Today was our last day of setting up for our exhibition.

By this point, I had put everything in its place and made sure it all worked. I had a bit of a scare the night before when the power supply overheated, but it didn’t do any damage. My plan for the last day was to run the mechanisms, and keep tweaking everything to try and make the run as fool proof as I could. Every now and again, a marble would stop somewhere on the run (in the end piece before the tube, or after the tube before the stairs, or before the chain), fall off the run (by overshooting the corners, falling off the stairs, or getting stuck in the hooks and missing the start of the run). The hooks would also move and sometimes get caught on the plaster piece below it, stopping the chain.

I tried to solve all of these problems.

When the marbles:

  • Stopped in the end piece before the tube, I modelled the inside of the piece with more plasticine to make it more sloped.
  • Stopped after the tube before the stairs, I reduced the weight of the ‘curtain’ until it no longer stopped them.
  • Stopped before the chain, I sanded the corners so they would not get stuck.
  • Overshot the corners, I put up little guards to deflect the marbles.
  • Fell off the stairs, I put a ‘Severn bridge’ style threading of string down the sides.
  • Got stuck in the hooks and missed the start of the run, I took away the big marbles!
  • To stop the hooks from moving I added more glue, hopefully this will hold.

However, not once has a day ever gone to plan. When I came in, I saw that the plaster feet had all but one cracked -badly. I think this is just down to the nature of the materials. When the plaster is wet, the wood absorbs the water. When the plaster dries, it shrinks.

During the day I also filled in the cracks with more plaster and sanded it back down. If they continue to crack, I can do more work to them before the show.

I also finished sorting out my power supply, plastic cable mats and I tidied the wires.

Now I just hope it all goes okay on the day.

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