Here is an example of how using scan data can create a lot of freedom in the process of an artist’s workflow.
Tom Otterness originally sculpted the figure with a spherical body encased in a block. This was one of several maquettes made for a public art project at Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, NY. This was scanned by Digital Atelier in Princeton, NJ.
Having this scan created a lot of possibility for the artist. The original sculpture maquette was enlarged in limestone, using the measurement data from the scan as the starting point, to almost 14 feet tall including the base. Later, when the artist had a show at the art gallery representing him, he could cast the original in bronze, and also was able to use the scan to modify the original and resculpt it in new forms and sizes, developing on the theme of the show.
The original sphere figure sculpture was molded and the artist modified a duplicate plaster, pairing it with a cone figure, both at the original 28 inch tall size, and then enlarged to 72 inches tall.
I made a rough, quick scan of the cone figure plaster at 28 inches tall. It was not necessary to do a very high resolution, detailed or precise scan because it would be rebuilt at a new size and Tom would change it according to the way the relationship between subject and object transforms with changes in scale.
The scan imported in Rhino and scaled up to the target output size, from 28 inches tall to 72 inches tall:
I analyzed the profiles of the sculpture in Rhino, and projected curves across the surface of the scan. I offset these to create a cage of profile planes around the form of the scan:
I extruded these and organized them into a hierarchy. I prepared and annotated the planes for output.
I printed these full size and the artist’s assistants built a cage of profiles with an interior armature. They packed water based clay onto the armature within the profile structure:
This process enabled Tom to resculpt the figures at the new size and to change the relationships of the parts and the details of the forms authentically and by hand, according to his artistic process and decisions:
A waste mold and plaster pattern were made for stabilizing and refining the forms. Here is the sculpture at full size in plaster, ready to be sent to the foundry:
The foundry created rubber molds, a gated wax for investment casting, and finally bronze. This was shipped back to the artist’s studio for the patina and waxing process:
Scanning the sculpture created freedom and opportunity in the process. The scan data became an asset for enlargement by hand building, reduction, quality control, and production in entirely new materials, including bronze, limestone and marble.