When I’m not sculpting or writing, you can find me out in the woods. I love nature. I started the Houston Women’s Hiking group to help ladies hike safely. We are now over 7,000 members. I love to encourage.

As many know, I have a YouTube channel for my art and one for the Alice project, but I also have another more recent one called Women Stepping Outside. The channel encourages women to step outdoors or step outside of their own emotional or spiritual confines to reach what they truly want to be. If you are interested in this channel, please subscribe. I’m having so much fun posting videos about the outdoors and encouraging women in life. You can also find Women Stepping Outside on Facebook and Instagram

Now, about this video and blog post.
I can’t build out my van for camping as I use it to haul sculptures and materials. However, I do love to camp and, I also have to travel for work, and my preferred lodging is my van. Slowly I have made modifications for my van, not permanent build-outs, but things that can be taken in and out of the van as needed.

My family and friends have purchased trailers. I love the ease of having a van and picking up when I want to, without having to go and get something, pay for a rental space etc. But I needed to make it a bit more comfortable so, I have done a few things like building out my bed and building this grub box.

A Camp Kitchen/Grub Box or Chuck box
The reason for having a grub box is that it keeps all of your kitchen and cooking things in one spot when camping. As this video states, I have gone through three in my life. They have gotten smaller over the years. This new design is my own, and I love it. Who would have thought a hunk of wood would make me feel so liberated? The design started as cardboard. Then I found this wonderful website called cutlistoptimizer.com. If you want to modify my design, just put your configurations in, and it will lay it out for you. How cool is that? I ended up not using wooden shelves and instead used only these drawer below that were hung on 2×2 rails. Less wood means a lighter grub box, which was my intention. Remember to account for the thickness of the wood when you are working out your dimensions and putting things together. My box is 20 inches wide by 17 3/4 deep by 22 1/2 inches tall. The box that sits on top is 20 inches wide, by 17 3/4 deep by 5 1/2 inches tall. The wings are 10″ tall (The measurements below don’t fit the latest version of my box, Some of the pieces I didn’t even use, but using cutlistoptimizer will make your configurations work just fine.)

The Drawers
I got mine from the Container store. They come in two parts- the drawers and the runners. Figure out what drawers you want, and then build your cabinet around that. I thought there were no drawers for the size of my grub box when I started, then, my daughter Christina Sizemore found some. She is excellent at finding things and helping others organize their trailers. My design was not wide enough to accomodate the drawers we found, so, I had to notch some things out. I might even make the grub box a bit deeper so the drawers could pull out easily. Otherwise you will have to assemble the drawers as you build the box, as I did. But that is up to you. As those who use their vehicles for camping know, every inch of space is accounted for.
The box for my drawers says the surface area covered is 16-7/8 x 20-3/4 inches with drawer installed.

Here are the other things I mentioned in the video.
* My tea pot * My fancy wine cup* My hot plate *My small, deep, one person electric skillet ,*My electric outlet * My coleman stool,

Hardware|
* My handles on each side *My cute latch on the front *The hardware latches to attach the tray to the grub box *The plastic trays *Those cool flush mount hinges *The cool night light.

You can get furniture grade pvc from Home depot. I did have to order the colored fittings through Formufit. The plywood I used was from home depot and I used 2×2 firing strips to frame the box and use on the wings for mounting.

When contacted by Homespun Haints about doing a podcast segment, I was, at first, a little reserved. I mean, what I do is very intimate. But the ladies handled the subject about sculpting the deceased with great dignity. I thought I would put together a blog post with some links to the things we talked about on the show. If you have not heard it yet, here is the link to the podcast The Woman Who Sculpts the Deceased.

I mentioned that Texas Country Reporter did a wonderful segment on my work with deceased loved ones. Here is that video.

“Bringing To Life The Spirit of The Deceased A Sculptor’s Journey” is the name of the book that I wrote in my undergraduate studies about my work with the deceased. I wish I had a publisher for it. I have been searching for a new publisher and or agent for several books. In this book, I documented four commissions Lucas, Patsy, Janine, and Richard. I also recored what it took to make those commissions, the unusual experiences and some of my journey about this gift, and the overabundance of empathy that enables me to connect to the deceased through their surviving loved ones. 

It is true. I develop a relationship with the deceased through my artwork. 

