Tuesday, February 02, 2016

'Barrel Turbine' : Elora Sculpture Project 2016

Not the strongest submission.
More of a concept rough - both the Ypres 16 and ESP 16 had the same submission deadlines (yesterday).
'Barrel Turbine' - Concept Rough
Elora Sculpture Project - 2016

‘Barrel Turbine’ - Concept

Elora has a history defined by its location on the Grand, the town developing around the various mills powered by its flow.

‘Barrel Turbine’ is intended to expand the primarily visual impact of the various entries into the Project by adding both motion and sound.
Visually, at least from a distance, the piece appears quite simple. The form is a representation of a large barrel, roughly five feet tall and three feet in maximum diameter. The shape is outlined by wide strips of steel, suggesting the wooden staves and metal bands of traditional cooperage. Between the strips, the spaces are filled with 1 inch square metal grid, which both protects and allows a view of the interior.
The barrel is topped with a ‘turbine’ shape, roughly 24 inches wide at the base and tapering slightly to 12 inches at the the top over its 18 inch height. The paddles of the turbine are formed of bright aluminum, a total of eight in all. The turbine is mounted on bearings that allow it to be rotated by the wind. This puts a larger motion to the piece, visible from a distance. Especially as the sun reflects off the rotating bright surfaces. This motion also provides the driving power for the internal mechanisms.

Inside the barrel are a series of moving parts, set along a central shaft that brings the motive power from the turbine above.
Some of these are rotating forms suggestive of gears and other machinery. These pieces will also be formed from light weight aluminum sheet. Bright paint will be used here and there to increase the impact of these moving parts.
There will also be a series of long rods with weighted ends which will serve as hammers. The rotating shaft will power the movement of the hammers. These will be linked and positioned to strike against hanging bars and strips. In total, this will create a random production of chime tones, shifting with the speed that the upper turbine is driven by the wind. The sound produced will be similar to that from a wind chime, and should have about the same ‘perception distance’.

Because the interior of the machine is visible through the protective grid work, a viewer peering closely will be able to see the various ‘machinery’ moving inside.
The large height of the overall piece is primarily to place the moving turbine high enough that small children can not access it. The height will also allow the turbine to catch more of the wind current needed to power it.
Overall, the piece should provide viewers with three different contact distances, with different impact at each. From across the street, the moving and light flashing turbine. From the side walk, the tones from the internal chimes. Up close the mystery of ‘how does this work’ and glimpses of working parts.

The illustration provided is more a concept rough than an actual clear illustration of the work. The approximate scale is 1: 8 (one square equals 2 inches). The left side approximates the exterior appearance. The right side gives some suggestion of the working / moving parts inside. It should be noted that at this point, there will need to be considerable experimentation / tinkering to determine the exact nature and placement of these interior parts.

The ideal placement is a location that naturally is exposed to as much wind as possible. The base mount situated at the south end of the bridge, across from the LCBO, may be most suitable.
Do note that ‘Barrel Turbine’ is a proposed work (rather than an existing piece).

February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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