Viewfinder

A collection of acrylic and tempera paintings - on transparent acrylic sheet.

During my apprenticeship, jobs started with a set of drawings and bundles of steel sections and plate. A cutting list was taken from the engineering drawings. Allowances for joints and forming processes had to be made. Doing that required visualising the flat drawings as whole pieces of structure or machinery.

 

Mild steel is porous. When sheets are stacked together in packs moisture gathers between the layers. Even on new plates rust patterns form. It was easy to see these patterns as landscapes or cloudscapes. Using square, tape measure, chalk and string I would mark the plates out ready to cut.

 

Drawing on the plates transformed them into a half realised state. The original drafted idea was not purely theoretical any more. A tipping point was reached. The steel separated in my minds eye into components and scrap. Even before cutting, it was difficult to see the original material as anything other than tangible parts.