Tuesday, April 18, 2017

barber motorsports museum: ted gall

No trip to Birmingham would be complete without a trip to the Barber Motorsports Museum. I asked Adam if he minded making a short trip out to the museum and so we decided to make the trip before things got hectic at the conference. One of my favorite things about the museum is the sculptures that surround the building. Ted Gall is one of my favorite Sculptors. Chuck and I used to run into his work at SOFA Chicago so it was a real treat to see these large scale works the first time I visited Barber. Chuck owns a piece of his I believe (I'm so jealous). I was able to spend a bit more time with these works this time around. I know the subject matter is part of why I love these pieces, but I am in awe at the scale of these figures and the fact that they are cast stainless.

By the way, the gift shop had some smaller pieces from Ted Gall (and probably the only pieces I could ever afford of his). 

 This trip to the Barber was really great as I got to spend a lot more time than usual since Adam wound up being as impressed as I was the first time I visited. I'll post more pieces of the bikes in an upcoming post. 

sloss: cnc mold making

Adam I arrived to Sloss just in time to be able to be able to attend a CNC mold making workshop conducted by Araan Schmidt. Araan is taking NASA images of the moon and manipulating them to create 3D forms that can be cut with Vectric V-carve software. I believe I heard him say that the surfaces are being created straight from the image (so similar to how I use "Heightfield from Image" in Rhino to create a surface from the contrast in the photo). He is then cutting these surfaces in wood on a CNC router. The wood forms were gorgeous! He then makes molds off of these to be able to create a mold that can be used to create a bonded sand mold. He had already begun work on several section of bonded sand that would come together to create a large scale (almost 500 lbs.) sculpture similar to his father's work. Araan's father is Julius Schmidt, who is the sculptor that started the cast iron art movement. The family tree of sculptors, working in Iron, starts with Julius Schmidt. Over the the next few days, Aaran assembled the large mold you see here. I talked with him later in the week and he decided to fully incase the entire mold to they would be able to hit it hard wth the full 500 lbs. of iron. Adam and I tried to stay around see this pour with the big Sloss cupola, but we had to leave before the got it poured. I have some videos of the big cupola that I'll try to post later. If you want to take a look at Arran's piece straight out of the mold take a look here.

sloss: direct carving

One of the first workshops we attended at Sloss was a direct carve workshop. This is kind of similar to some of the techniques my students were doing in our casting class last Fall except we were using petrobond rather than resin bonded sand. Chuck uses a similar technique in his work, although much more complex in his use of a carved core. The two workshop instructors were taking a scratch block approach to this but using a two part mold application. The textural possibilities are really great as you can see above. I love the thought of doing a Foundations project utilizing this technique with a found object that can be used as a mold object and then textured added through direct carving. The use of small carving tools such as a Dremel is also really cool. I like the fine detail approach to creating surface. Definitely something to think about here...