For those interested in knowing some of the research, I loved studying Paul Eckman’s facial action coding system and its relation to my ability to “feel” things from my subject matter. Funerary art is a fascinating subject, and the psychology and science behind the face and emotion will always intrigue me.  

I mention the mirror neuron study. PBS has a great episode on Mirror Neurons for anyone interested. Neuroscientist Vilayanur Ramchandran has some excellent research on this subject.

  • In my undergraduate research, I asked two questions.
    1. How do I capture the essence of someone I have never known. 2. How do I cause an emotional reaction from my viewer. Of course, I had to take a hard look at my heightened empathy. You can imagine when, at the end, through the commission that was a suicide I discovered the science behind what I do. It blew my mind.
  • The sculpture commissions I spoke about were Lucas, Patsy, Norma Janean 
  • I love cemeteries and the cemetery sculpture I spoke of was of Victor Noir in the Pere Lachaise cemetery. “The statue of Victor Noir, famous for a protuberance in its trousers, has been touched by thousands of women since being placed in the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris in 1981.”
  • On the Homespun Haints podcast I spoke of the podcasts that my mother and I did. Actually it was mom, my daughter and myself. “Inspiration Generations, Three generations of christian women share their thoughts about different issues and aspects of life.” I started these because mom was homebound or often bed bound and this was her ministry. Here are some of the ones that I think might be of interest.

What Happens at death? 

SHOW NOTES

This podcast talks about the unusual circumstances and visits that Barbara had while in the hospital. The deceased came to visit. The experience of helping Barbara transition from this world to the next was incredible. Her daughter and granddaughter share some of the beautiful spirit lead moments before Barbara’s death and how God had the entire experience in his hand.

In loving memory of our co-host mom and grandmother, Barbara Ingersoll

On August 17th, 2009, Barbara Ingersoll went to be with the Lord. However, she will be greatly missed; however, her ministry and this podcast continue with her many years of journals.

Death of Parents and a Christian Jewish Friendship

SHOW NOTES

In this one I talk to mom about the death of a mom, just a few months before her death. Death is inevitable, but no one wants to go through the process of losing their mom or dad. It is part of being in the “sandwich” generation, and Bridgette shares her recent experience of holding her best friend’s hand as she sits in ICU and then the death of her friend’s mom. The women share the Jewish traditions of death and burial and the connection between Bridgette and her best friend. 

Then the women talk about gaining wisdom as we grow, and as we gain experience, we help the generations that come after us. 

I have not talked about all of this in a long time and it was fun for me to revisit the commissions, the unusual circumstances and my documentation. It has been a fascinating journey, as is each new deceased loved one that I get to meet.

I have been working with Booker T. Washington High School to create, not only a sculpture for their school, but also some educational blog posts for their Booker T. Washington Sculpture blog. Here is one on the scanning of booker T. I love this.

FROM THE SCULPTOR’S STUDIO

If you remember, back in September I reported about my friend Tom who came and scanned the small sculpture and the chair for me before I had to put the small maquette of Booker T. through the mold-making processes. I’m so glad he could do that and wait to get paid because, as you can see, the sculpture was damaged in the mold making process. If I waited to scan until after making the mold for the foundry, I would have had to fix the clay, and it would not be as it was when it was approved. He was glad to use this as an educational process for his nephew. Lex is a freshman at UT Arlington and is studying aerospace engineering and scanned the pieces.

In this educational video on 3D Scanning we talk about the process and much more. The scanner used on this project is a Creaform.

Houston, Texas artist Bridgette Mongeon with Mad Hatter
Online Marketing Classes
Bridgette Mongeon shares the inspiration behind
the art. Join us but remember we are all mad here.


Sculptor/Author Bridgette Mongeon would like to invite you on a “curious” adventure- a free online webinar about creating her monumental sculpture titled “Move One Place On.” The bronze sculpture is of Alice In Wonderland’s Mad Hatter Tea Party.
Space for the webinar is limited, and preregistration is required. Some lucky attendees will receive gifts from the artist. October 18, 2020

In Evelyn’s Park in Bellaire, Texas, just outside of Houston, there is a monumental sculpture of the Mad Hatter Tea Party. In honor of the 150th anniversary of the story, the artist also hid 150 elements. Many have asked her for a list of the hidden 150. Those who know the stories of Alice In Wonderland will have an advantage. Mongeon will be revealing a few of the hidden elements in the webinar.

