Making the hammock…

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I had this idea of making a hammock, a physical object that holds the capacity to support an individual. Where previously I have been adding just the paperclips to an existing object, I decided that it was best to construct the whole object of the hammock out of steel. I took measurements from the wood and cloth hammock, so I could replicate them with steel materials. The first item I needed to source was the metal bar for the spreader bar. I wanted this to be as close as possible to the original wood in shape. options included a thick metal rod or plate but when visiting the foundry John showed me the square bar above. It was the right dimensions, we cut it into two 80cm lengths and drilled 12 holes to accommodate the cable that I would be using instead of rope. The holes were 6.5 cm wide so two lengths go the cable could pass through but still be tight.

This is where I encountered my first issue, the cable was difficult to thread as it kept splitting at the end also the material is not very malleable or easily woven like I wanted. So after researching different materials I came across aluminium wire, as i had decided the hammock would not be functional it did not matter about the weight it could hold. aluminium is very malleable but brittle after a point. The wire gave enough bend to twist and weave and was much easier to thread. Before I started treating the wire I decided to spray paint the bar a brighter silver so as to blend in with the wire and eventually the paperclips.

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When it came to the paperclips the patter was pretty easy, and did not tangle as much as the squares. This new hexagonal shape mimicked that of rope hammocks and is actually a a stronger bond than the squares. The only problem was when pulled tight the hexagons from rectangles like brickwork meaning there are half completed squares at the end of each row. To combat this and give a better finish I squared these overlaps off. (see above) This however put an enormous amount of strain on the outer paperclips when it came to attaching them to the spreaders. Also the dip created in the middle was far too drastic.

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After spending a lot of time thinking how I could resolve this, trying different combinations and even adding fishing wire as support, I ended up, ending easy row with not a half rectangle (square) but a half hexagon. This reduced the pressure and the dip and looked a lot neater.


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