Day one was a very productive day. I took apart electronics for the motherboards. I didn’t know it would be that difficult to retrieve a clean motherboard due to the amount of small double bolt/screws used to attach the batteries and wires. At first, I kept twisting but the screws wouldn’t unscrew. Then, I noticed it was double bolted on the other side. Then, by using a plier to hold it down, I was able to unscrew the screws using a screwdriver. After this, I cut big pieces of metal into smaller ones using the metal plate cutter, and I chopped some metal tubes. Next, I joined the second group for welding, where I chopped a piece of metal tube, sanded it, cleaned it, and welded it. Welding difficult for me because I can’t seem to hold my hand in the right position. I couldn't’ start or stop at the places Steven asked me to. I just kept practicing laying 1-inch beads. Then, I tried tack welding and welding over tack welds. By the end of this session, I got better, but not well. After welding, I used the plasma cutter. It is easier than welding and I liked it. It came into my mind that I don’t want to cut through the metal pieces, but create engravings. I turned the power lower, but sparks flew everywhere, which I remembered Steven told me was wrong. So, I asked Steven for help and figured there’s something called an engraver. After class, I engraved a little bit. Suddenly, a piece of metal gear on a bike caught my eyes. It took me around 1 ½ hours to retrieve it with help of Bridget and Steven. We used bolt cutter, square bolt socket, hammer, etc. Finally, we removed the gear along with the pedal attached. Then, it took me another 40 min to grind a place where we thought was interlocked then molted for secure. But, after continues patterns of grinding and destructive actions, the piece didn’t bulge.    

I went to the UCLA bicycle shop to ask for help. I learned that the only way to remove the pedal is to cut it off. So, I must use the plasma cutter for this.  

  Day 2 is also a productive day. I cut metal pieces I want to use later when assembling the whole sculpture. I want swirly metal pieces that will be around the globe to represent the different auratectonic and the magnetic energies of Earth. I found a large piece of sheet metal to work with. At first, I used the sander to sand some rusts off for around 1 hour. However, I discovered that the orange color of the rusts look beautiful. So, I switch to a grinder, which was way faster to polish the sheet and leave rough textures. Then, I drew shapes I want on the metal using a thick black marker. However, I discover it I can’t see them once I put on the protection mask. So I just estimated my cuts of straight metal pieces with curls ends using the plasma cutter. I also discovered the beauty of a double cut after cutting some pieces out. Then, I cut blade shapes for the fan like part of the sculpture. Last but not least, I cut up small geometric shapes that I want to include into my work later.

  Day 3, I welded metal pieces together to create the fan shape object. First, I took metal blade pieces I cut from last time and arranged them by size. I also adjusted their length using the shear cutter, so it would show progression. I welded double side on each piece. I burned holes into the metal on my first few welds. With Bridget’s help, I learned to fill up the holes by welding side to side. I think the most difficult thing in this process (other than the actual welding itself) is clamping down the materials. Since it is in stacking positions, it is difficult to lay the connection surfaces of each piece flat, which creates little gaps. Afterwards, I polished metal pieces using the sander. What I learned today is that whatever you do with metal be careful of its ability to conduct heat. I got burned in a lot of areas on my hand by picking up or simply just holding on the metal while working today.

Day 4, I worked on a lot of things but did not find successfulness due to the inability to achieve what I want. I checked on the plastic balloon I injected with glue a week back, the glue is still not dry yet. Without it been ready, I cannot work on metal. So, I injected plaster into the ball using a glue bottle (thinking it will dry like a hard shell inside). A problem, I came across is that I would be able to inject only a little before the hole becomes clogged. Out of anger, I cut a big hole open and injected plaster using a fennel. The same problem occurred, the plaster doesn’t seep through. So, I injected water then plaster and mix inside the ball. The balloon became really heavy and flat. As a result, I dug sand in a bucket into a concave sphere shape and place the balloon in there.

Day 5, the plaster still didn’t dry. The plaster sunk to the bottom and dried leaving a pool of water above it. I added more plaster into it to see if it dries. However it didn’t. So, I cut the sitting end to let out the water. Then, I mixed really un-liquidated plaster and try stuffing it in. The ball became really heavy. I saw a girl using some plastic balls and asked for some to stuff the balloon (hoping it could reduce the weight). I soon realize I can do the same thing with unwanted water bottle too. So, I took out some balls and used recycled water bottle instead to save resource. Last, I put more plaster into the ball to fill the gaps.

Day 6, the plaster still didn’t dry properly. So, I decided to cut it open. By doing so, I created a big mess. It was dripping everywhere and un-dried plaster chunks were leaking out. This really annoyed me. So, I removed all plaster that was inside and remixed plaster to put in. As I put plaster in again, I discovered that the plaster pieces that cling on to the balloon surface looked like clouds. So, I mixed plaster to work on that first to make myself feel better (from the frustration of filling up the balloon). Then, I went back to work on my balloon filling. With the plaster still drying up, I decided to work on building the city first. I was thinking to put up a flat piece of wood and color it like the sky. However, an idea popped into my head. I thought, today, the world is so technological; why not make a futuristic city that is bound by technology? So, I decide to hot glue a motherboard piece up the hollowness. Overall, I’m very excited about next week, because I’ll be starting to put everything together.

Anko Chang
February 23, 2014