Thursday, 26 April 2012

Display (inside the dome)

Since experimenting making the dome I have been thinking about how I am going to display the external monitor inside the dome and hide the laptop and speakers. At first I was thinking of either making a wooden unit  for everything to go inside, and either having the monitor on top of this, or make something to hide everything with the monitor enclosed inside with a cutaway to view. My main concern is that due to the nature of the lightweight fabric of the dome I feel this would not look right aesthetically, so I'm thinking of using a white stretch fabric to cover a small table and then continue with the Clingfilm web-like effect on top of this. I started experimenting with the height that I wanted the monitor to be. I used a laptop table that happens to be the right height for the monitor, see photo below:


This is also good as it has a fan underneath that would stop the laptop (below) from overheating. The laptop  would also be laid flat on a wooden board underneath the table.  However I need to camouflage everything to blend in with the dome webbing and balloons, and also to leave a way in at the front for me to access the laptop to be able to turn it on. This would be so much easier if I could have all the other equipment outside of the dome but I'm trying to save space as there will be quite a lot of us showing our work. I feel that there must be a way of doing this, I just need to experiment with some different materials.  It would also be much easier if I could access the laptop from behind but that will not be possible due to the webbing effect of the dome.

I did ponder on the idea of making another dome inside and covering with the same material but leaving a cutaway to view the monitor, with the laptop and speakers hidden in the base. I know this would take up too much room but I do like the idea of a dome within a dome  :-)

So next I'm going to do some experiments with this.....  I may be gone sometime :-)

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Dome Top Cover

My next experiment for the dome was to do a cling film wrap with clear small balloons randomly spread both on the inside and outside of the dome. I gradually wrapped the cling film around each pole starting from the bottom and worked upwards to the top by criss-crossing around each pole. I used a different technique for the entrance, and added most of the balloons last since I didn't have that many. Some of the balloons that I used were far too big, but since they were all I had available at the time I decided to use these to see how they looked to get an idea. This was very time consuming but I really liked the effect. It had a slightly contradictory feel about it. On one hand it had a very magical feel, but it also felt slightly sinister too. The balloons reminded me of individual eggs in a cocoon that were either waiting to hatch or die. Being inside the dome made me think about the cycle of life and death and this was just within the space without any monitor playing a video or breathing sounds that would be also inside.

I was really happy with how this experiment turned out :-)

Making Dome



While I haven't exactly finished this. I need more balloons and more cling film added to the layers, but I feel confident that I want to make this as part of my installation for the final show :-)

I also need to work on my video/audio to be shown inside and think about the design for building a unit for the monitor/ speakers and laptop.  

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Experimenting covering the dome

I had planned to use either clear PVC or large bubbled bubble wrap to make the cover of the dome, but both these materials encountered some problems. Firstly I found the clear PVC fabric a little too heavy for the structure and aesthetically it didn't look very good either. Next I tried the bubble wrap, but due to only being able to buy this type of  bubble wrap 100cm wide, this meant that there would have to be more seams which I didn't think would look very good either. For this to work it would have had to have been 200cm wide so there were only seam lines where the poles were. I did  a couple of quick experiments throwing over the bubble wrap to get an idea, but I knew this wouldn't work aesthetically due to the seams, but having said that my fighty bity friend in the photo does enhance the bubble wrap :-)


I also tried experimenting with a decorating sheet to get an idea of the  lightness of fabric that I would require. Again my cute little friend being inside makes this look much better  :-) 

Inside Dome


While I did like the ephemeral nature of this fabric I also knew this wasn't the right fabric that I was after either. However I found it interesting to watch this fabric moving outside in the breeze. Below is a short video clip of the fabric moving:

Friday, 13 April 2012

Making the dome base

The base and structure of the dome looks really simple, but it actually took a little while to make.

Below is the list of materials and tools:

Tent Poles
Tarpaulin Sheet
Strips of Fabric
Bubble wrap
Needle and Thread
Sewing Machine
Block of wood
Paint and brushes

1.  Painted tent poles white. This took several coats where I painted some intermittently outside on sunny days.


2, Cut to size the white tarpaulin sheet. This size had to be slightly bigger than I previously thought due to the bending of the poles. I also left approximately 10cm extra on each side to fold and machine sew. The actual finished size of the base is now 200cm x 200cm. I left enough space between the sewn line to place strips of fabric inside the tarpaulin for reinforcement of the eyelets.


3, Cut four strips of fabric to size to fit between the sewn edge of the tarpaulin (see photo above). Pierce an eyelet through each fabric strip. To do this it's best to cut a very small hole in the fabric before placing the eyelet on top of the fabric. Then put on a block of wood to hammer the eyelet in place. The eyelet in the photo below has worked really well :-) Must admit I did have some failures.


4,  Since the eyelets and base of the dome are a vital component to holding up the poles and structure, I also reinforced the eyelets by sewing around each one:


5,  Next I measured and placed each strip through the sewn area of the four corners of the tarpaulin, before then sewing each strip in place. I then pierced  holes through each corner of the tarpaulin to directly line up with each eyelet below for the attachment of the poles.

This makes a really secure and neat base, where the eyelets and  fabric strips are hidden. In the photo below you can also see the last black pole before painting :-) 


6, I then cut the large bubbled bubble wrap to size, and sewed three strips together to cover the base of the tarpaulin. 


7, Finally I individually popped each air pocket of the bubble wrap floor, as I don't want this popping really loud when people walk on it. Though for some reason the pockets seem to refill with air slightly so subtle pops can still be heard while walking over :-) I'm not exactly sure about having this on the floor yet!


Unfortunately I have no photos of only the base and painted poles put together due to most of the poles not being dry at the time.

 My next post will show my experiments with covering  the dome :-)