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Engineered Organic Wall Art… A One Year Journey

February 13, 2014

So two years ago about Art Prowl time, we met up with some folks who decided that they wanted an original piece of art made for their dining room.   They’d seen Bob’s wall art that Sweet Sallie’s Cafe had commissioned, and loved its vibe. By last year’s Art Prowl we’d finally perfected a design that was ready to be made.  It only took a year.  Pretty good, right?

Engineered Organic CNC milled wall sculpture

Aluminum & brass CNC milled wall sculpture

So what do you make for a mechanical engineer & a teacher who loves the outdoors?  aluminum & brass sculptureTurns out, you make an “Engineered Organic” sculpture.  Like I said, the design process continued over the period of a year until we hit the right idea for this couple.   We tried bubbles, we tried leaves, we even pitched a 3D face. The key ended up being a combination of mechanical and effervescent qualities.  The effervescence speaks to natural design while the linear mechanics keep it grounded to the engineered aesthetic.We also wanted to make sure that  the art would accent the fixtures already in the space, so we created the pieces in aluminum and brass.

aluminum & brass sculptureThe whole installation consists of 20 pieces.  Bob painstakingly designed them in a CAD program and spent hours engineering the pieces to fit within and on top of each other.  He carefully created each element on the CNC mill complete with mounting holes and connection points on the back.  The clients decided that they wanted the pieces installed directly onto their wall, rather that onto a background, and we agreed wholeheartedly.  It made so much more impact that way. Bob created a template on the mill and we used it to drill hundreds of mounting holes into the drywall (scarey!).  Next, Bob put in wall anchors and installed standoffs one…hole…at…a…time.  The entire install took about 4 hours.  You can see the light changing in the photos below as it got later in the day.  I took a million shots…we could make a complete animation!

Here’s the blow by blow of the installation—-

install template

The installation template…like a piece of Swiss cheese.

1st piece

Piece number 1… of twenty!

Midway thru the install

Midway thru the install

More installing...

More installing…

...and VIOLA!

…and VIOLA!

The wall art sits opposite a huge bay window that brings in so much sunlight.  This thing virtually GLOWS, and it’s just sublime in the evening, if I do say so myself.  Imagine eating breakfast staring at this crazy amazing pattern…what a great way to start the day. So personally, I think the moral of this story is that good things come to those who wait!

Engineered Organic wall art

Engineered Organic wall art

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Amber Schaeffer permalink
    March 20, 2016 3:17 pm

    I love the organic wall art piece, I live in Austin, Tx. Is there anyway we can order this at piece?
    Thank you
    Amber Schaeffer

    • March 21, 2016 7:40 am

      Hi Amber, thanks for contacting us about the wall sculpture. We lived in Austin for many years! We can certainly make you a custom piece of art similar to that one. If you’ll give me your contact info (email or phone), we’ll get in touch to discuss things further.
      Jen & Bob Rhea
      Acme Industrial Thinking

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