The first major project of the Foundation Studio was to study and forge an assigned art piece by Arthur Ganson, a metal work artist who creates complicated Machines that do simple tasks.
My three person group was assigned the “Machine with 23 Scraps of Paper.” We were given only a short video of the Machine in motion to study and replicate.
This led us on a journey of intense problem solving and trial and error. The process began by creating a detailed Sketchup model of the machine so we could analyze it in greater depth than the video showed and fully understand the driving mechanics.
Sketches also helped us study the design and construction of the machine. Finally, diagrams were made to explain the simple actions that lead to the complex motions.
Then we had to determine how to forge a functional replica of the machine, leading us to learning how to weld and machine metal parts.
After five weeks of work, our group was able to visually forge a scaled down version of this work of art. However, it was not functional due to the high level of precision required and our inexperience with metal work. We later realized that the point of the project was not the forgery itself, but learning how to analyze a problem and do whatever is necessary to find a solution.