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A Twist on Sculpture: Genome Project

The Voice: Hey, Kevin. What are you doing?

Kevin Caron: Oh, we're just TIG welding here.

This is my contemporary art sculpture Genome Project, with all the little balls with the bars in between. You know, it kind of looks like a human gene. And it's got a nice little twist growing in it. I'm going to add four more of these strings on top, so it will be about 5 feet tall and just under 5 feet wide.

Here's one of the strings that I welded earlier. You can see here where I tacked them together with the TIG welder, one tack on each side, and just put the string together. That's because I want to be able to induce a little more warp to it as I'm building it.

When I'm welding each string together, it tended to warp just in one direction. So I cut it in two, turned it 180 degrees, and now you can see it's got a little bit of a sine wave, a little bit of an S to it. So when I put that into the sculpture, I've got a curve on the face this way, on this side, and a curve on the other side going the other way.

When I put this string up there and I tack it on the bottom and put all my little pipes in, clamp it all down, and turn it just a little bit, just like you can see here, the way they're offset from one another, I get a little more warp to it.

And then as I come along on one side and weld each pipe all the way; you know: halfway around, each pipe, each joint, it tends to warp a little bit more.

That's how I get that nice, fluid curve to it. I don't use a machine or anything. I just let heat do it. I let the TIG welder do it for me. It kind of helps pull the metal around, helps give a nice little organic spin to it.

I've got a lot more of these to go. I have four more strings to go, but because each ball has four joints on it, really it's got eight joints: It's got four on this side, four on the other side. So I have to weld all of this side, turn the whole thing again, and turn it around to get the whole pipe all the way around. So it's pretty good practice. I?m getting pretty good with the TIG welder also.

But it turned out to be a pretty good little contemporary art sculpture, I think. Once I get it all done, and get a finish on it, put a post on the bottom of it where I can tip it up on edge, and put a bearing underneath it so it can sit and spin in the wind, I think it will look really nice in my studio, or someone's collection.

Back to work. Bye!

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