Model of new large balance sculpture
This is a real size test model of a new 4.2 meter heigh balance sculpture that I am currently developing. It consists of a moving composition of four pyramid shapes that is supported by two elements with triangularly shaped countermasses for balance. The sculpture will be of stainless steel and can be moved into a variety of beautiful poses by hand of the viewer. Hopefully the sculpture will be ready for exposition at the Delft Highlight Festival in November.
Wax models finished
The wax models for the sculpture I showed on 16 january have been finished and they are now at the foundry for casting in bronze. I optimized my technique for making thin flat plates of wax with supersmooth surfaces by using a flat silicon slab. By cutting the parts from these plates of wax, the pyramid shapes and other elements of the sculpture were constructed.
Also the base of the sculpture has been made of wax. The two large circles indicate the locations of the axles about which the pyramid shapes will rotate.
I have started with a new bronze version of Between Heaven and Earth in which the elements have a profile of a teardrop. The top picture shows the casting model made of wood by milling and sanding and below you can see the results of the first sand casting, which turned out very well. Soon I will cast another 10 of these bars which in total should be sufficient for the complete sculpture.
One side finished
The frontside of the new sculpture Plumage in Bronze has been finished: the 4 moving bars are balanced and can be moved smoothly all around and they remain steady in any of its poses. It functions wonderfully! To make the long moving bars at the right length for perfect balance was a challenge since the mass distritution of the bars is not equal along their length. It required extensive calculations.
At the moment I am constructing the other side, which is equal to the front side.
Bearings and Center of Mass
The development of the new sculpture Plumage in Bronze proceeds well. From the sprues of the bronze casting of the profiles I made bronze bearings, with axles of stainless steel.
The sculpture is now being build up step by step, this is the base with the central rotational joint. Since the moving sculpture has to be perfectly balanced in all different poses, it is important to know of each part precisely the mass and the location of the center of mass. For finding and measuring the center of mass I developed a measurement system, shown in the last photo. Here the profile is clamped in a block with a small axle. By moving the block hence and forth and up and down the point can be found in which the profile is balanced and does not turn around. The axle then is in the center of mass. The results of the measurement influence the exact lenght of the other parts, which then can be calculated.
Bronze casting of profiles
I have been bronze casting the profiles I prepared in wood earlier together with the round base plate for the new Plumage in Bronze sculpture. I made specific flasks for creating the sand molds from Delft clay. After closing the molds the profiles could simply be pulled out, leaving an empty space in the sand which I filled with liquid bronze. Therefore the bronze was heated to about 1050 °C in my oven made of ceramic wool. The results have become very nice, the profiles came out perfectly straight and with a high level of detail. Also the base plate turned out nice. I finished the surfaces by directionless sanding, which showed to fit well with the natural appearance of casted bronze.
Plates of wax
Wood profile casting pattern
I am making a 65 cm tall bronze version of Plumage I for which I manufactured these wooden profiles:
The profile consists of a convex face on top, concave faces on the sides and a flat face from below. They will be used as sandcasting patterns for bronze casting to obtain the profiles in bronze. The bronze profiles will then be assembled as elements of the Plumage I balanced movable sculpture.
Shiny pyramids of stainless steel
The pyramid shapes of the previous blog inspired me to make a balanced sculpture with multiple small pyramid shapes of shiny stainless steel:
The first picture reveals the production steps of assembling the surfaces, welding the edges, and finishing it to flat polished surfaces. The second picture shows the assembly of four pyramid shapes in a movable parallelogram. I am now working on the remaining part of the sculpture which will hold and float this assembly up in the air.
New sculpture in development
Just before Christmas I designed a new sculpture which expresses a person's extreme need for an intimate hug. This is inspired by the current time where due to the Covid-19 pandemic intimacy is very restricted, a rather inhuman situation.
I don't want to reveal too much yet, but here are the first pictures. The two shapes will fall from an open 'distant' position towards each other in the position shown. At the moment I am developing the sculpture in steel and then I will cast it completely in bronze. Ultimately, it will be a fully bronze moving sculpture.
New website online!
Finally, my new website is online! A fresh look and a better layout, enjoy!