Planning and process are integral to Andi Steele’s work. From taking measurements to final construction, her work is guided by her love of process and hands-on making. The monofilament installations begin with a visit to the site to take measurements and photos. While there, Andi notes the use and flow of the space, and any interesting architectural elements. She takes this information and begins planning using a 3D computer program. First she draws out the site and then adds in the supports and lines of the installation. On average, she goes through 20-30 drawings before deciding on a design for an installation.
Once the design is set, Andi begins construction of the support brackets, usually constructed out of wood, and ranging from straight lengths that blend with the walls, to shaped forms that act as both a support and an additional design element. After the brackets are formed, she measures and attaches the eyehooks. Then the brackets are painted to match the walls at the site. In this way, the brackets are visible but do not overwhelm the lines, keeping the subtlety of the work cohesive.
The work is ready to be installed; the brackets are hung, and the monofilament line is strung between the eyehooks. The order of attachment can be complex depending on the design of the installation. Each strand is individually attached according to the original plan, tied off and trimmed by hand.
The metal sculptures are not necessarily site-specific so the designs are driven more by the concept of space manipulation than site. Andi again begins with computer drawings. She alters and repeats linear forms, combining parts to create large volumetric sculptures.
Andi makes the conversion from drawn line to conduit, planning the connection and installation points. She fabricates the forms, cutting and shaping the metal. Then she connects the pieces with the fittings. The sculptures can be disassembled for transporting and reassembled on site.