Practical Application of Chaos – SRAM pArt Project – From Inspiration to Engineering

#19 – Tuesday July 26th

A practical application of chaos. That’s my process . . . wrestling randomness into order, and if it weren’t for chaos . . . well then . . . don’t quite know where I’d be . . . So this week’s post is all about process.

I’m a builder, putting pieces together. By the very nature of this process, there must be something that allows for the pieces to stick to each other and in the case of my SRAM pArt sculpture it’s nuts and bolts. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I started off with the pile of parts (well documented in previous posts) and began putting them together. I manipulated them in a host of ways with saw, hammer, and drill . . . during this phase the pieces were held in place with tape, clamps, wire, and occasionally a spot of glue, and when the pieces stopped being pieces and became one congruent object, they were disassembled, and are now in the process of being reconstructed into their final configuration . . . with nuts and bolts. This is the engineering phase of the project, an exciting challenge, but admittedly a bit less romantic, than flying on the wings of inspiration. So here’s one example of my inspiration meeting engineering.

The photo on the left is inspiration. Two aluminum cogs, cut with a hack saw, distressed with a ball peen hammer and sections stacked on each other, held together with a removable adhesive putty. What you can’t see from this perspective is, at its base, the stack of eight cog pieces is almost 3/4″ thick. Additionally there is an 1/8″ nipple on the back of the anodized red cap, limiting the cap’s integration with the cogs. No problem for this photograph, but on the sculpture when seen from a variety of perspectives, that feature plays against the empirical and fanciful nature of my cog stack, and for me that’s a problem.

The photo on the right is engineering. Same eight pieces of cog, and same anodized red cap. I removed the 1/8″ nipple from the cap, and filled down the cog pieces so they would nest into each other. (to maximizing nesting, the orientation of individual cog pieces was altered).  So now as the cogs pieces are stacked, they are right at 3/8″ thick, and when finally incorporated into the sculpture, this element will seem to organically grow from it, and I can live with that.

Thanks for reading.


thanks for reading!

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