I was hired on to the Read between the signs project for two summers and was able to enjoy the experience thoroughly. Many people were curious about what the "Read between the Signs" fabrication process entailed and sent me a lot of inquiries. Normally I couldn't begin to describe the experience because it is a team effort involving many different roles and the tasks are divided among many people.
However I was hired on for an extra couple of weeks as an extended continuation of the internship by the director of the project with a solo task of constructing a large three point perspective snowplow for the fence project. Given I would be working alone, I decided to keep a journal of the process, complete with pictures, from the beginning to the end of the project. This chronicles my experiences with a solo project and gives viewers more insight to the work involved in the read between the signs projects from an artist's perspective.
As with any major undertaking, it is always good to work from the general abstract idea and then narrow in on the specific details. The first task is always to develop the composition of the fence through a concept sketch. This mirrors the way that an artist begins a painting or drawing. If you do not start with a good composition, then all the craftsmanship in the world will not be able to help your work in the long run.
After the concept has been flushed out, the next phase is to construct templates in large scale. This allows you to slowly transform the concepts into workable shapes, allowing you to obtain traceable patterns to work from in the process. In this phase the blueprints for the large scale are created.
The fabrication phase is where we start utilizing the patterns we created in the previous step to obtain our metal pieces from the signs. In this phase the design decisions are made based upon the materials available and whether or not we adopt some signage patterns or cut around those for pure colors. It can be thought of as gathering the shapes to complete the puzzle and laying out those shapes to form a complete picture of the final project.
All of the previous steps lead up to the final phase where we connect the puzzle pieces via bolts and constructs to forge a single art piece. In this phase we have to make decisions such as adding spacers to achieve additional depth in the overall snow plow and structurally make it stable for its future place on the fence. You will also get to see the form assembly from various steps in its progress.