Chris Spollen
Larger Forms
The Iron Phantom Gun Boat 1884 The Iron Phantom Gun Boat of the North Sea 1884, Sailors referred to her as “The Demon of the Sea” A rough gun ship was spotted off the straights of Panama. It has been reported to have attacked and sunk two French ships and one Spanish warship. Her identity is unknown as she fly’s no flag of homeport. Sailors describe her as a sea beast an iron serpent few who have spotted her have lived to tell of the story. A recent report has surfaced that the frame of this vessel has been spotted in the title pool near the Old Bayonne Iron works Bayonne New Jersey. On closer investagation a series of iron ribs have been documented semi summered in the murky bay’s bottom. Questions have risen as to the date of this wreck but many think that this could be quite possibly be the abandoned wreck of the infamous “Iron Phantom”. “The Infamous Iron Phantom” framed and hung aboard a confederate gunboat boiler room she was known to all who sailed the seven seas a true legend in her time.
Russian Space Gun 1962 “The Krosky Kranker” Considered by many collectors as very valuable for its overall detail and somewhat art deco flair, this is a very fine example of a rare Russian artifact from the early sixties cold war. A part of the Russian space program for possible use as onboard defense primary in orbiting space stations and or orbiting space capsules.
Four Foot five Robot Professor Bartholomew P.Perry retired from Cambridge Science University Dept. of Science. His specialty was quantum physics and robotics. Professor Perry was heavily involved with old metal robotics, rob-tons, and modern circuit boards. A somewhat reclusive gentleman he very much kept to himself. He always seemed to be jotting down notes as if his mind was in a consent state of preoccupation. Most considered him a bit of a daydreamer, a sort of an odd man out.
The Old Salty Sea Bird Down to the Sea the Lonely Sea Moving from forms dictated by objects found and starting to make my own forms. Combining cans for volume and sheets of hand cut aluminum with a recently discover new extra strong epoxy. The process takes a bit longer but the results are much more exciting and the images seem to be getting a little bit larger
Steel Fish Dawn arrives on a cool and still autumn morning as my “Steel Fish” quietly sits on the shoreline of the small but pleasant island where I currently live. An all steel and aluminum sculpture 4.25’ wide x 4’ tall An all-metal sculpture that is some what based on a Staten Island sand shark. Its one thing to work in the studio where I can step back just about a chair length or so, but its quite another thing when your creation takes its place in an environment and you see it as part of the living vista. This is the beginning of a new totally new journey for me and a new process, much to learn and I am still learning.
Steel Rocetship As the morning mist slowly fades into dawn of the new day on my small but friendly little island our rocket ship sits by the morning tide awaiting its chance to soar far into the heavens above. All is very quite on this tranquil little beach only the occasional gulls’ call can be heard from above as they effortlessly glide over damp and salty mornings air. The Rocetship sits quite patiently ready as the fuel has been loaded, the destination has been set for as far out as the imagination can possibly take us. Blast off is clocked in for post-dawn when the air is very still and the vista is all quite as the heavens are clear and they open up to the dawn of yet another adventure
The Da Vinci “Lapatra Samatra or “ The Diving Turtle” Or one of the first recorded ideas for a working submersible machine Barcelona Spain1494 This is another scale model of a two-man submersible designed by Leonardo da Vinci for the duke of Malian. A two-man submersible capable of a depth of 2o feet and with the ability to stay down for approximately twenty minutes. The Interesting thing on this design is the wooden side stabilizer that almost appears fish like. The wooden side rudders could be moved by a system of chains and hand cranks and would enable the ship to turn and or dive. The rudders also supplied a stabilizing affect for the subs overall handling and general sailing ability on the surface and when operating submerged. In this print a 1908 recreation of Da Vinci’s “Turtle” a full scale working model is being prepared for a test dive at dockside Liverpool by the National Academy of Science, of note here is the compressed air being piped on board by a mobile fire pump. At the same time the harbor is being re-dredged to allow the proper depth for the submarine to tests it potential
You can take the Car to The Tour Zeppelin 1908 The King George taking on fuel a Motorized Zeppelin outside of Leeds Now sight seeing around jolly old England is a breeze Take the Steameracher Race Car to the Zeppelin its is the fastest way to connect you with the inner city tour Zeppelin. “The King George” tour flight provides slow moving very quiet propeller driven tours above the city. Able to fly at relatively low altitudes this is a great way to view and enjoy the sights. “The King George” seats four and costs fifty cents quite a deal for its day.
