Small, Medium, Large and Extra large

Initial Ideas

Small, Medium, Large… Extra-Large

For this brief i quite like the idea of simply recreating an everyday object but on a different scale and using various materials. i decided i would like to work in wire as i had used it briefly on my foundation course but never really used it to its full potential. I picked pebbles as a good starting point purely because of their form and this could be translated into various sizes.

Im thinking of making a series of wire pebble that are hollow and trying to use the same length of wire for each of them. This would mean the small one would be really dense and the big one allot looser.

Pebbles aren’t all a symmetrical shape therefore i wasn’t to worried about the paper models being the wrong shape as the wire helped to mould them.

I used pages from magazines, paper and masking tape to give myself a rough pebble shape that i could wrap the wire around to form an oval.

The wire was quite malleable and bend well around the paper though i think it might have worked better if the wire was slightly thinner. I found the wire kept slipping off and was hard to secure therefore a thinner length of wire might have worked better.

Although i didn’t mind the paper inside the wire i wanted them to be hollow objects and i therefore decided the best way to get the paper out was to burn it, i wasn’t sure how the wire would react to heat either so i was eager to see the results.

I made a few samples to try out the materials and makes changes if i needed to.

I used tongs to hold the pebble over the flames and watch the wire progressively get blacker and the paper turn into ash.

Individually burning each one till the paper had turned to ash.

After holding each pebble over the fire i left them to cool down. I noticed that the wire had turned black due to the flames and the magazine had burnt but had left various bits of ash inside it. Although i originally planned to burn all the paper out the centre so it was a hollow shape i decided i really liked the ash inside and it looked great when they started disintegrating

The Outcome 

                              

I was really pleased with the outcome and although I hadn’t planned to leave them burnt i think it turned out really well. The wire turned a black/brown colour and the paper turned to flakes of ash that gradually dropped out

                                       

 Artist research David Nash

“Three forms, Cube, Sphere, Pyramid”
Charred Oak.

“Three forms Cube, Sphere, Pyramid (detail)”
Charred Oak .

I was looking for artists that used a similar technique to the ones i was using and after going to a David Nash exhibition last summer i thought his work was relevant to mine.

I was interested in the process in which he used to construct his pieces and then the decisions he took in how to execute his work.

Peter Randall Page

Although the materials he uses are totally irrelevant to my work i was interested in the process he uses and the idea of making something hollow, destroying the inside and then developing the negative space your left with. In a lot of his pieces he focuses on texture as well and because I’m burning the wire on my sculptures it was useful to see how he executes the pieces and considers the context in which they should be displayed.

Developing the final pieces. 

After burning them in the previous experiment I decided i wanted to make some more but on a much bigger scale to have a more dramatic impact. The only problem i had is making the extra-large one as big as i could without risking not being able to fit it in the fire to burn it.

The burning process. 

I started with the small ones first as they were quick and easy to control though when i got round to the bigger ones i came across some problems. The extra-large one created huge flames and this was good for the burning process but i wanted to try to keep the fire reasonably controlled so i could burn it to a level where the ash would just be about to crumble but would remain within the wire.

                     

I decided to use a water spray to control the flames as this meant that i could leave some of the paper unburnt so you’d still be able to see some of the text inside.

The final outcome

I decided the best way to display them would be on a shelf all lined up together. i considered hanging them but i would have difficulty holding the ash within the shaped when there so brittle. I had an old shelf i had used for a previous piece of A-level work, this came in handy and was just the right size to display my pebbles.

I was really pleased with how they all looked and i had managed to keep them intact whilst i put the shelf up. Despite having problems with the wire they all held together and didn’t react badly to the heat of the flame. I think they worked well in a sequence although i would have liked to try doing more of them but the same size. If i made them again I would use a thinner wire as the thickness i used was quite hard to work with and I had to redo a few of them on more than one occasion.

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