Filtering by Category: SURF

public art proposals

Added on by Jourdan.
The bubble project is coming along. Last week Jarod and I submitted a few proposals through CaFE, a site that hosts calls for submissions and applications for a wide range of artistic projects. The above image is of our aluminum "tool" that we cast ourselves in our foundry at the College of Charleston. This will be given to our plastic fabricators as a mold for the plastic bubbles (seen below). Jarod used his photoshopping genius to fix up the aluminum surface. We will work through the summer to get it to actually look like this, repairing holes and cracks with Devcon Aluminim Putty.

Below is another photoshopped image of a VERY basic example of how the bubble tiles may be installed, however, we hope to see this realized on a MUCH larger scale.


And if you're interested... here is part of our statement about the project... our design approach, if you will.

Charzewski and Moore’s collaborative approach to the design will undoubtedly be based upon our individual art practices. What unites our work is our use of the topographical style, or the grid, as a basic reference and starting point. The grid is a common denominator for engagement in our work and the final result is orderly, yet fluid, and slightly chaotic when necessary.

Part of our design strategy will encompass this topographical style and will result in a sort of controlled chaos. Our collaborative project, involves the replication of a single module, or master tile, which contains a sculptured surface of a bubble eruption that appears to be random to the viewer. The individual bubbles are specifically placed on the master tile so that when another identical tile is placed next to it is continues the bubble topography. We would like to mass produce these identical tiles, and with them create a large-scale installation that responds to existing architecture and enhances the surrounding environment.

we have aluminum!

Added on by Jourdan.
 We poured metal on Friday and anxiously awaited Saturday when we could bust open the mold and see what we got. We had no clue what to expect. Since it was such a large mold, we could only keep our fingers crossed that we wouldn't run out of aluminum... the biggest crucible can only hold 80 pounds! There were fears of air bubbles, leaks, and shrinkage, all of which occurred, but only on a minimal scale. We're hoping it's nothing we can't fix.

 Once we got all the sand cleaned off, we had to "chase" the "flashing." Which just means we had to chisel off all of the extra stuff. There's a little foundry vocab for you!  This has been such an interesting process for me. I took a foundry class last spring, but due to a malfunctioning furnace and kiln, never got to do many pours. This project is giving me the chance to learn metal casting in a much more hands-on way, which, despite the hours upon hours of tedious technical stuff, has proven to be quite an exciting learning process.

prepping the mold

Added on by Jourdan.
Jarod and I are getting ready to pour some aluminum this week. We've been working (practically all semester) to get this mold ready. It's 4-part 1000 lb sodium silicate sand mold... it's a monster. Below you see the core on the left and the top part is on the right.


The interior of the mold gets coated with graphite, so the metal can flow smoothly and won't stick to the sand.

We have to use the forklift because of how ridiculously heavy each piece is.

Just as we were lowering the last piece of our mold in, it broke. We had a mini freak out, but have since figured out how to fix it. We're so close!

another grant

Added on by Jourdan.
My professor Jarod and I recently found out that we will be getting some more funding for our collaborative project that we began last May. We applied for another grant from our school (College of Charleston), and though we only were granted half of the funds requested ($5000) we will do what we can with the money provided! So... the bubble project continues......
CLICK HERE to learn more about our collaboration

Franconia Sculpture Park

Added on by Jourdan.
It's been a month. And I still kind of don't even know what to say. I hesitate to try to define my experience out here with words, with the fear that it might cheapen it. Life on the park is rich. Our days are full. Work is hard. But it feels good. In such a short amount of time I've become not only a weed-whacking monster, but a grass-planting manic, a thistle-pulling beast, AND a ladder-climbing acrobat painter. 7 days a week we interns work for the park. We spend the morning doing various tasks, such as those mentioned above, and have the afternoons to work on our own sculptures. My piece is coming along. I arrived with plans and models for 2 ideas, and ditched them 2 days in. I'm much more happy with what I've conjured up.

I spent the first few days constructing this scale model. Though I was committed to the form, I was all over the place as far as materials go. I finally decided just to go with steel. Lots and lots of steel. And I plan to make so that it can be disassembled and moved to another location if the opportunity arises. Once my 1000 linear feet of #3 rebar arrived, I got to bending in no time. I prefer to bend the rod without the use of tools. I feel that by using my body I am able to get the material to do what I want it to do. It's a very physical/spiritual process... not easy to explain.

Roughly 2 weeks into my stay, my professor Jarod and his wife Jennifer stopped by to say hello. It just so happened that they were in town for a wedding, and though they both went to school out here (the University of Minnesota) they had yet to experience Franconia Sculpture Park's new location. It was really great to see them... to show them around the park, to show them what I'm working on. Very cool. Everything about this SURF project seems to be working out just right.

