Katharine, Neal, and Jane make clay models of the Sculpture flottante. We are amazed by the complexities of the sculpture's curves and balances. Although we will be working with a CAD-generated 3-D model for our turbulence testing, it is illuminating to experience first-hand the gravity-defying resistance and release of the sculpture's elegant formal dynamic.
We met on Friday afternoon to do some work on our sculpture with modeling clay. We started with several different sorts of clay and each started modeling our interpretation of the floating sculpture to better visualize the sculpture and better understand the sculpture's dialogue. We hoped by creating the sculpture, we would understand the elements of the sculpture.
I started work on the hood of the sculpture and continued to try and smooth out the top. However, I was getting a little worried that my sculpture wasn't on scale and the base that I would build wouldn't be able to sustain the hood that I was building. Therefore, I started working on the base, trying to ensure that the base might be able to support itself.
Meanwhile, Neal started off making the base and carefully shaping the sculpture. After making a very pretty base, he started making the hood.
I think both of us were realizing how difficult creating the floating sculpture actually was. The hood was extremely difficult to mold, not to mention create to the scale of the base. Another incredibly difficult part of creating the hood was the fact that after shaping the hood, the clay would gradually drift and the bottom angle of the hood wouldn't be correct anymore. Another problem was having the base support the hood. Jane gave us some paperclips, but it was still not enough to keep the hood from sagging. Another problem was that the clay would harden and crack, making it very difficult to mold. I tried to weight the hood so the center of mass was on the base, but the sculpture still only stood for a minute or so.
Jane mentioned that she had seen some mesh that could really help hold up the hood of the sculpture. She decided that she would start making a sculpture using the mesh and the sculptures turned out great!