Archive for July 3, 2010

Installing the aluminium

July 3, 2010

College was open today. I got my dad and cousin to help take the aluminium in. We drove it in the big family car and it just about fit which was a relief.

Waterjet cut aluminium in the back of the car

Waterjet cut aluminium in the back of the car

Looking in to one of the curves whilst in the car

Looking in to one of the curves whilst in the car

I had to leave the fitting of the mirror card (on which the metal would be mounted) till this point as I decided not to use the backing plain metal to mount on and to instead screw both the cut metal and the mirror card straight into the wall. This also meant I wouldn’t need the bolts (and wouldn’t have been able to use them as the board for the wall was already up). But screwing it all in would be a lot easier.

However, installing it actually took longer than I thought it would. I had to measure everything over and ensure the metal was in the middle, both vertically and horizontally. But it kinda looks odd to me with the wall being so much bigger than the metal now that it has shrunk due to the curves I added.

Got the metal screwed into the wall - protective film  still on the aluminium, 'just in case'

Got the metal screwed into the wall - protective film still on the aluminium, 'just in case'

The curve of the mirror card behind the metal isn’t right though – it kinda flopped. So I need to actually place something like maybe a bent ruler or some kind of curved object – perhaps just taped down with strong gaffa/duct tape to give the card something to rest against and to maintain its correct curve. Will have to remember to deal with this on Monday morning!

I also used some aluminium car repairs tape for the sides. It’s usually used for exhaust pipes but looks and works like foil except it is adhesive. I used this to stick the edges of the mirror card down so that it would be flat against the wall from either end.

After my two personal assistants had departed I started measuring the bottom area of the wall which had a huge gap as the college had no more wooden boards to cover it up with. I would have left it as a space for light to spill into but another student is exhibiting behind that wall and has therefore covered her side of it to keep it dark. It looked a bit funny from my side so I used my leftover mirror card to cover this. Thank God I had just enough left in the roll. It took me a while to cut it to the correct size using a giant wood block as my ruler and then Ina and her friend Luke very kindly helped me nail it in and ensure it was as flat as it could be.

Metal mounted on top half and mirror card covering bottom half - very space age looking

Metal mounted on top half and mirror card covering bottom half - very space age looking

So now my whole wall looks like its been covered in huge sheets of tin foil lol

I’m really hoping it doesn’t look tacky. At least not once the show is up and running. That’s the added advantage of being in a dark space I suppose.

Not in the mood

July 3, 2010

I am exhausted. Things keep coming up that I wasn’t expecting. And yet I know that if I had managed to organise my time differently I might have known about those things before hand. Even though I’ve used up almost all my annual leave from work to dedicate myself to getting it all done to a decent level and within time, I still feel it hasn’t been as smooth a process as I wanted or had planned for. It’s quite odd being in this situation as usually I have things completed way in advance. I guess with practical work of this kind you just don’t know what may come up until you try it.

For example the MAC mini I was supposed to be using was borrowed from college. However, it’s one of the older models which doesn’t have an intel chip and therefore my files won’t work because the OpenCV library cannot be installed on it.

Therefore my plinth becomes useless unless I use my personal MacBook pro instead. I feel really annoyed because as I mentioned above, it’s something I could have been aware of before and then made a plinth much bigger in order to house a G5 instead. I could still use the G5 but it would have to sit on the outside of the plinth. The amount of work that went into making the plinth (and it doesn’t look like any ordinary plinth believe me) would be soo sad to put to waste like that, although it would still house the camera and projector.

Now that my ideal set-up has been disrupted all my previous options and decisions have been thrown up in the air. I’ve been reminded of my initial idea to have the camera and projector overhead.The wiring would have been an issue as well as the need to install a specific shelf/tray for the projector. Apparently the ceiling in the space is concrete so we can’t really drill into it anyway.

But as I’ve been discussing with my family who have been closely observing my practical work – TIME AND MONEY are two factors that always come back to cause you problems. no matter what you are trying to achieve. If you have neither then you’re basically limited. In this case the time was the bigger problem and the money an additional one.

An example of where more money for the work would have been handy is for the metal I am using. I realised it might have been better to leave an uncut border to my piece. It might have been a better finish. But then again I wouldn’t know unless I tried it. As it stands I bought some huge clippers for cutting sheet metal. They are really heavy but do the job very well and were handy to cut off the sharp small ends where the pattern ends abruptly along the edges of the aluminium sheet. This gives it a tidy finish as well as a safer edging.

Another aspect of the metal not being quite right is the reflectivity. It does have a nice finish, just not a mirror finish. I’ve looked into polishing techniques and let’s just say it wasn’t feasible to do it myself or to pay someone else to because of the cost of the service and collection and delivery.

As an alternative solution I have backed the cut aluminium with a slight gap against a large sheet of mirror card. This means that at least the back of the cut sheet will be reflected and give a slight raised 3D graphic imagery effect. This makes me feel better about the installation.

I have to say though everyday seems to be a bit of a rollercoaster. I go from being really motivated, determined, positive, and task oriented and then skydive to frustration, fatigue, sometimes even anger, worry and then memory loss. The last one can be a bit funny sometimes but a bit of a risk at the moment. My memory is in full capacity mode and I’m not sure how long it will last. I’m counting down the days till my anxiety will go though.

So yeh time would have helped – but then even if I could extend the project length I might become super sick of my work. Sometimes if you work on something for too long you don’t know where to draw the line and you just keep going at it until it completely changes or you have ruined it. So maybe it’s a good thing that I’ve run out of time at this stage of the work. Hmm, I might just be feeling like this because of the smaller issues the crop up. I’m going to reflect on this again next week after the assessment date has passed. I might feel differently about it all once that bridge has been crossed.