| || ||This is the completed project, fitted inside Sam and Natalie's electric fire in their lounge.|
This project started when I remarked that the fire looked like an aquarium and suggested that I make it look even more so.
I ended up making a box in which I suspended 29 fish made from scrap aluminium drink cans.
| The box has mesh top and bottom. The idea is that air movements through
the fire will cause the fish to wobble about and shimmer.|
You can take the whole box out if you want to turn the fire on.
|I made the fish from drink cans. |
The first step was to create a fish in wax, pictured.
I ended up making a second fish that had less pronounced scales (but forgot to photograph it).
I made a mould with this fish and then broke it by exerting too much force on it, in a hydraulic press.
|This was the mould I ended up using. |
I created it using polyurethane resin, largely because I already had some spare. I backed the mould with a block of wood to prevent it cracking in the way the first one did.
I abandoned using a hydraulic press. Instead I just cut a suitable piece of drink can, held it over the mould and rubbed it hard with a pencil. I ruined a couple of pencils in the process.
|First layer complete.|
I used little lead weights, the ones used by anglers, to terminate the fishing line.
|Getting the fish into the right position was surprisingly complicated! |
Here's how I did it for the second layer.
I created a frame the same size as the box and laid some paper inside it so that I could draw on where the rows of fish and fishing line needed to be.
I then made 4 holes in each fish and threaded them on to the fishing line, taping the line to the frame.
|Then I turned the frame over and used a hot glue gun to stick the fish onto the lines .|
|I then flipped the frame over, put it on top of the box and took each end of a line and threaded it into the correct position in the box. |
| This is the almost complete project - "almost" because the box has turned out to be slightly too big to fit in the fire.|
I made the box from 1-mm-thick steel plate and aluminium angle and mesh, pop-riveted together and sprayed matt black. I'm hoping the mesh will allow air to pass through the box, making the fish wobble.
There's 2 layers of fish suspended from fishing line stretched between the top and bottom channels of mesh.
| Completed project, apart from seeing whether it now fits inside the fire. I've shortened it by 1 cm. |
In the end I restrung all the fish, partly because I had to remove them to shorten the box and partly because my previous method of attaching the fishing line to the box seemed a bit naff; some of the lines had come undone and the hot glue I used wasn't sticking very well to the lines or the fish.
I've now fixed the lines to the fish using Araldite (epoxy glue) and taped the lines to the back of the box, doubling over the lines and using Gaffer tape. I hope this proves less naff!
This is the same number of fish - 29 (I think) - but some how it looks like more.