So today was quite an achievement. There were things that needed sorting, small problems that couldn’t be solved properly in full in time for tomorrow’s assessment of the final piece but I managed to come up with temporary solutions to deal with them instead.
For example – the curve of the mirror card was kind of flopping on each side. I quickly cut a few pieces of wood and screwed them together in a t-shape so that I could place them under the curve and therefore support it where needed. I think I need to do a better job of securing it to the wall for the exhibition show, probably by screwing them if I can. But for now I’ve used gaffa tape to stick them in place. I ended up using 3 supports and still want one more:
Hidden support under the curve
I spent some time yesterday calling up many art supply stores trying to get hold of some clear acrylic or perspex but the biggest sheet I found was an A3 one at the London Graphics Centre in Covent Garden. It’s quite a good size store with loads to buy. I love these kinds of shops. Anyway, knowing the perspex was too small I bought it anyway to use as a temporary cover over the camera and if time permitted to make it so that it could hold some of my plastic shapes to encourage interaction.
I haven’t mentioned the shapes in a long time as I didn’t think I would have enough time to actually include them within the final piece. And I still don’t know if I will be able to as I only just managed to spray paint the shapes I bought for this purpose. They were basically blank dice in polyhedron forms but in yellow plastic. They were the only plain shapes of this type I could find and when they arrived they looked quite large compared to the image I’d seen online.
Blank dice in yellow plastic - polyhedron shapes
Anyway, so I bought some silver chrome spray paint and now they look like this:
Silver chrome sprayed on yellow dice
They look really nice and I’m hoping they will dry in time but even then I have a feeling the paint will come off as painting plastic is never easy and I did not have time to think about looking for or applying a suitable primer.
The alternative option is to use some of the off-cuts from either the mirror card I have cut recently or from the MDF that was laser cut. Both has nice shapes which could be used but both are also flat and would be harder to hold and move around on the perspex surface.
Anyway, back to the perspex. So I bought the A3 piece as it was the right thickness and not too small so wouldn’t look completely ridiculous. I also wanted as close to the full set-up for the assessment so decided to get it and bring it in and if possible squeeze in adjustments to it at the workshop.
So when I got the chance (between sanding and adding another coat of paint to my never-ending plinth-making) I cut out small cube like pieces of wood, sanded them down so that they wouldn’t have splinters hanging off the edges and then marked the center on each.
I then drilled holes into the corners of the perspex and screwed the cubes in under the perspex. I also added some random screw cap covers which I had bought to show someone in order to order silver versions to use on my metal. I was very proud at my little handiwork – with no assistance from any technicians whatsoever!
Small cube feet added to perspex
I waited till the end of the day to take my plinth up. This was to allow the most recent coat of paint and polyfil to dry. The edges of the plinth still looked bare as they needed a few more layers before the paint would actually seal and stick rather than seep in.
However, I decided that I could bring it up for the assessment as planned and then take it back down later in the week to get it ready for the private view and show.
This was the moment I’ve been waiting for since aaaages. And have been anticipating more so recently with all th madness and efforts made to this end. I lugged my plinth out of the lift and bought it to its rightful space.
I then started preparing my area a bit more to ensure it was clean, tidy and that the wires would be easily stored. I taped down the cable for the extension so that it would be hidden under my plinth and neatly stuck to the floor in straight lines rather than in a mess.
Neat and safer cables
Top of the plinth with perspex covering. This is a temporary cover which I'm hoping will be replaced by a bigger one with a nicer footing
Hardware within the plinth, all equipment attached and ready for testing
And then there was the metal. I finally got round to removing the film and to my horror there was a lot of what looked like saw dust staining and residue underneath. It needed a good wipe down but whatever I tried kept getting shredded by the sharp edges. I resorted to carefully using a dust cloth with water and then drywiping it with my hand after. I think I got most of the muck off but it took me a long time and it was getting very late.
Removing the protective film - which clearly do as much protecting as it should have
I also added a few more screws to the sides of the edge curves with the help of kind Raquel. These were placed along-side the metal just close enough to keep the edges firmly straight and against the mirror card to allow for a better mirroring of the edge of the pattern.
Mirror effect achieved
And then just as we turned the lights off and turned the projector on we saw this, prior to my turning on my MacBook:
Accidental blue projection looked quite stunning
The downside to being in the space we’ve been allotted is that a lot of the pieces that need full darkness can’t have it. I have Ina projecting on the wall behind but on the side of me and as her projection is mostly white it lights up half my work prior to any interaction via the camera.
It makes the metal look quite different. And unfortunately a lot of the light effects that would be thrown onto the nearby walls and ceiling will become invisible as they would only work as illuminations in the dark.
Anyway so here is a weird angle image of the sculpture and the plinth in the room to illustrate the final set-up I’ve done for my final piece:
Final set-up, plinth and metal