exploring art and design, one day at a time

Street Art

Bali!

What?! It’s a blog post you say? That’s right, six months after the fact, I really felt it was time to put my Bali post together. I’ve been lucky enough to be busy enough to throw my blog to the wayside for a while, but I do plan on updating this thing from time to time more often. Let’s see how that pans out.

So Bali was amazing. The culture is rich and the island beautiful. We spent two weeks in this paradise, seeing the sites, eating delicious food, and getting $5 massages. I did find some time to put up some geodes in Ubud and near Balangan. As I’m more of an instagrammer, you can find some more stories on posts there, but please see the below for my collection of Bali geodes. My map will be updated on my site of locations (although many may not be there by the time you make it!)

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Geode 31, Ubud

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Geode 31, Ubud

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Geode 31, Ubud

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Geode 31, Ubud

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Geode 32, Ubud

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Geode 32, Ubud

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Geode 32, Ubud

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Geode 33, Ubud

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Geode 33, Ubud

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Geode 33, Ubud

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Geode 33, Ubud

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Geode 34, Ubud

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Geode 34, Ubud

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Geode 34, Ubud

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Geode 34, Ubud

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Geode 34, Ubud

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Geode 34, Ubud

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Geode 34, Ubud

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Geode 34, Ubud

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Geode 34, Ubud

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Geode 34, Ubud


Geode #30

Geode #30 went up in Los Angeles almost a month ago, I posted on instagram, but now check out these photos we took during daytime. Of course I’ll be updating my website with the location—hopefully it’s still there and you can go hunting if you’re in the area.

I’m branching out on color here, and really loving it. I just took a trip to Dallas, TX and visited the Perot Museum. There were so many amazing crystal and mineral formations in their collection, I was quite inspired. Fluorescent minerals made an appearance, and I was so excited to see them in person.

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Geode #30, Melrose

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Geode #30

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Geode #30

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Geode #30


Geodes 21–29, in Madrid!

Sometimes I go into extreme silences when I have large projects attacking me. Last month, I had a group show with CYRCLE at the new Time to Shine Gallery in the Arts District. A day later, I had a shoot with Subaru/Ovation—more on that soon! And a day after that wrap I went to Madrid.

All of this was long hours of creating and preparing and not sleeping and it was amazing! I’ll be sharing everything in time, but first, let’s talk Madrid.

My friend and I had an apartment for the week in Barrio Salamanca, walking distance to museums and parks and the older parts of town. As on any European trip, we spent hours and hours walking the streets and discovering all the details of Madrid. My bag always contained a pile of externally designed geodes, that I had already organically puzzled together, and some adhesive. I pasted up a piece when a wall, crevice, or crack caught my eye. It was such a beautiful process—I kept pulling out my predetermined shapes and they would fit exactly into the spot I found. All of my pieces were a metallic bronze color, which ended up being a very fitting color for gray Madrid.

A reader pointed out that my new style of geode is called a “druzy”, in which they “cover a surface in more or less outward pointing clusters of small crystals”. You’re going to see a lot of druzy moving forward. I’m still calling them all geodes for the sake of the project, but there will be more types of formations growing around the world from now on.

 

#21

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#21 Pasting up my first Spanish geode.

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#21

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#21

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#21

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#21 Underneath the aqueduct where the geode lives.

 

#22

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#22

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#22

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#22

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Trompe L’oeil mural and letters across from the geode.

 

#23

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#23

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#23

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#23

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#23

 

#24 and 25

 

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#24 & 25

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#24 & 25

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#24

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#25

 

#26

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#26

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#26

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#26

 

#27

 

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#27

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#27

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#27

 

#28

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#28

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#28

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#28

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#28

 

#29

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#29

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#29

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#29


Geodes #18 & 19

Below are two more geodes I created in San Francisco last weekend. I found some nice unused holes that let to nowhere, right on the main Valencia drag. Pretty standard rounded, golden geodes made of resin. Once again, my map is updated for your hunting pleasure.

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Geode 18 installation

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Geode #18 & 19

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Geode #18 & 19

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Geode #18

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Geode #19

All photos by Gregory Tuzin


Geode #17

Last weekend I went to my old city San Francisco. Forever I’ve been wanting to get up there to make some geodes and finally got the chance. In between drinking with friends and eating the crap loads of amazing food you can find every other step in the Mission these days, I was hunting for any possible hole to use.

I have a list of more to hit when I get back next year, but over the next few days I’ll be revealing what I did get done. Check out #17 shown below, silver resin in a large vent that had been painted over. This is located in the Mission District, I’ll be updating my map this week as well. Lovely mural on the rest of the wall, no?

