Most of the smaller works I have been making lately have come in the form of small editions, or at the very least pairs, but this newest small work is a bonafide one of a kind.
Before I began my next big project, I felt like I needed to indulge in something more modest in size. And because I think it is important to invite a little serendipity into your work every once in a while, (even for a process as highly regulated as mine) I thought maybe it was time to make something relatively more spontaneous than usual.
For some time now, I have been staring at this pile of 3/8"x 1" brass bars I got from my metal supplier. Apparently, whoever cut these decided that it would be perfectly acceptable to cut them using a metal sheer instead of a saw. The result was that the ends of each bar were deformed (or rather mangled) by the sheering process.
Needless to say, my supplier could not sell them this way, so I got them for a bargain. Not wanting to let them go to waste, I decided now was as good a time as any to figure out what to make with them, so with that in mind, I set about some quick sketching with the rule that these bars should be the centerpiece of my design.
As you can see, the results worked out pretty well. there are a few things I might do differently if I had to make it again (mostly technical, not visual) So it was a good experiment.
A rear shot. The whole thing fits more or less into a 3" Diameter sphere.
The drawings continue to be a conundrum for me. I remain interested in this idea of the blueprint as both a technical document and a visual object, but I must admit, I have no idea where it is going, I suppose that is the fun part. They continue to captivate me though so continue I must.
Process stuff: The center ball is machined out of solid stainless steel, so the work feels more or less like a small cannonball in your hand.
Cutting the brass pieces was interesting. I decided to turn them to give them an extra radius along the profile and so I set up this simple offset fixture to hold them in the proper center axis. Nothing fancy, but effective.
I can't say enough how nice this one is to hold.
An assembly shot.
Lastly a shot of the actually Blueline print I made for the work. I have had a really hard time sourcing new paper to keep printing these, I did finally get my hands on some additional stock, but the color blue this new paper produces is markedly different from the paper I used to use (which is now discontinued). So this part of the project may be coming to a close sooner than I thought. I will press on for as long as I can, but if anyone wants prints.. well.. first come first serve I guess.
As always, comments welcome.