Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Saxaphone

A friend came to my studio during the Crawl and saw a piece I had done with a mandolin and asked if I could do something with her grandfather's saxaphone that she had carried around for 20 years.  It had a great patina on it, beautiful in it's own right but won't ever be played again.  I checked with my nephew Evan Arntzen, sax player and he confirmed.  So what to do? It is old but her apartment is quite modern.  I took photos of her place and we discussed where it might hang so I had an idea of overall size.  Back at my studio I found a piece of dark wood paneling that I had salvaged from somewhere and it was the right size and colour.  I scraped, sanded and oiled into shape!  I also got a piece of music that was her grandfather's favourite and printed it out on transparency as the white paper just jumped out too much.  That became the back ground.  I also had the sweetest picture of her grand dad with a relative that I cropped, printed and reshaped to look like a photo from the 50's.  Now how to get that bling to integrate into the modern setting?  Off to my technician, my husband who has the most amazing shop and can make anything!  He made the aluminum corners to match the photo and I shined up parts of the sax to sparkle.  Last thing was to make a brass plaque with his name on it.  I was nervous but excited about the reveal.  This is my first commission and her quote was "this is the way to honour my grandfather"....whew she likes it.  Happy ending to a very fun project.  What I learned from this is that doing commissions takes you to another realm.  You have to think differently as you have another person involved in the process.  So their feelings and treasures direct the piece.   I look forward to other commissions!