This drawing was discovered under a pile of stuff in John's office, it's the original drawing done by me, with a list of jobs involved in the process written on the bottom by John. At this point I really had no clue what would be involved in the whole process.
Looking a lot like a Cylon reincarnation ship, the final eight micro seconds came out the investment mold looking pretty tidy. I've cut them of the runners and risers and belt ground the hell out of them, the next stage is a little less violent and just involves a little heat.
I built this aquatic rig at my mate Jakey's summer place in Sweden. It's made out of scrap material and birch trees from the surrounding woods. There was no electricity or running water so we were living like feral savages and doing everything with hand tools. I almost grew gills as I was in the water for almost the entire week.
Despite the ring being just an experiment, turns out that it's very desirable. So I'm going to make a run of them. If you want one, let me know and then I can plan how many I'll make. Depending on demand, they'll be about £100 a pop.
Also, the Llantwit tee's are proving popular, so I'm also going to print off a few of these. The screen won't last for ever so they'll be a limited run. If you want one, get in contact. £15.
This cathedral of runners and risers was constructed to try and save some time while casting eight 'micro second' pieces. The plan is to create an addition of 10 micro seconds, which I'll sell to pay for the full scale 'second'. I have already produced 8 which, there are some images of in older posts. This lot are the second group. So I should have 16 in total, 6 of which will be used as proof pieces for me, however, this lot came out of the mold all bubbly and feathers. This is the result of sloppy work and I'm having to do them again. This process can not be done by cutting corners.
To ensure that the surface of the 'micro seconds' were perfect I decided to mill them. This was not the best solution as the initial piece has natural irregularities that would require so much setting up to overcome, they would take almost as long as the full scale piece.
In the end I used a really scary belt grinder that was always threatening to remove my fingers.
Boxed and ready to go. This super cool crate was made by extreme carpenter Phil Rutter, he had to put up with me loitering around acting like I was helping out. The work sat in this crate in Sally's office for a few weeks before the show. It was so cosy in there it didn't want to come out.
To obtain this high finish required some intense grinding and polishing sessions. What I have not shown is the welding process, this took forever as bronze is a super conductor, heat runs through it at speed and due to the scale of the piece, it meant that we had a real heat sink on our hands. So at every stage of the welding process I experienced some pretty devastating moments. First you need to preheat the whole thing: 2 hours of blow torching.. great laugh.. then you get old Richard Elliot on the scene (with some support from John, Falcon and Slater) and you blast the joints with a few thousand volts through a TIG welder. Heating up the bronze in to small pools you feed in some bronze rod and then your work is one... or not as it happens. There is a trademark sound that occurs when your weld gos south, more of a CRICK then a crack... I got very familiar with this sound. Due to the extreme temperatures the bronze was twisting like my old man in the fifties, so it just kept pulling itself apart. This event went on some, I had my moments, but with some reassurance from the crew, I finally solved it... not always pretty.
Due to the intensity of the period there is know photographic evidence, no one likes to see a grown man crying.