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Geode #17

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Geode #17

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Geode #17

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Geode #17 Close Up

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Geode #17 Close Up


Geodes #14, 15, & 16

Back to the streets.

I just created three new geodes for West Hollywood on Sunset Avenue. I hate to talk about how “it’s been a while”, but yeah, it’s been a while. I was creating a geode almost every week earlier this year until I received opportunities to create larger installations. It was and is great to take on those challenges, and even though they took away from the street work, they also offered me a way to explore new ways to create my urban pieces.

These new geodes are resin castings I created from silicone molds. I’ve posted about this before and I’ve finally made a few molds that are the right size for these next planned geodes. I plan to run with this concept, so you’ll be seeing more street work more often.

Check out these three new geodes in a wall along Sunset at Palm Avenue. Of course I’ll be adding these to my map so you can hunt.

 

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Installing Geodes

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Installation Geode 14, 15, & 16

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Geodes 14, 15, &16

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Geodes 14 & 15

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Geodes 14 & 15

All photos by Gregory Tuzin

 


Moldings, Castings, and Crumblings

Lately all of my energy outside of design is going to rethinking the geodes. I have coveted the use of paper and loved the process of deterioration, but there are other factors at play now: art buying, size, and ease of replication.

1. Interior installations/art pieces are something I’ve obviously started and as I create them I’m always thinking of how they can be purchased. I’m happy that people are willing to buy these hand-crafted pieces coated in polyurethane paint (which should help them last longer), but I know that potential buyers will want something guaranteed forever.

2. Size! The Box Geode was huge and I did it and I feel like a maniac and I’m proud! What an accomplishment to fold around 5,000 pieces of paper (with help of my two awesome assistants of course). I would do it again and probably will, but I’d like to go bigger and faster.

3. Now I need easy replication. As my work load grows larger and the demand is more, I cannot keep doing street art pieces every week. In fact, I’ve done none all summer. I’m sad I’ll lose the green nature and the quick deterioration, but I think spreading the work may win out for me.

The solution:

Resin casting. I’ve been experimenting with making molds of my paper pieces and casting them in various types of resin. Some of you may be following me on Facebook or Instagram and seen some of my successes. I’ve provided a few images below of what I’ve been working on.

The plan is to cast pieces faster and make them myself for around Los Angeles. The other plan is to send out packages to people around the world so they can create the art themselves in their cities. I have a few hole hunters out there already and am excited to see how this project will pan out. If anyone is interested, let’s start the conversation too!

One part rubber mold and a plastic square trapezohedron

Failed plastic roto-casting of square trapezohedron

The large square trapezohedron above is a failure because of the obvious gaping hole on one side. Fortunately, this can be corrected by how well I rotate my mold when I pour the resin in. I just wanted to share this large piece because I’m super excited by how much it actually looks like the paper piece I made. Also, how cool does it look when it looks like it’s melting?!

What do you think of using plastic in the street?

 

In other news, I have some more deterioration images for you. The geode on 7th Street located at Tony’s Saloon is slowly being torn apart by people. I think it’s crazy interesting! I’m wondering, is it because it’s in front of a bar, in DTLA, or because it’s so big? Maybe one day I’ll find a grant to help me study this social interest.

Geode 11 Trashings

Closeup of Geode 11 Trashing


More Geode Deterioration

The past couple weeks I’ve walked past a couple geodes that are still in commission and saw that they’ve been deteriorating. This is one of the things I’ve been excited to see! The first image is from Venice on Abbott Kinney, the paint has dulled and a few pieces have come unglued from the constant moisture in the air. The next three images are the larger phone booth geode I did fairly recently. The plastic covering is missing from the whole booth, where you see white, the pieces have been torn away by people, and there’s a lovely sheen of dirt covering the whole piece.

I think this deterioration is incredibly cool. Regular minerals do not generally fall apart so quickly but they are affected by outside forces; breaking apart, getting covered with dirt, or eventually disappearing altogether. This is another level to the geodes in which their materials allow them to erode with the building around them and change with the forces of nature. It’s a very interesting symbiosis of both man-made architectures.

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Venice Geode Deteriorates

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DTLA Phone Booth Geode Deterioration

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DTLA Phone Booth Geode Deterioration

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DTLA Phone Booth Geode Deteriorates


Geode #13—In Mexico!

Lucky number 13 for my 30th birthday! This weekend I made a trip to Baja, Mexico with a lot of amazing friends. We were there to celebrate my birthday, and it was brilliant. I was having such a good time, I didn’t get to make as many geodes as I planned (I was literally folding in the car though).

I planned on doing a geode in La Fonda where we stayed and in Puerto Nuevo, but was only able to do one since we only visited Puerto Nuevo for a short time. I found quite a few holes, as I suspected I would, but settled on a smaller crack in a wall of the main building of La Fonda. I needed something smaller since I ended up using a head lamp and sitting amongst my friends at around 10pm the very last night.

