My idea for this piece was to create a depiction of how people used to believe how salamanders came to life: through fire.
As always, I first gathered as many materials as I could. The chief components are typewriter parts, driftwood, picture frame, conduit and a good box.
(Update: This work is sold)
Next I made a visit to the good folks at The Light Bulb Shop. I was resigned to have a steady orange and/or red light behind the driftwood to show fire, but when I described what I wanted to do, they gave me a couple flickering orange lights, which worked perfectly! See the video below for the initial installation.
Next was work on the first salamander. Using the conduit, typewriter parts and a couple measuring spoons, I was able to twist, cut, screw and (jb) weld a salamander together, and attached it to the box:
And then next came the paint. I wanted the colors to match those of actual Fire Salamanders, so went with the yellow black combination:
There were initially going to be three salamanders crawling all over the box, but felt it needed another element. So instead of the third sculptural salamander, I found an illustration from 1607 of one in fire, which was of course appropriate. I colorized it with Photoshop, printed it, mounted it on balsa wood. Then it was attached to a candlestick base, with a battered gear behind it.
I created another salamander which was attached to the right side of the box. You can see it in the final pictures.
Below are views of the Fire Lizards. It is a 14 x 14 x 8 inch shadow box with lighting. I thought I was done at this point, but after taking these photos, kept working…
Finished? Not so fast!
There were enough parts for another salamander, so figured may as well do another…having the opportunity to take a snapshot of an attached salamander, I did just that:
This salamander was constructed the same as the previous ones, except for the fact that it had to be self-hanging, versus attached to the box. I had to drill two hole in the stomach for screws, which would hold wiring for it.
I hung it over the original work, and thought this additional salamander added to it. I am still trying to decide whether they be sold together as a unit, or separately. See below for a picture of both pieces together.
Here is a video that shows both the original piece and the extra salamander. Despite the quality of the video, it helps show the depth and lighting effects: