Organic vs. Mechanic: Breaking The Ice

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“Breaking The Ice”

Wax Investment Bronze Casted Arctic Liquid Natural Gas Tanker ship

9″ L x 3″ W x 5″ H

Frozen into melting ice cubesIMG_8705

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I created this casted piece to highlight the new access that climate change has granted us in the Arctic Ocean for shipping and resource development. The melting ice opens new channels for shipping logistics, shortening almost all current global shipping rates by 1/3 of the distance at the very least. Along with access to incredible oil, gold, and other raw materials, the Arctic is set to become the next global battleground for resource control. Despite being a key Arctic Nation, the Unites States only currently has three icebreakers in the water: The US Coast Guard Polar Star and The USCG Healy, both based out of Seattle, and The USCG Mackinaw which is stationed in Cheboygan, Michigan.

The ship, “Arctic Express” is modeled after a Norwegian icebreaker which is owned by a shipping logistics company that focuses on resource development in The Arctic. I chose to model my ship after The Arctic Express because the actual ship itself is an icebreaker and has the capability to transport cargo, oil, or liquid natural gas.  I wanted my piece to make a statement about the newfound access the the Arctic and the importance we must take in establishing our shipping routes with the intentions of sustainable development. 

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The ice represents the fragility of this nature and as it melts away, the ship is no longer supported, which shows how integral nature is in supporting the society our species has created. The bronze ship represents the mechanical achievements of mankind in conquering and exploiting Nature. I was able to better meet the assignment “Organic vs. Mechanic” by placing my bronze cast ship into real ice, however I am working on a more permanent base.

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img_8317-e1493847783969.jpgI made the ship out of wax and then made a plaster investment mold. We then places the molds in a kiln for six days, which melted out all of the wax, leaving a negative of wax ship in the mold. The molds were casted in bronze, which was my first time working closely with this metal. I was extremely satisfied with how well it cleaned up, especially because it is slightly stronger than the aluminum and therefore it lessened the potential for accidentally cleaning the metal too much. I am still considering adding patina to the metal or possibly more structure. I will update this page once the piece in complete. Until then, I have this to say about the Arctic Ocean: fullsizerender-141.jpg

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