Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fabrication Begins

Although minor tweaking is still occuring on some text and image sizing/placement, Team BFRP has reached a new phase in this project: fabrication. Three large (c. 90 x 166 inches) have been successfully stained, and one panel is 95% complete.  This first panel is one of the easiest to paint, as it consist of oversize text that will be facing the Tennessee River viewscape. The process used at the Mark Making Studio involves several steps. First the panels were attached to the wall. Then the panels were stained using sponges.  Finally, Illustrator images were projected onto the panel at the correct scale, the letters were traced with eraseable markers, and then they were filled in with black paint.

Zack, Frances, Tanya, and Lindsay prepare to trace the projected text.
Painting the text.
This first panel in essence constitutes our shakedown cruise for establishing painting techniques and procedures. What we have realized in starting this part of the journey is just how much more work needs to be done. It is a sobering realization.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Design nearing completion, and a minor setback

Team BFRP welcomes the addition of Lindsay Roden, who joined us last week!

The team has nearly completed its design phase, thanks largely to the concerted Illustrator efforts of Tanya. A couple of images are being finessed, and we will decide on a font (or fonts) this week. The Mark Making studio has been prepped (walls covered in plastic prior to painting, scaffolding erected), and the substrate dimensions were finalized, resulting in an order to the supplier.

Unfortunately, when it arrived the substrate fabric was found to be an "alternate" material that did not meet our specs, so it was returned. The supplier is replacing the panels with the correct material, but this puts us back one week. However, this is crunch time for Mark Making (see their homepage link below), as they are bringing another project to fruition at CSAS this weekend, so the delay is actually ok. And it gives us a chance to complete our design. Starting next week (or at least after Thanksgiving!) we'll be in the fabrication phase of this project.

Mark Making's home page
 - friend them on Facebook at Mark Making

Friday, November 5, 2010

Gearing Up

The Team is getting close: today at the Mark Making studio we finished designing the blast furnace process pictograph (definitely a group effort), and the images were photoed and loaded into Illustrator. After editing and sizing (ongoing), we will be able to project them against the wall at full scale. Then we start painting.

Shea working on a locomotive image for the pictograph.
Meredith's rendition of a traditional charcoal-fueled blast furnace.

Frances demonstrates projection painting.
The team spent considerable time peering at the background fabric shading (think "parchment"), and tried out several different paint formulas and application methods (a large sponge seems to work best). We also looked at how well the black painted lettering and images will contrast with the background at distance.

Other tasks included finalizing panel sizes and grommet placement in each panel, which is a precursor for ordering the fabric. This lead to a discussion of procedures for mounting the fabric to the frame, and safety issues in doing so. We also grappled with the Luffing Problem: seasonal temperature differences will produce more (summer) or less (winter) tension in the fabric. Minimizing luff will be an important priority.

The end of the work session was devoted to viewing the images at full scale against the wall, composing captions, and charting out a work schedule once the fabric arrives (in about a week or ten days).