Stefanie Rocknak

Wood Sculpture in Progress

(May 2005 - July 2005)
Biker's Arms
page one

This piece is part of a commissioned piece, "The Triathlete." These arms will be mounted below the biker's head. (see the overall plan)

The Log. Once again, this is basswood, but it is not fresh-killed; I let it dry outside for about two months before I started to carve it. I put the saw on top to provide some sense of scale--it's actually quite large,
and seems barely movable at this point.
Drawing the general plan on after chain-sawing away some of the immediately obvious excess on the right hand side. At this point I am still thinking I might include some of the upper arm. But after checking the measurements of the overall piece, I realize that just the lower arm will suffice.
Here, I am sawing grooves into the area I want to cut away, and then knocking the pieces out with a chisel. Naturally, I thought that I had invented this trick, but the carpenter boys were quick to tell me that this is something like Ancient Chain-Saw Technique #7.
Coming down from above, after sawing and chiseling the side outline. I always try to give each angle an equal voice, favoring one side over the others was a mistake I made in some of my earlier sculpture.

But at this point in the process, it is still very difficult to determine exactly what this sculpture wants to say; sometimes the results take so long to come in, and are so mixed (given that I cannot work each side up at the exact same time), I do, indeed, get momentarily confused. But this is quickly remedied when I bring my original mental image of the piece to mind.

These are triathlete bars (not your average "ten speed" bars). There are actual four separate bars, where the two shifting levers run almost directly underneath the arms, and the brake bars run outside of the arms. In this photo, you can see that the (future) brake bars comprise the outermost edges of the square of wood. And as always, if you look close enough, you can see that I have florescent junk food and soda to keep me company: high test focus-fuel, anything less makes for wasted effort.
See page 2 of this work in progress, page 3, page 4, page 5, page 6, the finished piece

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1997 Stefanie Rocknak