Monday, October 13, 2008

Making the Third Eye Revelation Trophy

Early this year in April, I decided to organise a photography contest for The Third Eye photography special interest group. I called it, The Third Eye Revelation Award Contest 2008. The challenges for the contest were that all contestants must,
  • Submit one(1) photo with the worse composition, lousiest perspective, wackiest angle, clumsiest cropping and fatal framing.
  • Submit one(1) photo with the best composition, sharpest perspective, pleasing angle, artful cropping and amazing framing.
The prize will be a specially made Third Eye Trophy. Using Google's 3D Sketchup software, I managed to come up with a design I liked.

After that I proceeded to find out how to get the darn thing made. I asked around and found out that there were just too many options, and all of them very expensive.

After mulling over it for more than 6 months, I (finally) decided to go down to my local neighborhood welding shop and asked them if they could help out. Mr. Tan, the proprietor was more than happy to oblige. He had previously supplied and installed the iron grills in my house. So when I asked him to make the trophy, he was more than thrilled to be doing something else other than gates and window grills... LOL.

I roughly sketched the trophy out to explain the design to Mr. Tan.

I had not brought nor shown Mr. Tan the original 3D drawings of the trophy. I merely drew the trophy from memory on a piece of paper to explain to him what I had in mind, with intention to later show him the 3D drawings should he decide to take on the job. I think that was a mistake.

Within 2 days, Mr. Tan called me up and told me that he had completed the prototype of the trophy... LOL. I did not know what to say, as I had not show him the 3D drawings yet.

That evening, I went over to the workshop and found the following prototype.

It seemed that Mr. Tan got carried away. Apparently, that night after I showed him the sketch, he went home and started to make a paper mock-up of the trophy based on my sketch. Even his wife and son got involved... LOL. The very next day, he went ahead and started making the trophy without consulting me... LOL. I really do appreciated his enthusiasm, but I was not happy with the outcome. It was far from what I had in mind.

In any case, not wanting to hurt his feelings, I gently told him in the Hokkien dialect that the trophy was too "si pan pan" (too square, lacking movement). What I wanted was more dynamic and during that time, I was thinking of how to correct the whole thing.

So I told him what I wanted and that he should wait for me to come over to work with him on exacting the changes I had in mind to hopefully correct the form.

And so yesterday, I went over and we started making bits and pieces of corrections.

Mr. Tan grinding and cutting parts of the trophy.

Left over scrapped metal were used to make the trophy. The base of the trophy was very nicely constructed.

After making the necessary changes, I think we managed to make the trophy more dynamic... LOL. Being a first for me, metal was not an easy medium to work with compared to clay or wood. Anyway, I was quite pleased with the final outcome.

The final Third Eye trophy ready for putty-ing.

The following video illustrated some of the necessary adjustments done to the trophy.

After the putty-ing, I hope to get the trophy powder coated, but I have no idea where to go and get it done in Kuala Lumpur. I think I will call Sean and ask him... LOL.

I will update the blog later when I have more information. I have already learned quite a lot from this experience. After this project, I hope to work more with these kind of stuff... :-)

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