Research & Development




Initial investigations

As part of my investigations when Artist in Residence at Bristol University School of Mathematics I was taken with the idea of entering into the spirit of nature myself, by attempting to present spatial definitions in the most efficient possible ways.  I thought about the natural hierarchy of Space we all experience, Points, Lines, planes, and Volumes, and set about trying to describe 3-D forms using a fabrication technique and visual vocabulary of the lowest possible dimension.

Card models describing "Hyperconic" progressions using the system.

To date works such as "Snap", "Tree of Life", "Code-Connection", and "Stardust", are all examples where this philosophy has been employed.

Paper tree as visual exploration of the system,
and the Pattern for steel fabrication.

A particularly clear system developed out of the General enquiry, where the third dimension is freely navigable by intersecting perpendicular planal ribbons; this is "The Extruded Perpendicular Curve System, with Twist".

By using sheet materials of a low malleability such as steel, stainless steel, board, or card, an economy is afforded by the comparative ease of cutting and joining shapes of sheet.

Placing materials of high malleability such as lead, copper and the like to one side, a monolithic sheet cannot be rolled / bent out of its curving plane.  It can be rolled cylindrically, conically, and more irregularly by combining varying values of the above.

It is possible to press a sheet of low malleability such as steel (as with car panels), but this is an expensive process and mostly unavailable to the smaller operator, owing to the necessity of special formers and a high pressure press.

Although the "Extruded perpendicular curve system" is unable to overcome the natural laws of geometry, it does offer a navigation system and 2-D fabrication technique which can occupy and describe highly curvaceous 3-D space.

Untreated steel skeleton for "Tree of Life"
"Tree of Life", showing built-up form,
with cold-cure Copper surface.  Epoxy
Foam covered the steelwork to
accommodate expansion differentials.

As so often with fundamental problems answers are usually very simple, and this is certainly the case here.  By employing this technique it is possible to create a "superstructure" upon which other elements can be attached (to form some sort of surface), or preferably things can just be left apparent.

I look forward to having some (spare!) time to further investigate the sculptural potential of this system.

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