It’s been a year since our gallery show in Palm Desert, California, and the past year has brought many, many changes to the The Suboken Project.
The first half of 2014 sustained a strong interest for the In A Place project. We sold quite a few limited edition prints from Series Two and Series Three. We were also able to get the In A Place photography/essay book into more peoples hands in search of support to finally get the book published.
One day I was sitting in the Palm Springs Art Museum, waiting for Calista who was attending a Leadership Coachella Valley meeting. I had some lined note paper, a mechanical pencil, a healthy dose of boredom and an eagerness to push the design of the ODK Hammer into something more exciting than it currently was.
Up to this point, the differences between each hammers’ shape was pretty extreme. I wanted to create an internal system or structure that they could all share. I imagined what the skeletal system of an organically grown Osteodontokeratic Hammer could look like. How would the bones fit together? How many bones would the hammer even need? Would there be areas or spaces for internal organs? Most importantly, how would the entire osteo-donto-keratic concept be distributed throughout the tool.
A five or six month hiatus can move by pretty quickly. I tend to have three or four projects going on at the same time. The summer months, as hot as they are, can be the perfect time to focus on some of these other projects.
Trapped inside a heavily air conditioned apartment, I focused on producing my fifth album, Three Sides of the Same Coin. With the summer sunshine in abundance, I set off to non desert locales to find more In A Place scenes. IAP benefitted twice that summer since I was also focusing heavily on the layout of the art book. Sherry Wisener joined the IAP project as the book’s editor. By the time the fall colors started to arrive, In A Place: An Art Book was finished.
Developing the ODK Hammer as a structurally strong sculpture while achieving an organic look has been a long process.
Once I had decided to use the various types of Sculpey to create the hammers, I began crafting some small test sculptures to see what techniques would work best to produce a realistic skin surface. The polymer clay I was focused on using, Super Sculpey, already went a long way in achieving a defused, skin-like luminance. However, there was still a great deal of work that could be done to push the medium even further towards appearing like real skin. I was hopeful to have the majority of detail sculpted into the clay to pull off the final look.
The term Osteodontokeratic (ODK) was coined by Raymond Dart (1893-1988), an Australian anatomist and anthropologist, best known for his involvement in the 1924 discovery of the first fossil ever found of Australopithecus africanus. During his field research in South Africa, he theorized that pre-stone age humans, more specifically Australopithecines, may have utilized a tool tradition referred in part as the osteodontokeratic tool culture; a culture based upon tools made of bone, teeth, and horn.