Monday, 10 February 2014

'Light Dancing' at the Harbourview Sculpture Trail 8 - 30 March 2014

Oh my gosh - only three weeks to go until the Harbourview Sculpture Trail installation day. 
My piece, called Light Dancing, is gradually taking shape. I am aiming to have a really good blast at it this week. 

My model for the sculpture

The framework of clear acrylic has been cut. At first it seemed that this could be a harder task than we imagined as the acrylic was simply melting rather than cutting, even with a special jigsaw blade, then Brian had the brainwave to use the router, and voila! Perfect. The yard was full of artificial snow made by the shavings, but the tool gave a great cut edge and so I now have my structure. 

Brian and Bryony, my 'awesome' technical support team!

These elements will lay flat on the water surface, rippling away from the centre.

These elements will be held vertically on clear supports.

I have a pile of stainless steel cloth burnished and textured ready to use. This will cover the acrylic and emerge from the lake at Te Atatu. The cloth shines beautifully in the daylight, reminiscent of the ripples on water, delicate and changeable. 

Delicate reflections through the burnished and woven cloth

A mixture of textures. The cleat in the lower right side will be used to hold the supports and will be covered over later.

More lovely silky steel!

Brian, practically minded as he is, decided we needed to check the installation site to see the depth of the water. And so ensued a slightly hair raising time with Brian rowing against a breeze in a child's blow up boat out on the water! It turns out that the water is deeper than we thought, which has given Brian a challenge. Normally I am asking him to find 'sky hooks' to hold up my pieces invisibly, this time it is 'water hooks' which also have to be invisible. I have every confidence in him.

Is this where you wanted the structure?
Oops - deeper than we thought! Time to rethink the method of attaching the sculpture.  And thank goodness I have an (almost) tame engineer close by.

The next step was to work out exactly how to attach the pleated, woven and textured and burnished metal cloth to the structure. I am always in favour of stitching as opposed to glueing but the thread would have to be suitable for an outdoor structure. Coats Threads suggested a PTFE thread. It's main down side is that it is so slippery (well it would be I suppose) that my sewing machine was not happy. Back to a technique I have used before - drilling the acrylic and hand stitching fabric to the acrylic. This creates more artificial snow all over the work room, but is working well. I also intend to superglue over the knots. 

Better get on! The piece will be installed at the Te Atatu Peninsula, near Auckland and on display between the 8th and 30th March 2014 as part of the Harbourview Sculpture Trail