rolling stainless spirals
These spiral works of art grace the Ballard Locks, in Seattle. It appears that the individual plates are portions of conical surfaces. How would you form shapes like this?
If I had to do that I'd have to reverse engineer one and take it apart and lay it flat. It helps that it's art so money for material is no problem! Bet it eats up material to accomplish that project. My guess is a computer was used to do the basic layout.
cut out a circular section, when slightly curved while keeping one side on a flat surface the result will be a conical form.
as to arriving at the proper curves, check here:
all you need to do is guestimate the beginning of the flattest section (outermost), once that is completed the other sections are started using the mating edge of the finished part to begin the math.
Last edited by kendall; 07-24-2007 at 09:42 PM.
Paul Sorey, who built this piece, says he wrote his own 3d software to develop the shapes. I am not sure what that means- that is, whether he just wrote a kernal for some existing program, or an excell routine, or whether he actually wrote software from start to finish.
It also appears that computer controlled LED lighting is a part of this piece, but only viewable at night.
As someone who has been building public art pieces since the late 70's, I can tell you that money for material is ALWAYS a problem- nobody gets rich on a job like this.
After paying himself 10 bucks an hour for fabrication labor, there is usually no profit left for an artist on a job like this.
Here in Seattle, Dicks Drive In pays hamburger flippers ten bucks an hour to start, with benefits and even pays for a portion of college tuition.
Public artists make less than that, with no bennies.
Sorey is a UW sculpture grad, and my guess is he built these himself, in a relatively modest shop. I would guess that the framework inside creates the form, and the computer modeling told him how to cut the proper shape, but a lot of elbow grease and a few thousand screws were needed to pull the stainless into these shapes.
Guess at Equation
I would venture a guess that the mathamtical function used to generate the basic form is the Radius = Angle in a 2-D polar plot. In a 3-D polar plot, the third dimension being a plus-minus function of the angle or the radius. Not very hard to write an Excel program to calculate the reqired distances.