Space Construction // Phase Two

Phase two went ahead at the availability of the Hay Gallery. Having prepped seemingly as much of the structure as possible in the most flat pack form that I could, this was the time to test the structural stability of the piece and smooth out any technical kinks. The first of the issues that I encountered was the wooden corners, forming the arms of the 'f' shape. Due to the thickness of the board (12mm) the pieces weren't going to form much strength when placed together, which unfortunately, tampered with the aesthetic that I had hoped to achieve. Discussion with Richard led me to settle on Richard creating a corner that fitted into the existing corner where each pair of boards met. This did prove slightly difficult as one of the corners were at a slightly more awkward angle and unfortunately, this did mean using a chunk of wood that then differed from the OSB3 board I had initially decided to use. On further discussion, we decided that this could be amended by layering over a narrow piece of OSB3 board, which could be both glued and pinned/nailed in to avoid any adaptation caused by the heat and potential of the wood swelling. This can then be painted to ensure a smooth line and flowing look runs between the two existing painted boards, which is exactly what I did! There's still potential that the wood could be strengthened further yet, however, without making the structure look clunky, I struggle to figure out how to achieve this - something worth considering after take down/re-install upstairs in the studio space.

Another hiccup that the install highlighted and needed tending to immediately was the structural integrity of the copper pipe. Whilst I was aware that the two legs at the entrance of the curtain were the only legs I had planned to have and that this could absolutely challenge the structure, I didn't want to include more until I knew it definitely wouldn't work - this was confirmed quite quickly. Even with the addition of the bar that ran between the two wooden corners, the middle of the curve, particularly the large, sweeping curve, had next to no support and drooped nearly instantly. Even with three people helping me to get the structure up, parts kept falling out as the copper was yet to be soldered in it's final form and proved very unstable. Whilst this was a minor set back and was somewhat irritating, it simply allowed me to notice any imperfections quickly, which in turn was a positive as it meant that they were able to be fixed swiftly and then challenged again. This meant yet another visit from my dad whom was able to cut the pipe accordingly and add the appropriate joints, soldering the necessary parts as we went. When attempting to put the copper in place for the second time, there was an initial concern about the added legs as they had to be a different length to the first pair due to the makeup of the structure and the joints used. Initially, we thought that we might have to cut the new legs down as we tried to install the front legs first. However, we quickly realised that the new legs were the correct length, we simply had to install them first, before the entrance legs. Noticing this early in the install was relieving as it meant that we didn't waste any copper, saving material and money!

This was a valuable experience that allowed me to realise structural issues at an early enough point that they can be tended to accordingly. I still have some elements to realise, such as finding/making feet for the bottom of the copper pipe legs, giving them greater stability and potentially figuring out a way in which they can be weighted, reducing the risk of them being moved or damaged whilst the show is on. Furthermore, a group tutorial with Jonathan, Charlotte and Susie allowed for discussion of potential features, including more discrete touches, such as the yet to be made curtains. There is still plenty to be done and it is vital that I get on with all appropriate and contact the correct people necessary to move the project along!

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