Sunday, November 27, 2011

working backwards (sustainably)

On Friday, I was sent to the most annoying meeting I've ever been forced to go to. It was given by a moron, an idiot who thought that it was enough to pompously declaim his unvalidated, ill-researched opinions on things relating to "sustainability", yet was hypocritical enough to brag about his "frequent visits to Greece" and his "two weeks in the Maldives", presumably all involving flights. Well, it is nice he can afford these things by selling his services as an advisor on sustainability. The talk itself was dross - I wouldn't have accepted his Powerpoint as a presentation from one of my first-year students - and he succeeded in not only being rude and insulting to his audience personally - for not having the intelligence to understand the basics of sustainability, believe it or not - but was made assumptions about them - suggesting that we all spent our evenings watching celebrities on television - additionally, he was foully heterosexist, sexist and actually even managed to be racist...
You might well be wondering why I have used this space to vent about something so utterly irrelevant. Well, this particular cloud had a silver lining: I actually managed to use the time (almost one and a half hours) to prepare some drawings to make sense of my vague ideas for the Supercollider piece, channelling my fizzing anger into my sketchbook, rather than at the fat slob in a cheap suit who was haranguing us, thus being creative and keeping me in gainful employment!

Supercollider - WIP - 14

Here you can see the "torus" structure from which the "particles" will explode. For years, I've had some sections of rusted spiral steel from a car which I found on Southwold beach and which is some sort of shield for a brake or other cable. It is really hard to work with as it is tough and springy and won't really anneal:

Supercollider - WIP - 7

Previously, I used this material to make some earrings which were inspired by the location at which I found it:

Rock Pool - 3

This time, I thought it perfect for creating a sci-fi/steampunk hybrid feel to the piece by using it inside sections of the torus, returning, again to a MUCH older piece, one of my very first explorations in found-object jewellery from the late 1990s, "Scary Baby":

The Scary Baby
(So old, I don't even have a decent photograph of it!)

As you can see, some of the elements of this piece have transferred directly to the drawings for Supercollider. Originally, I was going to make the torus by hand, but as I can't reliably bend thick tubing, I decided to make it by modelling the basic form in Rhino and milling it out:

Supercollider - WIP (Rhino Model) - 17

As this is too big for our milling machines, I had to find a way to make it in sections. Remembering "Airfix" kits from when I was younger, I split the torus into sections with lugs and grooves to make it easy to reassemble accurately:

Airfix kit

(Photograph by "unloveablesteve" on Flickr, used under CC BY-NC-SA License 2.0)

Supercollider - WIP (Rhino Model) - 16

As with the "particle" elements, the steel sections of this element are going to be cast-in-place, this time using the spiral wire from above:

Supercollider - WIP - 10

Supercollider - WIP - 13

Ready to cast.
I also managed to get started on some of the other sections of the chain and for attaching to the torus:

Supercollider - WIP - 9

Supercollider - WIP - 12

I spotted work by one of my ex-students, Ishbel Watson, in a gallery window this weekend, which is excellent!


A week of getting excellent mail, too! I got this from Dingo:

Dingo Writes...

And Janos sent me a stamp and a seal which he carved for me from Cararra Marble:

Justified Sinner Cararra Marble Stamps 1

I'll post more of this when I get some stamping ink and sealing wax.