The idea for this sculpture came from signs I regularly make for clients. The frame was actually made for another project (a sign for the library) but turned out I wanted it to be longer than originally designed, so I was left with a wonderfully blank frame after making another for the library. It was an interesting exercise in design as the frame was only 6″ wide by almost 6′ long. I thought quite a bit about what I could do with it (as I don’t get many calls for signs of that dimension) and in the end decided to turn it into the first of a new series of wall hanging abstract sculptures.
The design was inspired by our pond which is just beside my studio and I look out at it every day. Living in the pacific northwest, it is naturally raining much of the year, and the pond acts like a giant trampoline bouncing the big raindrops back into the air, and causing ripples in all directions colliding with each other. I sometimes imagine what this would look like in slow motion… I started drawing the design in a very abstract way, making it long and skinny to fit the frame. In the end, I decided to repeat the design in reverse to make both sides symmetrical. This filled the space perfectly and gave it a nice flow from one end to the other. I carved the design into the cedar frame using a powered hand carving tool (Foredom 1/2 horsepower flexible shaft). The main body of the sign is not flat, as the wood undulates giving the sense of water moving with the rain drops dancing across it.
It took a bit of research to figure out the best way to get a nice blue-green shimmery colour to paint the carved design. In the end I painted the wood with black Oneshot sign paint (as I usually do for all my signs) but then covered that with a blue-green Interference (a shimmery whitish looking liquid that barely shows up if put over a light colour, but when put on the black paint just pops out with the perfect abstract water of my dreams!) Thanks to the helpful lady in Salt Spring Islands Dragonfly Art Supplies store where I learned about and purchased this product. The cedar for this project was naturally different colours and I like having the darker cedar around the outside, which frames the design and helps the colour stand out against the blonde cedar background. The whole thing is finished with OSMO natural oil finish which also helps bring out the natural colours in the wood. I am looking forward to making some more in this series.