This is the result! It’s not painted the best or fit the best, but you do what you can while celebrating and on the move. I’m super excited I got to do my first international geode, hopefully I’ll get to travel soon to work solely on getting these out in other cities.

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Geode #13 at La Fonda

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Geode #13

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Geode #13

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Geode #13

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Geode #13


Preparation for Baja

Get ready for some international geodes. I’m off to Baja this weekend to relax and celebrate my birthday with a lot of friends. I’ve been preparing lots of diamonds, twisted pyramids, and truncated octagons for this occasion. I hope to find some gnarly Mexico cracks to fill. HA!

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Baja Preparation


Geode #12

Yay another geode! This one lives in Hollywood near The Music Box. During my interview with KTLA last week you see me starting to build this one, folding and gluing some of the pieces. Good thing I got this installed during the same week…

Geode #12 is chrome in an attempt to compliment the orange-ish stucco that is the building. I don’t know what this hole was there for, it was simply empty with no bricks surrounding and didn’t lead anywhere. I’m excited to be branching out into Hollywood, expect a lot more in the Mid City area for a while.

I had a small posse while installing this piece, my usual photographer Greg Tuzin and my talented friend Jeni Wamberg. This was a late night install as you can tell by the photos, I love the affect! We’ll swing by soon to get some day time photos.

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Jeni and me making sure the geode fits

 

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Installing Geode #12

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Geode #12

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Geode #12

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Geode #12

All photos © Greg Tuzin


Geode #11

Geode #11! The largest, darkest, and on the edge of the Arts District in LA. This one is located right outside a local favorite bar, Tony’s. My friend Tim works there, found the spot for me, and has kindly offered to help me secure this one behind a plastic sheet. It’ll eventually look more like an “exhibit” outside with the cover on it. We decided to take these steps to see if we can get this to last longer than the other large one that was quickly removed despite some small efforts.

I have to say I’m particularly excited about this one. I can’t use black for smaller ones because I think they’ll be too hard to see, so I was happy to expand the palette a bit. And this is my largest effort, something I hope to continue to grow in the future. I love the small detailed treasures I’ve created but it would be nice to have some obvious public art—in addition.

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Geode #11

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Geode #11

 

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Geode #11

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Geode #11

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Geode #11


Paint It Black

Sneak peek of a still wet geode to be installed this week…

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Black Geode

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Black Geode


Geode #10

Finally a new geode! Well, a new geode in an old place… I’m retracing some steps here and recreated a geode for the very first hole I ever used. This one is closer to home and I’m hoping to test out some techniques on it and be able to monitor a bit. Never fear, I have a long list of holes to fill all around the mid city area! Hopefully I can start getting them out faster, life happens and production slows from time to time.

Besides that, I’m super excited by the new mutation! I found a metallic blue which is a little too sparkly for my taste but it turned out nice anyways. I also added a golden “growth” to this geode. Many geodes have two toned crystals growing off of each other and I decided to give it a try. I’m in love! And can’t wait to keep playing with this.

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Geode #10

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Geode #10

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Geode #10

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Geode #10


Oops!

I spray paint my geodes in a windless corner outside and for some reason the sprinklers went off at a different time than usual today. Woo hoo! It kind of looks cool like this, like a new texture!

Water Logged Geode


Geode #9

How timely! A purple geode on Valentine’s day… I installed this bad boy last night on Spring Street between 6th and 7th in downtown LA. This is the largest geode so far, and the first official colored one. I bought a glossy purple, which I’m not completely satisfied with the tone but I sprinkled some silver to help it shine a little and let it be. I’m still on the search for metallic colors if anyone knows where to find some.

These are some quick photos I took today from my iphone, we’re going to do a better photo shoot tonight so stay tuned for more.

A huge shout out and thank you to my friend Consuelo Chozas, who cut out the majority of the pieces to construct this one. She’s an incredible help!

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Geode #9

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Geode #9

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Geode #9, Closeup


Geode #8

My friend Consuelo just took an amazing photo of geode #8 at Daily Dose. When we took our fancy photos last week, we didn’t have a stand to take photos in the dark lit cafe so we got this lovely iPhone flash/instagram action going on in this one. Just wanted to post this more detailed photo up to show off the teeny tiny pieces I made in this one.

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Geode #8, Brighter Details


Geodes 6, 7, and 8

Late last week I installed three new geodes in one location. They live at The Daily Dose, a little gem of a cafe in the Arts District of downtown LA. Sarkis, the owner, saw my geodes on Facebook and asked if I would add some to the cafe. Hell yes I will!

