I got the idea for this project when I saw "Alhambra" by Jennifer Townley. This is a sculpture based on the tessellating geometry found in the Alhambra palace in Grenada, Spain. The arrow shape she used is found in the tile work in the palace. I set out to copy her work in order to study it.
My project uses 4 points of rotation instead of 6, and I built an original shape rather than use a tessellating shape.
What worked: - I had a different idea for how to build my project fairly flat. I had hoped to install these like tiles in the school when they are all complete. - I experimented with a lot of shapes before I found one I liked. I used the laser cutter to prototype these out of cardboard which allowed me to quickly make adjustments and try a lot of shapes. - The gear reduction in the machine makes it turn at about 2 RPM which is just right. If the motion is too quick then it is hard to appreciate, but too slow and it is not engaging.
What was surprising - Because I didn't use a tessellating shape, there are fewer lines of symmetry in the movement of the shapes. I can't decide if I prefer that or not. - I cut the internal gears of 1/8" plywood, this is very thin and the gears don't mesh together reliably. I would like to use 1/4" or 1/2" in the future.
Never again (future changes) - I'd like to re make this with a tessellating pattern and try the 6 pointed movement - The design must be made to stand freely. I think the best exhibition will be on a long shelf in a neat row.