October 21, 2010

The Tornado - part 3

Once the skeleton was complete, the original plan was to use scrap wood and other debris left by the tornado to cover the piece. However, once I arrived in Illinois, I discovered that most of the wood had been recycled and used to construct the new barn. Anything left over was put in a large pile and burned a few days before I showed up. I was forced to come up with another solution quickly, as the event was only 2 days away.

I found a large roll of burlap fabric and quickly began cutting it into long strips. Each piece was around 15 to 20 feet in length and about 4 to 6 inches wide. With no little to no plan, I worked through the night wrapping the strips haphazardly around the piece.

Working at night provided relief from the hot summer sun, but made it difficult to see exactly what I was doing. As I added more and more fabric, it was hard to visualize what the final outcome would be. Nevertheless I continued stretching and stapling until I had upholstered the entire piece.

The next morning I was finally able to see the results, and was quite pleased. I added a few more strips for balance and called the piece finished. I toyed with the idea of adding more material to the outside. Possibly some scraps of wood or metal, maybe a few branches, but I ultimately decided that they would just detract from the piece. I liked the sharp angles and shape of the spiral enveloped by the natural burlap, which blended with its surroundings in both color and texture. When viewed from different angles, light shining through the layers of burlap created even more interesting shapes and depth. Years from now, as the piece ages, the burlap will weather and wear until all that is left is the skeleton once again.

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