“Shooting Star”

15 08 2012

This project developed from an unusually wide-ranging brief entitled ‘Multiplier’. It called for four weeks of general experiment, followed by two weeks focusing on a single product. I explored a dozen or more ideas, from slumped-glass caterpillars to a single chair crafted by twenty-four different participants. What emerged from the process was the realisation that highly complex objects can be constructed from a large number of comparatively simple components that readily lend themselves to repetitive manufacture – obvious really.

I decided to develop the ideas I started in the Sugar Bush project, using multiple strips of reclaimed cedar to create a multifaceted flower form, but this time the pieces would be steam-bent to achieve the sculpted organic shapes I was looking for. It would be built to house a single 75-watt halogen lamp, and to hang from the ceiling in a large space, perhaps an art gallery.

My first attempt used 24 shaped and bent strips of wood and, I have to say, the result was a disappointing failure – it was just too… well, boring. So it was back to the drawing board with the realisation that I would need to add more pieces to make it interesting – a lot more. In the end I used over 650 pieces to achieve the desired complexity, all slightly different to each other.

 

To suspend it from the ceiling, I made a long stem to house the wire and to give a texture something like a palm trunk. The effect is like a rocket tail, or a shooting star.

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