Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Stop Motion #2

While I continue to think this is interesting, at this point I'm no longer filming the process, because I'm finding it to be kind of disruptive, as I work on the final finish. Best to watch this one a couple of times, focusing on different areas. Next time I do something like this, I'll come up with some kind of registration system, so it's not so jumpy. My current system is pretty low tech.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Framing Up The Back And Arms

I'm glad there are no furniture makers around to see me at this moment. Totally muddling through. Thank God it I only need to figure it out once.

Got To Be A Better Way

Nothing more frustrating than knowing with certainty that there is a better way to do something, but not having the time (or, admittedly, the inclination) to figure it out.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

All Wrong Laminating

Great stuff and old deck screws.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Stop Motion As A Training Tool

So, this was interesting. Today I rigged up the tripod so it hung down from the ceiling, and then set frameograph (a great app) to take one shot every 5 minutes, set to beep in the last three seconds so that I would know to get out of the way.

The resulting video isn't perfect, but it does provide a sense of one of things I love most about modeling; watching the accumulation of a million tiny changes that slowly bring the object into "focus".  Having a consistent 5 minute timer also had the unexpected benefit of reminding me to keep moving around the sculpture as a whole (see yesterday's post), instead of getting bogged down in any particular problem areas, or tricky little details.

If you watch closely (it's much, much better to watch it on Vimeo), you can see that I started in the upper left, and then slowly worked my way across and back. I think everything got changed at least a little, so give it a couple of views to really track the changes (it's only 7 seconds). Watch it and be amazed that I considered this a really productive day.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Working With Castilene

The modeling on this project is being done in Castilene, which is fantastic medium and, happily, working just liked I hoped it would in combination with the urethane foam. The downside of Castilene is that it's slow,  like plasticene, and the surface is finicky. The problem is that, or me, a finicky surface is like the tar baby - I can get stuck to trying to perfect the surface, when I really need to be working the form.

With that in mind, I am very deliberately trying to keep away from working the surface. In this clip you can see I'm working with a wax pen and an alcohol torch, trying to keep the Castilene soft and the modeling light.

The deadlines on this project are tight enough that I'm actually thinking about my "touch rate" - trying make sure that I'm moving quickly and working the piece as a whole without getting stuck resolving individual elements or problem areas.

To The Foundry!

Dropped these off to Jeb Wood at Independent Casting on Friday. I was particularly happy with the back of the chair, which is coated with Bondo, and smooth as a baby's bottom. I'm really excited to see how they look in aluminum. Bright, is my guess. There's a nice contrast between that the face, which has a nice, slightly jittery, texture. 

In the meantime, progress continues on the back of the love seat. I've got the tri-pod set up on the ceiling, and I'm hoping to make another stop motion movie of the process as it unfolds. I've also got a process video to post that I'll put up as soon as it uploads to Vimeo. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Process Bolus #2

More process images with very little context or explanation. Most of what you see below occured between 2/22 and 2/25. Many thanks to my parents, who came and took the big kids for the weekend, and thanks to my wife for her general patience. 

Foam core mock-up of the love seat

DIY ventilation system - AC filter attached to box fan (thanks, Robin Mandel)

Trying to figure out the compound curves of the back

 Using (mostly made up) grids to make the opposing curves consistent 

Final design printed and adhered to foam core form

Love seat back roughed out in urethane foam

Castilene applied

Process Bolus #1

OK. Clearly there's not going to be time to get everything uploaded with any kind of narrative attached, and I'd like to start posting images as they happen, instead of saving everything, so I'm going to just post all the images I have thus far, and hope they form some kind of cohesive narrative.

Preparing to transfer drawing onto urethane foam form

Drawing transferred

 Rough shaping of urethane foam

Castilene applied to foam

Modeling the Castilene

Back of model coated with Bondo

Modeling mostly finished

 Final seat design (all designs done in photoshop)

Back with seat design

Roughing out foam

Seat design roughed out in urethane

Castilene applied to urethane

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Tests and Supplies

Once it became clear that I was, in fact, going to be commissioned do something for AC, there was a frantic period of figuring out what that would be, and how it would be produced.

The various possibilities that were floated are too numerous to detail here (laser cut steel, massive milled urethane foam forms, etc.), but even before the general shape of the final project was agreed upon, I was collecting possible materials, and doing initial tests. Here's a bunch of Renshape and Butterboard high density urethane foam samples I got for 25 bucks from Freeman Supply. Some great stuff in here. Most of it was too hard for my purposes, but I love having this kind of thing around the shop for inspiration, if nothing else.

And here's an image of some 10 lb. sign foam I got from Sam Schartz Sign Supplies in Philadelphia. Lovely guys, and they have 2" x 4' x 8' sheets in stock. I brushed Castilene, which is a great modeling compound, onto the sign foam, and it looked like it would be a viable strategy. I spent a little time kicking myself for not having come up with this for the big lady, and moved on. 

Long Time / Change Of Plans

Ok. It's been a terribly long time since the last update. Forgive me. Things have taken a surprising turn, and keeping the blog up to date has been the last thing on my mind.

First and foremost, with the help of my able assistant Amy, I was able to pull a complete casting of Mama's In The Arbor.

I ended up using the Polytek 1512x with whatever the name of the fabric they sell is (kind of a finely woven tyvek). The material works pretty well, but it is REALLY sticky, so I had extremely hard time getting it out of the mold. Also, there are a couple of places where the two parts weren't mixed sufficiently, so the material didn't set up properly. In short, this is an extremely expensive and labor intensive proof of concept, but not the final. On the plus side, I love it, it looks pretty much like I hoped it would, and the initial feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. 

Here's an image of the back, which I think looks kind of great, and which is heavily, heavily reinforced with various gauges of bent steel rod. 

This was all accomplished toward the end of last semester, sometime between late November and early December, and I was trying to get motivated to start work on the FINAL final, when I went to a meeting with Lance Fung of Fung Collaboratives, and had to completely shift gears. 

Lance has been engaged by Atlantic City to develop a series of art parks in some of the vacant lots near the boardwalk. The first site, Artlantic:Wonder, "featur[es] works by acclaimed artists Robert Barry, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, John Roloff, and Kiki Smith in collaboration with New York landscape design firms Balmori Associates and Philadelphia-based Cairone & Kaupp." (from the artlantic blog). 

After our conversation in Dec., Lance commissioned me to make a series of sculptures for the next project, Artlantic:Glorious. Things have been full sprint/crazy headlong run every since.