September 22, 2023


How Art Works

My Sculpture Weblog: The S2B

6 min read

Introducing the “S2B” or Sculptural-SliderBead.

This piece builds on the SB 312 sculpture I launched earlier this yr. Whereas that work was a static sculpture with purely aesthetic aspirations, this subsequent entry has kinetic parts that drastically change the best way the work is skilled.

When dealing with the unique SB-312 sculpture, there was one thing I simply couldn’t shake concerning the geometry. I saved feeling that I wished the three legs of the piece to slip up and down so I may reposition them.

It was a case the place the implied performance of the piece was each apparent and highly effective, so I resolved that this was the path for this subsequent work within the sequence. 

However with performance comes a special set of challenges which might affect the visible parts of the piece.

To be able to obtain a transferring mechanic, the composition wanted to be elongated and enlarged, Principally to accommodate the magnetic association that achieved the movement I wished, but in addition to enhance the grip on the piece.

The magnets create an attention-grabbing haptic really feel as the person sliders soar from place to place. Anybody who remembers the MG sequence can most likely see this can be a comparable performance, albeit a little bit inverted with a lot much less reliance on magnetic drive to carry the work collectively.

The S2B has a customized shoulder bolt that retains and constrains the movement of every sliding component.

Mechanics weren’t the one factor influencing the look of this sculpture. For those who keep in mind from my submit on SB-312 One factor I hoped to realize on this sequence was to discover some standard unique metals—in a cautious and considerate method that performed on to a single chosen materials. 

For this sequence I’ve launched a cloth referred to as Mokume-gane which is a singular metallic laminate meant to imitate wooden grain. This materials has its origins in seventeenth century Japan with the making of decorative samurai swords. 

The method for making Mokume-gane finally discovered its approach west, into jewellery making and different ornamental traditions, and most not too long ago into a way more industrialized (if nonetheless ornamental) type of machined artwork.


In researching this materials, I used to be reminded of why I’m so cautious about bringing unique supplies into my observe. Whereas it’s simple to simply purchase a novel materials and begin reducing to fulfill an ornamental finish, I feel rather a lot is missed that approach.

Mokume-gane is a fancy and assorted materials with an interesting historical past, it feels bizarre to simply choose it up and use it with out some sort of formal introduction. As an illustration, there are a number of methods to make the fabric, one thing I want to study extra about.

Jewelers typically incorporate a wide range of noble and base metals into varied formulations as properly. Some use extra valuable metals like gold and silver of their dwelling brewed variations of Mokume-gane, whereas different variations are extra economical, containing principally copper alloys and nickel silver.

The fabric I used, which is extra suitably sized for machine work, consists of layers of brass, copper, and nickel silver. Every variation of Mokume-gane behaves otherwise and may be completed and patinated in a wide range of methods. Which once more, I nonetheless have a lot to study.

Admittedly, my use of Mokume-gane right here is fairly straight ahead and in line with different machined artwork that I’ve seen (all of us study from doing although). The end on this prototype is a straightforward etch with ferric chloride to carry out distinction within the metals and matte the end. 

The sculpture measures 2″ lengthy and 1.5″ Diameter

I stay up for incorporating this distinctive materials in a extra complete approach sooner or later, however for now, this is step one in my schooling. 

Above are a few of the issues and issues of this materials. 


Some closing ideas.

As I proceed to pursue these small sculptures, it has emerged that my two completely different modes of working, kinetic and extra conventional sculpture, could be slowly converging.

I’m much less wedded to the thought of incorporating a mechanic for my small work, and extra open to the thought in bigger one-of-a-kind items. Typically I start a design with a mechanic in thoughts, nevertheless it turns into unworkable and I abandon it in favor of a extra completed static sculpture. The inverse can also be changing into true and I’ve discovered myself designing bigger works with no intention of including kinetic parts, solely to be tempted by alternatives to just do that.

Maybe, simply perhaps, I’m turn into much less inflexible in what I hope to realize with any given design, favoring a extra fluid course of. I feel one would possibly describe that, as private development.

Anyway, hope you benefit from the piece.

Notes for collectors: As has turn into customary, I shall be providing these works up as a one time restricted version.

It is possible for you to to accumulate them individually, or as a set. Pricing and all related particulars of the sale shall be posted on the time of join.  (please observe that Mokume-gane is a significantly costlier materials and it will mirror in pricing) 

The join will go reside on Thursday July seventh at 11 AM EST. I’ll depart the join open for a little bit longer than normal as a result of I do know numerous you’re touring this time of yr. In all probability per week to 10 days, after which the books will shut eternally.  

I’ll submit the join hyperlink to my e mail publication, right here on the weblog, in addition to on my instagram web page.

Notes on Mokume-gane: For these pondering of gathering the Mokume-gane model of this work—this metallic is used typically in jewellery making, nevertheless it doesn’t imply that it’s an inert materials.  Like Brass or copper, Mokume-gane requires care to keep up. It’s going to tarnish of not often waxed after dealing with. Some folks benefit from the look of this, others don’t.  

Moreover, Any time you combine metals in an surroundings the place they are going to be involved with an acid (you, your physique) it invitations one thing known as galvanic corrosion. Dealing with this materials will change it over time, in methods which can be arduous to foretell. It could be the case that the fabric will merely change shade or the etch might deepen in a approach that’s pleasing, however I wish to be clear that that is experimental artwork, engaged in with open eyes and sensible expectations. Right here is a link to an extreme example of what can occur to an identical materials underneath what I think about to be excessive situations. 

I can’t converse to the precise materials or methodology used. Clearly you received’t be carrying this piece of artwork day and evening, not to mention subjecting it to a complete submersion in an acidic medium. The experiment within the article is attention-grabbing and academic, however not reflective of any actual world state of affairs that might unfold with this sculpture. In contrast to a hoop, you will not be washing your arms with it, dealing with acidic meals (sure additionally urine is an issue with jewellery), or bathing with it. I might not anticipate something of this magnitude to happen with the work underneath regular use. However I feel it is very important inform collectors so we’re all on the identical web page. 

For those who intend to evenly use the work, and show it, I anticipate it’s going to carry out completely properly. There are examples of Mokume-gane craftwork which can be a whole lot of years previous.

So with that mentioned, if any of that sounds scary to you, if any patina or change within the materials is unacceptable to you, or you’re a severe fidgeter who needs essentially the most sturdy object you will get, I might merely steer you to the chrome steel model of the work. Stainless-steel, for sure, will outlast us all.

Thanks once more, and as at all times, feedback and questions are welcome. 

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