Thursday, March 15, 2012

IP Weekly Progress -- #21

What I’ve Done:

Sunday: (6 hours) Building the “cage” armature and figuring out optimal structural intergurity, made hoops for the inner structure for tissue paper, glued double ash splints together, properly bind it.

Monday: (6 hours) Glued more double ash splints, formulated bounding methods at joints, sewed tyvek + ash together to bind the top.

Tuesday: (9 hours) Glued double ash splints, added loops on the side of armature (to make it look more like a Jelly), more building of armature. Also met with Rodemer to discuss electrical wiring, LEDs, and florescent lighting purposes

Wednesday: (3 hours) Glued ash wood together and allow drying overnight

Thursday: (6 hours) Finished building the very top of the bell structure, glued ash splints, added wire to the armature for the tissue (To round the bell rather than have the tissue paper flatten) and brushed model airplane DOPE to help stiffen it. Met with Mark in order to figure out where and how to install this creature.


I’ve been really, really, really productive. I’ve spent a good portion of my time on Sunday really figuring out the absolutely best way for this piece to be completely stable. It took a couple of hours of “piecing it” together, but once I found a system I managed to break through and finalize my method of construction. Once I made it over this boundary putting the wood splints together was really, really, easy and I pieced it together fairly quickly. The hardest part of building the armature is over and now I need to do is figure out wiring with Rodemer while I build this creature. I’m whipping it out fairly fast and quite efficiently.

What I have accomplished/discovered

So quite a bit has happened this week:

The underside of the very top of the Jelly. It's really well fortified and the strongest point of the entire installation.

Placing the tissue paper around the ash splint to help strengthen the top of the Jellyfish. It keeps it altogether. Adding the DOPE helps with the tension of the shifting of ash wood.

I did a quick test of the completed dome by stretching and flexing it a few times to make sure it can handle weight. With the wire I'm very sure there will be no problems with strength. I'm extremely happy at my process/progress of the ash wood and from now on I have a newfound love for the material. Paired with the PVC THICK bookbinding glue from Hollander's and staples to reinforce it together they all make this structure unbelievably strong. Building the wooden frame was a little slow at first, but once I had a set plan of how to construct and piece it together it came out very quickly. I'm extremely efficiant in gluing ash splints together and switching to the armature itself once the strips are done drying. I have developed a technique where I paperclip two ash splints together and halfway through drying I make a hoop, paperclip it in place, and let it dry in that shape. Once I take the paperclips off the ash splint naturally curves and makes it extremely flexible and easy to round on the armature.

In terms of lighting this creature -- every week it gets closer and closer to figuring out the technical process of wiring and lighting. Rodemer came into my studio and helped fortify my plan for electrical plan. The LEDs are a great idea to spread along the sides, but I still need a major source of light to help the creature “glow.” I need to slip a cord inside, coat it in white paper wrap to hide, and have a bright white fluorescent light. It's energy efficient and doesn't get hot, which is a normal threat to the DOPE'd tissue paper. Mark asked about the lights that would be present inside and when I mentioned a 110 watt fluorescent light he said that it wouldn't be a problem. So it looks like I'm on track!

The light would hang just on the inside free form from a couple inches of cord, and the LEDs would be sewn onto the tissue paper while the wire rests on top of it like a web. It would look like thin veins, but chances are it won't show because of how thin they are. Instead of using AA batteries I will be using D-cells which generates more power and I can connect more LEDS to a single one. With resisters attached to each LED, it will prevent any random surges of power and overloading.

The place my Jellyfish will hang will be in WORK gallery and fortunately the spot it will be installed is over the stairs leading downstairs. You get to be able to take the creature head on and look from multiple views. Walking up and down the stairs gives you two, separate exeriences and now I have a new challenge to think about: how can I really enhance this space? Chances are after creating the very top of the dome of the Jelly, I will have to transport these in pieces myself just because it will incredibly delicate. Good thing this giant Jelly will be modular!

What I need to do next:

Follow a preset schedule religiously. Every day I will glue ash wood together when I'm not in my studio. Keeping efficient is the name of the game and so far I've done a good job. I have three weeks and I know I can do this as long as I contribute a good amount of hours every day! I need to finish DOPE'ing the tissue paper and attach the second portion of the ash wood armature to it. I'll have to multitask with constructing the actual sculpture and making sure I order and learn the right parts for the LEDs when I meet with Rodemer/Hendrik.

1 comment:

Hannah said...


Sounds like you are on a great track, and yes, working like crazy for the next three weeks will be key to completing this!

Hanging over the stair will also afford viewers the chance to look up into the jellyfish structure. Is that a vantage point you've considered?

Looking forward to seeing this for real. Great job posting images!