For our Current Issues module in Dundalk Institute of Technology we had to create a piece of work that reflected what we saw as our creative selves. Having worked for over twenty seven years as a fitter-turner I wanted to include that aspect of my creative self but also to bridge the gap between that kind of practical creativity and the more artistic creativity that I have for many years sought to find an outlet for. Over the past few years my work as a student of Creative Multimedia in DKIT has been a great opportunity for me to express that side of my creativity and to see it grow.
The mechanical hand, which I made from aluminium alloy on a lathe and milling machine, represents my work as a fitter turner but also the mechanical, rational side of myself that I seek to move beyond when I try to create something of an artistic nature. The hand is holding a paint brush and is posed to look as if it is engaged in the act of painting a picture. The picture itself is a miniature print of a larger acrylic painting of the Marshes Shopping Centre in Dundalk I did for the Creative Design module in first year at DKIT.
The print of the painting is mounted on a miniature artist’s easel I made from aluminium alloy, cut with a hacksaw, finished by hand filing and drilled and tapped for assembly. The easel is glued onto a piece of wood which is heavily varnished. The hand is mounted on the piece of wood using a screw through a drilled hole which is counter-drilled to receive the head of the screw.
Overall I’m very happy with how this piece of work turned out. I had been considering an animation for this project but when I saw the craft-based nature of some of the previous years’ work I decided to go that route. I initially thought of making a miniature mechanical man painting an image on his chest but decided to go with the mechanical hand and seeing it finished I’m glad I went with that choice. It took about twelve hours to complete the piece but overall I think it was time well spent and the work was a nice balance to the past semester’s academic exertions.
My workshop with lathe and milling machine used to create this piece of work.