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MassArt Professor, Students Create Installation Inspired By Raindrops

BOSTON (CBS) -- "Rainfield" is a beautiful work of art that took about 10 thousand man hours to pull off.

Over a year and a half ago, the atrium of MassArt's Design and Media Center was still under construction, and the college needed a masterpiece. That's when artist Daniel Clayman was called in for ideas--and one idea literally hit him.

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Artist and visiting MassArt professor Daniel Clayman. (WBZ-TV)

"I was walking in a rain storm in Providence," said Clayman, who is a visiting professor at MassArt. "Totally wet, And I just thought, the beauty of rain. We get into the poetics of rain. The emotional, sad and happy."

There are 10,000 seemingly delicate handmade raindrops hung strategically across the ceiling. But Clayman says the drops are actually pretty strong.

"So every raindrop is made by grabbing a stainless steel rod called a "punty," and you dip it into the furnace, you bring it out, your turn it and at just the right moment you turn it up, let it drip, put it in front of the fan and the raindrop is frozen," says Clayman.

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Some of the individual "raindrops" that make up the piece. (WBZ-TV)

The professor collaborated with the school to offer a hands-on class experience.

"We had students through architecture, glass, sculpture, fibers, art education," said Clayman.

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Students worked to created over 12,000 "raindrops" for the piece. (WBZ-TV)

"It was very interesting to see the whole design process behind installation and an artwork piece, the steps that you have to know," says MassArt student Katrina Carmichael. "Different people in the school, coordinating with them to make sure that this could actually work. A lot of background work that I never thought existed."

The students helped create a total of 12,000 drops to choose from.

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"Rainfield" hangs in the atrium of the college's Media and Design Center. (WBZ-TV)

"Each individual drop didn't take long to make," says MassArt Student Ian Malabre. "We all got very quick at them. But it was just not even making a dent towards the beginning and then suddenly, we hit 5,000, suddenly we hit 10,000."

The group then brought the raindrops to hang, and finished the entire display the day before the opening.

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Students worked to install the piece. (WBZ-TV)

"I think the overall design of it came out really nice. Very close to, I think, the original intention," says MassArt student, Powers Hommel.

You can learn more about the work and the artist who created it here.

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