Preparing for assessment.


I have put all of my supporting work on the floor beneath my final exhibition ready to be assessed on Monday afternoon. I have separated subject and field work. Subject is focused on the research and development of my work and is on the left hand side. Field is everything I have done in preparation for the final show and is placed on the right hand side.


Putting up the show.




Hanging the light boxes was quite a simple process, but took a lot of time as I had to measure the distance from the top and sides of the boxes to hang them in line with one another. It took about three hours in total to get everything in its final position as I had to move a couple of the boxes as there were some spaces that were crowded and others that were a bit too empty.

I managed to get each of the cables to reach the extension leads that were put on the floor except for the cabling for the large green box. This is because the cables were cut slightly shorter than I had asked the electrician to cut them to, I managed to solve this problem by feeding the cables above the board and using wire tacks to keep them in place.

I like the layout of the boxes as they do not follow a pattern, and are still placed evenly across the boards. The cabling is more crowded on the right hand side, which is unfortunate but was unavoidable without re assessing the placement of the boxes.

Fitting the perspex sections.






After cutting the panels and glueing in the wooden and Valchromat pieces I decided to peel back a small piece of the protective film to check if they lined up with the living hinge sections on the front of the boxes. Unfortunately they did not line up perfectly, they were a couple of millimetres out. To fix this I went back into the files I made for these parts and drew new lines that would cut off the excess material. I then opened up the files on the laser cutter and cut the old size out in card and placed the perspex sheet into the cuts that were made. I then removed the old file and left only the line to trim the perspex before going cutting again. I then checked them against the light boxes and they fit. It was a nerve wracking few hours to find a solution, but the pieces are now practically perfect with their alignment.

Finishing the wood.




I have begun to use wood oils to add a finished look to my work. I had to do a lot of sanding to remove the burn marks on the wood from the laser, so, I have had to meticulously “dust” the pieces using a cloth as the dust really gets stuck in the living hinge design. Oiling is a lot simpler, I have put it onto the wood with a sponge brush so that there are no brush marks or bristles left behind. They have then been left over night to dry and absorb the oil before i rub them down with another cloth.


I left these pieces to dry in workshop space in the evening and unfortunately came in early the next morning to find that my work had been played with after I had left. This has caused a breakage – the small green box you can see in the picture had the hinge snapped almost clean off.

Fitting the lighting components.




When designing the boxes with self supporting hinges I always wanted to use LED tape that would run around the sidesĀ of the boxes to give an even illuminance. The neatest way of installing this is to solder these little connections to the end of a length of LED tape, this will then fit into a connection with a 12 volt DC plug at the end.

The wood is too thick for the fitting to be screwed into the holes which I measured before adding to the laser cut files. So the section where the fitting is has been routed out (I am not allowed to use this equipment myself, so I have had no control over the size of the routed section). The MDF piece was, unfortunately, cut before these components were sourced, so the hole is slightly too big (by chance it was almost the right size!). For this one the component has been fixed into the hole using Araldite, which got a bit messy as the technician decided to use a heat gun to speed up the setting of the glue, but instead melted it. I have now managed to gently chisel off most of the glue.

Supporting the gilding.





The gilded panels need to be raised from the back of the light boxes to enable them to be hung using nails. To do this I have used off cut pieces from the hinges to make runners for the false backs to sit on. I have simply used PVA to put the strips in place and PVA to attach the panels. The runners will not be seen, so I felt that it would be appropriate to recycle waste material.






After picking up the laser cut material from Bespoke Laser UK I have had to put the pieces together quite rapidly as I was not able to pick them up as early as I had hoped. Because of this I managed to put together six boxes in a day, which is a record I have not managed to beat. Although working at speed my work still maintained a high quality.

New cuts have arrived.











I picked up four sheets (1000x610mm) worth of laser cut lights yesterday, unfortunately there were a few pieces that had not fully cut. This is because the Valchromat is 8mm thick and more dense than standard MDF, and even the super powerful laser at Bespoke Laser UK only just cuts through. I have managed to fix the problem with the parts by creating a file for the uncut sections, cutting them in card and placing the Valchromat pieces into the holes left behind. It has taken about three or four passes (this laser has only 40 watts of power) and the edges are a little more charred than the smooth quality from Bespoke Laser UK, but, I made it through!

Collecting the final work.

Today I picked up the final cuts to construct for the degree show. I had four files, two green Valchromat sheets and two grey Valchromat sheets. Three designs fit on each sheet, as they are 1000 x 610 mm. I had them cut to the size of the laser bed at Bespoke Laser Uk when I picked them up from Avon Ply.

Testing Cuts.




Another piece cut by Bespoke Laser UK. After sanding this piece down I have tested out the measurements I used for the supporting hinge. This is the first time I have only used two notches as I have previously been trying to get this right so the piece can be cut down in size.

The next stage is to prepare more files like this one for cutting in green and grey valchromat.