“Death from Above” August 12 France 1914 Young and strong flight officer John O’Brien never even saw it coming. Just out of flight school Bristol England and with only two weeks of flying above the fury that would be come to be known as the war to end all wars. A young man at the peak of his life is cut down and for what.
Throttle jammed and loosing altitude rapidly desperate a fight to stay alive as the grip of death quickly brings our brave young pilot to his untimely demise.
Opening up our studio doors to show some summer work as we are getting ready for this fall
Getting ready for the fall teaching assignments already creating yet another character and costume, my poor wife she will be “August Ray” this year as the “She Wolf of Shanghai” a trained Asian assassin and former dancer at the crazy horse cabaret France 1928.East meets West in this action thriller model drawing pose and photo shoot, should be very interesting. We will be working like a design studio that is doing a visual pitch for an action move, pitching the drawings directly to the money people for the films finical backing.
The Da Vinci Mechanical Flyer # 28 “The Circular Mechanical Flyer”1500 Milan Da Vinci’s further thoughts on mechanical flight This design was considered one of Leonardo’s favorites; for its overall size and shape. This one was believed to be just a scale model for full sized design further down the road. Da Vinci was a true renaissance man he was Painter, sculptor, architect, scientist, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, astronomer, cartographer, botanist, historian, and writer.
The Tessele hand Gun Florence 1496 Lenardo Da Vinci The Tessele Hand Pistol was hydrogen and flint sparked hand held weapon, capable of firing six lead shots with a range of one hundred yards a rather advanced concept for its day.
“The Barista “Florence Italy 1494 A side arm designed for the then Papal Armies of Florence A multi shot blaster “the father of the morden day shot gun” In 1482, at age thirty, Leonardo relocated to design military weapons for the duke of Milan. This was not such a great leap for an artist; during the Renaissance, war was viewed as an art form, and, more significantly, Leonardo never studied an area but what he did he mastered. During his late forties, Leonardo was back in Florence after nearly two decades, but he would soon leave once more to become military engineer for the commander of the papal armies. He later returned again to Florence, and then made still another move to Milan in 1506.
“The Chipilla” or small Steam Powered Bird 1489 Designed for the Duke of Malian as a gift and as a letter of introduction for Lenardo Da Vinci around 1489.Another Da Vinci working prototype in the long development of mechanical powered flight, this one was rather rare in that it employed the use of steam in its internal workings of the design design.
Russian Rays Guns, Rocket ships and Zeppelins 1952-1964
From my current "Weapons of Mass Imagination's series: Working on the north shore of my small island in an old factory in an undisclosed location, recreating early “Russian Space Guns”, Rocket Ships, and Zeppelin’s. In complete secrecy with the aide of two retired Russian Rocket Scientists sent over directly from Keiv.Each design is being carefully recreated in exact detail true to its original design. With a few original blue prints and some very old black and white photos that the Russian government has saved the work goes on slow but very well. This is a top-secret project so little else is currently available concerning this on going event.
“Flying Saucer Ray Gun” 1942 Found recently on Staten Island NY near the base of the Bayonne Bridge During the summer of 2014 Believed to have been tied into the H Bomb program which was secretly conducted on Staten Island it was reported that a flying saucer had been spotted in the area during that summer night of 1942.This is a ray gun that was found recently on the actual site and might be actual proof that an alien presence which was reported to have been observed around the H bomb site actually occurred. Little else is known and may just be pure speculation the government has denied any information about this and what if anything was actually going on under the Bayonne Bridge during the summer of 1942 on little old Staten Island.
“The Royal Zeftan” a Dutch designed Chinese made early naval deck gun a six shot hand crank onboard defense weapon 1640. It was fired from a swivel base stand generally mounted on the front or back of the cargo ship. Originally “The Zeftan”was deigned for the Dutch West India Trading Company to ward off sea raiders.
“The Krushaft Rocetship” 1962 Kiev Russia, this was a semi horizontal launched kerosene powered early space rocket ship prototypes. Capable of a gradual accent to some sixty-six miles up in a gradual trajectory, then with the aide of two liquid oxygen boosters this ship could in theory brake free of the earth’s atmosphere and fly into deep space. Designed almost totally by Kremlin’s leading rocket scientist Carl Kaminski who was a rather robust man, this rock ship was given the nick-man the flying elephant for its overall size and girth. Its been rumored that the Russians were very much in favor of semi horizontal launches. This rumor swirled around for many years that the Russians got the original idea of a horizontal launch from American thirties black and white “Flash Gordon” movies and their rock ship takeoffs, this has never been proven to be true or not.
