The first sketch shows the initial idea for the construction of the whole sculpture, the following three sketches depict ideas for the construction of the lever. At first I began designing boxes to house the lever and a plunger. The reason for housing the contraption was to hide the bits of wood and material that wouldn't be able to be carved (to look as though they were melting). Therefore the solution was to create a box from which I could carve the outer sides in a melting style instead.
Sketch 2 shows the first attempt at figuring out how to make a box that can house the contraption and look as though it's melting: I envisioned using layers of 2 x 4 and 2 x 2 bits of timber to give the appearance of a puddle. However, I realised that I would need lots of pieces of timber to achieve this effect, which would be costly and make the bottom too heavy. The amount of layers drawn also made the puddle appear distorted: I wouldn't be able to achieve a circular puddle effect, only a rectangular puddle, as the pieces of timber are straight edged; and the higher layers of puddles appeared to be in the place of where droplets should be dripping downwards. Sketch 3 depicts a further attempt at using this idea of layering with timber bits, in which I try replace the higher layers of puddles with drips. However, I could not see how this would solve the problem as I wouldn't be able to carve the drips and completely get rid of the square layering of the timber pieces. Therefore, in sketch 4, I thought of constructing the box by slanting pieces of 1 x 4" timber. This would then avoid the squareness of the layering and provide enough surface area to carve droplets to drip towards the puddle.
Sketches 5, 6 and 7 followed this new idea of slanting the pieces of wood. In which, I began the workings out of how I could construct a box with slanting sides and how this would fit over the contraption. I thought of cutting bits of 2 x 4 timber into right angles, which I could screw into the high striker and then place the lengths of timber onto the right angles. However as I began sketching this idea out, it became apparent that I would need a frame to connect two right angles at the front of the box (as you can see in sketch 8 and 9). Again, this idea was shaping up to look as though I would need lots of timber pieces and so it was becoming more costly and heavy. Also, this design did not avoid the rectangular puddle effect, and the 1 x 4 timber would not be thick enough to carve drips into.
Upon realising that I would still need to make a frame for the box, it made sense to revert back to the basics of box making. In sketch 10 and 11, I began again, this time sticking with the 2 x 2 timber frame and drawing in furniture pine wood for the outer sides. I already had some pine furniture board left over from my last sculpture, Duration, that I could use for this purpose (and so knew that it would be thick enough to carve drips into). In sketch 11, I planned on using plywood for the bottom puddle, and then 2 x 4 timber to surround the box to act as a puddle layer. This puddle layer would also act as a cover up for the screws of the box, and so would be attached/glued right at the end. Also, I had drawn in the lid, its design hadn't changed throughout the sketches. It shows two holes: one for the wire to pass through at the back end of the lid, in the shape of a puddle; and another hole nearer the front of the box for the plunger to stand in and connect to the end of the lever, so the hammer will have something to hit that will activate the lever/contraption that will be inside the box. The four dots at the front end of the lid resemble ideas for where the screws could go. As the lid would need to be easily removable so the contraption is easily accessible. To cover this screws, I envisioned having a layer of black rubber in the shape of a puddle. The melting rubber was to link to the top of the plunger, which was going to be a rubber target (also in the shape of a splash/puddle) for the hammer to hit (see sketch 1).
However, it still seemed as though I was using more wood than needed. So I looked at the research I had undertaken for high strikers and investigated their designs further. Focusing on designs without boxes, sketch 12 depicts my attempt at designing a melting high striker without a box. In which, the contraption isn't hidden, so I had to work out how to present the different pieces of the contraption as melting. The only problem was that I couldn't risk carving into the lever incase of weakening it. But the advantages were using much less wood, so it wouldn't be as costly, heavy, or take up more time. The idea for using rubber in the shape of a splash/puddle for the hammer target pad could also be kept and just placed on the striking end of the lever, and also added to the underneath where the lever would hit the timber base. I could also keep the plan of using plywood for the bottom puddle, and the 2 x 4 bits of timber to act as a puddle layer. A new addition are the supports at the back of the high striker, as the high striker would be without the support of the box.
After sketching out these different ideas to find the most suitable, I presented sketch 12 and the process of getting to this sketch to my technician, Ross, who then offered an idea that strengthen the ideas in sketch 12. In sketch 13, Ross detailed the idea of using a block of oak for the lever, as oak would be strong enough to withstand many hammer strikes and wouldn't split. The lever would then have a thick metal bar through it, off centre so that it fell into position after being hit, held in place by two thick blocks of pine wood either side. This idea solved the problem of what to use for a fulcrum. My initial ideas were to use a hinge bracket, seen in sketch 8 and 9, however Ross assured me that wouldn't be strong enough to withstand the slamming and the pin holding the two sides of the hinge brackets together would eventually fall out. In sketch 12 I had proposed to use two metal curved bars, each bolted to the lever and the piece of timber underneath the lever, that interlinked. However, Ross informed me that the idea of using one thick metal bar meant that the lever would be secured in place between two block of pine wood, so the only movement of the lever would be up and down. Whereas I am uncertain how two interlinking bars would secure the lever movements. Also, using one thick metal bar meant that there would be no need for bolts, so there was no need to drill two holes into the lever making the piece of wood potentially weaker.
The two blocks of pine wood would be thick enough to hold the metal bar in place, and also soft enough for me to carve drips into. This contraption would then be attached to the bottom puddle, made of plywood, which would also be used to attach the high striker. The idea for using rubber in the shape of a splash/puddle for the hammer target pad would be kept and added to the underneath where the lever would hit the plywood base.
In sketch 14, I incorporated Ross's ideas detailed in sketch 13 and added artistic details. I also re-added the 2 x 4 bits of timber to act as a puddle layer from the two blocks of pine wood to the plywood puddle base.
*Sketches were created on 2nd March 2017.