Monday, June 4, 2012

Sculpture and Bread and Butter

Not all sculpture aspires to high art. Some projects are functional and pay the bills.

( I love these small gigs because they're not complicated, just pure problems solving.)

Here's the plan I was given by GKA Lighting Inc to design the base of a lighting fixture.
It's part of the restoration of an old theatre.

When there is not much information supplied, there is a lot of freedom.  
Too much design freedom can leave you in time-wasting, unsatisfyed client freefall 
.. if you have not had a detailed conversation on what the object needs to accomplish.

Not knowing what material the fixture will be made from, plaster? resin?
meant  the scale of the bottom point needed to be larger.
Too sharp and pointed is also too fragile and easily chipped or broken.
 The small sculpture will be the base of this double metal and glass light.
 Design decision #1 was to leave the flower forms softly defined, plump but keeping as close to the wall as possible. I don't know how high up these lamps will be on the wall. You don't want bumping shoulders to hit the lights in a dark theatre.

Design decision #2 was to leave a subtle texture on the surface of the clay. That will hold paint better, and breaks up light. Too smooth a surface shows any nick or flaw and looks cheap.
If they want it smooth, the surface is easily sanded down.

Here's the fixture modeled in clay.
I've learned to work very cleanly because it saves time. The board has plastic under the artwork,
that clleps the clay moist. The metal has plastic between it and the clay. This keeps the fixture clean so it can go back into production, without wasting time washing off clay and plaster. It also keeps the clay from forming an undercut.

More in the next post.

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