An US Air force space pistol designed for use aboard the X-15 space plane in 1962,but was later canceled when funding was cut on the X-15 in 1964 in favor of non-pilot controlled rocket ships. This hand held device was very effective at short range and proved to be very durable in space travel.
“The Oscar” An all-metal skinned lighter the air flying machine, propelled by an air-cooled “Demlar” rear mounted aero -plane engine. This rather large Zeppelin was capable of crossing the far distant oceans and back again. China was her primary designation and a trip of choice for the willing and ever waiting British masses. Tickets for this journey were a mere fifty cents or two bits and could be purchased at the wireless hut on the left, which boasted an actual Marconi working wireless receiver. And on the right any candy for the flight could be had at the captain’s sweet shop. Depicted here is “The Oscar” in the process of being pre - flighted for a trip to China on a small beach in Liverpool England early evening in low wind on or about 1928
The Havenchisky A Russian space handgun taken from the “Kiev Flying Saucer #2” 1964,” The Havenchisky” named for its inventor Ivan Havenchisky. A wall mounted ray gun that combined a static charge with a small shot of hydrogen to produce an arch of explosive charge. Good for six shots this was an on board space defense weapon.
Russian Space pistols #42 it never went into production and its designers has not been found small in scale but rumored to have been very powerful. Little else is known about the production or development of this strange little device its has been dated at 1954 Moscow.
The Krochisky 1952 Russian space pistol a wall mount design designed for inside an orbiting space station as a blast pistol good for a distance up to one hundred and fifty yards.
1928 British semi electric gas charged hand gun (The Popluer] for use on zeppelins as offensive protection for close in raiders. A popular side arm preferred by the royal guard for it’s easy of discharge and lightweight.
One of our three six foot robots standing outside our studio caught the eye of a locally famous wrestler and he in turn connected us on to his friend and the local cable TV station talk show host and “whala” an hour show of my wife’s and mine art explaining presenting our work.
Amazing where this journey is taking us I am simply just going along for the ride at this point.
On the Road
With two currents shows up one in Scranton Pennsylvania and one at Wagner College Staten Island things have been pretty busy lately….
Da Vinci’s “The Centura” #24 Milan Italy 1490 Thoughts on the mechanical and evolution of flight design. Da Vinci was very fond of this design for its cemetery and the clock like appearance the bottom wheel gave the design a clock like look.
Wagner College is a one man show” Rockets Ships to Robots’ sculptures, and prints
People, press, questions, and lots and lots of words not what I am used to having worked alone all these many years in the quiet of my small but very neat studio.
“Flying Roboton” 1952 (USA) Designed and built by the Radisson Radio Company 1952 of USA Detroit Michigan A radio controlled fully automated Roboton, that could hover as well as fly with the aid of both a gas motor as well as compressed air for lift and flight re-direction. Unfortunally it was turned down by the military as too complex to manfacture, and later turned down by several toy company’s as to costly to produce and not child safe. After a series of similar marketing shortcomings The Radisson Radio Company folded unfortunally just as am and stereo radios were coming on to the market, which would have been a boom to this small and struggling innovative company.
The 514 to Scranton Pennsylvania (Now on display) The Five Fourteen is full up on steam and on her way through the snow filled mountains of Pennsylvania. Chugging and hissing over the hills and through the frozen valleys this coal burning little ironwork horse, as she is affectioally referred to as always gets though and on time shouts the engineer as he feverously feeds coal into the glowing main boiler.
The Scranton show is a three person show Kevin Mc Closeky, Veronica Lawlor, Chris Spollen, its made up of wood cuts Kevin, drawings Veronica and sculptures Chris Spollen.
In the future I will show more prints as well as the sculptures. The stories behind each piece should also be on display, I am learning as we go along.
Folks were capitated by the detail and seemed to enjoy figuring out what the material’s that were used in the sculptures creation were.
Best of all my wife and I got to dig through the snow before the opening and visit Steamtowm National Park in Scranton Pennsylvania dedicated to steam locomotives, We must have climbed over at least twenty old very large steam machines, they were simply amazing.
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Happy July 4TH
Steam Rocket
Drawger and Friends at Hartford University Campus