Saturday, July 04, 2009

Gates Of Tomorrow

Alright Rich, I finally came up with some stuff! Now, I have no idea what type of materials you have to work with, if you have collected materials or are you going to purchase stuff or what but I think any of these designs could utilize bought or found material. I know this top photo is probably not what you had in mind but I thought it was just a good example of something different, out of the norm. You just have to take the material you have and adapt it to designs you like.

If you look closely, these are all faces! Also, check out this lady's work! Her stuff is fantastic! and very unique. Just click on all of the thumbnails to see a wider gallery of that category.

I don't know if this is what you are looking for Rich but there are just countless things you can do with steel and found material. If your imagination can come up with it, you can build it. I always look through as many books and other stuff as I can and just try to absorb the images of the things I like. Then, when I go to work on my project, those designs seem to come out subconsciously. My pieces always are unique but it might use the idea of vertical repetition, or circular forms or whatever that I saw in other pieces. If say, you have a bunch of metal gears or pipe or even pre-bent rebar, you must completely disassociate the material from what it is and look at only it's shape. If the shape is repeated a certain way, does that look good? If I alternate the shape, is that good? You know, just mix it up. I don't usually go for trying to create things that look like something else (like the faces above) and think that is a mistake most people make. You get too caught up in that and it ends up looking too 'cutesy'. Just go for the sheer abstractness of the design, variation and repetition on shapes and sizes.
Hope this helps and gives you some ideas.


Rich said...

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

I have been thinking about 'what' my fencing and gates would look like, now I am thinking about 'how' I would build them. Some sort of jig and/or scaling to different size techniques would probably be needed to build what I am thinking about.

In my mind's eye, I would like to incorporate a herd of cattle into the stretch of fence. I see the cattle as a 'simple' set of lines representing the tops of their backs and heads (similar to a cave painting I think). I would probably use something like round stock and an acetylene torch to form these 'toplines'.

If I am right, I could scale the size of the lines and also set them at slightly different distances from the fence to depict a sense of movement and depth (if that is possible, I think I read something somewhere about that idea).

Now I just need to figure out how to 'prototype' my idea. To start, some sort of welding table that will help me build a jig so I can repeatably form the 'toplines' of my cattle is probably going to be needed.

edifice rex said...

Hey Rich! Well, I don't know that I really answered anything but maybe that helped some. As I said, when I get my camera back I can show some welding techniques maybe.
Your idea sounds absolutely fabulous! I don't know how far back you have read my blog but if you go to the 'steelwork' label on the side, you can see how I built the steel beam that holds up my roof. You can also use flat stock to cut out your 'toplines' or a combination of flat and round. The flat stock would allow you to vary the thickness of your toplines and this might add a nice dimension. And yes, alternating them at different distances is a great idea. This will give great depth and shadows etc. I always start out with a sketch, then put a finished drawing (pattern) down on graph paper. With the grid there I can blow the pattern up to whatever size I want. A jig is probably a good idea if you are forming your shapes. I think you will do fine; I don't know that I can offer you much help but if you have any more questions please feel free to comment or email me. I think it's going to look great!

Rich said...

Anytime I think about building something, I go through a process of brainstorming, give and take, and trying to get as much input as I can get, so of course you have helped me in this process.

I have previously had the separate ideas of building a gate and a metal 'cave painting' of cattle; with your post about gates, I was able to put the two ideas together.

Without your input, would that fence or gate have ever had the chance of being built? If and when those gates are built, what influence will they have on those that see them? Would any of that have been possible without your help?

I'm not a trained artist (or even an untrained one), but isn't influencing the way people see the world one of the goals of true art?

Thanks again.

countrypeapie said...

Loved seeing the pictures and reading about Rich's idea. Would be neat to see the finished work someday.

edifice rex said...

Well, that's a great way of looking at it, Rich and you are exactly right; it is one of the goals. I do hope I have given you some ideas and am so happy to do so. The one thing I learned in college, while getting my art degree, was just to say, what if? and that whole idea is what I hope I can convey to other people.
I think you will do a great job on the gate and you must send me pics of it!

Hey Pea! thanks and yes, it would. I think it's a great idea.

Rich said...

I can't make any concrete promises about when I will build my gates, but when I do, I will send you some pictures.

Besides, can't you already see those gates?

Your imagination can paint a better picture than I can ever hope to.

edifice rex said...

Yes, I CAN see them; that's why I'm so excited that you do them. I'm sure you will do a fine job.