Process Merkelbachschool Amsterdam

  < All the two hundred hundred children of the Merkelbachschool have drawn their own teacher from the front, the back and the side. Of every child one drawing is sandblasted on 4 glass panels. The panels are 843 mm wide and 2705 mm high.
> The Question:
The Merkelbach school gets a new building and asks Lino Hellings to design a piece of art based on a contribution of every single child of the school. Lino proposes to have all the teachers drawn by the children in order to fit the drawings in one or more lightobjects.

< Step 1 research of material in relation to the space and the drawings.

Idea's which didn't work out:

1. 3 D light objects hanging in the space, idea was to print the drawings on the inside and the outside of big lampshades. When lit the two drawings blend (from front and back p.e.) The corridors in the building appear to be too narrow for this idea.

2. Print on glass, much cheaper then glassvisual. Printing is possible on almost every material as long as it is not more then 4 cm thick and 4 meters wide. The disadvantage is that it always has a front and back side; it only works with glass if you see it from one side only.

3. Life size slides on perspex as double window in the facade of the building. This material didn't work well with the drawings and with the building, modern aluminium building where no window is straight.

4. twelve monitors as a moving painting in the entrancehall. Computer steered the childrens drawings morf. The schoolbuilding corridors are too narrow, the video panel need distance and most important the children in this school are very lively already.

5 computer leaded leds illuminate sandblasted panels of glass: as well the intensity of the light as the clor differs. Experiments learn that the quality of sandblasted glass do not need expensive lighting sysstems. The material cathes light in such a way that there is always a suble lightshow going on. This became final idea.

> Step 2 Choice of the location

The tall glass windows in the schoolhall which look out on the cooridor through the multifunctional building (including all kind of council departments)
  < Step 3 Drawing the teacher by the children.

In all classrooms the teachers are modell to the children. They are drawn from the front, side and back. The drawings are in A6 format with edding 3000 veltpens, because that gives the best results in the sandblasting. The cuttingknife, directed by the computer, that cuts the tapemodels needs round lines. Details can be not smaller then 3 mm not to have the sandblastmachine blow away the tape models.
< Step 4 processing the drawings in the computer.

Selecting 200 out of the 600 drawings. Scanning, cleaning the drawings in photoshop, scaling details and making the lines fluent in illustrator costed approximately 2 hours per drawing. Designing 4 panels with 50 drawings each.

< Step 5 Plotting and sandblasting the illustrator files

This was done by RIWI letter company and van 't Hull glass firm.
  < Step 6 Montage.

The glasspanels are placed as double windows with the sandblasted side on the inside. The material is fragile in the way that every touch leaves a greasy spot which is difficult to clean.