Suspended Sensation

This design was for a World Show so I had about 8 months to plan it from the time the entry was accepted. The added dimension to this was the need to have a maximum of 40% prepared (from the Show rules) that could be transported easily in my luggage for a long flight (18 hours) to the venue.

The challenge with any suspended design is physical balance. You can have the structure balance perfectly but when you add plant material the whole design becomes problematic.

My planning for this design was extensive. I drew up templates, practised with cardboard and then cut out the pieces of balsa wood that formed the structure of the design.

I decided to make this a fully mobile suspended design so each “arm” needed to move freely and independently of the others. Testing the shapes was done with cardboard until I was happy with a graduated wave form.

You can read more about the preparation of the structure in the technique post by clicking here.

Once at the Show I had to assemble the mobile. Although I had the process clear in my head, the nerves of a world competition and the pressure to get this completed quickly as I had another 2 designs to stage led to errors in judgement. I failed to think about how long the glue would take to set given the humidity of the venue. In my rush to get this design completed I broke two sections at the pivot points and had to remedy this with a less than perfect (in competition terms) solution.

In the end, the concept of the design was how I wanted it. The execution of the staging reminded me that I do need to plan for every eventuality.

Judges Comments: An intriguing design that acknowledges the venue for the Show as well as introduces some interesting plant materials not often seen in designs. A real pity this design has an obvious problem in construction that has been remedied as best it could be.
The design could have used more of the vertical space.

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