Having never done sculpture before, I was raring to start this project. Prior to the practical, we were told to go out and find items of any material and bring them to the studio. Whilst in Lancaster city centre, I bought a full desk unit for £1 in a charity shop, as well as a shelf for £3. Later on, I found a large wooden crate and brought that back. This crate, whilst extremely difficult to pull apart, was later crafted into a follow up sculpture.
Our brief for this project outlined that we design and create a 'totem' sculpture which bases its form on the human body. The sculpture was not intended to be a model of the body, but a sculptural form creatively inspired by it. The sculpture had to comprise of three different materials fixed using three different methods. Using the materials I had found, I began to devise a plan. The Z-shaped legs that came with the desk provided a very strong base to the sculpture and I decided to work my way up from there. The legs were positioned in different directions. This was partly inspired by the shape that was created when viewed sideways on - the shape reminded me of Escher's tessellations.
I considered welding these two bits of metal together, but found that the department did not have the equipment needed, so went on to create a backup plan. This plan involved placing two pieces of wood inside the ends of the top bar and fixing it in place using screws. A piece of wood would then sit on top and be screwed in through the metal and into the wood underneath. I added another piece of wood across the two pieces of metal to ensure that the base was strong. This was spray painted silver. The photo below shows how this looked once completed.
I next planned to have the large wood shelf unit as a large spine standing down the middle of the sculpture. I attached this by screwing another block of wood to the front of the top metal bar and using a long screw to hold the long shelf in place. The photo below shows this.
The toughest part of this sculpture was the metal part on the top. I planned to have a pane of glass sit in a metal holder on top of the wood. This piece of glass was extremely heavy, so the spine and the metal casing had to be strong enough to hold its weight. In order to ensure that the glass would not fall off and break, I secured to metal poles onto the front rectangle metal holder using L-shaped brackets and bolts. The brackets were bent to direct the poles. These were then attached using more L-shaped brackets to a block of wood which, in turn, was screwed to a shelf holding. This shelf holding was screwed into a metal piece that was attached to the wood spine. This would provide extra support to the rectangle metal holder. Photos below shows how this was done. The piece of metal that held the rectangle metal holder above the wood shelf could not be attached using screws as the top rectangle metal was hollow. Instead, this was connected using wire and proved extremely difficult to attach.
When everything was attached, I found that the wood had began to bend forward slightly, meaning the glass was at risk of falling out. To counteract this problem, I cut a piece of wood to tilt the whole sculpture back. This essentially counter-balanced the sculptures forward gravitational pull and made it stand upright. This ensured that the glass would remain in place.
The original plan saw a bear placed on top. This was scraped, however, as it made the sculpture look silly. The three materials used for this sculpture were wood, metal and glass. The four methods of connection were (mainly) screws, nails and bolts, but also wire. The piece took inspiration primarily from sculptors David Smith, who made sculptures of subjects that had never been shown in 3 dimensions and Edwardo Paolizzi. I enjoyed creating this sculpture so much that, following the sessions, I created a second sculpture completely out of wood. This sculpture, shown below, takes inspiration from contemporary Antony Gormley's series 'Construct' (Click the word to see this work). The wood for this piece was taken from a moldy crate that had to be taken apart, sanded, cleaned and put together using screws and L-Shaped brackets. If I were to do this piece again, I would use clean wood as it would have saved me the time of having to take the wood apart and clean it, as well as ensuring there would be no splintering or splits.
Below are photos from my sketchbook which show my thought process and ideas.