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Is it Artwork?


Round a decade in the past, I initiated a dialogue on this discussion board about my journey in utilizing CNC expertise for creative carvings, questioning, “Is it Artwork?” Since then, my work has developed considerably, and I feel it is time to revisit this intriguing subject.

A little bit of background: In 2005, I designed and constructed a 5ft x 10ft 3-axis CNC, leveraging my expertise from programming because the mid-Nineteen Eighties and constructing a number of specialised CNCs for manufacturing. My aim was to fuse my ardour for artwork and woodcarving with my skilled experience in manufacturing engineering. Over the previous 20 years, I’ve created tons of of customized furnishings, doorways, moldings, and artwork items. I’ve additionally upgraded my CNC, including two extra axes to boost its capabilities.

I’ve devoted appreciable time to growing G-code packages that deal with challenges not lined by business software program. Lately, my focus shifted to producing natural, flowing toolpaths. I am intrigued by resonance circulation and the great thing about mathematical patterns. This final yr marked the event of a singular software program suite. It generates distinctive outputs from a base sample, very like DNA, guaranteeing no two outcomes are equivalent. The complexity of this software program calls for an in depth suite for the ultimate output, with some items requiring billions of calculations. My problem was organizing these calculations for environment friendly toolpaths from the natural patterns I create.

Take this piece, for instance, which started as a lifeless Cottonwood tree. After personally milling the wooden, I carved it with my CNC, with a base sample of equally spaced parallel strains. My software program expressed a singular toolpath circulation that I carved utilizing customized tooling to provide repeatedly variable elliptical cross-sections with every toolpath. The inspiration was the wave patterns of the ocean. Put up-CNC work concerned 80-100 hours of hand sanding and ending.

The piece, not totally captured in photographs, reveals its altering circulation and depth in particular person, providing a mesmerizing impact of easy flowing, completely tangent, but ever-morphing troughs that characterize the piece. It just lately featured in a gallery and can seem in one other exhibition later this yr.

Alongside it, I current an essay titled “Cottonwood Tango on the Sea,” reflecting the piece’s oceanic inspiration and alluring viewers on a journey of self-discovery.

As an skilled CNC neighborhood, I pose the query once more: Is it artwork? Why or why not?

Your ideas and suggestions are significantly appreciated.

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“Cottonwood Tango on the Sea”

“Drawn to the enigmatic attract of the ocean, we discover ourselves reflecting on its vastness, energy, depth, and thriller. Gazing upon its boundless expanse, the ocean resonates with our innermost feelings, whether or not it is tranquility, inspiration, hope, connection, journey, or the shadows of our fears.

Every wave is a singular manifestation of unseen forces, an individualistic dance of water marked by subtlety and individuality. Every rise and fall tells a singular story, observable in a fleeting second, but profoundly intricate, eluding full understanding even over a lifetime.

On this spirit, ‘Cottonwood Tango on the Sea’ emerges as a canvas for private exploration. Right here, the waves undulating crescendos and descents are interlaced with natural, flowing paths. This sculpture, carved from a grand Cottonwood slab, unapologetically reveals its personal historical past. The spalling, cracks, stains, and traces of previous insect life are usually not simply preserved however celebrated, including to the piece’s narrative.

This art work invitations you to a journey of self-discovery, the place every remark may result in a brand new revelation. ‘Cottonwood Tango on the Sea’ is a medium for the exploration of your personal unfolding story, authored by your engagement and reflection. I encourage you to dive into its depths, to seek out and sync together with your distinctive rhythm.

Impressionist Carving in Rustic Cottonwood.
Crafted and Authored by Shane McKenna

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One thought on “Is it Artwork?

  1. It was great seeing how much work you put into it. Even though the design is nice and the writing is stylish, you seem to be having trouble with it. I think you should really try sending the next article. I’ll definitely be back for more of the same if you protect this hike.

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