Yesterday afternoon I purchased £30 worth of mild steel box tube, 1.5mm thick and 12.5 x 12.5. It wont arrive until Friday or Monday, so in the mean time I have got to work.
The steel is to be used for constructing my sculptures. These based on my concept which is dealing with the exploration of form through structural systems. Steel is an appropriate material I think, dues to my experience using it allows me to show off my skills and also for its sculptural connotations, as a material it has a strong relationship to sculpture. My steel sculptures shall be welded and then have a ground finish (grinder), I am yet to decide on a further finish. The final surface finish could be shiny, textured, deliberately rusted, even blued as I did with my triangles ball/cloud sculpture. The surface is important. I recently realized the importance that surface qualities have when it was pointed out to me that I often talk about surfaces and planes as well as structure when I discuss my work. Presently I am unsure as to what my surface finishes shall be but I shall be conducting some more research into steel surface finishing and treatments to see if I can be inspired to come up with some interesting surface finishes. The surfaces will surely inform as much about the pieces as the structures themselves (which are my main focus currently).
I also bought some 6mm round bar (10 meters) from the School Stores to be getting on with one of my smaller structure sculptures. I chopped it all up into 30cm rods and then using a 60 degree angle jig and referring to my wood and glue model I set about welding the rod into a triangulated structure.
I started this blog post yesterday. This continues from there.
This morning I visited a scrap yard in Cathays on Woodville Road, just to check it out really. The bloke running in charge was helpful and friendly, the actual place is very small, apparently acting as a small local scrap collection with its larger sister counter part to be found in the industrial estate in Butetown, I think it was on Curran Road. There were big open top containers of scrap lining the walls. Aluminium, lots of copper and brass, thick copper cable and car batteries and steel and all the rest of it. The copper was of particular interest, there where several old bashed up water tanks made from spun copper that had intact bowl like bottoms, the like of which I have used in the past to enamel. This is exciting, a viable source for me to get copper bowls and dishes to continue my series of enameled bowl work. This may need to be held back until my show work is further along however.
Whilst at the scrap yard the delivery man who was dropping my steel off at uni called to say he was on his way. I raced back to uni and managed to catch him in time. The steel is now waiting to be cut next Monday, I am in the process of deciding what lengths I want to use and what size I want it to end up being.
Today I managed to finish the 6mm rod sculpture (pictured above), welding it together at least. I gave it a quick brush and then a quick sand blast to clean it up. I need to grind the welds back to smooth them out and make them a bit more neat and pleasing to look at. I will use a Dremel with sanding bobbins was well as mini grind disks to do this as the angle grinder is to large to get into those nooks and crannies. So next Monday shall see the morning spent cleaning the rod sculpture and the afternoon cutting the box tube to size and then cleaned ready for welding.