These three geodes are the most difficult I’ve done by far. They took me over three weeks to create, which is average for three geodes, but the amount of time per day put in was tripled. Each piece was precious since I knew they would be in a place where customers would be sitting for long periods of time, able to see every flaw.

Geodes number 7 and 8 were the challenging ones, the molds crumbled when I took them out. Putting them back together was a puzzle piece nightmare. I had to make both their casts twice because I made the glue mixture too strong and couldn’t get them off the molds. Also, while gluing the pieces in, I was constantly stressed and checking whether the folded nooks and crannies of the pieces would be too filled or if the whole piece was maleable enough for when I placed them in.

So much time and stress and these pieces were successfully created. I can’t believe they fit and I don’t know how big a puddle on the ground I would have melted into if it they didn’t.

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Geodes 6 and 7

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Geode #6

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Installation of Geode #7

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Installation of Geode #7

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Geode #7

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Geode #7, Closeup

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Geode #8 Installation

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Geode #8, It fits!

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Geode #8 Closeup

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Geode #8

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Geode #8, In the Cafe


Test Geode

For a long while I’ve known that I needed to figure out how to create geodes to fit into real cracks. I can’t depend on finding perfect pipes and missing bricks forever and I really can’t imagine spending hours longer gluing pieces directly into holes in the middle of the night. I’ve been scheming up this process that I’ve confirmed today—works!

Below is an image of a tester I made in our house. I wanted to do it inside so I could have control over the situation if anything didn’t work or needed extra time and care. The process includes making a mold of the crack, creating a cast of the mold with gauze-like cloth and homemade “size”, and following the rest of my old steps to completion. The inner shapes here are technically too large, I just used some extra pieces I had that would at least fit.

I rounded out this geode with a glossy red spray paint. I like it for our house because it kind of matches, but it doesn’t quite pop enough for the outside world. I am still on the hunt for metallics in other colors.

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Test Geode in Crack


Geode #5, Venice CA

My 5th geode has just been installed. This sort of replaces my 2nd geode that was recently stolen out of its pipe, hopefully this one lasts longer (it’s going to be hard to rip this sucker out, wink). Technically this one’s color is “brass” but it looks a lot like the “gold”, I’ll be switching up the colors of these soon.

The location of this new geode is at 1661 Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice CA, my first geode on the west side. Happy new year!

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Gedoe #5, Venice CA

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Geode #5, Venice CA

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Geode #5, Venice CA


Geode #3, Deterioration

There were heavy rains (which means a heavy sprinkling in LA) in December. The third geode I created, in the corner of a building on Spring between 7th and 8th, has started to fall apart and deteriorate. The images below show how parts of it have fallen off onto the sidewalk and left some gaping holes in the geode construction.

Now this is something I was prepared for and am happy about. I know these are all “temporary” installations because of people and weather. I realized after two geodes were stolen that I can’t really emotionally deal with the people problem, but I can deal with the weather problem. Erosion is so cool, it’s a natural response to nature and the effects I think are still beautiful. Paper does unfortunately erode incredibly quick so I do plan on starting to explore other materials. I’d also like to find a way to combat the “people problem”, but I’m not sure I want to disclose that yet. To be continued…

 

Geode 03 Deterioration

Geode 03 Deterioration


Handsome Wheat Paste Painting

The week before holiday vacation time in Texas was a hectic one. Greg had a production for Logitech in which he put on many hats—writer, art department, creative director, and director. He hired me as an extra and an artist, ah we love nepotism in this house. Although, being an extra in a bathing suit at a pool scene in December is the opposite of great, so maybe I don’t like this particular “in”.

Besides that dreary pool party, I was asked to create artwork that the hero of the video would wheat paste onto a wall. A. I’ve never actually painted anything and B. I’ve never wheat pasted. I was nervous, went through several designs, and had to email my images out to friends for help deciding which to use. I finally settled on designing in a way I’m used to (without overwhelming myself with something new), using illustrator and vector art with heavy block colors.

In the pool scene, all of the people are wearing animal masks, dancing, and swimming. I decided to take that idea and repurpose it for the painting, drawing four girls with animal masks on. The “handsome” at the bottom of the image comes from the new coffee shop, Handsome Coffee Roasters this was pasted on, coming soon to downtown LA.

Handsome Wheat Paste

Handsome Wheatpaste

Handsome Wheat Paste

Handsome Wheat Paste Close Up

I’m pretty happy with how this turned out, Greg and I are both quite enamored with the look and process of wheat paste (we’re rubbing our hands together conspiratorially). The whole drawing and painting took me 3 full days to complete. The wheat paste went up on the wall for about an hour and then was torn down. One of the more painful things I’ve had to deal with—I helped for a bit and then ditched the final cleanup.