With the success of copper penguins (I count a success as me enjoying a project and learning things from it) earlier in 2016, I thought it would be nice to be able to make something meaningful for Fay, the significant other in my life, who's birthday is in December.
A cynic, and no fan of traditional romantic gestures or customs, I cheekily like to tell her that I love her with my brain, not heart, which is just for pumping blood. Hence the idea for this wall feature for our home. Did I mention I'm a cynical, sarcastic bastard?
The basic heart shape which is repeated throughout the design is a parametric curve; the result of plotting the following:
x = 16sin(t)^3
y = 13cos(t) - 5cos(2t) - 2cos(3t) - cos(4t)
This isn't a shape I've invented, but I think, in part, I chose to use it due to fond memories of passing time in school using a graphic calculator to create odd doodles from long parametric equations.
The entire structure is built of this shape, copied, resized, rotated, and arranged into the design below.
Like my previous adventures in pipe-bending, this is all made of 10mm (outer diameter) copper piping, bent by hand and assembled by brazing the parts together. And, once again, the hardest part was probably in trying to make it, and keep it, symmetrical.
At about 1.12 x 1.0 metres in size, the finished item is about as large as I could have made it while being able to move it about and keep it's design secret. It also happens to be the perfect size to hang on the wall above the fireplace in our living room.
While building it I was surprised how nice it was turning out and started work on designs for more 2D wall pieces. Beginning with the double-heart shape (which I really like on it's own, and reminds me somewhat of Celtic designs when multiples are arranged with rotational symmetry), I then starting to play with simple arcs and lines to build shapes that caught my interest.
I was concious that I would have to actually make these, which helped keep things simple and made me consider how both light and shadow, plain and painted parts, could be used to create interesting results.
I'm currently making a run of the double-heart pieces, which will be available on Etsy in the near future. With any luck I'll have a few ready in time for some Feb 14th inspired purchases, though I'd like to think they're a fairly universal design that will please at any time of the year or occasion. A copper heart is for life, not just Valentine's.