One thing that is fascinating to me about meeting and working with artists of different disciplines is seeing their process. Right now Rob Bell, a fabricator in San Francisco (I blogged about him earlier last month) is designing and creating two stands for my large hanging mixed media sculpture. I will be using these for sets for future dance collaborations, gallery display and for the Sub Zero festival coming up on June 5th.
Look at the progression of his design below. This was done in an amazingly quick time. The first sketch was sent a few days ago. I gave my feedback to him yesterday and with just a few email exchanges the rest of the images were created and sent to me over a two or three hour time period. Rob told me has been using Google Sketchup for over three years now and loves it as a design tool. His speed made me laugh as I thought I was going to do a series of blogs on this sketch phase portion of the design process. My sister is a product designer/engineer as well and she, too, has this rapid design skill. I think it takes years, decades, to get to the point where you can par down and distill your ideas so well and so quickly.
First concept sketch ( all images Rob Bell copyright 2009)
Below: Notches are added to the hanging beam. This is so that my hanging lines have something to bite into and will not slip around. A flair is added to the base bottom and the bottom stand element is modified.
Below: A different angle view of the stand. It illustrates what the base design looks like. Seeing this angle is important as it is difficult to visualize the dimensions of the base without seeing this perspective.
Below: Final design. There are subtle curved elements added to the sides to help prevent bowing. I really like these elements as I feel this slight swelling will visually link my tapestries to the stand as my mixed media pieces have organic swirling lines.
He will first work on the base and make a to scale model to test the stability.