Monday, 6 June 2016

Backwards and Forwards

 In 2014 I exhibited The Shape of Thought at Lawrence Wilson gallery :

It was the first work I made based on the geodesic dome. At the back it was connected with the aluminium brackets - this was before I was game to play with steel, before the welder and cut off saw...I still think that it was a neat design.

The problem was, this type of construction put ceramic under a lot of stress and many of the pieces broke. For a full story see HERE.
It made me re-think the concept, and the next work was fully supported on the welded frame.

The thing that I have been pondering about on and off ever since is how to retro- fit The Shape of Thought with the metal frame.

So far I do not have an answer.

Although the underlining concept is the same, the design of the individual triangles is so different that I can't get it to work - and I have been working on it intensely for the past six weeks or more.
I am frustrated to bits!
I feel that I'm very close to the solution, yet I can't see it. I have spent days drawing, thinking, modelling...

and trying it out,only to hit the brick wall. So far it is not working. This one is for the scrap metal pile:

The major problem is that bolts are not straight, but leaning a bit in any direction, thus making it impossible to make the frame with the holes for the bolts to go through. In order to allow for the lean, the holes would have to be so big, that I don't have the room for it.
There is nothing that I can measure from that is the same on each piece of clay ( even the edges are cut by hand)! I feel like Archimedes: “Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world.”

Now I am at the last attempt that I can think of....Instead of bending the connectors, I will try welding them together on 7 degree angle.
In order to be able to do that, they need to be positioned precisely at the right angles to the edge of the triangle.
So I need 2 precise templates... and I never knew that I can weld directly on the drawing :)

Here is the first piece welded within the template.

It reminds me of plastic bits for model making that have to be separated from each other before making a model.

Will it work?
I don't know.
In theory it should. In practice, there are still many unknowns and lots of cutting and welding before I get to the next set of problems to solve.
Geodesic dome frame is very stable when connected together, but it pulls in opposing directions while working on it,and metal warps a bit when welding. I don't know if that pull will be to strong for me to bring it together into the spherical form.
One last try...

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