Mike Roig, Sculpture
The Texas Two Step: Avian Edition
November 23, 2019
My opening image for this commission is a photoshop mash up of the simple
penciled map of the proportions I'll need to work with and a ghosted on overlay of the
sculpture that inspired my clients to ask for the commissioned sculpture they seek. We have
agreed that I will work to create a unique variation on a theme of that original piece.
The scale is to be increased to seventeen feet in height. The materials as
with the last two commissions documented on these pages will be all stainless steel. One difference
I know right off the bat is that each of the two revolving armatures will carry four tiers of bird
shapes rather than the three of the original inspiration.
Another change is in the sillouette of the birds. Google tells me the state bird of Texas is the
mockingbird, regular - and entertaining - aerobatic visitors to our feeders here at the studio. A quick consult
with my trusty Roger Tory Peterson Guide and I drew up a slightly simplified sillouette - simplified
in part because with 150 - 200 of these shapes to be dealing with I'm not anxious
to risk daily skewering with sharp pointed stainless steel plumage.
A more important consideration is to maximize the aerodynamics of what I'll need
these shapes to provide in pulling the kinetic elements around. By filling in the gaps between
feathers I give the form slightly more resistance on the concave side while affecting
the convex side very little.
Scale-wise, there will be 12 inches of clearance between the support rings,
so the shapes themselves will need to measure about
nine inches across once shaped.
Well, I think the thinking part of this project is ready to move towards some fabrication. To that end
the steel yard just delivered the linear elements I'll be working with to both build the armatures that
will hold the birds, and those that will provide the substructure for the base. I've had a conversation
with them about getting the bird shapes laser cut, but as that is down the road a bit yet I'm going to
sit with those shapes for now.
I've also found some very nice stainless steel hubs to work with for the
bearing settings. First up will be to build a work stand at ground level to support the two amatures
at the exact relationship of width and offset heights so I can work on them at ground level. But
that's for another day - one with less rain. The stage is set.
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