I turned this out while doing another project, this being inspired by the twisted copper strands I find inside heavy duty copper ground cables. While peeling off the outer insulation from the cable, the individual strands reveal themselves in gentle spirals all nested together against their neighbors. Carefully unwinding them leaves them essentially single, spiraled wires (like one ladder in a DNA molecule).
Having arranged them as in the image, what is revealed to me is the similarity between what humans construct and the many analogs found in nature… ocean waves, cilia, sound and EM frequencies.
Only here, one signal is out of synch, finding its way back via a much different path. And isn’t that how we humans do it, too?
I’ve wanted to make one of these for a long time but couldn’t bring myself to pay lots of money for the parts I wished to use for this project. It required nearly 2 lbs of solid copper electrical connector pins which were generously donated by a close friend and relative.
The tricky part was soldering them into the copper sheet metal plated that makes up the shell without reflowing the solder that holds them together.
The finished configuration includes 3 LED tea lights inside the shell; certain ‘spines’ are actually acrylic rods that allow the light to shine from within. The flickering from the lights gives the piece a bit of a surreal, glowing effect.
Deciding to ‘go big’, I hammered this out over a week or two. And I’ll say now that making a flat sheet of metal curve in different directions is a pain!
The finish is a rubber compound.
Inspired by a piece in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the artist of which I am still ignorant, this was more an exercise in blending and smoothing steel welds than an attempt to recreate someone else’s work. It just sort of evolved into a never-ending work-in-progress.
I would polish it out, leave it alone for months, come back to it to re-do the entire thing due to oxidation.
I convinced myself that leaving it essentially unprotected would allow me something else to do when I got stuck on some projects that weren’t progressing as I had hoped… then I decided that I could better spend my time on more productive tasks and had the thing powder-coated (Safeway Sandblasting, Culver City).
I am very impressed by the finish- it looks just like chrome plating.
Only after did I see the ‘real’ art become evident. Now it more resembles something from Matisse.
Still, it was very helpful when I needed a distraction.