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Chris Spollen
Getting Back to Familiar Imagery
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The Clarementon The first coal fired steam ship to make a solo journey cross the Atlantic Ocean under her own power. Flagsmith England to Boston Mass. in just three and a half weeks, she broke all the records held by the great clipper ships of the time, and opened the portal for steam powered coal fired ocean crossings. An iron and wood costal steamer extremely un-sea worthy but she had a determined crew and a captain will a will of iron that made the historic portage possible. Little is known of her designer she was produced in England during verging industrial age. Forged in the boat yards of Flagsmith in the early eighteen fifty she is a Good example horizontally opposed internal piston engine that almost dwarfed her hull. The Clarementon wintered over on Staten Island in the Kill Van Cull during the winters of 1864 –1868.
At school we are taking about process, the process of how one creates his or her own vision, so it got me thinking how I go about it. The thumbnail sketch is always key, the Amine Boston Convention was still fresh in my mind and I had all this wonderful inspiration of Steam Punk running around my head. So never wanting to waste anything least of all inspiration I sketched out the ideas that were bubbling up inside my minds eye on the bus ride home.
Here is the finished sculpture before going digital What’s nice with this from of working is that I get a sculpture and a fine art print. I have always loves old sea prints, and anything related to the ocean or ships.
This is artwork that I created some thirty-eight years ago while still in college. I was creating an etching at a rate of about a print a week. Its kind of nice to come full circle and get pack in to the imagery that you enjoyed when as a young man. This one was Called “Fish Steamer caught in a Storm “
Fantasy sea scenes and great ships little has changed in all these years
The Thumbnail Fish Steamer 2010 Version
Composing with shapes and objects, sculpture is about two foot in width
The Finished Ship
Le Fish Steamer Designed in France 1864, assembled in South Carolina at the end of the American Civil war during the fall of 1865. The Fish Steamer was conceived as the answer to the North’s blockade of the south’s major shipping po rts. She was completed after the war had already ended so her true effectiveness as a naval blockade-runner was never actually tested. Unique in design she had two coal burning steam boilers producing enough torque to turn twin propeller shafts. A major innovation for this period in naval engineering her propeller design owe their conception to the work of brilliant Swedish inventor John Ericsson inventor of the monitor considered one of the worlds first iron clad ships. Neither a submarine nor a gunboat Le Fish was a true hybrid, and is rumored to have greatly influenced the early work of Irish inventor James Tuttle working out of the iron works of Bayonne New Jersey 1902. Again the amazing results achieved when warfare and the creative process converge and what developments arise form such a diverse and estranged partnership.
Got a wall at the Society of Illustrators this fall finally will show some recent creations publicly.
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