when my clan get a break im always hoping for this type of information and things closely related to it. I have three of my cohorts that have acquired a liking in this because of what I have learned about it and they are more than likely going to be visiting this blog since it is such an outstanding score.  I’m also delving into in government issues and dealing with the new turns and twists in Trump issues and equally looking for alternate sports betting services to feed my hunger for making cash for my other hobbies…

RandallVuhCZ

Here are some other genuine responses to the contact form.

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MessageFor sure, theoheartist.com isn’t a perfect place to share my equestrian hobby, but I have to start somewhere, so I thought that this category will be ok.
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Perhaps these messages are a secret code – can you decipher it?

Or perhaps they are meant as inspiration or instructions for a commissioned art piece.


Email addresses have been removed from these messages because often a borrowed, stolen or fake email address is by the spammers.

This is not a banana

This is not a banana, graphite pencil on paper (148 x 210 mm).

Like René Magritte’s The treachery of images (This is not a pipe), this is also not a pipe. But it is not a banana. It is a digital photograph of a pencil sketch of a duct tape sculpture of a banana.

This is not a banana either

This is not a banana either, colored pencil on paper (148 x 210 mm).

It is a digital photograph of a colored pencil sketch of a print of a photograph of a banana.