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  • Shards

    Texas A&M University with Gabriel ESQUIVEL, "Shards."
    college station TEXAS

    Texas A&M University
    critic: Gabriel ESQUIVEL.

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    Gabriel ESQUIVEL: Shards began with the investigation of specific minerals like stibnite, hematite and rutile crystals.

    These minerals have a shard-like bundled central mass and a solid material encrusted around the mineral object. This is why the project—as an object of broken concrete panels, with bundled wood with sharp edges—got its name .

    The next step was to understand these mineral/crystal characteristics in terms of form, properties, and surface texture, selecting which minerals would be modeled in Maya to replicate dimensions, form, and surface nuances. The methods of capturing the model are often unique to the subject and the tools available; in this case, some of the desired surface qualities were also created by using a specific script in Grasshopper and applying texture using ZBrush. The final object became a combination of a modeling and scripting process. The model arrangement was then refined toward the overall appearance and difficulty of fabrication.

    There is currently a great deal of interest in developing material logic–based fabrication projects, and this was the case for Shards. From the beginning, exploration was about the specific use of concrete with another material. Given the physical properties of the final object it was decided to use the wooden bundles as the object’s structure; panels were attached to this structure using a system of cast-in bolts Panels vary in form and size, and have both rough and smooth sections with the application of geometric ornament. In order to obtain the desired effect, a dark gray dye was added to the concrete mix, which was then poured into Styrofoam panels coated with a water based de-molder.

    The way the object was sited, as if it was part of a scatter of meteorites rained down from space, produces an (e)strangement with the existing objects on-site.

    students: Cody CLANCY, Tyler BOYETT, Misael GONZALEZ, José DE LEON, & Chris THACKERY.

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