I have finally gotten back to the work on the third piece in my series of bronze figures interacting with wooden screw clamps. The next step in the process was to determine the locations of the various holes that would need to be drilled in order to eventually attach the figures to the clamp and a wooden base. I pressed the squatting figure into a piece of styrofoam to get an impression of the spacing of the attachment rods extending from each foot. Before casting the original waxes, I set the figures up with the clamp and marked where I wanted the hands of each figure to be on the wood. I measured the distance from the inside of the fingers to the center of the rods on the forearms of the casting to determine where to drill the holes on the underside of the bottom jaw of the wooden clamp. I used a tracing of the holes made in the styrofoam to transfer the correct foot positioning for the squatting figure to a practice baseboard. Next came the hard part.
The holes for the attachment rods on the first figure were relatively easy do because the foot rods went straight down and the arm rods went straight up. The rods for the squatting figure, on the other hand, were basically perpendicular to each other...the foot rods would go straight down into the base, but the hand rods would be horizontal to it. The challenge was going to be to get the figure positioned so that the feet would set flat on the base and the hands would be in contact with the upper jaw of the clamp. I determined the spacing of the foot rods with the styrofoam and made a tracing, but I couldn't get the figure in position because the hand rods held the hands away from the jaw, which, in turn, meant that the foot rods were also not in position. After much pondering, fiddling and finagling, I decided that I needed to make a channel in the wood so that the figure could be slid into position. The channels allowed me to move the figure close enough to the clamp so that the hand rods touched the wood and the feet were flat on the board. This revealed a new problem - the rod on the left hand of the figure was going be too close to the edge of the wooden jaw for me to safely drill a hole. I considered moving the figure, but if I moved it to the right it would have meant that the right hand would have been too high on the side of the jaw...if I moved it to the left the right foot of the squatter would interfere with the left of the stander. Solution: remove the rod from the left hand! Mission accomplished! The feet are flat and the hands are in position on the upper jaw of the clamp. The end is in sight. Next - I will buff the figures and seal them with clear satin spray lacquer, and I will sand and seal the baseboard. Then will come the challenge of drilling the holes in the baseboard and putting all of the elements together. Stay tuned!
* See my blog entries for 3/10/16, 3/30/16 and 5/12/16 for more background on this piece.