Intro to Fabrication - Week 6

Sanding, painting, documentation

We’ve reached the end of the class. Overall I’m happy to say I feel comfortable using most of the bigger tools we have available to us in the shop, which bodes well for future projects.

Not quite as thrilled with how my paint tester turned out, though. To make it, I grabbed a piece of scrap from the shop and decided to do the whole process with Martha. We bought our sandpaper (80, 120, 220, 320, 400, 600) from Bruno’s and I also did myself the favor of buying a sanding block since I’ll have a lot more sanding ahead of me during midterms.

Just as Phil demonstrated in class, the variation in the finishes between the different grades of sandpaper were striking, with the 400-600 patch feeling silky smooth. I think I did a so-so job painting it, though. On one of the coats I inadvertently got a blast of paint from the spray can that made the texture a bit messy overall. Still, you can easily see a difference in roughness/reflectivity between the unfinished, 80 grit, and 600 ends of the piece.

For the portfolio assignment, I decided to lay out a small zine in Figma. I went this route for a few reasons. One, I’m hoping to get around to a larger portfolio overhaul later this year and I didn’t want to spend too much time on a portfolio format for these projects that I’d ultimately throw out anyway. Two, it was an excuse to learn a bit more about Figma than I did in Visual Language–seems like a good alternative to InDesign. Three, I’ve never made a zine before, so even the pretty simple acts of thinking through the layout and construction were new and enjoyable for me.

To photograph my projects for the zine I used one of the Canon EOS cameras from the Equipment Room along with a 24-70mm lens and a Gorillapod tripod. I set up for the shots with a white butcher paper backdrop at around noon in the Shop. That made for better lighting than if I had picked later in the day but I could have used some additional lights. I also think my choice of lens was poor–I was having trouble with the camera’s autofocus leading to blurry photos. I’m a total novice photographer, though, so I’m not too mad about how these turned out for a quick afternoon work session.

Seeing them all lined up together, I’m feeling good about how this division collection came together. Less from any explicit motifs (like the division sign on the enclosure) and more from seeing similarities in how I constructed them, they definitely feel like a related set of objects to me.