Friday, April 22, 2011

What Was Old Is... Okay, Old

I offer this as a late thought to Earth Day, celebrated today in all kinds of wonderful ways.

Meet Mr. Samples. He is a linen maché construction made from old things and a piece of myself all in one. I'll explain the latter below. (It's a surprise.)

Years before the recycling craze; crazy people kept stuff. Ask any artist, crafts person or inventor – you may never know when something might be useful. Get into a project and look around at the stuff you've got on hand to see if you can use it.

In this case; some sticks for a frame, left overs from a spool of stovepipe wire and screws to bind together the parts, some newspaper for padding, a set of well-used bedsheets (the older and smoother the better) for a skin, scraps of cloth for a costume, a secret recipe for the maché and some leftover acrylic paint somehow worked together to create a personality. I think there is some old anchor chain in his butt for weight.

Mr. Samples is an individual that has followed me around for many years. When I've moved cities he sits quietly beside me in the passenger seat. He has proven to be a stalwart companion. He may seem despondent on the surface but he's really quite the survivor. Quite popular in his time, he has sat on his little ladder overseeing some major decisions in executive offices, meeting rooms, and of course here at home. Presently, he sits in quiet retirement upstairs, doesn't eat much and never complains.

Mr. Samples is based on a character I came up with while doing a bit of clowning during college. After this shot (originally taken I believe by Fred Stephenson for a poster project) I adapted the costume, made from rags and articles from second hand shops, into Mr. Samples.

So... recycling over again has many meanings – for clowns like me anyway... Just saying.

11 comments:

  1. Sometimes a silent companion is the best support - familliar and comfortable silence. Glad he is enjoying retirement at your place. :) He was always so cool :D

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  2. Rand, you need to put on some weight!!!

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  3. Such the good storyteller you are.

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  4. Mr. Samples is not only stalwart, he is filled with patience and tenderness. I like your characters because they are so much a part of you and you of them.

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  5. Haha, thanks LM. I might have something to say about the patience part... lol

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  6. You've always been patient with me and my silliness. I love the clown photo of you - the photo of clown you. Do you mime still?

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  7. Only when I put the red nose on... and occasionally in policy meetings... lol

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  8. I remember both these characters from the 80s! May Random Samples continue his entertaining, gentle ways! Emmett Kelly would be so proud of your portrayals

    B.

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  9. Opps, I mean the 70s! I seem to have misplaced a decade... Hey, does that make me ten years younger!!! Doesn't seem to make much difference! LoL!!!

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