by Hollie Mackenzie

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Assembling the lever for Smash The Patriarchy

April 27, 2017

Photographs 1-3 depict the rough cut outs of the blocks of pine wood that are going to be used for the sides of the lever contraption. They have been cut in this way to resemble the motion of melting, on which I will carve drips to create a melting effect. 

 

*Photographs 1-3 were taken on 6th March 2017. 

 

Working with the two side pine blocks, Ross and I began constructing the contraption. As we had already decided to use oak for the lever (for its strong properties to act as resistance to cracking underneath the hammer slamming), we cut a lever from a block of thick oak. Upon drilling the hole through the side of the oak, for the metal bar to pass through, we had to calculate its position as off-centre in order for the lever to fall back into place after being hit. We then cut the metal bar to size so that it passed through the oak lever with two inches either side to slot into the pine side blocks. After lining up the lever position in-between the two pine blocks, we were able to mark and drill a hole in each pine block with a depth of two inches for the metal bar to slot into. We then fixed the lever and metal bar into the two pine blocks in order to test the contraption.

 

In photographs 10 and 11, I added two pieces of slanted wood that would act as puddles layers from the sides onto the plywood. These pieces of wood were the cut offs from the pine blocks. 

 

Here is a film of the lever contraption in action. We used a small rubber mallet hammer here, however I envisioned Smash The Patriarchy having a large two handed rubber mallet hammer. I had the idea of using a heavy-ish hammer, so participants would not have to swing the hammer too fast or high, but could let the weight of it do most of the work. Also, conceptually, I liked the idea of participants feeling the weight of the heavy hammer as though it represented the difficult fight of the feminist cause.

 

*Photographs 4-11 and film were taken on 7th March 2017. 

 

Satisfied that the lever contraption worked, I was able to focus my attention on carving drips into the high striker. Photographs 12-15 show the beginnings of carving into one of the pine blocks. This particular block of wood had soft grain which made it really easy to carve into; I was able to carve a lot of drips out of the wood and finish carving by the end of one day. 

 

*Photographs 12-15 were taken on 17th March 2017. 

 

Photographs 16 and 17 depict the second block of pine. By the time these photographs were taken, I had carved the second block of pine and its puddle layer. I had also added two more pieces of pine wood to the front and back of the pine block to act as puddle layers. These two pieces were also cut offs from the pine blocks. This second block was a lot harder to carve into, which could've been due to the gain being denser or because my arms were becoming worn out!

 

Photographs 18 and 19 depict a finer version of the first block of pine. I started the process of refining and used a machine sander along the top. 

 

*Photographs 16-19 were taken on 19th March 2017. 

 

Photograph 20 is a continuation of the sanding process on the first block of pine from photograph 18 and 19, as I finished machine sanding the whole block. I also added another two pieces of pine wood (cut offs) to the front and back of this pine block for the puddle layers.

 

The following photographs show a clear process of sanding the second block. The procession can be seen clearly in the contrast between photograph 21 and 22. 

 

*Photographs 20-23 were taken on 20th March 2017. 

 

Photographs 24-27 show the sanded puddle layer for the second block of pine wood. Again, this piece of wood was hard to carve, however, the tougher gain made for more intricate puddle details. Photograph 26 and 27 show a close up of one puddle detail I matched up with a drip from the side block. 

 

*Photographs 24-27 were taken on 27th March 2017. 

 

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