This project came to us from my dear friend Lesli Marshall. Lesli owns Articulation Art (articulationart.com
) here in Dallas, Texas. She specializes in commercial and residential design with a wide range of services. Lesli was designing the lobby for SmartStart headquarters in Grapevine, Texas. The client had an awkward, empty space in the lobby that he wanted to fill with a large sculpture the incorporated wood and steel. The sculpture was to be 6 feet wide, up to 9 feet tall and incorporate organic shapes of both steel and exotic woods.
|The sculpture renderings|
Now that we had a design, we had to learn how to bend wood. Since we were using exotic hard woods, we were going to have to veneer the wood but we were unsure how to bend the wood efficiently. Ken came up with a brilliant idea to use our factory cart
as a stand for a giant peg board that would house steel rods to bend the wood around. We used the Laguna CNC
to cut the massive peg board.
|Cutting the giant peg board|
|Before I gridded every hole on the peg board for reference points|
The first wood that we bent was the Cedar. The Cedar was almost one inch thick and an estimated 8 inches. Our plan was to veneer a 12 foot long piece of wood, wrap it, stick it in a vacuum bag, position it on the peg board accordingly and remove all the air from the bag. This all had to be done within the 15 minute cure time. Simple right? Did I mention that this was our first time doing any of this? Nonetheless, we managed to make it all work and have a great time in the process.
|Bending the Cedar|
We used the same process with the Ash and Cherry but bent them differently.
|Bent Cedar and Ash once out of the vacuum bag|
Perhaps the hardest piece we saved for last. The piece of Cherry was almost 13 feet long!
|Bending the Cherry|
With all the wood pieces bent, we had to concentrate on the steel elements for the sculpture. We rolled .5 inch steel and chose our Shipyard patina to compliment the different tones of the exotic woods. The final step was to assemble all the pieces together. We were so pleased with the results.
|Layered Cedar (bottom), Ash (middle), and Cherry (top)|
|In its new home at SmartStart|
The sculpture ended up being 8.5 feet wide and 9.5 feet tall.
Big thanks to Lesli at Articulation Art for the opportunity to be a part of such a fun project.
For more information or to commission a design for a sculpture, please contact email@example.com