For my finals, I took on a project that is very important to me personally.
I grew up in Kampala, Uganda, before immigrating to the U.S in 2015. My childhood dream was to be an Artist skilled in Fine Art, Sculpture and Architecture. For my undergrad I ended up studying Information Technology, believing it was a safer choice especially in these rapidly changing times.
While at my University I often hang out at the FineArt faculty, hoping to learn what they were practicing.
Most of, if not all the work they did was by hand. Unfortunately for me, one teacher noticed that I was always there and threatened to report me to the Administrators. Of course, taking classes from a faculty/course you did not register for was prohibited. So I left, extremely heartbroken.
After graduation, a close friend of mine sent me a dvd of SketchUp software, and it changed my life.
After I installed it on my computer, I started practicing, making different 3D models. Internet was very expensive, so I had to teach myself to use most of the tools. I spent many days and nights making models of fountains, sculptures of various shapes and designs.
Sketches from 2012
Living the Dream
One evening while walking near my home, I chanced upon a lone sculptor working on a project. I asked if he needed any help and if I could work with him and he agreed. There was a new shopping mall coming up in the area, and after speaking with the owner and showing him the models and sketches, he let us work on this project for him.
This was work at another client’s home.
The Pearl of Africa:
Uganda is famously referred to as the “Pearl of Africa”. But there is no sculptural representation of this phrase.
France has the Eiffel tower and NYC has the statue of Liberty, we don’t have much representation.
In Kampala city, there’s a lot of underused, underdeveloped land. Many open spaces and some weak attempts at art and design and poor use of materials.
Sure, these ArtWorks stand for/represent something, but there is no official sculptural representation of the phrase that Uganda is famously known for, and greatly proud of. I decided to use my talent to make a contribution in this field. So I started thinking about who I would approach. I thought it would be a great idea to front this idea to the Ugandan government, through the Kampala City Council.
They were very receptive, but had reservations about my experience and urged me to form a company, as well as get formal education in regard to fabrication and landscaping.
The company was formed, with the aim of specifically city aesthetic development and created a portfolio with plans for roadside design, city park creation and general city redesign. I applied and was accepted to this prestigious institution, and was lucky to be taught and mentored by the Master Fabricator himself, Ben Light.
Final Project: Miniature “Pearl of Africa” artistic representation
Tool: 4- Axis
Material Choice: Delrin and Acrylic
The national bird of Uganda is the beautiful crested crane.
CAD: VectorWorks and Adobe Illustrator
Tool: The OtherMill
Material Choice: Acrylic
The Fountain space:
CAD and CAM: VectorWorks, MasterCam
Tool: CNC and Belt sander.(Broken bit forced me to the bandsaw and belt sander)
Material used: Acrylic
Connected an LED to a micro controller to simulate the pearl. The wires were passed through a hole drilled into the centre pillar.
Setting the crane securely, without its huge wings dropping it
Making custom shapes of the wings and crane was tough in VW.
With all these tools (Lathe, CNC, 4-Axis etc) I can pursue the plans I’ve always had.