What I thought was a good idea – and all the work that went into an object trying to make it work.


Responding to a call to participate in the APM (Accredited Professional Member) exhibition by CraftACT with the title Interior Exterior I decided to make a light object. This show will open on Thursday 18 September at 6PM. Taking the dualism in the title as a starting point I used a warm light (1watt LED) representing the interior and a cold white LED as its counterpart. Both lights are directed towards each other and shinning onto a slightly curved transparent screen. See image of a few preliminary drawings for this object.

This screen is the membrane separating the inner from the outer. At this screen the different light qualities mix or fuse. Interestingly you can see the cold white on the ‘warm’ side of the screen and visa versa.

However when I started to model the components for a simulation on formZ (CAD) it became apparent that ‘all that stuff’ I needed to hold the elements in place was distracting form the pure, initial idea. What are now little cubes housing the LEDs were various (failed) designs going from bad to hideous. Even the cubes I have now are somewhat a compromise. Also the base-box which is capped by two alu plates and a white rapid prototyped frame feels like a necessary compromise to me. It contains the switch, driver and an additional LED (360 degree), which illuminates the base lightly from the inside.

First I wanted the top alu plate to be in mirror-polish but this particular alu piece I used had too many inclusions creating the occasional streak in the otherwise polished surface. To hide these streaks I used the new high tech Ink jet printer at the ANU School of Art , it can print on anything up to 40 mm thick with ink. The ink is then cured (baked on) with UV light. (One of our staff printed on a room door). The pattern I got printed onto the alu was derived from a piece of white sandpaper scanned in then the image was inverted and finally a ‘chrome’ filter in Photoshop applied. I usually avoid filters and effects at all cost but this pattern seemed to be able to run from the interior to the exterior section of the object without problems.

Now that this object is together and shines when switched on it has grown a little on me, but still it is an object that is neither a lamp nor a sculpture. Maybe, if I find the right (friendly) term for it it will settle into its place. Materials: Aluminium, ABS plastic, LEDs. Dimensions: 100 x 100 x 95 mm

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