Continuing on with the Carnival Catch-up (or is that Kats-up?), we move on to the infamous Games area. Now this was the second games artpiece I did, the first being “Killing Time,” which I will cover once I get a video of it. For this one I chose the Test Your Strength game, and instead of boxing it, wanted the structure itself be most of the art. First the gathering of materials:


The background of this piece is the back of a chair I found during our city’s large item pickup. The top is an upside-down sewing kit, and the bottom was probably a jewelry box. I tried a couple different circular metal objects for the head. Once I picked a head, I first started sketching out the face.


I wanted the bell to taunt the poor soul attempting to win a prize, and immediately the Cheshire Cat came to mind. The drawing would evolve throughout the process, but feel it still has that same feel.

Next I started to add color, using the characteristic golds and reds that would show up through many of the Carnival works. It was about this time that it seemed the piece was imbalanced in terms of height. Still having some of the above-mentioned chair parts, I took the top of it and used it as the “wings” of the game.


Next the little visitor was focussed on. The head and body are made of wood and are connected so that the head can bobble around. In fact I left it that way in the finished piece. The head was dremelled out, springs and beads were added, and a face was born. The arms and legs are from one of those aggravating 3d puzzles. The hammer head is a thread spool.


The next two photos show work on type. To get the effect, I got a font off the internet, distorted it in Illustrator, printed it out, and cut out the letters from the paper. The remaining paper was used as a stencil, painting through the cut spaces.


In this final progress shot you see how the face would look in the finished work.


This piece is illuminated using a strip of LED lights. I had to create a little channel between the numbered wood parts in which the led strip, as well as a strip of clear plastic could be inserted. The LED strip had to be installed in such a way that it could eventually be swapped out when needed. Without going into too much detail, this took a bit of juggling, but it works just fine.

This piece is called, appropriately enough, “Test Your Strength.” It is a 20 x 24 x 7 inch construction with LED ligthts installed, and hangs on the wall. Below are various shots of the final art. This was a difficult piece to take photos of, due to the fact that the lights are right in the center, and seem to wash out the rest. I think the detail shots turned out better for this reason.

To see all the works in this series, visit my Carnival Discardia page.

This piece is sold, but feel free to contact me with any questions.

Test Your Strength - Center

Test Your Strength - Left

Test Your Strength - Luk Detail

Test Your Strength - Luk Detail 2

Test Your Strength - Bell Detail


And finally a quick youtube clip of the lights in action:

The Cheshire Bell
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