There are a few particularities to crafting a base for mosaic: usually you create a metal armature (where reinforcement is necessary), then craft foam around that, then cover everything with a coating of resin and fiberglass wool - the same technique used for building a boat’s hull, which creates a strong, but lightweight surface. A coat of very small gravel is then applied to the final layer of resin, providing a rough surface for the cement to adhere to when laying the actual mosaic.
The foam blocks were delivered to my studio this week, and I got to work sculpting with two serrated knives and a planer. My studio is covered with foam, as am I, as is my car and my home and everywhere I’ve been lately…. but it’s coming along nicely!
The engineering team at TREMAC helped me develop simple solutions that will allow the tubes to move and resist interaction. We decided to start doing tests and I realized I could access materials in a much easier way. (transportation, logistics, prices, etc) Also, that with all the help that I could get, it was a good idea to develop some parts of the project there and then send these unassembled parts in a consolidated container. Cost wise, it was efficient to centralize the production there, cheaper to send a container from Chile than to assume the freight cost of the pipe tubes in the US and the cost of some services that I would have to pay for (like laser cutting, etc)
There are 3 different tube pieces, which I will refer to as:
-Pushing pipe (pipe runs through a chiain)
-Triple bench (3 pipes are chained together becoming one bench structure
-Circular rotation pipe (pipe is anchored in one point only, so it can be pushed circularly)
I started working for Spartan Follies while in Chile, in December 2015. I had an in-kind donation of a Chilean metal-mechanic company (TREMAC S.A.) that agreed to give me technical advice on the project in order to ensure its durability. We started with simple tests with the tires, looking for the best way to link one to the other, and also trying the paint that will resist interaction with people.
-Tires need to be painted white before applying any color, otherwise, they won't be as bright as I want them to be and also I will use more paint trying to cover the black surface. (requires more layers of color paint)
-Drilling through the tires is pretty easy, but introducing the bolts in the holes is hard because of the wires that are inside the tire. This part requires a lot of patience and hopefully the more I practice, it will get easier!
-Another of my trials was to see how to fill in a ball with sand. I discovered that the only way is to actually cut a hole in the ball. This will then be patched using a plastic material. It took a while to fill up the ball, each ball fills up with aprox. 60 kgs. sand. The sand needs to be dry and it is easier to fill it up (which was not the case with this sand, which is why it got all messy!)