We have named our recent wall sconce Dragon Egg as we were riveted by the special effects and scenery of this show but this was a tongue in cheek naming and while the gourd shape may be egg like the texture of the piece is not. The custom sconce started life in Martin’s sketch book and went through several design modifications before being created as a three dimensional piece.
In this and in the next few posts we will be looking at how our new LED wall sconces and illuminated door handles came to life.
The Dragon Egg sconce took its direction and feel from our Morphic custom door handle collection, which was based on coral and other oceanic forms. Martin began the design by deciding the overall shape and settled on the gourd. He then focused on the characteristics of the open area and moved away from geometric shapes to a more random and sinewy look.
The LED spot shines down through this open area and creates a beautiful fragmented light that you will be able to see soon to our upcoming sconce video.
How did we then make the pattern and subsequent castings?
From the design shown in item 4. below a full scaled drawing of the gourd was created and a large 20” cube of alder was slabbed together and glued to create the “blank” for the pattern.
The blank was then turned on a wood lathe to create the gourd shape. As a wood carver and turner it is easier for Martin to create patterns using these older skills then to digitally create a 3D model. However from this stage onwards we worked using 3D printing technology in conjunction with carving to create the final pattern below. The initial alder gourd was scanned and then its surface area was mapped digitally. The programmer then digitally hollowed out the interior of the gourd shape leaving a wall thickness of 3/16” and went on to print this as a resin model. Martin then drew his sinewy design onto the resin gourd and using a dremel tool followed the contours of the sinews and ground through the resin wall to create open areas for the light to pass.
Before the advent of 3D printers, Martin would have created the hollow gourd from solid wood and the inner material would have been carved out using a variety of hand chisels. While 3D printing is a big aid to pattern making, carving is still Martin’s preferred technique for complicated irregular shapes and for adding design details as these can often change as the pattern is developed.