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Plankton Project: day 1

April 9, 2012

Saturday I sat down and went through photos online to start figuring out my approach to the sculpture. Today, Monday, I’m starting work on a form. The first focus is on zooplankton, mainly copepods. These little guys & gals scurry about through the water column consuming other critters and plants. Their body form looks  like other arthropods: shrimp, lobsters, sow/pill bugs and even fleas, just to name a few.  It took me a while to figure out where to start the experiment. Initially,  I played with just bending wire to create a large form. This didn’t do anything to help, except let me re-familiarize myself with wire (it was way to ugly to even post an image of!). What I needed was a paper form.  I had to think about how the armor/exoskeleton of shrimp or lobsters allow them to flex. Copepods would be able to flex in a similar manner. To visualize it, I cut paper and laid it over a dorsal ridge of wire.

This more closely resembled what I was looking for. Next, I took 19g wire and created a matching outline of the paper cut-outs and bent the forms.

Sketches and wire.

After bending, I located some crumpled tracing paper. The paper was then torn, glued and wrapped around the wire form to create the exoskeleton.

The forms can still be bent and adjusted to achieve a final fit, but I’m not certain at this point how they will attach to one another. At least the thought process has started!

More playing to come tomorrow.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. jhv57 permalink
    April 9, 2012 6:37 pm

    Interesting forms. How large will they be?
    If scaled like photos, have you considered sewing?

    • paperstew permalink*
      April 9, 2012 8:19 pm

      This is still in the experimental stage and total size is yet to be determined. There is no size constraint for this show. I love sewing paper but I’m not certain about for this project, but an interesting idea! Thanks for your ideas/ comment!

  2. jhv57 permalink
    April 10, 2012 9:50 am

    Hi, Nominated you for WordPress Versatile blogger award! See the link here for more details!

    • paperstew permalink*
      April 10, 2012 2:54 pm

      Thanks. I think this makes 3 nominations for versatile blogging and one for Kreative blogging. Not certain when I’ll start dishing the nominations out to others… soon. Probably when I actually start following more wordpress blogs. Too many of my friends are on blogspot. 😦

  3. April 10, 2012 3:14 pm

    Another ocean shore theme. You’ll fill your tide pool yet.

  4. April 16, 2012 3:37 pm

    This is fascinating

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