With an accurate 3D model, I am able to generate a number of useful templates and spacial references.
I extract each limb and design the internal structures that lead to paper templates.
Here, the Perspective View of the layout yields a rather confusing (yet interesting) scene.
I create a 10 inch scale grid that allows me to recreate the specific curve of each branch.
I also create a spacing guide for each cross section, which allows me to get the taper diameter correct.
By snapping a chalk line onto my driveway, I create a 10 inch grid that I use to scale the drawing into reality. I refine the curves using a thin strip of wood and commit to the final path.
Using a standard pipe bender and one inch metal electrical conduit, I follow the scaled drawing on the concrete.
I generated a template for the cross section supports using a combination of Rhino 3D and Adobe Illustrator. I then used a spray adhesive to attach the templates to 3/4" plywood, cut on a bandsaw.
The alignment of the cross sections as the two conduits intersect, was a tricky bit of business. I added two set screw couplers to lock in the correct orientation before securing the plywood to the conduit with a number of small wood wedges.
Since each branch must be precisely targeted for the final sculpture to fit between lights and through entryways, I created a large base template from which I projected a laser beam to intersect with a known location on each branch. Once I have the bent conduit properly aligned and targeted, I can begin covering the branch with wood, thereby locking in the orientation.
The laser paths are represented as solid veritcal rods in the digital rendering seen at the top of the page.
I began by extending the direction of each wood species to create continuity between the trunk and the limb.
I then switched to an overlapping structure of preshaped strips to create more texture and variety.
This is a view of the detached limb ready for final sanding.