This is also a wonderful webinar for those interested in STEAM/STEM education-the interdisciplinary education incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. Mongeon offers free resources on STEAM education as it pertains to Alice in Wonderland.

Mad Hatter and texas artist Bridgette Mongeon
Bridgette shares the technology behind the art.

How was the sculpture Made?
What was the inspiration behind the sculpture?
How long did it take?
How does the artist work with technology and fine art?
Mongeon will also be sharing what is happening now with the art.

Texas sculptor Bridgette MOngeon with Alice in Wonderland in Evelyn's Park.
Visitors to this coveted dinning experience can sit and have tea with the characters.

You are invited to a Zoom Webinar.
When: Oct 18, 2020 01:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Length: 1 1/2 hours Q and A to follow.
Topic: Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon and Alice in Wonderland Sculpture

Register in advance for this webinar:
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_q3Db8bkSTFiAz2RLH_b1MQ

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Bronze sculpture in Texas by artist Bridgette Mongeon

Welcome to Wonderland in Evelyn’s Park.

Drawings will be picked from attendees for the chance to receive—

  • One of the hidden 150 objects as a Christmas Ornament. $15-20 value or
  • an online class with Bridgette Mongeon $35
  • A gift from Tea in Texas. $25 value teaintexas.com teablessings.com
  • A $50 gift certificate provided by Betsy’s. If you have not tried their food, they are located in Evelyn’s park. Grab a meal and walk over and eat it in Wonderland at the table with Alice, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, Cheshire Cat and Dormouse.

To find out if you have won, please follow Bridgette Mongeon’s Instagram page and watch for announcement. If you visit the park and take pictures don’t forget to tag the artist. She is always looking for the most cleaver images of interactions in Wonderland.

Bridgette Mongeon has been working with Booker T. Washington High School in Houston to create a sculpture that they will place outside in front of their school. This monumental sculpture is of a seated Booker T. Washington in a chair reading his book. To follow along with the Booker T. Project, search the category Booker T. Washington in this blog or visit the school’s project blog at Booker T. Washington Sculpture Project.

In the blog, the artist not only documents her process but also gives students, parents, and teachers information and resources for STEAM education. STEAM is an interdisciplinary education using Science, Technology Engineering, Art, and Math.

marketing in the arts

DETAILS OF THE WEBINAR/WORKSHOP
Thursday May 28
7:00 Central Time (US and Canada)

Topic: Marketing in the Arts- Workshop 1- Clarifying direction and defining your market.

Register in advance for this webinar. There are only 100 spots available. CLICK HERE

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

WHAT YOU NEED:
A determination, and willingness to advance, and paper and pen. There will be homework.

I have presented these incredibly motivating and focused workshops for years, for many different audiences. When covid-19 came, I thought this might be an excellent opportunity to learn how to do webinars via the web.

It took me a month to not only figure how to create an online webinar, but I have been distracted by redoing my marketing. I’m rebuilding a new website and rebranding. This website, as you can see, is very, very old. The new one is looking spectacular, but with so much content, it is taking some time.

The marketing webinar/workshop is for those small businesses that desire ways to learn more and get focused on their goals. Though I present it for those in the arts, the audience is broader. I have three webinars scheduled, but I have other professionals in marketing that want to join and share information. If it goes well and people are interested, we will do more.

WHY IS THIS FREE? WHAT IS THE CATCH?

  • You are my test group. I have wanted to do online webinars for years, and I’m practicing on you.
  • Marketing is about exposure. Doing these workshops gives me more exposure.
  • I’m also a writer. When looking for an agent or a publisher for my new books, they will ask, “show us your platform.” Doing this gives me a bigger platform.
  • I seek your comments. When you take this workshop and do the work, you will be empowered and see possibilities. I want to hear about that excitement. Please send me a comment on how the workshops helped you; this will help me to promote them.

As you see, though they are free, I get a lot out of them. I do have a pay pal me, should anyone want to drop a donation for the workshops. Anything helps. The Zoom webinar platform costs me about fifty dollars a month, and I hope to recoup that in donations. It is effortless. Send whatever you like to: hhttps://www.paypal.me/greatwebinar

eve

TO COME: MORE PROCESS PHOTOGRAPHS, AND VIDEO ON THE CREATION OF EVE.
It was not long ago that my sculpture of Eve was installed at Generation Park. We never had a dedication because of the the pandemic. Then, my client sent this email that came from the CEO of Apache Industries, who apparently is housed in the building where Eve resides.  It lightened my heart. There are so many stories behind this sculpture. Many are miraculous to me. One day I hope to share.

