In preparation for our big move to the Piers , the exhibit shop is finding all sorts of scrap parts that won’t be used there. We scrounged some of these parts to try out an idea we’ve been thinking about for a while now – shop scrap sculptures. The idea is that the shop’s discarded nuts, bolts, wood bits, odds, and ends will take on a new life as robots, creatures, or anything you can imagine!
As soon as we opened up the activity we had explainers and visitors in there trying things out right away.
One thing we experimented with was using wire to attach items to the sculptures since it’s difficult to glue metal to metal. Here the wire helped attach a stack of washers to a nut on a visitor’s car, complete with sirens and dual exhaust vents. It also helped attach an “eye” to this robot.
Many of the projects had a definite narrative, like “Frankenstein and Friend” or “Father and Son.” One of my favorite parts about this is that the unfriendly raw materials create such cute and funny final sculptures.
Any guesses about which mustachioed High School Explainer Manager Zakiya made?
We noticed a ton of great solutions to building challenges. I loved this solution for attaching ears to this sculpture, and below that is a standing man that took a lot of tinkering to get it balanced just right. Although you can’t see it in the picture, there’s a little hot glue on the bottom of one foot to make it level so it will stand.
The shapes and qualities of the scraps seemed to make cars and robots the predominant choice for sculpture subjects. Next time I’d like to try finding scraps that are more varied in shape, size, and color. We’d also like to experiment with using jewelry glue or another adhesive instead of hot glue since metal to metal connections tended to fall apart if jostled. Ryoko had the idea that having a drill available to make holes in wood scraps might make it easier to attach long screws and bolts to be arms and legs.
Our first day trying it on the floor was really fun and I can’t wait to continue testing the activity out here at the Palace of Fine Arts and in the future at Pier 15!