With the main fame and the roughly fabricated “rays” it was time to move on and attempt to customize each ray of the current “sun” project. As previously stated I have continued to struggle with the design and vision since day one. Things are not getting any easier.

The idea is to customize each ray using metal of different shapes, sizes, colors, and materials. I will attempt to make each one uniquely different. I need to ensure that the entire structure will end up having a feel of unity but at the same time things need to have contrast and be different. I want to ensure that there will be plenty on detail that will provoke thought and contemplation however I don’t want things to get weird. Some rays will have my own significant interpretations built into them; others will be left to the imagination of others to help tell the story.

I needed to come up with a color/material palette. I have chosen to use bare sheet metal, galvanized sheet metal, copper, brass, expanded metal, mesh, cold rolled round bar, mix of cold and hot rolled flat bar, as will as different pipes that I have laying around. Using all these materials in different ways will hopefully allow me to create different colored and textured rays. I will take turns sharing all the different materials, and combinations of, on each ray. This will create my consistency and unity. The one big risk that I will run into is that I won’t know if my idea(s) will work until the project is complete. By that time it will be too late to change.

On with the fabricating…I started out with some basic ideas to see how things would progress. Each ray is being built “rough”, in other words, each piece of metal, weld, or cut is going to be done by me flying by the seat of my pants. My intention is to make 9 of the 12 rays far from perfect; however they need to be visually stimulating. I started my first design using a “dented” concept. The work was fairly straight forward, using 1 of the pre-shaped 20 gauge rays I hammered in different sizes of convex and concave circular dents. It took a wee bit of beating but the pattern worked out well. As far as all the hammer marks go I had planned to leave them, they add character.

The next ray I call a “patch” panel. I took another pre-bent panel and drew out a series of patches over the entire ray. Then with the plasma torch in one had and the MIG gun in the other (who am I kidding, I am not an ambidextrous fabricator) I started to cut out the patches 1 seam at a time. I followed the cuts with the MIG welder and tack welded them all back together again. Skill level required was 1 star but even though it was simple to do the overall image is going to work.

The third panel I named “pick up sticks”. The idea was to use .250”, .3125”, and .375” cold rolled round bar and create a jumbled pile of sticks. Since I intend to clear coat the panels I wanted to ensure that I could take the sticks of to aid in the finishing process. I rough welded up some support washers, bolted them to the ray, and then began building my sticks. Since I wanted to incorporate some copper and brass into the mix I decided to metal solder in a few highlight sticks to start to bring some color into the mix.

I am unsure how all these different panels will gel together once installed. Hopefully I am heading in the right direction, time will tell. Until then I need to come up with 6 more designs for the remaining panels.

  1. Mike says:

    I really like the first panel, looks like rain drops on water as seen from below the water.

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hey Mike, the first panel worked out well, as far as overall effect goes. The process to get there was rather barbaric so I get no points for finnese however it worked. I never viewed it as rain drops but I can totally see it now.


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