This piece addresses the term, Repetition by symbolising the tendancy of us as humans to ruminate over thoughts, having the same thought repeat over and over again, spinning around in circles as we revisit the past or grow anxious about the future. It serves as a reminder to focus on the present and not waste our energy thinking unproductive repetitive thoughts.
I’m inspired by kinetic art, particularly self-powered kinetic art. I think its amazing when wind, sun or in this case, heat interact with a piece to bring it to life. For this piece, I began exploring the updraft of hot air created by a burning candle. Using some sheet aluminium, I created my first prototype.
This lead to the idea of repetitive thoughts and the embedding of the rotating fan inside a head form. An image of MC Escher’s Bond of Union came to mind as I explored ways of representing the suggestion of a human head while highlighting the inner “workings” of the mind. Working through this idea, I came up with two sketches that I wanted to explore further. The image on the left works with ribbons similar to the Escher image, although ribbons in separate rings as opposed to a single long ribbon. This would be riveted onto a frame made from strips of brass. The second image is more of a patchwork that simply suggests the shape of a head and requires the viewer to imagine the remaining elements.
To help create the form, I worked with a digital model of a head and edited it to create the kind of shape I was looking for. I then ran it through software that sliced it into 4mm slices that could be cut on a laser cutter. Once the 43 pieces were fixed together, it became a reference form to model against. I used the various steel forms in the jewelery workshop together with the nylon hammers to create the shapes I was looking for, annealing the pieces regularly.
The kinetic functionality was added with a tealight holder in the base and a vertical axle in the physical location of the mind. A single wire ring serves to protect the spinning fan and also to help imply the forehead shape.
This was an exercise in physical creation more than in using technology. It was part of an elective in Jewelery and Small Objects that I undertook to strengthen my abilities and appreciation for the handmade. To create this piece, I utilised various fine metalsmithing techniques including soldering and metal forming. I did actually use some software though to create the laser-cut form to use as a guide. This included Autodesk’s Meshmixer and Slicer software packages.