in the make: agmen by Stephanie Smith

Agmen is a work that brings digital and analog fabrication into dialog with one another through color and form. Combining hand-crafted wood and PLA 3D prints, the work surprises viewers: simultaneously fluid, it's also structural; seemingly full of mass, the work is very lightweight; materials merge together. This work seeks to engage digital and physical processes at a scale that very much invites the viewer into that conversation and experience.

We first made physical models of the work using balsa wood and hot glue guns--quick and raw sketches to iterate different forms. Then, final versions were selected and modeled the the digital space using Rhino. The connections also used Grasshopper as a tool for manipulation.

Next came the phase of fabrication. We crafted the wood boxes from 1/8 inch plywood--wanting the forms to look heavy but actually be light. Once the 3D printed parts were designed, we printed the parts on our Type A machines printers. We used bondo to smooth the surface of the prints, hoping that obscuring the striations would help the material blend with the wood. Bondo, sanding, repeat; until we were satisfied with each connection.

We then mapped out the color in Rhino, taped off the components, and began painting with either Gesso or acrylic. Painting, sanding, repeat. 

Overall, the pieces were not completed until they were installed in the space. The final joints were sealed with spackle (so that they could be broken down after the exhibition). 

I'm excited by this exploration, and can't wait to explore it further.

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