Having cut my metal strips to size I needed to drill holes in order to fix them together. This task was not easy as the metal appears to be sprung steel. Apparently exposing it to a very high temperature i.e. a blow torch would help to change its composition and make it easier to drill.
It worked, but I have to admit to being a bit scared and tentative with the flame to begin with and initially the process was very slow. Gradually I got braver and more efficient, learning how much heat to apply to make drilling easier.
These are a few experiments using the metal strips as a base for the cogs. The ones that work best for me are where I have used materials that contrast most with the metal. For example, top centre, the thread is web-like and looks lacy. Bottom, the frayed, fabric strips have been woven around the metal creating a soft cushion. I don’t like the brown colour of the metal showing and did start to burn it off with the blow torch but this took too long. On reflection I am now considering methods of concealing it instead.
I have had a productive week and made some real progress regarding decision making.
The work had begun to look dull and I knew as soon as I saw it all together that something needed changing.
After removing the cogs with burnt brown edges and the metal cog with burnt wrapped fabric I threw two circles of tennis ball cloth into the mix. It instantly lifted whole group of sculptures. I love the combination of the acid yellow and the neutral greys, it brings life, energy and establishes a contemporary feel to the work. So far I have made two yellow cog sculptures and will make careful decisions about the final quantity as I think accents of colour will work best.
I am also reconsidering my idea for the final installation of the work because we have less time to hang than we thought. Having reflected on and discussed ideas at a creative review yesterday I think the sculptures will be wall hung rather than suspended. This will definitely be less problematic and may create a better result in the long run.
Making and painting the soft cog sculptures is a slow process. I like to use simple hand stitching wherever possible because I find it meditative and feel it conveys a natural authenticity to the work. Each ‘cog’ is individually designed and painted by using a paper pattern as a mask.