Before I begin this Blog about the creation of my Mars Grate, I HAVE A CONFESSION TO MAKE. I now need help to complete some of my artworks. And that is because I am the SURVIVOR OF A HEMORRHAGIC STROKE. It happened on that fateful evening of October 31, 2017. What a MEAN TRICK for HALLOWEEN.
For the past two and one half years I have endured this challenge not known to the public. But I am lucky to be alive and functioning. The stroke did, however affect my left side. I walk with the aid of a rollator or the use of a cane. At least I can get around.
I am an imaginative dreamer. I believe in the future colonization of the planet Mars. Of course, Mars would eventually have a Public Works Department. There would be grates and manhole covers on Mars. Speaking of getting help with my art or advice. I am fortunate that my husband Al was a draftsman early in his career. Then as an educator, he taught Mechanical Drawing and Architectural Drawing.
I envisioned a Mars Grate prototype constructed of polystyrene. Al advised constructing a diamond shaped Mars grate instead of a Hexagon. Simpler and easier to build.
With my dimensions and directions, Al drew the grate on the foam sheet.The underside of the grate was covered with Polyester Reinforcement Repair Fabric which adds durability to the foam sheet. The sides for a diamond shape chimney were easy to construct. Two sides had cut outs of an ancient design. The other two sides had cut outs for the Mars Symbol.
To simulate Mars red soil, I used red dirt from Utah. Metallic Blue added the perfect contrast.
However the red dirt presented a challenge. It sifted about the studio, getting under foot and on our clothes. Spray on glue finally held the soil in place. To achieve the weather-worn effect, I mixed up a concoction of water, black paint, potting soil, road cinders and sweepings. When it is convenient, I throw the mixture on the sculpture with a drop cloth in place. Touch ups can be brushed on. The dark mixture settles into the cracks and crevices like real weathering.
Karen took the photo of Idalia helping with the antique process. I must admit that working with friends makes the art process much more fun than working alone. We laughed as we threw on the concoction. We were awed by the dramatic results.
To achieving the inner red glow in the sculpture, Al came up with the perfect solution. He discovered the under counter puck lights on line. They could be adapted for the sculpture. The puck lights were attached to the chimney on the inside walls. A remote was used to switch on the red lights.
Now doesn’t this “FUTURE MARS GRATE” look like it could hang in the offices of Space-X?
Your comments are welcome.