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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Sneak peek of a still wet geode to be installed this week…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As I work on my next geodes and installations for downtown Los Angeles, I’d like to post a few in progress images of the second geode I created. This one was a test to see if I could do a geode this small, as the first couple I did were much larger. The next few images are of the piece in progress—not painted, still fitting the last pieces in to fill space, and a view of it in size relation to my hand. You can also see the types of shapes I’m building first in order to puzzle the whole thing together. I am using mathematical nets to create solid figures such as pyramids, truncated tetrahedron, and rhombic prisms.
Last night I placed my second geode. This one is in a little more high traffic area on Traction (near 3rd), right near Novel Cafe. I felt we should be a little more discreet placing and documenting this one since every time I went to measure and check the pipe there were at least 10 people standing nearby. Therefore we placed it and took the photos last night versus during the day. The images are very dark, but I was obliged to keep them that way, the geode looks pretty cool shining out even at night. Happily, this morning, my friend Bryan who works a couple doors down spotted it all on his own and took a bright iphone photo, below.
This one is about 2.875″ wide around the outer ring and gets smaller .5″ deep. The much smaller shapes for the geode were definitely a challenge to build. It was helpful that my nails were long so I could fold more delicately the past week. This one is painted a metallic gold, which I think helps contrast it from the gray pipe. The paint unfortunately did not like my glue—after I sprayed it the first time, I went out to check and all the glue had fallen apart and the geode looked combusted. I spent hours re-gluing with a tougher glue. The fun of art lessons!
The past couple weeks I have been working hard to produce this project and finally today I have something to show for it.
In my strolling around downtown Los Angeles, I’ve come across more than one large hole where a brick or something similar has fallen out of a building. After some time, I finally was able to concentrate on creating these paper geodes to fill some of these holes. I was originally planning on creating mini paper scenes to fill the holes, but after the concept grew in my brain, I thought something man-made of a natural shape would be an excellent fit to a man-made building. The below image is a close up images of the paper geode I’ve created. The gallery gives you a tiny tour of where the geode now lives, on 3rd street at the corner of 3rd and Traction.
I think the most interesting part of this project will be how long it actually lasts. This would be a type of street art, but unlike most tagging, it’s hard to see as you’re strolling the street. It will take an astute observer to see the building addition and an annoying, astute observer to decide it doesn’t belong there.
I plan on adding more geodes around downtown. It will take some time as I’m completing them on my own and it’s a ton of cutting, folding, gluing, puzzling together… I hope they last longer than a day.