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Sculptor Michael Gard is a native Londoner who now lives and works in San Francisco. Most of his work is based on an original wire-weaving technique he’s been developing since his teenage years. His installation Lift consists of three ethereal, hollow human forms, each about half the size of an average adult, woven from lightweight aluminum wire using this special method, illuminated from within by LEDs, and suspended midair below helium balloons.

"Each figure is created by hand-weaving wire stitch-by-stitch around a solid wax form," Gard writes, "which is melted away. As far as I know a metal sculpture has never been made that is light enough to be lifted by a helium balloon."

“Each figure is created by hand-weaving wire stitch-by-stitch around a solid wax form,” Gard writes, “which is melted away. As far as I know a metal sculpture has never been made that is light enough to be lifted by a helium balloon.”

Though Gard is understandably tight-lipped about the specifics of the weaving technique, he has been quite generous in sharing other details of his method with us. Make: staff photographer Gunther Kirsch visited Gard’s studio last week, spoke to him about his work, and got some beautiful and informative shots of his tools, workspace, and process:

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You can see more of Gard’s sculpture at michaelgard.com.

If you’re going to be in northern California the weekend of the 17th, don’t miss the chance to see Lift in person at Maker Faire Bay Area 2014.

 

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


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