Monday, July 6, 2015

Kossuth colony sculpture

Here are the steps of how I created a sculpture of the Kossuth colony as part of my commission to create six sculptures for the ReImagining Works project of the Dayton Metro Library

Kossuth Colony sculpture by Darren Kall - Property of Dayton Metro Library

The Kossuth Colony was built by the Barney & Smith Train Car Factory to house the Hungarian immigrants who came to Dayton to work at the factory. A family could buy their new home from the factory for $800. There was a general store in the colony. If you look at the horizon line in my sculpture you'll see that the colony also had a wall to cordon it off from the rest of Old North Dayton. 

The wall is long gone, but the houses still remain. When I walked around the community I found the neighborhood that was the Kossuth Colony. Many years later, and many remodelings, yet this moment from history is still clearly with us today. 

I selected this scene of the Kossuth Colony because of the long perspective. The original photo had many people in their front yards or out in the common area in front of the yards. In this, and all the sculptures, I chose to not depict people. I was concerned that at this size people would be too small to easily be identifiable as people. 

I cut out the sky first. I was concerned with offsetting the solidness of the house area. Unlike the other sculptures this piece would not be as easy to balance. So I ensured that the sky fractures were at their thickest (most open) and therefore brighter closest to the houses. 

Once I finished the sky I started on the buildings themselves. For practical reasons I started on the right hand side and worked to the left. My preference would have been to work farther details first, but because I'm right-handed I didn't want to smudge the chalk lines as I was working from left to right. 

All the cutting complete you can see just how messy the black paper got even with my best efforts not to smudge. There were guidelines, there were fingerprints, there were my precedence markers, and all of that needs to be cleaned off before I could use the artwork.

Here's my first pass at cleaning up the artwork. I lightly brush the eraser over the surface getting the obvious marks. I do it with a kneadable eraser.

Then I go back and clean it up once again with a hard eraser and a kneadable eraser using the magnifying glass. I have to do this because the scanner is so sensitive it finds the slightest chalk mark. And this chalk mark might be misinterpreted as a cutout shape when the scanned image is converted in later steps. Once it's done, it's scanned in and ready for the next step.

This is what remained behind after I cut out all the pieces. 

Here is what the artwork looks like when it's converted to CAD.  

Here is the CAD drawing with the plotted pathway for the water-jet cutter to follow from one opening to the next. I appreciate the pattern of the red line over the blue lines as a art piece all on its own. 

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