David McCreath


16 gauge sheet steel, brass rod, oak plywood

project info

About this project

A murmuration is a flock of starlings. You might have seen videos of large flocks of birds in flight, seeming to move as a single mass, turning and diving unexpectedly. That was probably a murmuration of starlings. Murmurations are fascinating in multiple ways. There's the mechanics of it: How do the birds move en masse like that? How do they not collide? And there's the visual: The way the roiling mass of birds changes shape and affects the light. If you haven't seen one, it's worth searching YouTube.

My goal with this was not so much to replicate what a murmuration looks like, but to capture that feeling of multiple waves of motion moving in and around each other.

I was inspired by the texture of bird feathers and wanted to see if I could make something in steel that would be reminiscent of that. In the process of using different grinding wheels and types of sand in the sandblaster, I landed on the texture of the external sides of the steel. The internal was a different process, but I like the way they work together.

To avoid disrupting the surface textures while fastening the pieces of steel, I used brass rod to hand-rivet them together.

  • Expressing mass motion in steel
  • Different methods of texturing steel
  • Cold fastening

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