As I began setting up my installation in the empty gallery around the corner from my office over the last few days I was expecting to get some images that would reflect the final product – minus a few finishing touches I might stumble upon. While I did get some great images and was able to navigate through and determine finishing touches, I also ended up with some troubleshooting as well.
In my previous post I didn’t yet have the rods to hold the turned gears resolved. Shortly after, I discovered a steel rod that was the right size that would hold the pieces without sagging. I also began glaze firing the clay pieces.
Now for the unit as a whole (day 1):
I came into the gallery full of excitement to set the remaining pieces into place. I had taken down the top shelf overnight to take the extra board home to spray paint it. I discovered the previous day that the two spindles needed a little bit of a lift so that their base was visible from both sides of the unit – otherwise one side would look more like the “back.” As I sat things back into place and reached to grab the clay pieces I would add into the mix for photos today, one of the supports holding the top shelf gave way. Thankfully, the steel rods caught it and nothing broke below it.
With that in mind – I set up the top shelves on a table so that I could still get some images before working to fix the frame:
As I set things up the first day in preparation to pull some pieces out of the kiln I realized that I was missing an opportunity by layering replicas of the larger spindles on the bottom shelf. It is a little redundant when I’ve also done that at the top – although a different size/shape. I realized I was missing an opportunity to bring in more of a metaphorical meaning to the piece.
I’ve worked to fill the unit with multiples upon multiples of objects – all with a very specific purpose except this shelf – which really served to fill the gap of an area that isn’t very visible unless you are far away from it. What is visible is the shelf and anything low. So why not bring in the idea of “absence” in a more literal way.
When an object has been sitting on a surface for a long time, and then you remove it, you wind up with a ring of color that is more saturated – where light has faded the area around it. Or you wind up with dust/debris in all but that spot where the object was sitting. As I put the clay thread on the spindles above that shelf, I ended up with a bit of debris falling down – the contrast was interesting. It was part of the burnout from the literal thread. This got me thinking…so I did some experimenting. My experiment as shown below is likely a bit “theatrical” but it serves to get a quick shot or two to see how the idea might work. Now I need to figure out the most fitting way to do this for the final piece.
And one final piece to resolve.
In hindsight, I should have tried a black or brown underglaze. A combination of the two might be fitting. The underglaze gives a matte surface that doesn’t really resemble clay or glaze for that matter. Thankfully – I can resurface the pieces fired with the red terra sig. before attaching them to the rods. They are critical to filling up the boxes.
I have tended to work on this project one unit at a time. I’m wary of getting attached to a specific way that the two would interact since the space I am given in the gallery may dictate whether it is appropriate to have one or two units. It no longer seems fitting to have two simply side by side. Does that really serve a purpose? Other than my own nagging drive to “go big.” But – if I have enough floor space and two could sit facing one another – allowing the viewer to stand between them – a unit at their back if they are facing the other…then this brings the scale of the factory into play.