Penny Coin Art - Tuesday 24th March 2015

'The Caryatid' is a six foot tall, dodecahedral lattice column comprising 15,000 pennies. The shiny structure was created by artist Robert Wechsler by cutting the coins in a purpose built die cutter - designed and built specifically by the artist himself. Wechsler, who was previously commissioned by The New Yorker to create coin works for a "Money" themed issue, started his latest project with the currency of a concept and then tried a prototype with a few coins. Following research into more high tech options, the older factory style machining turned out to be the best fit for this type of tooling - both, the Caryatid and Wechsler's other impressive creation, 'The Mendicant'. - as it is very similar to the mechanical way in which coins are minted to begin with. He said: "These structures are very difficult to produce. it takes a certain amount to physical strength to notch the coins, and then to fit them tightly together. "Each coin is clearly facing the exact same direction. this means that close attention had to be paid to cut each coin the same way, and then close attention had to be paid to make sure they were assembled in the correct orientation. This is harder than it sounds. The brain wants to see order and will often correct a mistake. I mean you can be looking right at an upside down coin and your brain will correct that and you wont notice it. many times I have placed a coin in the wrong orientation and then had to partially disassemble the sculpture to correct the problem. That is the most difficult aspect of the work form a production standpoint." "The Caryatid is made from 15,000 individual pennies but it can also be thought of as being made of hundreds of dodecahedral units each made up of 20 pennies. To create the Column of the Caryatid, the first step was cutting the coins and the second step was carefully assembling them into these dodecahedral nodes. The nodes from The Caryatid have all the perimeter pennies facing away from the centre. If y - - Tuesday 24th March 2015 (19 images)

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