Hello All,

 As we approach the Holiday weekend I cannot help but feel that regardless of creed, race or religion the celebrations of Easter, Passover, Ramadan etc… seem to take on a more elevated meaning in this moment.  The Christian faith practices Lent, which importantly involves some form of personal sacrifice, self-denial and penance for the 6 weeks leading up to celebration of resurrection on Easter Sunday.  In the Jewish faith Passover and the Seder celebrates the holy spirit “passing over” the marked doorposts of those who would otherwise be inflicted by the last of the 10 plagues preceding the Israelites escape from slavery.   And in Islam, Ramadan (albeit a couple weeks away) is a month of fasting aimed at cleansing the soul and encouraging self-discipline, empathy for others less fortunate, generosity and compassion.

 How fortuitous is it that we all find ourselves battling a pandemic (plague), while at the same time, we find ourselves making great personal sacrifice of the comforts, freedoms or indulgences that are typically available to all of us, and it is our reliance on our collective self-discipline and humanity to find a pathway to salvation?  In this moment, when we all learn to do without in the face of adversity, I can’t help but feel re-centered on the things that matter most—my family, my friends and my colleagues.

 Each day at the office, I look out the window onto Redemption Square (also a biblical reference).  Installed in the middle of the square is a 15-foot tall statue of Eve.  The curator told me that the statue is an image of Eve, later in life, head tilted towards the sky, arm and open hand raised high, reaching for the Heavens in search of redemption from God.  To me, the image is an extraordinary symbol of perseverance, tenacity and hope.   

 However, every time I look at Eve, I also cannot help but visualize the statue taking motion and watching that outstretched open hand turn powerfully into raised, clenched fist—the universal representation of the underdog’s ascension, the warrior’s triumph or the champion’s demonstration of victory.

 So on this holiday weekend let us all share in a moment of prayer or reflection with our families and our loved ones.  Let us not take for granted the people in our lives that matter most.

And, also, let us all mark this weekend…let it be the inflection point…where our collective sacrifice, perseverance and tenacity starts to turn open hand into clenched fist.

 I am always grateful for all of the Apache family!

We will triumph!
We are Apache!

Happy Easter!

MK

 Michael J. Knigin
Chief Executive Officer
Apache Industrial services. 

Screen Shot 2020-03-20 at 1.52.04 PM

Pixologic has lots of tutorials on different things concerning creating and 3D printing.

FROM THE ARTIST’S STUDIO

You may remember that in previous posts, sculptor Bridgette Mongeon talked about G-code. That is what a machine needs to be able to 3D print, or CNC, which stand for computer numerically controlled milling. 3D scanners also use G-code.

Just like when you work on a picture on the internet, there are many different types of files. For example, you can create a photo file as jpg, png. giff, pdf’s and more . There are also many kinds of files, depending on the software you are using and the software version. So it is with the case of 3D printed data. There are a couple of different types of files. To print your work correctly the files from your machine have to be able to translate that G-Code correctly.

Marc Eberle in New York and Bridgette in Houston were working on the file of Booker T. Washington’s book. They both work in a program called Zbrush. Bridgette also works in a program called Mudbox and wrote a book on that as well. Mark and Bridgette can send Zbrush files back and forth, but they have to be sure they are both working in the same version of Zbrush. The other option in sending a working software files is to send a 3D print files to someone in a recognizable format.  These are usually an STL or an OBJ. What is the difference? 3D printer Insider created an article that describes the differences between STL and OBJ’s. Pixologic also has a great article on how to prepare your files for 3D printing should you like to learn more.

Bridgette talks a lot about the pitfalls when 3D printing. She learns from her experience and shared a lot in her book 3D Technology and Fine Art and Craft: Exploring 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting, and Milling. No need to go get the book, just keep watching this blog, she will be sharing a lot of that information here. In the next post, we will look at how to fix a file and what can be wrong with a file that might keep the file from printing. There are a few free programs that allow you to be able to check your files for 3D printing.

Teachers and Students

If you would like some free software to start working in 3D check out the following:

Sculptris -Pixologic, the makers of Zbrush, has Sculptris. It is free and an excellent way to begin creating in 3D. It is available for Mac and PC. You will have to download it.

