Posts Tagged ‘sculpture’

The Barrel on site

September 26, 2009

So I chose Birrarung Marr for the site of this obstacle. I wanted to put this in clear view so people could see it from different angles. It’s along a main path…but I didn’t want to block the path or make people walk around the obstacle. That’s why I decided to go with an obstacle that could be approached from different directions.

The obstacle can also be approached from the back. There is a large hill that nobody really walks down. So I figured this could be used by bike riders to gain speed. The ramps at the back of obstacle can only be ridden by BMX bikes as it is grassy and skaters can’t ride over grass.

There is a seat at the front of the obstacle. It’s facing the river and can people can sit alongside the path. It’s not intended to be skated and is protected by an upward lip that prevents skateboards from flying over and hitting pedestrians.

Front view of the barrel wave at Birrarung Marr

Front view of the barrel wave at Birrarung Marr

Side view showing BMX biker ridng over the spine ramp (approaches from the hill)

Side view showing BMX biker ridng over the spine ramp (approaches from the hill)

I’ll need to change some curves as you can see in the side elevation. The curves are too steep behind the seating area. The scale also needs to be changed as well. I will be making these minor changes in CAD. A concrete foundation is also needed.

Plaster of paris & flexible moulds

September 4, 2009

After seeing pro’s making sand castles and learning about the Pound-up process. I thought it would be good to use the same process to cast my concrete product. I stumbled across a picture of a guy using a vinyl sheet to build sand up vertically. I have never found that image again. And I cant find anything else on the net where they use this vinyl sheet. Although you can’t make any undercuts… I think it’s still the best way to achieve complex curves with concrete. Because it’s a liquid, you’re normally limited to the shape of your mould because of gravity. So why not turn the mould on its side and pour it in from the top. The rebar can still be placed in the centre of the mould. Once the concrete dries you can remove the mould and flip the finished product on its feet.

I had some plaster of paris and some aluminium left over from my previous models. I couldn’t help myself. I had to try it out.

This shape comes from a clay model I made a few weeks ago- the shape was modified by a skater (see skate participant #1 blog post).

Aluminium mould

Aluminium mould- mock up

clay was used to seal the bottom of the mould

clay was used to seal the bottom of the mould

Note to self…Clay will not seal the bottom of the mould! Next time use gladwrap and sitcky tape.

Pouring Plaster of paris in to the mould

Pouring Plaster of paris in to the mould

Here is a clip I found on youtube that uses a flexible mould. Its interesting to see what is possible with a liquid material. Notice the foam-like flexilbe mould being used on a horizontal surface. Non-stick!

User Participation #1

September 4, 2009

I gathered my favourite clay models and wire mesh models and took them to the skate park (Riverside). I wanted some skaters to take a look at the models and give me some feedback on the designs. They didn’t seem too interested in what I was saying at first, but when I pulled out the models they all started to gather around and take a look. I didn’t really want to sketch and takes notes of what they were saying and I didn’t want to ask them to sketch out their ideas either. So I cut up some squares of wire mesh, gave it to them and said- “show me your ideas”.  So they all started to model up some ideas… They produced some basic shapes and curves and gave me some advice on what they thought be good to include.

1- Shallow transitions

2- Transfers between some obstacles

3- They wanted to skate obstacles that didn’t look like benches or other familiar obstacles.

So my design needs to be less like a seat and more like a sculptural installation. skaters and the general pubic (tourists etc) would find this more interesting.

Seating concepts

September 3, 2009

I wanted to create a visual language (script) that could be understood by skaters and pedestrians. (Understood in terms of the seats functionality.)

Seating concept 01- Oven bake clay & wire mesh

Seating concept 01- Oven bake clay & wire mesh

Back view of seat.

Back view of seat.

I wanted to design the seat so that the mesh area was seen on the underside and the concrete on the top surface. But I also wanted the mesh to be seen on top of the seating areas. Knowing that skaters cant grind or roll over bumpy textures, this would be the perfect deterrent for skaters. It would be an in built Anti skate product. I think it’s a nice way of suggesting  functionality and possibly keeping some order; by restricting unwanted behavior whilst encouraging acceptable behavior.

Here is another version of the seat created from the same template shape.

templates

templates

(the curved surfaces will lie flush with the ground. The clay dried and curled up in this model 🙂

Seating concept 02- View from front

Seating concept 02- View from front

view from back of seat

view from back of seat

Here are some close ups of the texture created by the wire mesh. If this was  1:1 scale I would imagine the mesh would be the mould for the concrete. Possibly with a flexible/ removable backing like a plywood. When the concrete dried the backing would be removed leaving the wire embedded in the concrete. Another possibility would be to remove the mesh and the ply backing together so that it only left an embedded texture of the wire mesh. Either way, I’ll play around with this ideas some more.

blog texture 1

blog texture  2

Sand sculpting… amazing!

