I realise that there has been a slight gap in my blogs for this QBE project, however the last few weeks has been so busy and stressful trying to find manfuctuers who would be willing to help on such short notice. There was such a lack of time between the final commission and the deadline that large deliveries had to be turned around in less than two weeks- not leaving much time for me to update you on our process!
We found Talbot Design who are specialists in the acrylic industry working with clients such as M&S and the new Star Wars film. These were the most reasonable quotes that I was given and they also gave us the chance to visit their showroom where we could talk through our ideas. Charles at Talbot was particularly helpful in understanding our sizing issues and looking for ways to work around the budget restrictions that we had. We eventually decided on a 800mm sphere consisting of two hemispheres joined together with a flange, there was also an acrylic platform so as the design can sit slightly above ground level.
Another aspect which we had to source was the air plants and 38 smaller spheres. After my trip to a local garden centre we found the company Love Tillys who are the leading distributor of air plants in the country. They were based in Letchworth and offered us a 10% discount if we were willing to go and visit their garden centre to pick up the plants our self. Although this took more time than buying the plants online we were given the opportunity to pick out the exact air plants that we wanted, but we also got the smaller spheres at a discounted price. The Nursery also allowed us to gain more insight as how to care for the plants, an expert knowledge which we can then pass straight onto QBE.
We were quite fortunate that our design , after ordering the individual elements, didn’t actually need much doing in terms of post production. The only aspect that we needed to do ourselves was to drill 76 holes in the top of the large sphere to allow for invisible string to be fed through. This would then hold all the smaller spheres inside of the larger structure, giving a floating illusion. We encountered a few naive mistakes along the way, one being that we assumed that the larges acrylic hemispheres would be joined when delivered to us. This was not the case and so we had to improvise with book bolts which actually held the two halves together effectively and also sat flat on the material. The drilling was relatively easy due to the fact that had a wooden and foam block with two holes already drilled to act as a guide, stopping the drill slipping on the curved surface. The smaller spheres proved quite fiddly to handle within the structure, therefore we only hung ten to give a sample of the final design. We intend to visit QBE to help with the final installations and to hang all the individual elements in the way which we envision.