This week I began work on my sculpture. Throughout the planning process, I knew I wanted to work with natural materials, and to really focus my content on the intersection of Humanity and Nature. I am especially interested in the question of how nature benefits humans, and what humans are doing to both destroy and conserve nature. As such, I really wanted to use a mixture of man-made or industrial materials and natural materials. My first idea was to essentially remake part of a tree branch out of wire, and to replace that section so it looked like one contiguous piece. I also thought about using multiple materials in multiple places on the same branch, maybe integrating epoxy resin casting or ceramic in addition to the wire.
While I haven't quite yet made up my mind, I do intend to use the wire system that I had thought about in some element of the piece, so I spent some time this week figuring out how that could work. Initially, I used a very hard wire, which I liked because it provided the entire piece a greater stability and rigidity, however it quickly became clear that it was too difficult to work with.
The next class, I tried out the same process (drilling diagonal holes through each end of the branch) and threading much more flexible wire back and forth between the pieces. This worked better, but looked quite shoddy - and really didn't give the effect I was looking for. However, then I twisted the two pieces of wood, causing the wire to twist itself into a much stronger and more rigid, and also much more visually appealing connection.
I also tried wrapping a piece of wood with wire to get almost a spring, which I could use to bridge the gap between to sections. This worked pretty well, but just didn't give the structural integrity. I think the wire loops and eventually twisting the connection is going to work and look best in the long term. Of course, this example shown below is only my first try, and I plant to make the twisted connection much more uniform looking - demonstrating greater craftsmanship.