Thursday, January 14, 2010

Iteration -- Third Time Is Charm

Iteration involves repeating a process over and over, slowly zeroing in on a target result. Computational science couldn't exist without this concept, but artists don't necessarily think of such scientific methods in their artistic pursuits.

I, however, am busily engineering new ideas in metal clay, and the process of iteration applies perfectly. What it means to me is TIME! If only I executed in gigaflops, I'd have this all behind me. Instead, I have days' worth of work invested.

First, I drew designs in my sketchbook, brainstorming mechanics in my head. Can I do it?? Will it work? How will I do this aspect? The structure was pretty basic to test the hidden functionality. Then I made the first iteration: functional, true, but that simple structure was a bit (lot!) less than my artistic inner critic requires. Hmmm. Holding a piece in hand is definitely more helpful than sketches or mental visualizations.

Next, I sketched again, modifying the design to alter the issues with the first design. To remove the "clunky" feel and add a bit of bling with a jewel. This version was quite a step up from the first in complexity, but had a nice finish to it. Unfortunately, technical issues hindered perfection in function.

Howl! First, I was functional, but not artistic. Now I'm artistic, but non-functional. Can't I be both???

So, a third iteration is on my workbench, pretty much a duplicate of version two, but with a few minor tweaks to fix the technical issues. The results you ask? Why, that's a super secret! Look for a BIG announcement next week and details of this project a few more weeks down the road.

And please let the third time be the charm!!