More in-progress photos to come!

Bubble Project prototype

Added on by Jourdan.
All the hard work has finally paid off. The prototypes are complete! Though I've yet to see them in person, I'm thrilled at the fact that we've actually pulled it off. It wasn't an easy process. We decided, in order to save on fabrication costs, that we would build/sculpt the form onto which the bubble tiles would be vacuum formed, rather than using a CNC router.


First we made the form entirely out of plaster. In order to get the smooth, round forms we made plaster molds of rubber play balls of various sizes and cast them in plaster.

Then we sliced the solid plaster form in to 48 1/2" pieces on the bandsaw, traced each onto MDF board, and cut them out.



Once lined up and glued together, we began the tedious sanding process.



So, we left this MDF "tool" with the fabricators at MultiPlastics, and just a week or so later, these babies were ready for pick-up......


bubble project

Added on by Jourdan.
So Jarod and I have been busting our butts trying to get things figured out for this collaboration of ours. We're learning a LOT about what it's like to work with fabricators... so far lots of frustration! We're in this weird limbo between "make or buy," which I learned in my Production and Operations Management class (I'm also a business major) is the most critical decision a manager can make. Well... it's not an easy one by any means!


We've got a budget for materials built into the grant, but since we've yet to get any kind of quote from fabricators, we have absolutely no clue if we can even afford the prototype! For weeks we've been perfecting a version of this digital 3D sketch-up model (pictured above), from which a mold will be cut, using a CNC router. Then, from the mold, we will have a number of plastic tiles vacuum-formed into the shape. The tiles will be aligned and set into a grid system (built by us) to form an undulating blanket of sorts.


Ultimately, we would like to have over 300 tiles made... but that will require further funding, so for our purposes this summer we would like to have at least 4 made by the time of our presentation in August. That's not too much to ask, is it?! Let's hope not! But just in case... we have decided to take matters into out own hands for the time being. Until we get some kind of estimate, we will continue to work on building the mold ourselves. This process involves bouncy balls of varying sizes, plaster galore, and lots and lots of patience. But at least it means we get to make a mess... there's something very satisfying about that...

mm mm MARFA

Added on by Jourdan.
I spent this past weekend in one of the most interesting of places... Marfa, TX.
Back in January, my professor, Jarod Charzewski and I applied for a CofC SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research with Faculty) grant. Despite the mounds of paperwork we knew it would entail we simply thought... why not? Our proposal was for what we called a "Collaborative Sculpture Project with Investigation into Minimalism." Both of us work within a fairly minimalist aesthetic, so we thought this a good ground upon which to collaborate. Oh yea... and we got the grant.

Though we spent several weeks pouring over books and vintage art magazine articles on the subject, we knew we couldn't properly "investigate" minimalism without visiting the "hub" of American minimalism itself... Marfa, TX. Back in the 1970's, artist and art critic Donald Judd moved out to west Texas. As Thoreau went to the woods, Judd went to the desert... to live deliberately. He wished to create spaces where his work (along with the work of several buddies among the likes of Dan Flavin and John Chamberlain) could be viewed as it was designed to be viewed... a place where the gap between art, architecture and landscape would be bridged... the result was the Chinati Foundation.

Judd said of Chinati...
"It takes a great deal of time and thought to install work carefully. This should not always be thrown away. Most art is fragile and some should be placed and never moved again. Somewhere a portion of contemporary art has to exist as an example of what the art and its context were meant to be. Somewhere, just as the platinum iridium meter guarantees the tape measure, a strict measure must exist for the art of this time and place."

Judd's aluminum boxes are a perfect example of this notion....



(fantastic photos by Jennifer Charzewski)

I should note that, though I had seen countless pictures in books and online of these "boxes," not until I experienced them in person did I realize what they really were. I was blown away by the fact that I previously had absolutely no idea that they weren't solid cubes. On the exterior, each of the 100 boxes is identical, but the interior of each is entirely unique. And the effect is utterly magnificent... as seen above. The object is only one element in the work as a whole. The architecture and landscape are absolutely critical. The piece simply couldn't exist without them.

And so, to Marfa we went... it was quite the pilgrimage and I believe I'm all the wiser for it (or something like that?) Well... I learned a lot. I saw a lot of great work. Ate a lot of yummy tacos. Met up with a pretty cool dude from Philly. Got a taste of west Texas. And though I could ramble on Marfa for pages and pages, about the breathtaking landscape, the expanse of the starry night sky, the awesome/weirdo Judd estate/kingdom, the absurd amount of hipsters, the blah blah blah.... it's time (literally) for me to get to working on this "collaborative sculpture project" of ours. We've got some neat things in the works... stay tuned...

(Steve experiencing some Dan Flavin)