Tinkercad  – works in a browser, so there is nothing to download

Vectary– works in a browser, so there is nothing to download

We will post some more for you later. Please let us know if you create anything with these programs. We would like to see it.

Author Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon

https://www.instagram.com/bridgettemongeon/
https://www.facebook.com/BridgetteMongeonSculptor/
https://twitter.com/sculptorwriter

FROM THE ARTIST’S STUDIO
booker t book_2Dr. Phillips wanted to switch out the papers in Booker T. Washington’s lap. Instead, it would be Booker T. Washington’s Book Character Building.  Originally, Dr. Phillips had a new version of the book.  After consideration, Bridgette decided to make it into an older version of the book.  After all, the modern paperback books would not be around until 1935.  Changing to a more original version was done for several reasons. The first is that the viewer might not see the book title if Booker T. Washington’s left hand is holding it open.  Instead of trying to sculpt such a tiny book with tiny text, Bridgette decided to do it digitally.

booker t book

Bridgette decides to create a separate design of the book one where the cover is connected so that the students at Booker T. Washington High School and others can 3D print it out and have their own tiny book used in this small sculpture of Booker T. Washington.

Mark Eberle in Western NewYork has helped Bridgette on several different projects, including education on 3D Technology in the Western New York area.  Once again he came through. Mark and Bridgette created the book in a digital sculpting program called Z Brush.  There is a free sculpting program that is offered by the same company. It is called Sculptris, should any students be interested in check it out. The other problem was that Bridgette was not sure how open the book would need to be. She could not really decide this until she worked on the design and the hands. So, to remedy this situation, Bridgette separated the cover.  That way, she can tip the cover to whatever angle she needs. Mark 3D printed the book on a Form Labs 3D print. If you remember, we discussed the different types of 3D printing. Form Labs is one of the best consumer 3D printers. It uses the stereolithograpy ( SLA) process of 3D printing.

    TEACHERS AND STUDENTS

  • To obtain STL FILES or OBJ’s for 3D printing follow this link.
  • If you would like to learn more about STL and OBJ files check out this article by 3D Insider.

Author Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon

https://www.instagram.com/bridgettemongeon/
https://www.facebook.com/BridgetteMongeonSculptor/
https://twitter.com/sculptorwriter

FROM THE ARTIST’S STUDIO

DurScreen Shot 2020-03-15 at 9.23.18 PMing the process of sculpting, I always find there is a moment that reminds me of a scene in the 1991 movie “Hook.”  A little boy squishes up Peter Pan’s face and finally recognizes the little boy inside him. I have these moments when I’m pushing the clay around and “feel” I have the face of the subject. Sometimes I even say that line of the movie out loud. I’m definitely feeling comfortable about Booker T. Washington’s face. He is on a toothpick stuck inside of a block of clay.  I love to be able to turn him upside down and around.  I’m getting much closer. You can see some video of my Booker T. Washington sculpture in progress on this Feb 12th Instagram and this  Feb 14 Instagram post.

Teachers and Students
We learned about all of the cool math in the body, and about Leonardo Da Vinci’s obsession with proportions. I have sculpted many faces, and it always fascinates me about the proportions.  Sculpting and drawing are really about comparing one thing you have drawn or sculpted to another.  I used to teach Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and would talk about this all the time.  Here is a cool video on how you can check the proportions of your own face using string.

As a portrait sculptor, I have studied many different aspects of the face. One of my favorite things is the facial action coding system by Psychologist Paul Eckman. Paul has studied emotion in the face and can tell when people are lying just by watching their face. I have a very freaky story to tell you about my experience with that research, but it is too long to go into here.

Creating real expressions in animation is hard. Animators have been using Facial Action Coding to create realistic faces.  This video from the University of London talks about Animation and the Facial Action Coding.

Animation studios also use something called Motion capture or mo-cap.  They have actors wear optical markers that capture the motions in the face and body.  Disney created the movie A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey in this way. With a head-mounted camera, the animators can capture the expression and transfer it to their animations. I wonder how hard it must be for an actor to act in these costumes and without the visual props.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70E951wA5Tg&w=560&h=315]

Author Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon

https://www.instagram.com/bridgettemongeon/
https://www.facebook.com/BridgetteMongeonSculptor/
https://twitter.com/sculptorwriter