The Once and Future Peanut

Almost 7 years in, the Giant Circus Peanut™ is still standing in my kids’ backyard. Squirrels and birds live in, which makes me feel a lot better about some of the materials I used to make it.

If you need the backstory of this sculpture, then please see here, and here and possibly here.

UPDATE

May, 2017. The peanut has fallen. Due to the weeds and fencing, I cannot see why it fell. It’s been overgrown and neglected for years.  Maybe the animals finally gnawed through the base.

Circus peanut in weeds

The Peanut has fallen

detail of circus peanut decay

close up of decay

More circus peanut decay

and yet more decay

UPDATE

September 2017. This just in:

LOL

The Brotherhood of the Circus Peanut’s Newest Member

The Institute for Circus Peanut Research and Development™ receives A LOT of requests. The ICPRD is asked to consider things like speaking engagements, race car endorsements, reverse engineering a competitor’s circus peanut formulary, etc. Unfortunately, we can’t possibly respond to all requests.

One request caught our staff’s attention, however. A young man named “Jake” (probably not his real name) is doing exceptional work in the state of Oklahoma for the education of his community on the subject of circus peanuts. According to someone who knows Jake well, he is a tireless, relentless advocate.

It is with great excitement that the ICPRD is pleased to induct Mr. Jake into the Brotherhood of the Circus Peanut. To Jake, we say, keep up the great work. Never forget. Always remember. Eat a lot of Circus Peanuts. Share them with your friends. Share them with your enemies. Eat them stale. Eat them only semi-stale. Put them on cereal. Etc.

We salute you.

brotherhood-award

If you know someone toiling away in obscurity, doing outstanding work on behalf of Circus Peanuts everywhere, please contact the ICPRD at:

P.O. Box 1870
Owings Mills, MD 21117

 

Return of the Nut

Mount Royal Avenue is now circus peanut free.  It returned home safely after being on display in Baltimore city for 149 days.

There are several features about this piece that I haven’t yet shared – the PVC backbone contains actual circus peanuts. And the inside of the sculpture base is manned by these two fellows who kept an eye on things for me, since I obviously couldn’t be there.

Now you know.

And, there’s more to the story.

The Giant Circus Peanut

The GIANT Circus Peanut is finished. It’s installed on Mount Royal Avenue in Baltimore, by MICA, and will be on display through November as part of the Here, There, Anywhere exhibit. This is the  “making of” post.   I had some help and thank the following peeps.

  • My friends who lent their ears, ideas and support. I promise to stop talking about circus peanuts soon. Very soon. I swear.
  • Kim Domanski and ArtScape 2010
  • RJ spent a hot afternoon in the July sun moving it.
  • My little peanuts helped paint it, and provided a lot of company, interest and opinions.


My initial thought was to use a metal pipe in the center, and build an armature from chicken wire that I could then “paper mache” with house wrap, Baltimore City Papers and the like. My concern was that I’d have to shred the house wrap into slices so thin that it would take weeks to get it smooth, and also that it would be too heavy.

Here’s what I ended up doing instead.

I made a template by piecing together paper into an 8′ x 4′ sheet. I cut out the shape of the peanut and taped the edges with packing tape.

I made the base of the peanut from 2×8’s, held together with decking screws.

I put half-inch PVC pipe in the base for support – very light, and very strong. And, as a bonus, I put some actual circus peanuts into the pipe before gluing the pieces together.

I was going to have three pairs of pipe support, but it was too much, so I removed the center section.

Once the base was assembled, I cut out the “slices” from sections of Owens Corning foam insulation. I used vinyl gutter downspout sections as spacers, held in place with heavy duty foam safe construction adhesive. The bottom vinyl spacer is screwed and glued to the base, and then glued to each section of foam. It ended up being very sturdy.

The original idea was to sculpt the sides to be somewhat rounded, but it proved too difficult to accomplish (well) in the time I had left, so I removed them. I used bamboo skewers as supports between the layers. They are cheap, strong and I needed something to hold the foam spray in place until it hardened.

I’ve used this foam in my home before – it was satisfying playing with it here. Once it cured, I carved the exterior shape, and the divots on the face.

The girls and I  did most of the spackling.

I’m pretty sure it weighs over 300 lbs – it was difficult to move and harder to install. :) Just ask RJ.

Please come to ArtScape and see it in person!

UPDATE

If you’re interested in what happened with the peanut, there’s more to read here and here.

Dawn’s Dictionary Drama

I just guest posted some comics for John Bintz’s Dawn’s Dictionary Drama. People submit words for John to create strips around – kind of like an Illustration Friday for comics in reverse. John gave me the words “Wife,” “Deadpanned” and “Bedeviling.”

John is an awesome hacker and prolific comic genius. Check him out.

Here are my comics, presented for posterity. It’s thematic!

Wife

Deadpanned

Bedeviling

Fearless

What is there to be afraid of, REALLY, aside from spiders, evil clowns, Facebook’s ever changing terms of service and the decrepit old mummified remains that haunt basement refrigerators?

Giant circus peanuts, that’s what. I wonder if I’d be fearless enough to face one…

For Illustration Friday.