August 30, 2009

So after my sand models I wasn’t really sure where to take it next. It was suggested that I look into professional sand sculpting. WOW these model makers are amazing! They create such intricate design out of sand (with a limited amount of time).

I really wanted to find out what additives they were using in the sand mixture. This is a lot harder to find then i first thought because it is banned in most professional competitions. Nowadays they just use sand and water. I heard it may be a mixture of Gelatin and salt. Others say its concrete mixed with sand. But it’s my mission to find out exactly what they use. Why? Because if I can get my hand on some I will be building massive sand sculptures and skate obstacles… And making them permanent features! I will mix in way too much hardener and sculpt myself a bench. I could leave it as- is. Or I can take that design and cast myself a mould out of concrete of plaster. Could you imagine building a piece of sand furniture that hardens, and then you pick it up and take it home.

The best sand to use is sand from a river bed because it has larger triangular grains that stick together. (River = No waves!) Beach sand is not the best because the grains are rounded and smooth. This is because the waves and tides have been crashing down causing the grains to wear down over hundreds (millions?) of years.

hope

solo_1st

Believe it or not but they plant explosives in these sculptures as they build them. When the competition is over… BOOM!  And I thought kicking over a sand castle was fun.

Pound- up process. Building the frames up virtically.

Pound- up process. Building the frames up vertically. Usually done the day before a competition.

They use a method called ‘Pound-up’. It basically involves building a framework out of timber. These timber walls are built up vertically until it reaches a desired height. Each section is filled with sand and is then compacted down by whacking it, jumping on it or pouring water on it. (machinery can be used to compact the sand as well.)

This is a very interesting process that I will look into further.

Beach trip #2

August 30, 2009

Went to St Kilda beach again- this time with Hailey. Booked a video camera and got some footage of the model making process. Luckily it was a nice sunny day this time. I was aiming to build 1 larger model, rather than 5 small models. This time I was using the beach as a landscape and designed the model as an extension of the sea shore. It felt a bit like “landscape sculpting” more than anything. I wasn’t trying to include seating areas into this model. It was purely about form, material, and location. We had a few interested people stop and ask a few question. We also had to protect our models from dogs running along the beach. There was no way I was spending 1 hour on a model to have a dog kick it over in 3 seconds.

model about 3m long

model about 3m long

blog sand 02

A passer-by told me that the St Kilda council Finally approved  the plans to build a skate park in St Kilda. It will be located along the esplanade.  Horay to that!

I will be editing the footage and hopefully putting it up on youtube soon.

Clay models

August 30, 2009

After painting I think it’s time to start getting a bit more hands on. I bought some children’s clay and started modelling. At first I was finding it hard to work with the clay because it was a fairly hard consistency. I was also taking the wrong approach. I was starting to carve into a solid block of clay. I stumbled across a new way of modelling by accident.  I was rolling the clay out into a flat sheet with a rolling pin. As I turned around to put some music on my computer I just through the clay down on the bench and it landed like this….

blog clay 01

And so it began.

blog clay 02-2

blog clay 04

blog clay 03

blog clay 05

Inspired

August 30, 2009

Before I  got started I was in need of some inspiration. I found these images of people skating different obstacles.

The Great Petition Sculpture- Burston Reserve, Melbourne

The Great Petition Sculpture- Burston Reserve, Melbourne

Rolled steel was used to create this sculpture.

I found a video that shows the meaning behind this sculpture and the design process (including fabrication). It’s really quite interesting.

http://www.arts.vic.gov.au/content/Public/About_Us/Major_Projects_and_Initiatives/Great_Petition_-_Centenary_of_Womens_Suffrage_Artwork/Creation_of_the_citeGreat_Petitioncite_Sculpture.aspx

Another Problem with street skating and urban design is the Cultural Significance of the location or obstacle your skating. Skaters may or may-not know what the obstacle was designed for (unless they read the plaque). And so you get a lot of skateboarders damaging sensitive sites around the CBD. Moreover, it is also seen as disrespectful when you skate at a location that is valued highly by individuals. Some examples include Lincoln Square (Swanston st) that is now a memorial for the Bali bombing victims. Churches and any other location with religious meaning. The ‘great petition sculpture’ represents women’s rights.

So to stick a bunch of anti-skate products on one of these “sacred” obstacles would detract from the meaning of the obstacle itself. And this is something skaters unfortunately take advantage of.  I would like to design an obstacle that avoids this issue.  The last thing I want is for the skater using my obstacle to be called insensitive vandal.

Skateparsk in the states

concrete bowl

concrete bowl