My work relies heavily on one specific tool – the laser cutter. It’s an interesting way of working as it initially requires you to be totally removed from the materials that you’re building with yet when it comes to assembly and construction, there’s no hiding from the weight and tactility of the large pieces of metal which arrive at the studio door.
My proposed sculpture came out of playing with a collection of small laser cut pieces that I had lying around in the studio from a previous sculpture. Working with small pieces of laser cut metal allows me to experiment with shape and form in an immediate way, which is obviously much harder to do when scaled up. Over the past couple of years I’ve found that by layering and spacing these shapes out with magnets I can very quickly make a series of small sculptures or maquettes that can be changed and experimented with just by reordering the way in which I hold the pieces together with the magnets.
This is exactly how I came up with the final form for the Broomhill sculpture. I wanted to create a sculpture that felt like it was part of a machine, that it had just performed an action and that now lay still and somehow broken. This notion of the machine and the removal of the hand is particularly interesting when viewed in the light of the laser cutter – the sculpture almost becomes a machine made by a machine which has a potential endlessness to it that I find interesting.
So having decided on the way in which the parts sit, the next step is to translate these into a digital drawing, or a series of parts which can eventually be sent of to be cut. The beauty about working with the small parts is that I already have the CAD files ready to be scaled up. So it’s (just) then a matter of lining them up and deciding where the holes will be placed to fix the rods that keep the whole thing together.
So technically the next step should be easy. Famous last words…