The Plum Tree in this heated steel artwork magically changes color! Simulating nature the tree turns from it's pink Spring blossom color slowly into a continually deepening of crimson as the blossoms color filters into the burgundy color representing the leaves. The mechanics of this kinetic art operates 'behind the scenes' by way of a battery operated clock mechanism turning an aluminium wheel with inkjet canvas stretched and fixed to it. As the wheel turns inside the steel body the vibrant color on the canvas appears and the tree slowly changes color ; pink →burgundy → pink ; 12 hours. The life the tree expresses is complemented by it's scenery; it stands atop a lively hill made up of irregular patches and streaks of browns and is surrounded by a night sky with specks of the steels silver beneath the blue surface shining through as stars.
The images and video above are of the actual artwork for sale.
How it's Made
The Steel - Aesthetics
Heating steel you will see it become iridescent in colour turning to light to dark brown, purple, blue, turquoise. Having heated steel clock making I saw opportunity in creating landscapes this way by developing ways to layer different colour in producing scenery. Various techniques that affect the steel to change colour are used involving heat, scraping/sanding... A finish of clear lacquer is used to retain the colour and protect the surface.
The Steel - Mechanics - PATENT PENDING
0.6mm mild steel sheet was chosen primarily for it's suitability in being thin yet rigid, thin to bring the wheel close to the surface of the steel integrating the colour into the scene and rigid to keep an even plane through having shapes cut out so the colour wheel can turn close and freely behind it.. A CNC Mill guided by a drawing from a graphics program makes the cut outs from the steel sheet. Using bending brakes the sheet is bent at right angles to create a box like structure.
This shape is fixed in the corners where the steel overlaps with aligning holes that are pop riveted. Included in this riveting inside each corner are brackets with a threaded hole. The plate the clock mechanism is attached to is held to these brackets by wing bolts, these bolts are secured in a way that allows each corner of the clock mechanism plate to be moved forward and back by hand thus the angle and distance of the colour wheel to the front of the steel body can be easily adjusted for optimum performance.
The Colour Wheel - Aesthetics
Gradients and watercolour brushes in graphics software were used to create a soft natural filtering from one colour into the next. The colour change will occur at a different rate depending on the titled work. The colours are printed to fine art Giclée digital print standards on archival inkjet canvas with pigment based inks. A clear Satin varnish is sprayed on the print for protection from U.V light, dust and moisture.
The Colour Wheel - Mechanics - PATENT PENDING
A high torque clock mechanism powered by a single AA battery turns the CNC milled aluminium wheel the canvas is fixed to. A means to stretch the canvas and fasten it using fixings to the wheel while the canvas remains taut was developed, these fixings also protect the canvas from touching against the steel. An additional component is produced that using small bolts securely attaches the wheel to the hour shaft of the clock mechanism.
Dimensions ; 28cm x 28cm x 3.5cm /
inches; 11 x 11 x 1.38
Weight ; 0.9 kg /