Monday, June 6, 2016

Sweet Spot - Installation by Shawn Causey and Mark Daniell done with C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord

Sweet Spot - Installation by Shawn Causey and Mark Daniell

Bonded nylon used to be made for the upholstery industry. In the 70s, I would go south of Market Street in San Francisco to an industrial sewing machine shop. In their warehouse I would find dusty boxes of bonded nylon #18 thread. Several of my friends and colleagues had the same exact shopping experience in the East Coast…

Now C-Lon is the major player in the bonded nylon field. C-Lon is a bonded nylon made for the beading industry. The colors range is larger than ever before, and now the upholstery industry buys from us (the beading industry).

Occasionally, someone dreams up of an unusual use for this type of cord. And that is exactly what Shawn Causey and Mark Daniell did with "Sweet Spot" - an installation made with C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord and wood platforms reminiscent of tables holding lengths of cord from the ceiling to the floor.

As you walk around the installation, the overlap of the hanging cords changes and colors flicker as shown in videos taken of the installation at Gallery 924 in Indianapolis in April 2016 > Video

Sweet Spot - Installation with C-Lon Tex 40 Bead Cord by Shawn Causey and Mark Daniell

The Process - Making 'Sweet Spot'

This piece was made with the help of 80 volunteers who spent about 500 hours handling the cord - The cord performed very well.

In addition to the concept, it took somewhere around 960 spools of C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord to create this installation, several SuperMax Thread Burners and a few extra tips to finish the ends.

C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord and SuperMax Thread Burner

About the Cord Choice

When asked about their choice of cord, Shawn and Mark said; "We chose the C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord for the piece because of it's durability, color choices and sheen. The cord has been good to work with. Our only real issues with the material have been that the cord is indented from where it overlaps on its spool, and the total amount of cord on each spool was not the same."

As to the overlap indentations on the cord, I wish they had asked about this. My recommendation would have been to iron the cord off the spool. It removes any marking left by the spooling process. I use an iron on a polyester setting and run the cord under the iron fairly quickly otherwise it will melt the nylon cord.

Shawn and Mark responded: "We tested burnishing and discussed the possibility of light ironing. In the end we decided it was an unnecessary step since those small indentations aren't noticeable in the diffuse light we use on the piece. And over time we know they will smooth out."

As to the amount of cord on each spool, I hope the variance was less than 10% up or down - Yardage on industrial spools usually has a 10% allowance.

Shawn and Mark responded: "We didn't account for a 10% variance on the length of the cord. That's good to know for next time. About a fifth of our spools were up to 10% short."

About the Thread Burners

The artists said: "The thread burners worked well. The tips are delicate and we went through a lot of batteries, but we were burning a lot of thread!"

Yes, they went through a lot of cord, 960 spools is 37,440 yards… and not that many tips unless they ordered some from a different source…

There is 19 miles of cord in the piece, with enough length in each cord stored in the upper compartments to extend the piece 2 stories high. 19 miles equals 34,770 yards, 104,310 feet.

Sweet Spot - Installation with C-Lon Tex 40 Bead Cord by Shawn Causey and Mark Daniell

Sweet Spot moved to the Art from the Heartland Exhibit at the Indianapolis Art Center, Indianapolis, from June 10th to August 6th. The piece was awarded Best in Show by curator Mindy Taylor Ross.

It will travel next to Grand Rapids this fall to compete at ArtPrize. Sweet Spot won a big prize. Congratulations!

Sweet Spot is on the Move > Check out the Current Exhibit Schedule
We try to keep up with this installation location, so keep checking. 

> More about Shawn Causey
> Sweet Spot on ArtPrize - More pictures.

I was very happy to supply the C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord and the SuperMax Thread Burners for this project. Now I just wish 'Sweet Spot' would tour nationally, so I could get a chance to see it in person in California sometimes. If you are interested in any of the supplies mentioned above, here are some links below. - Marion

> C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord available in 112 colors
> SuperMax Thread Burners and comparing Thread Burners, Zappers and Sealers


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