Artist residency, tiling projects

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Work in progress on mathematical tiling done during my Artist Residency at MASS MoCA this month. Also models made with computer scientist Duane Bailey this past July. Scroll down this post for construction pics.

 

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38 lanterns for NYCity gala

 

photo 1This time last week I was in NY City at MASS MoCA’s 15th anniversary fundraising gala with artist Darren Waterston showing off our latest collaboration, a sold-out edition of 35 lanterns. It was such a pleasure to work on Darren’s spectacular installation Filthy Lucre (the centerpiece of his show Uncertain Beauty at MASS MoCA). Watching him paint beautiful, mysterious landscapes onto panes of glass for the lanterns was equally splendid. A real treat.

Darren paintingDarren Waterston, painting landscapes onto glass

 

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gala w Darren

The Plank: Patinated and Polished to Perfection

Creative collaboration: 8.5ft of steel reinforced, painted, kiln-fired and copper-foiled stained glass for NY artist Jason Middlebrook; now finished and on exhibition in Chicago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glazing the Middlebrook plank

Photos taken in the studio today, starting with tack-soldering the copper-foiled glass into the steel frame.

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and the flip side of the plank, with glass in place and ready to be soldered tomorrow morning.

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Plus one last photo of our fancy gloves…

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Read other posts about Jason Middlebrook‘s stained glass plank: the early drawings; welding and fabricating a steel armaturereinforcing the armature, cladding with copper foil, modeling the tree bark, taking templates and cutting glass.

Or come to Open Studio tomorrow, Friday Sept 5th, from 4-6pm

Open Studio Friday, Sept 5th 4-6pm

My latest artist collaboration: a stained glass plank for Jason Middlebrook. Come and visit my studio before it leaves for Chicago. All welcome (details below).

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photo 3 Above, still wrapping the armature with copper foil. Below, glasspainting.

Read other posts about Jason Middlebrook‘s stained glass plank: the early drawings; welding and fabricating a steel armaturereinforcing the armature, cladding with copper foil, modeling the tree bark, taking templates and cutting glass.

photo 4The glass on the left still has one layer of contact paper from the sandblasting. I’m painting enamel into the areas that were blasted.

photo 5Removing contact paper masks. After a little cleaning up, I kiln-fired each piece to fix the enamel permanently into the surface of the glass.

If you’re really interested, and live near enough, do come and visit my studio on Friday to see the plank before it leaves for Chicago.     Time: 4-6pm, Friday Sept 5th. Where: 359 Rue Madeline, Readsboro VT 05350. Email: dcoombs@myfairpoint.net or call me, area code 802, 423~5640.

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Steel & stained glass for Jason Middlebrook

photo 2Welding and grinding continues…

photo 4Richard has added reinforcing brackets at intervals around the perimeter of the armature according to the drawing to strengthen the whole armature and create a structure to support the bark of the plank.

Armature for stained glass plank; Jason Middlebrook and Debora CoombsNext, the bars, or “ferramenta” in stained glass lingo, which separate the painted glass panes. All have been cut and welded precisely according to Jason’s drawing.
photo 3The armature is complete.

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Next, I began wrapping every inch of steel with copper foil. See the ribbon-like perimeter with it’s reinforcing brackets.

photo 5I used 1/.4″ thick glass cut with an irregular chamfered edge to represent the outer cambium layer of the plank (between bark and wood). I wanted this to be flush with the surface of the glass panes. Concertina-like strips of bronze fill cavities in the armature to support the bark.

photo 5This was the first experimental section of the perimeter, copper-clad and sculpted with solder to resemble tree bark.

And here’s the glasscutting almost complete. I was engrossed and didn’t take photos…

photo 1-2..but Richard took a shot of me making the very last template.

photo 5-1Each pane was cut very precisely from a rubbing made from the armature.

Jason was excited to see the glass laid out over his drawing when he arrived on Thursday to start cutting masks for the sandblasting. Each pane was then sandblasted to create an incised area that was painted and kiln-fired with black glass stainers enamel.

photo 2-1Here’s the glass, laid over the cartoon. Today I’ve been glasspainting…. more photos to follow!

Armature for a Plank

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It’s not so much an armature, but rather a beautiful steel sculpture that I will be filling with stained glass according to Jason Middlebrook‘s design for “Cottonwood Plank“.

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I’d made cardboard templates from my earlier drawing of the plank, and my first task was to transfer this onto the welding table with chalk.

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Richard started re-creating the drawing with a ribbon of 2 inch by 1/8 inch cold-rolled steel flat-stock. Richard tacked a short length of angle-iron to the table to hold the bottom of the plank in place. He then welded the beginning of our flat-bar to the angle iron and we started cold-working the flat-bar, curve by curve, according to the drawing. We figured out a technique that was a lot like leading up a stained glass window, but with steel instead of lead. Richard tacked bolts and scraps of angle iron to the table to secure the curves, one by one, as we made our way around the perimeter of the drawing.

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It was important to try not to weld the flat-stock ‘ribbon’ itself to the table!

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Sculptor, Richard Criddle striking an arc with MIG welder in the background.

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We gently levered the flat-stock ‘ribbon’ out of it’s jig, which you can see here still welded to the table.

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Someone asked how we got the jig off the welding table when we’d finished, well… tediously! It took over an hour to smack off the bolts and pieces of angle iron and grind the surface back smooth. Jason stopped by a few days later to see how his piece was progressing. For Bostonians, there’s a lovely Middlebrook to be seen at the entrance to the exhibition Expanding the Field of Painting at the ICA.

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