THE DANCING PARTNERS was first commissioned in 2000. The technique took about three years of research and experimentation before the piece could be completed.
This was an entirely new endeavour. The challenge was to make a large pair of fish -dance on their tails - out of beaten and welded copper. You have probably seen numerous examples of copper sculpture. At the time I had never seen work that wasn't soldered or brazed - and when occasionally welded - done very visibly.
I set out to see what would happen if you treated thin copper sheet as if it were mild steel (ie car panels) or bronze - in the sense of welding and dressing back the metal in order to hide the welding work. In essence - to see if I could make something light and strong, and so that you could not see how it was made.
These two fishes are made up of panels of copper sheet beaten into shape using a pitch block or sand bag, then welded together and 'dressed' back so the joints become part of the 'modelled' surface.
A stainless steel rod is welded into the structure of the fish during the early stages of the work. This is the 'fixing' which allows the fish be suspended in space - and so apparently 'dance' on the tip of its tail. The lightness of the material and therefore thinness of the steel rod means that the gentle movement of the fountain or a passing breeze can cause the fish to sway together.
This piece was commissioned.
Dimensions: Approx 1metre H
Medium: Beaten & Welded Copper
Edition size: UNIQUE
Collection: Private Collection