The sparks are flying, the paint is drying, and everything is (foreseeably) delayed. This is the way of things. We’ve been working out of a garage-based metal studio in Bowness, rented from a friend, and grinding our teeth towards some sort of conclusive install schedule.
The metal components of our hourglass armatures are built from steel, laser-cut and hand-welded by the very patient Rob Reuser, local artist and ticketed welder (the owner of this fab Bowness studio).
Once the armatures are finished, they will be brass-plated and fitted with hourglasses. Steel is easier to work, but brass has the aesthetic sensibility and warmth we’re searching for. Brass-plated steel is a fine compromise for an artwork overhead (and out of reach).
We’ve been balancing our time at the studio with prep work onsite at the old King Edward School. Because of the school’s age, heritage status, and unusual construction, we aren’t able to suspend the hourglasses directly from the plaster ceiling. Instead, we’re building a grid-structure about 6-inches below the ceiling (similar to a theatre lighting grid).
The weight-bearing walls of the space will absorb the bulk of the hourglasses, and the grid structure will allow us maximum flexibility to play with composition when we finally start suspending the hourglasses.
In order to encourage a ‘floating’ illusion, we’re painting this grid structure white. It’s our intention that the grid essentially disappear once the hourglasses are suspended in the space. This is the case with most public installations – the substructures, while absorbing a huge amount of time, energy, and budget, fade into obscurity, no more noticeable than light switches, fire extinguishers, or electrical conduit.
And so it goes. Our invisible preparations continue, aiming towards a new deadline looming sometime in the imminent future. The sparks have flown, the paint has dried, and we are vibrating, waiting for the chaos to begin.