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Icarus Resurrection by dante2

Working model After the idea is complete the work begins. In 2006 the idea of mechanically articulating motion of wings came to me.  Only currently, 2009, the project has taken off, no pun intended. I was in a cathedral in San Juan, Puerto Rico,  looking at the angels with their wings spread pointing skyward. The light was pouring through the large front door. As the light flickered and moved so did the shadows that fell off the wings, accenting the space between the wings. I noticed the negative space became more important then the positive shape.

Light / Shadow , negative/positive , real /illusion blur. Bizarrely, I found op art in the most unforeseen location, a cathedral. This is yet another off shoot of familiar  themes that are prevalent in previous projects. The images show the work in progress which sometimes seem to be more interesting then the final product. The Process of mechanical mistakes and then engineering, re engineering and reverse engineering is similar to the pencil marks that rough out a drawing.

This blog is a work in progress

Inspiration:

Resource and development images:

Connection to the myth:

Simple

LMCC, Weather Beacon, Stage I by dante2

I made the original idea/plan in Sketchup. It is easy to use and it functions as a great sketch pad. People can quickly see what you want to make but you do not have to go into every detail of what ever you are making. The easy and fun part is now over and I am starting the migration of the piece into Solidworks. Solidworks is great but I am always learning. The piece has four or five rotating wheels that light will be projected behind. There are some major engineering issues that have to be resolved but the most major one is how to have all these rotate and keep the supporting arm completely straight. Flex is bad. After I showed what I had done to Mark, very smart person. He made some suggestions that seemed to make sense. Make the functional mechanism a planetary gear system. Think of it as a all the mechanisms forming a pyramid protruding off the wall. It would be much more stronger then a pipe or rod coming of the wall. Flex would not be such a issue. hypothetically of course. So I threw out several weeks off work and started last week on a new system. It is not finished at all, but the main ideas of the mechanism is coming to light.

Update: I am now rethinking the planetary gear system, but the pyramid structure idea is good. More drawings need to be done to really figure it out.

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The Begining of Icarus by dante2

Like most human I have always been interested in birds. Even birds that did not fly like the poor kiwi. I am more interested in the mechanics of the wing then flight it self. Do not get me wrong, I am still amazed when I am in the air for 14 hours.  But, the mechanics are extremely complex and amazingly strong and when they are working they seem simple.

Past projects have dealt with elements of rotating arms or discs with light around them moving at different speeds and orientations. With this project I wanted to get a little distance from those type of projects. When making complicated mechanical pieces it is hard to change directions.  You end up generated one piece based on the previous piece.

I was taking pictures of birds on the edge of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and I noticed that all this complicated bioengineering disappeared when you saw the birds silhouette against the blue sky. The birds body and wings became a negative pattern punched into the crystal blue sky. The dance between what is positive and negative is what led me to the mechanics. The need to know how to make something that can generate something unattainable, light and the lack of it. Wings seemed like a perfect devise to project the unattainable.

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With all this higher use of my limited gray matter made me think about Greek myths. The story of Icarus came to mind. Out of need to escape Crete, his father made wings for both of them to escape. Over come by the feeling of flight he attempting to obtain something that was not his to have. As we all know he crashed into the sea.

After thinking about all this I started to make some basic drawings for the project called, Icarus. Icarus will be a fully articulating set of wings made from glass with a rotating light source in the middle. At this point, I am not sure that I can make something this complex simple but what is generated will hopefully be interesting never the less.

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Mini nonsense by dante2

The work always starts to big and then slowly, over time, get more reasonable. Mini non sense in a smaller version of a earlier piece called Lost Sense. I have been making all my sculptural pieces in the computer first for the last 7 years. Starting with illustrator, then moving to vector works and now solid works. With every programs come mostly positive results. The only thing is that when you move from one program to the next you have to re-learn everything over. It seems that you never get to the finish line. Solidworks is a great program. The learning curve was steep but like everything if you spend enough time staring at it you slowly understand it a little bit better. With knowledge gives you freedom and it is really amazing what it can do. It allows you to see your mistakes before you make them in real. It still takes just as long to figure what you are making but the results are much better.

The reason that I am going into such detail about the process is that I think the piece has a certain finish and comforting scale that would not be obtained if not for the process.

The scaling down from Lost Sense was the planing stage for the Museo de Arte de Caguas and CAVA store proposal.

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