Dead stars – 29/08/14

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Dead stars

A dead star; dense, dark, and foreboding. A concept which is alien to us on earth, as all we see of stars is the light they give off when they are alive. It’s odd to think that we can see dead stars, yet they’re camouflaged in the dark blanket of the night sky, between the lights that still burn. I’ve been fascinated with the concept for a while, and have attempted to figure out ways to create something that would resemble a dead star for a while now; the first thought was to burn wood, and then utilise the ash to create the orb. However, this proved fruitless, as the ash is so hard to fix back together once it has been scattered; it merely reduces until it becomes dust (I endeavour to figure out a way to work it though).

Alas, I struggled for a while; light, dust, death, darkness. How do I connect all of these themes and messages in one object? Whilst talking with my friend Max in the kitchen where I work, I brought up my problems with this concept. He brought up the use of light; in the sense of projection on smoke, in order to create this object. However, I dismissed this, it wasn’t tangible, which I wanted the object to be. And then, he reminded me of ‘Black Snakes’, a type of firework that creates a stream of carbon through the process of burning, to create a distinct black shape. See an example here. This seemed like a logical path to follow, the dark carbon seemed perfect for a dead, burnt out star. The question raised though, is how can I mould it?

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Close up of the object 

As I think of a way to make a mould, I compromised; the powder I created and burnt for the objects created a couple of lumps of the carbon, so I pushed them together lightly, exerting enough force on the object as not to crush it, but to help it connect together. Of course, it is incredibly fragile, but still retains the orb-like shape. I love this object, and have great plans for these Dead stars. They even resemble something from outer space, much like material from a meteorite that has burnt within the atmosphere.

What kind of future does a galaxy orbiting a dead star hold?

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