ICE CARVING ROBOT
(collaboration with Bruce Shapiro)
gas weed eater, router bit, stepper motors, electronics, gears, belts and hardware
Ice fishing holes are an often over looked part of ice shanties (pun fully intended). I will be carving custom shaped ice fishing holes (with the help of a custom built robot). Why settle for a circle. Why not a rhombus? Or a fractal. Or your favorite football team's logo. Beer seems to be an integral part of ice fishing so why not pull a fish out of a Pabst Blue Ribbon shaped hole in the ice. If you can draw it we can carve it.
On a more serious note, I will also be spending time getting to know our neighbors, the local ice fishermen on Medicine Lake, and in exchange for carving them a custom fishing hole I will ask them if I can carve their portrait in the ice. Portraits will be done as a bust silhouette much like the silhouettes of the 18th an 19th centuries, a tradition that continues to this day. Originally painted and eventually cut from paper, silhouettes, or "shades" as they were know at the time, became particularly popular and cheap in the 19th century, and it was in this period that they truly became art for all people. Almost anybody, who would never dream of commissioning a portrait from an artist, could afford to have their shadow cut out. I will create a gallery of portraits back at the art shanty town, not only bringing art to the fishermen also bringing the fisherman to the art, thereby drawing a connection between us artists and the longtime patrons of the lake.
In addition I will be carving portraits of all of the people who have supported me in this project, both financially and with their time. If you would like to support me please contact me at 612.807.2663 or
Come watch me carve, weekends, Jan 14 thru Feb 18. I WILL ONLY BE OUT THERE 2 MORE DAYS: Sunday Feb 12 and Saturday Feb 18. I will probably show up other days as well, but no guarantees.
More info at the Art Shanty Projects web site
Bruce Shapiro is more than a supporter, he is a collaborator and a mentor. He is a robotic artist like myself although he refers to himself as a motion control artist. I met him teaching art and robotics to kids at the Science Museum of Minnesota in the summers. His amazing artwork can be seen at www.taomc.com where you can also learn how to do this stuff yourself.
Bruce built the entire x-y plotter and did all of the computer programming. What did I do you might ask? I came up with the idea and made it happen. I build the gas powered router and the fittings to attach it to the plotter. And I drew the pictures for the computer to carve.
- Serley Manufacturing
JAN 14, 2006
SUCESS!! The custom gas powered router works like a charm. It cuts the ice like a hot knife through butter. After a little mishap in transporting the x-y plotter, Bruce came through with an emergency repair. The x-y plotter is powerful enough to move the router through the ice. We are able to cut a square in the ice using the manual joystick controls.
Then we carve George Washington's portrait. It is amazing. The movement of the robot is hypnotizing Everyone instantly recognizes who it is. Now we drop the router down a half inch and start carving the same shape again. We make it half way around but it gets stuck. The ice shavings are clogging up and making it get stuck. We will have to figure out how to keep the shavings from clogging things up. Compressed air would be the best, but we will have to find a gas powered air compressor. We will have to borrow one because they are to expensive to buy. If you have one please give me a call, 612.807.2663.
Oh well. That is enough carving for today. We'll be back next Saturday. We pack things up and enjoy the rest of the Art Shanty Projects.