Saturday, September 12, 2015

September Update

I met with Tom Sleeper, a welder to start the framework of my project. Tommy made a jig for me to heat and form the rods. After about 3 times I was comfortable with turning the torch on and adjusting the flame...I had to keep the flame about 1/4" away from the rods until it turned orange and keep moving slowly. One thing I found difficult to manage~the steel would expand when heated so I had to heat, move and clamp at the same time so the rods would keep the curved shape the jig. The clamps were large and stiff so I had a difficult time holding onto the torch and opening the clamp....but in the end it worked out I got a rhythm and decided nothing is perfect to keep the evidence of my hand and the organics of the materials. After putting the 3/8" rods together we decided it needed more structure. Tom and I added 3/16" rods in-between this would help in keeping the rounded shape of the structure. After Tom welded the screws onto the bases I put the sections together to see how we were progressing....

Originally, the thought was to only have 2 rows of horizontals for support but after putting 2 in we made the decision in order to keep the integrity of the structure it would be better to add more. I did not want the horizontals to be straight across but also not so erratic that they were distracting so I held the cross rods while Tom welded and moved them slightly each time.....

Heating and Shaping Rods
Screwing in the sections

Side Supports Added

Comparing prototype 

Set Up

Starting to take shape

Continuing my own practice of quiet in the busy life, I have been practicing Tai Chi. Last week the instructor was discussing the benefits of the practice and made a statement that was relevant to my thesis....a t'ai chi body becomes like iron, wrapped in cotton...strong on the inside, soft on the outside.    My thoughts on the prototype are that hopefully when all is said and done, the tomato cages and threads will become a cocoon! I have found that the wrapping and tying etc. is really labor intense, with that I have ordered some fish netting and plan to try to incorporate that into the piece. The plan is to tear and cut and make openings which I will then sew, wrap and tie threads to the structure of the prototype...

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