Maps of Metal

Maps of Metal

Last week we introduced you to Jingletown, an Oakland neighborhood we recently discovered when checking up on our collaborative ‘Uptown Geometries’ project. This laser cut brass piece, AJK’s first public art piece, is already installed in the windows of the RASA building in Oakland, and soon will be open to the public.   Before arriving in Jingletown, though, many steps and creative minds worked together to produce this dazzling piece of art…

Our first step to any custom project is creating a storyboard to help us and our client envision where the design may go. In this case, Slate Art Gallery came to us with a concept of using a map of Oakland to underscore our local uptown neighborhood’s recent artistic and developmental boom.  The piece was generously commissioned by Signature Development Group (SDG) and we collaborated with fellow Oakland artist Jason Kulp and ICOSA Design from start to finish.

With Annie’s artistic eye and Jason’s cartography skills, we worked together to construct an abstract design, inspired by the uptown streets of Oakland. This involved manipulating, flipping and twisting the map in every direction possible, and paying homage to certain buildings which were developed by SDG.  From there, we worked hard to create a balanced design that would stand on its own, and presented our three strongest options to our clients for them to choose their top pick.

Once we landed on a single prototype for the art piece, our favorite part of the process was introduced – the metal! With a digital sketch created, we worked together with the rest of the creative team to transfer the artwork to a CAD file, then the laser cutting began! Soon after we headed to ICOSA Design and DEKA Fabrication’s combined work space in the infamous Jingletown to check out the cut piece before being completed by DEKA, the finisher on the project.  There, the naval cut brass was sanded with a satin finish, then delivered to the installation site.

We hope all Oaklanders will enjoy getting a  glimpse of this magnificent metal artwork as they walk down 23rd Street for years to come, and we are excited to work on more public art projects!  Abstract map of YOUR city anyone?