Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Metal Sculpture

For Special Topics in Sculpture I am making Something out of metal. I have never worked with metal before and was very nervous to try, since woodshop is so hard, but actually metal shop is a lot easier for me, at least the stuff I have tried so far (rods of metal only, no sheet metal) . In woodshop you have to use a lot of different machines and materials for every project, and there is a lot of planning. Metal shop is more intuitive. I just think of something, make a model out of wire, make the pieces for it out of steel rod, then attach the pieces with welding.
I didn't have to use the anvil but it's exciting that I have an anvil in my life.
This is my first thing that I welded. You might be thinking, wow! what a spot-on hot air balloon or lightbulb! because I didn't tell you yet it's supposed to be a sea urchin. I thought a flare at the bottom would look more elegant. I thought I was inventing a shape based on the sea urchin but apparently I am rather late to the party.
This is what I made today, with my feet for scale but it is bigger than it looks. It is a model of what I want to make for my sculpture class. I want to make a little pod covered in wool (but now I am thinking something cheaper like synthetic fleece might be better) for people to crawl inside. It will be dark, quiet, and warmed by the wire from an electric blanket. And I think there might be a recording of me talking about something weird.
this is how you make the circles from the straight wire. It is huge heavy steel rollers.

My project critique is on Monday and I am supposed to have a gallery ready thing produced. Our professor was very clear. She teaches also at Berkeley and CCA and says her students there would never turn in things as unfinished as the things we turn in, that they work their asses off. So, I am RATHER nervous about turning in a lot of models instead of my piece, although Bruce who runs the shop said she will understand. I kind of want to say I am for sure literally and figuratively working my ass off and if my pants still fit my butt at the end of term in a month I will take a failing grade in the course. Because metal shop uses a lot of muscles.

I was feeling really cool, since I just learned to weld yesterday and today I am making a maquette and it looks pretty good and I am working the bolt cutters and bending steel rods with my bare hands (well. not my bare hands. I don't do a thing in that shop without leather gloves except sweep and wash my hands.). Then I noticed my classmate, who is an old hand at the metal shop, had stopped making sparks and loud noises with some mysterious grinding machine I had never seen and started to actually beat a metal pipe with a mallet until it bent. It was so much more hardcore than what I was doing that I had to laugh at myself.

(this is like my fourth blog today. I did a lot in the past 2 days, but was much too busy yesterday to write anything.)

No comments: