Matt Elson : The Infinity Boxes

Studio Practice

Temple_of_Direction_Lanterns_final

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This is our backyard view.

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The workshop for the lanterns is a container that was built for UPS. I chose this for its easy reconfiguration abilities.

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Tool panels are on the walls. A select toolset was brought in just for this project. Nothing more or less, just what's needed.

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Rafters were added with hooks so ropes could easily be placed and the lanterns worked on. It is easy to adjust their height so One can always work standing up.

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On the floor is the air compressor for the staple gun. Staples are used to attach the reeds to the tree branches quickly and securely.

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This was created on the day that Notre Dame burned. It uses the geometry of a 2"x2" post at the source. Everything flows in relation to the squared colum in the center.

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The reeds add a level of organic flow to the form that wants to be formal.

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Glue was added to the reed overlaps and held in place to dry. The bottom was trimmed off and later silk lilly flowers were added to accent the pear shape (and cover the wood.)

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This one taught me about organic flow with the reed.

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By having four sticks to work off of psychedelic swirls could be introduced that also felt like some animals rib cage. What a gift of knowledge and flow this piece is.

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Foam was used to hold the intended shape and keep long strips of reed from collapsing.

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All the while working on this I had to keep in mind that they would be hanging above people. So don't focus on the top side detail, work on the bottom.

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Papering, when dry, holds the form. By the time you get to 5 layers the surface is tough and holds the form independent of the reeds. By the time you get to 12 layers it's like the skin on a drumhead. At that point the reeds aren't needed for structure, they become design elements in the shadows.

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This is from the opening video.

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It was taken to Desert Hearts to see how it played with people.

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Papering!

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One of my favorites for the theme of Metamorphosis

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this shows the use of a techniques using a brown paper tape, cut into ~1/4" x 5" strips. The strips are used to tape the join in place. Then wads of tissue +glue cover the joint to secure it. If the paper tape is left alone it will start to come apart in a few days . so securing it within a day is important

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Scarlet Abbott, middle, was the papering lead. Check out her work!

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This is the Whilrwind that was placed at the Temple Enterance coming from The Man. The diamond lines merged beautifully with the expanding torii creating a focal point as one approached from a distance.

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This is looking up at the underside.

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This is the Whilrwind that was placed at the Temple Enterance coming from The Man. The diamond lines merged beautifully with the expanding torii creating a focal point as one approached from a distance.

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Wish I'd taken a full, square on photo...

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A lantern form was created for the Upstate NY Regional burn at the request of my friend Vinny Rovitelli who made their temple. It was shipped as the raw form and their community papered it. It was a wonderful connection

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Finished lanters ready for transport to the temple.

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Finished lanters ready for transport to the temple.

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Finished lanters ready for transport to the temple.

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Finished lanters ready for transport to the temple.

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Finished lanters ready for transport to the temple.

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Finished lanters ready for transport to the temple.

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Finished lanters ready for transport to the temple.

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Lanterns in the temple

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Finished lanters ready for transport to the temple.

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Finished lanters ready for transport to the temple.

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Finished lanters ready for transport to the temple.

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Finished lanters ready for transport to the temple. Happy!

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Onsite they were staged for installation.

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A scissor lift was used to put them up.

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Our first inclination was to hang them with rope attached to eyebolts. We later realized that they could spin and potentially unplug themselves.

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Sobe, shown here, made a run to Fernley for caribiners and long eyebolts.

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The final solution was to use eyebolts in the lantern and ceiling and attach the two with a caribiner. The caribiner limited the amount of potential spin to less than 180 degrees to either side.

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Lots of crew support!

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