JIM DORAN

Actor Factory

Silicon molds and plastic mixture

I’ve written previously about my lifelong proclivity for melting army men and cowboys into new creatures. I’ve recently discovered a new twist on the theme – making molds from them, and casting new figures in plastic!

I know, I know – the world doesn’t need more plastic waste, and I won’t make a career out of this. But, it’s immensely satisfying to have single form characters, with no melted parts and weak joints.

I’ve been reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth again. In chapter four, he says two things that I find relevant to what I’m doing here. First, he says:

We need to honor the world of things, not despise it. Each thing has Beingness, is a temporary form that has its origin within the formless one Life, the source of all things, all bodies, all forms.

He goes on the write:

In most ancient cultures, people believed that everything, even so­ called inanimate objects, had an indwelling spirit, and in this respect they were closer to the truth than we are today.

I feel a little like Dr. Frankenstein doing Weird Science – making hosts for indwelling spirits.

I’m still getting the hang of the casting process. Below are some early efforts.

Lobster tail with human legs attached

One example – I took the legs from a cowboy, and fused them with the tail of a plastic lobster.

Green, White, Pink and Orange Lobster tail men

I tried creating an anthropomorphic foot guy. Below, the one on the left is the original, and the other two were early casts.

Giant foot people

I liked this guy so much that I took the idea further. I found the most perfect Bond-like villain figure. Meet, Dr. Stinky (and his pet, Smelly). First, the original made from several different figures and parts:

Sexy Villain

Here are smaller figures, which didn’t quite turn out as I hoped.

And here are some work in progress photos.

One of the lessons I’ve learned is, when Smooth-On says something has a 3 minute “pot life,” then I really need to get it mixed and poured in 2 minutes 45 seconds. Another lesson – make sure there are vents (made with straws or coffee stirrers) for air to escape.

Next, I’m going to try slightly larger figures.

Update: I made a trailer for the villains…

Where Two Worlds Touch

Greenbelt Gallery

I am very happy to be a part of the show  Where Two Worlds Touch: Drawing and Sculpture by Mary Baum, Jim Doran and Annie Farrar

Three artists explore edges and portals connecting physical and metaphysical worlds.

The Greenbelt Community Center Art Gallery
15 Crescent Road
Greenbelt, MD 20770
Link to their site

The show runs from August 25 through October 28, and gallery hours are: M-Sa, 9pm – 10pm. Su, 9am – 7pm.

I like both of my colleague’s work in the show. It was a good match. Annie’s work, in particular, deserves close study, as I hope you’ll see.

I’m particularly proud of this show, because I’m debuting my large drawings (the longest is 20′ and the tallest is 10′ 5″). I’ve also integrated a comic, and the map of the Land of the Dead ties all the pieces together into a single narrative. It was very satisfying to make, and to see assembled.

Four Horsemen

Four Horsemen

Cases and Shadowboxes

Pine Island

Bunny Detail on Pine Island

The Port Authority

Where two worlds touch