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How to Create a Sculpture, Part 1

The Voice: Hey, Kevin. Are you praying?

Kevin Caron: No, I'm preparing for a new geometric sculpture. I've had a couple of requests from my YouTube video subscribers for a start-to-finish video on my sculptures, so I thought this is a good place to start: at the beginning.

I just got a commission for a large piece of public art for a college down in Tucson, Arizona. I'm starting on it today, so let me show you how I go about it. Let me show you where I actually start the whole thing.

This all started with a metal sculpture I made called Torrent. It's an umbilic torus, and it's about 4 feet tall. I'm going to make a larger one for this college and itíll be 8 feet tall.

I'll need to scale everything up a bit, but first I want to be able to look at it on the wall, so Iíll measure it out, put some blue tape up there - just to look at how big the thing is actually going to be - and maybe I'll adjust the size a little.

So I begin with an 8-foot diameter circle. And I was thinking about 2 feet thick, so I'll just measure out here on the wall the approximate dimensions. Here's my 8 foot diameter, and the ring in the middle that holds the little triangles that constitute the shape of the metal torus.

Hmm; starting at the ground, I would come up approximately a foot - that's where the ring is going to be. Another foot and that's how big the structure itself will be.

This will be the whole ring that goes all the way around that you actually see. So from here, go up there. From the ground up to the bottom of the visual sculpture should be 7 feet. And then from there up to the ring should be 8 feet.

Take # two. From there, up to the center of the ring - it's actually inside the sculpture - that's part of the structure itself. That should be another foot.
Then it's another foot above that to get to the top of the sculpture itself. Whoops; ran out of wall.

The Voice: Is this process supposed to help you get a feeling of how it's going to look, or is it going to help you with the structural part of it?

Kevin Caron: This is just to give me a better idea of the size: how big do I want to make this structure itself; the part that you actually see. Do I want to make it 18 inches, 2 foot, 3 foot, 4 foot? In other words, how massive do I want it to be in order to help it fit into that whole size of itself? So then I know if I come from the center of the ring in the structure itself, up 4 feet. . .

All right, that should be the center of the opening in my sculpture, so let's come from here and go out 4 feet, which is right at the edge of the door...right about there.

So, now I can get an idea of the size; I now know this is going to be all the way out to there and come around to the ground itself and up. This will be the bottom of the sculpture that you actually see.

This is the ring that holds everything together. And then there will be that whole foot thickness up above that. Good Lord, this thing is huge!

Then I know if I come from there, and over another 4 feet, it winds up all the way over here and that's the center of the ring, so there's a foot here and a foot out there. Good Lord, I'm going to need a crane!

But I like that size. I like that 24 to 26-inch thickness per side, like you see on Torrent, the little one. That sculpture was 15 inches or 12 inches, so this version will be much bigger, scaled up considerably more.

Now I can take this idea and these dimensions and I can go to the bench and began cutting things out and start making all the structure to go inside.

But that's for next the next video on how to create a sculpture from start to finish.

Weíll see you later.

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