The Strata series: 1) uses car parts almost exclusively, 2) is constructed of layers (1/2″ to 1″ depth), 3) is created using the “response” method, 4) has colour decisions made after the structural ones.
I use car parts mostly because I want to make something benign from something, the car, that I feel is malignant. Car parts come in a vast array of sizes and shapes. To fabricate even a single part similar to the complexity of a car part would consume much of my time. So, in a sense, car parts are a short cut to the rich metal tapestries I want to create. The fact that they are mass produced and relatively easy to acquire makes them less “precious”. Mass production allows ready symmetry, patterns and a kind of animation- in that a group of identical parts can move from a whole part to a partial part in a series of reductions.
Building these pieces in layers makes a subtly ever-changing piece based on point of view. In addition, shadows play a significant part in how the work is perceived.
By the response method, I mean that these pieces arise from a kind of dance with the parts. I have no idea what the piece is going to look like when I begin–only through response to the parts and exploration of their interaction does the piece finally evolve.
The entire structure of the piece is completed before I begin the process of finishing/colouring. The support legs are cut to allow the layers to be painted. When finishing is done, the support legs are re-welded and final touch-up is done.