Roland Rolson

Circus flautist

It’s like addiction, making these heads of The Wall Heads series. There was no plan for this one, just a blurred vision that changed a few times during the build. It’s got its name because it looks like a flute and it uses colours of a clown’s make-up. I started with drilling holes, eyes were first, then the finger holes and next the mounting holes at the back. Each group of holes was drilled with a different bit – 30, 15 and 25 mm.

Once I finished with the drill I pulled out my circular saw and cut off the ends, using just a couple of f-clamps and a speed square. I also used a block plane to prepare the end grain for painting.

I applied oil based, red paint with a little brush and let it dry overnight. Then of course I gave it a thorough sand. I wasn’t done with painting though. The red paint soaked into the grain and it still showed up, even after the sanding. There was no other way to mask that but to cover it up with some more paint.

It’s different when I use spray paint and then sand what shouldn’t be covered by paint. Paint applied with a brush is a completely different story. Thickness and the total amount applied may differ. I should have expected that it’d soak into the end grain and leave patches. Now I know. Every cloud has a silver lining, I learned something and I can use it in the future. Moving on, I recreated the rounded edges with my router, did some light hand sanding and applied a coat of white paint using a roller.

To be honest, I think it looked good if not better than planned; like a clown, or someone sick, infected, or someone wearing a mask. It’s art and it can’t be too simple to guess. Sometimes it may have multiple meanings. Either way, I only applied a single coat of each paint because I was going to finish it up in a different way. A single coat of paint was like primer in that application. To be more precise, those 2 paints are actually 2 in 1 types, paint and primer. When the paint dried I did light sanding and applied 2 coats of spray lacquer.

Then, when the lacquer dried I installed a foot and a hanger. And now the flautist is being proudly displayed as a member of The Wall Heads series in the company of the skull. It’s a collection like no other.

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