Thursday, March 28, 2013

DIARY 112 ~ The Tin Machine

Sometime ago, I thought it might be fun to make something out of tin lids. As I work part-time in the Kitchen at Windhorse, I ferreted away tin lids and cans of various sizes for quite a few months before I actually started experimenting with actually bashing, flattening and forming them. Until I did this, I hadn't really much of a clear idea what I wanted to do with them and started to become excited about this new medium for my artwork.

Though I began with only a wood hammer and some aviation snippers, my tools have rapidly expanded. I am now the proud possessor of a small anvil, a wide variety of shaped and letter punches, soldering iron, planishing and chasing hammers etc. I've become a bit of a metalwork nerd. I've even made myself a workshop in the cellar.

Also I've created another large artwork project for myself, a large Shrine Backdrop for the Windhorse Shrine Room.I started making the elements for this in October 2012. t. There's a curtain backdrop made out of tin lids, side panels containing verses from the Fire Sermon, and flaming panels made from tin can innards. Only in the last two weeks have all the components been made and started to assemble it .It has suprisingly come together relatively quickly. There have been the usual disfunctions between how one imagines it will fit together and how it actually does. Usually this has required a slight shift in my expectations, plus a willingness to accept a lesser degree of perfection in finish or structure. Sometimes one just has to abandon oneself to whatever is possible, but still works.

It's been a very enjoyable creative curve I've been on, during which I've learned, sometimes by my mistakes, many useful tips. I've yet to fully master soldering,for instance. Many of my early solders 'failed' and I've had to re-do them once I started assembling them. I don't think I'll ever want to do anything more than light soldering. My ambitions for myself in this area are only on a need to know basis. If I need to know how to do something for a particular artwork, then I'll find out more about how to do it.

I'm aiming to have the piece ready to install by early May, before the Celebration of the Buddha's Enlightenment on the 24th May. I've got time off at the beginning of April, where I'd really like not to have to think about this piece anymore. It is looking likely that I could finish it by the end of next week, barring anything unforeseen arising, hurrah! So far its 3/4's finished, but its already looking quite splendid.


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