Saturday, November 22, 2014

Learning to shape with foam

Super big thanks to Ian Powell for giving me my starting foam.  :-)   !!!!  I am glad that I finally began working with it, though I wish I would have started sooner.  The thing that held me back is that I did not really have a type of hold that I was driven to make.  But, then I got on Tuna Town at the Motherload.   [line with a rope to the left of the rib features]

Turns out that the key challenging holds in the middle section are horizontal pockets that typically are one pad deep, comfortably curved, and include a thumb catch that makes the hold feel better for one hand than the other. 

I need more practice climbing and resting on these types of holds, so I wanted to design some.  
I am going to do several more that have the one pad incut with a thumb catch, and explore different aesthetic variations.  

This particular hold involves an indentation for the right thumb that makes the hold somewhat sequential when placed as a horizontal (because the thumb catch makes the hold noticeably better for the right hand).   This type of hold feels much less secure if you use an open hand grip and are intended for a 30 degree wall (hence my need to cultivate more endurance on these holds). 

Shaping with foam today was a good learning experience but I wish I would have started with a slightly wider chunk of foam-  I don't think I left enough space for the bolt.  In terms of function I wanted to make a hold that puts the pulling direction slightly out of plane from the wall so the incut dished area is closer to the wall on one side than the other.

In terms of aesthetics, I was primarily trying to let the internal form progress in a fluid way.  I ran out of space on the right end, in the second photo above.  I tried adding an inner curve that resulted in two different types of external corners or points.  Inspired by bar-b-q ribs, I tried to make it look as though a section of bone was sticking out from the meat of the hold.   

You can see the thumb indentation, the bone texture that is cut off at angles.  The angled thing would not make a very comfy hand hold, thugy it could make a good pulling surface as a foot.  Hope to make a few more incut one-pad holds with a thumb catch.  

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