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By August 21, 2022September 27th, 20224 Comments

The concept behind this project started a few years ago, when I was asked to develop a semi-permanent large scale public art sculpture for the Chateau de la Napoule, ultimately we didn’t proceed on the project, but over the years, it continues to draw interest.

Division, digital render, 2016, John K. Melvin

What’s the concept?  What’s the story?

Division is named after cell division in biology.  I was interested in the metaphorical aspects of the Division, in that no matter what we do in life, our past shapes us.  Cell division consists of one thing that splits into two perfect copies, each taking a part of the other if you will.  So while helping a friend manage a property in Cambodia, and as I was struggling with designing the form, another friend suggested I take a walk with my sketch book.  I found some coral and was enamored with how it had grown over itself.  The seed was planted.  Later, I took the hand sketches and made the 3d file, refining it as I went.

Division, Digital render, John K. Melvin 2017

so…what happened?

Flash forward a bit, I’ve now made two physical maquettes, each about 40cm tall.  Both are INOX or stainless steel plates, articulating a curve in space with the help of some miniature all-thread bolts.  Both versions are made with the intention of proofing the success of the project for a larger scale private art commission.  The first version was made with 1mm brass all-thread interstitials, and the more recent was made with 2mm INOX.  Each required custom tools and miniature wrenches.


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I admit, there were times when it was frustrating, but a magnifying visor was a life saver.

I’ve sold the artist-proof to a married couple for their anniversary, and the edition is now open to 5 versions of different scale, depending on conversations with the collector.  The first of the edition, pictured below with the more rusted base, the most recent  I’ve made is available for inquires.

Division, Artist Proof, 2018-2022, 40cm tall, Stainless Steel, Brass, and metal.


Division, 1st in a variable Edition, 2022, Stainless Steel and Mild Steel, John K Melvin

what’s next?

I will be making a 120 cm version for our garden here in Pont Aven, that I hope will draw some interest for another private art commission or even a larger version, 3m or even 10m?  Having completed the sculpture twice now, refining as I go, I feel very confident about the engineering as we scale up.

Division, Digital Render, 10m scale, 2018, John K Melvin

I’ve kept a version in my studio, visitors can make an appointment for viewing.   I’m  available most days, and if not, I am not too far away, that we can’t arrange something.

I look forward to how the Division series progresses, I’m excited to make a larger scale version.  I’ll update this post as we move along.  Thanks so much for all the support.  I’ve uploaded a bunch of pictures below of the new Division, enjoy them, and thanks again.

Division, John K Melvin, 42cm tall, 2022


Division, Inox, 42 cm, John K. Melvin, 2022


Division, Inox, 42 cm, John K. Melvin, 2022


Division, Inox, 42 cm, John K. Melvin, 2022


Division, Inox, 42 cm, John K. Melvin, 2022


Division, Inox, 42 cm, John K. Melvin, 2022


Division, Inox, 42 cm, John K. Melvin, 2022


  • Al Farrow says:

    Hey John, Good design. When you scale up (thinking big) you should factor in the effects of wind on so much surface area. This isn’t important in the relatively smaller pieces but is an important consideration. Best of luck !!!!!

    • John Melvin says:

      many thanks Al, it is so good to hear from you. I’ll keep your sage advice in mind, the 1.5m tall version I hope to make this spring should give me a lot of information, after to the two models, I feel that I have a handle on the bolt pattern. be well my friend.


  • Al Farrow says:

    I left a reply. i don’t understand “awaiting moderation”.

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