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The Story Behind ... Charged Particle



Kevin has had some requests to talk about his work and how and why he created, so he decided to start with Charged Particle, which he considers one of his best sculptures.

One of the most frequent questions Kevin gets is "Where does your inspiration come from? How do you think up something like this?"

First, in the case of this sculpture you can find the shape on Wikipedia - it's called a truncated octahedron. Second, he also got inspiration from a little magnet set. If you crush it in your hand, you have a lot of little balls and little magnets. Instead of working with CAD (Computer Aided Design) or trying to draw, Kevin Caron thought he might be able to create some interesting shapes with it.

The magnet set actually came in the form of a truncated octahedron. Kevin had fun taking it apart and making other things with it, but he kept coming back to this shape.

Next he had to figure out how to make it bigger. How could he blow it up? How could he get the dimensions right? How could he get it to hold together?

It became a technical challenge, but there was still the artistic part, too. How do you make it look right? How do you make it feel right?

Kevin knew that all the pipes had to be exactly the same length to get everything to fit together and look right. The balls all had to be the same size, too. And that was one thing he learned - these balls are actually not exactly round; they are oval. So everything had to be oriented exactly the same way.

And then, as he fabricated, the heat of welding wanted to make things move, warp and change. So he had to find some way to hold it.

On top of everything else, though, a sculpture has to feel good. It has to be something he really wanted to work on. Kevin says it's like a great book: you've got to see this finished!

It took about 2, 2-1/2 months to fabricate. Once Kevin got the sculpture itself done, he had to think about how to display it. It looked cool sitting on the workbench, but was too big to put on a table. He needed a pedestal.

From an artistic perspective, the sculpture has a lot of round shapes with the balls and the pipes and smooth edges, so he continued that with the base of the sculpture.

When Kevin finished the sculpture he felt, "I nailed it! It feels good." He took it to powder coater, and they put the blue on the globe and the matte black on the pedestal. When he picked it up, he set the sculpture on the tailgate of his truck and unwrapped it enough to see it and broke into a big grin.

So that's one of Kevin's favorite sculptures. Are there are other sculptures you'd like him to talk about? Please let us know.

Well, you might want to hang out for another moment to see Kevin comply with OSHA regulations (or not) ....

You can see Charged Particle here.


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