Preparing for assessment.

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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.


Supporting the gilding.

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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.


Cutting and cutting.

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I got more of my work laser cut by Bespoke Laser UK on Friday, ready to sand it all down and fix it together!


Back to basics.

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Here’s a new design. This uses a hinge I experimented with a few months ago, but have left behind whilst I developed the other styles. This box plays on earlier ideas I had to incorporate lighting with storage solutions, as can be seen in a previous visit to the photography studio.

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Initially I wanted the hinges to move within the box on elastic or a runner, but this seemed hard to achieve due to the nature of laser cutting. As  the pieces are cut in one direction it is difficult to achieve movement in another, the hinges do not flow easily. But instead, create a curved shadow effect, like the one in the image above. The hinge is also interesting when not clipped into the end pieces and hangs naturally.

The front panel of the final design simply clips onto a middle support section, I felt that gluing it to the box would limit the movement. By not permanently attaching this piece it also allows more versatility of the design. It can be removed if desired and could also aid cleaning.

This design can be developed further through increasing the size of the box and also by adding more hinge panels. The next steps for this object are to oil the parts, as I have begun in the third image, and to begin to cut false back panels to gild.


Gilding decisions.

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IMG_2563At first I was planning to simply gild the back of the boxes, as you can see in the image above. This was before I had developed the cuts for hanging the work onto nails. For a neater finish I have chosen to put false MDF backs into each of the designs, this is to hide the nail holes, as you can see in the last picture and also because gilding at right angles is not easy, and will not have as crisp a feel. To accommodate for this I have added 10mm to the depth of each design, as this will allow for the thickness of the MDF panel and raised runners which I will be using to raise the panel from the nail holes.

I have gilded these panels to have a textured finish. If I wanted a smooth and flawless finish I would have used metallic spray paint. I feel that the textured back gives more of a nod to the hand finished element of the design and is a contrast against the clean cuts the laser cutter creates. The texture of these will also allow light to bounce off the panels in a more arbitrary way.

 


Hanging the light boxes.

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I always see these light boxes as being hung, but they could also form table top lights and, on a larger scale, even become a floor lamp.

I have experimented with three different cuts to hang them over a nail, and the light boxes will have false backs so these will be hidden. After playing with a nail and these cuts I have decided that the style on the right is the best as it will allow a larger nail to be used if desired. This cut does need to be made a little smaller though to allow for a smaller head on a nail. This will now be incorporated into all of the back panels of the light boxes at different angles to allow the box to be hung in different ways.


Choosing light sources.

For a while now I have been mostly buying LED lamps with smaller fittings to add versatility to the design, as a smaller bulb allows for tighter bends. I am hoping to only use LED lighting in my work for the degree show as this adds an aspect of sustainability to the design, alongside the use of MDF and Valchromat which are both made using factory waste.

I have been looking into more decorative bulbs too, like the squirrel cage bulbs, these are also available as an LED which is more suitable than the traditional type as less heat will be generated.


Cutting the pulley light, again.

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Transitioning into a much thicker material has not been easy, and not all of the reconfigured measurements were successful. The pulley light has fallen by the wayside recently, and I am not sure if I will have a finished piece for the degree show or a working model. I have had issues with the second piece of hinge that allows the form to bend back on itself. I have now got the design to work in 6mm MDF, but as I have had to make the hinge section larger I now have a much shorter object. I will need to elongate the design to get the final size larger. This cannot be done using a laser cutter at uni, so I will have to cut it with Bespoke Laser UK.


Glue experiments.

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I have decided to test a few things out with glue, as I feel that the results of Araldite can be so varied. The issues I’ve had in the past include the glue becoming too spongy after it has set and causing parts to become wobbly and eventually fall out.

 

The image above shows two experiments, firstly the use of Gorilla Glue’s two part epoxy instead of Araldite, which seems to be much stronger and a lot easier to work with as it is less “gloopy.” The initial working texture is a lot smoother, and it is more clear when the glue has exceeded its working stage. The second experiment it that I have left the protective film over the perspex, something I usually remove after cutting but before this stage. I wanted to see if I could remove the excess glue before peeling off this layer and cleaning the perspex with methylated spirits. This worked, and it also means that less scratches are left on the pesrpex.

 

So, two successful experiments.


Testing the cuts.

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At the same time I got the smaller box light cut I also got a version of the self supporting light cut. The images show the design with LED tape inside. This size of design uses 75cm of tape.

 

Issues with this design include the size of the supporting hinges, they are not wide enough for the thickness of the material, and also need to be a little more flexible. These hinges will be shorter in the final design, I needed them to be longer for this design to determine where they need to be. The flexibility of the large middle hinge is good, so the only change here will be to put in a semi circle to aid the lifting of the hinge.

 

The next plan for this design is to create a larger version.