Broken City

This post is the 11th in a series about my Tafe class Small Object Making. To see the first in this series, start here. To see the 10th post, go here.

Here she is at last, my Broken City:

It’s been a long couple of days getting it all done and running around for parts and tools. I went into Cash Converters on Sunday with the intention of buying a cheap second hand jigsaw, but found this gorgeous tool instead. It’s got three settings, a straight jig saw, an orbital jig saw, and a scrolling saw. The scrolling saw setting actually allows me to turn the whole blade 360 degrees to do fine scroll work and intricate patterns. I’ve found and downloaded the manual, familiarised myself with all the buttons, and cut out my little carved wooden platform. 

Next, planning how the compartment beneath will house the components:

Then cutting out the box that will contain them. Jigsaws aren’t ideal for this, it’s fiddly, and you need more practice than I’ve had to get everything perfectly straight. 🙂

Installing the switch – it’s horribly ugly so I decided to inset it discretely beneath. The wires will go through the small drilled holes into the switch. The dremel is fantastic for fiddly jobs like this.

Coming together, I’ve also drilled a notch out of the frame by the light to accommodate the housing.

Gluing and clamping. I toyed with a few different ways of joining everything and decided on a liquid nails type product. I’m no carpenter, that’s for sure!

Decided the battery would be taped beneath. This keeps it from moving around but means it can still be replaced when it expires.

I tried using hot glue to inset the glass but it didn’t bind well. Scraped it out and used the same liquid nails. The clean up is tricky because of the confined space, but with a tiny screw driver I was able to clear away excess.

Turning it back on – fantastic shadows 🙂

I’m really happy, it’s lovely to look at when the light is on or off. The size of the shadows are controlled by how close you put the sculpture to the wall.

To see my second final project, the Rose petal bowl, go here.

6 thoughts on “Broken City

  1. Thankyou Sandra, yes, light and shadow have a language and poignancy of their own! It's even lovlier dancing in candlelight. I can certainly see me making more of these, they are something special. The little box reminds me of a music box, and I've always had a fascination with those. I also like that I can fit quite a few around my house, unlike most of my previous sculptures! There will certainly be more. 🙂


  2. This is really exciting Sarah: I love the way the light and glass interact: the reflected city seems alive.Wonderful imagination at work here, and a good message. I'm sure we will see several more glass and light works from you, especially as you now have your fancy new tools.


  3. have I read 'Broken City'; doesn't ring — excuse the pun — a bell.I will look for it. Yes you are fortunate in having a foot in both worlds, joining a distinguished group including William Blake, barbara Hanrahan, tennessee Williams …. and so on. And you're right: a 5th draft of a long novel is time consuming and very 'fiddly'


  4. Thanks John! I don't think it's worse than editing the 5th draft of a 70,000 word novel… I'm pretty happy with a foot in both worlds 🙂 Broken City was inspired by a poem I wrote many years ago. I love how art and writing feed into each other!


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