Gilding metal with applied patina.
The sculpture is made in gilding metal. I developed the design using a series of card models. From there I worked out the blank for the various parts on paper, then in card and then transferred it to the gilding metal marking it out carefully with a ruler and scribe. To achieve the quality of edge I wanted I needed to fold the pattern up. To do this I needed two scoring tools, one at 45o with a flat side, the other at 90o, which I made and case hardened. Then I scored it, folded it and ran silver soldered along the folds to strengthen it. Cut the blanks out for the contoured surfaces fitted and silvered soldered them on. The piece comprises of five separate components that fit, key and screw together to form the whole structure.
At the time I made it, 1985, Richard Hughes was one of my tutors at Camberwell and with his encouragement I prepared a patina recipe. I applied it by hand, with a brass brush, to the polished metal working the mixture in a circular motion until the desired finish emerged. It looked more like a knotty, red, wood than metal.
Now, after 35 years, the patina has matured into a lovely soft, charcoal black with the original patina still intact in places.
As a visual research project I explored objects falling and bouncing. This progressed from knocking objects off my drawing board to setting up photographic and special lighting techniques to record the motion. The result was a series of photographs with staccatoed images of the trajectory of object’s falling through the air, hitting the floor, bouncing and come to rest.
Top four pics;
Geometric card objects falling in stroboscopic light.
Bottom single pic;
A 3D model of this, tracing paper, wire card and paper.
A magical step in to existence.
I photographed doweling and geometric forms in complete darkness with only a stroboscope for light. The resulting photo was a time-lapse record of the falling object. A record of their journey through the air and the way they bounced on landing.
The idea and visual experience of things falling, moving and bouncing across a surface eventually informed the design for the teapot that was to follow.