Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sculpture Project 3: Thoughts

When this project was first proposed to us, it was framed within the idea of a container or case being used to house something precious/ of personal importance and so where where; therefore, asked to bring in our most prized possession. This turned out to be nothing more than a generative exercise because when these items were brought in and we all began to discuss them, we started to focus on what framing an object does for it.

The items that I brought in were a Polaroid Land Camera 250 and a Selmer B Clarinet, and I some ideas where I was going to put one of these items on display as sort of an ironic jab at their nominal function (to make art, not to be it). However, as I thought more about this and we started to discuss more this idea that art isn't so much the object as it is the reciprocal relationship between said object and the institution that presents it as such, I started to move away from these specific objects.

What, instead, I turned to were the cast plaster mason jars that I had been creating for the previous project. Instead of putting the camera on display as the art (rather than that which it creates) I thought it might be interesting to put a 'artisanally-produced' copy of a mass-produced object into a 'high art' setting. In addition, I thought about including broken casts, extra casts, and the moulds themselves to full remove all sort of magic from the object, in direct contradiction to its place as a 'work of art'

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sculpture Project 2: Mould-making

Cast Wax and Silkscreen

"Emissions Trading (also known as cap and trade) is a market-based approach to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants

A central authority sets a limit or cap on the amount of a pollutant that can be emitted. The limit of cap is allocated or sold to firms in the form or emissions permits which represent the right to emit or discharge a specific volume of the specified pollutant"

"Experience with Market-Based Environmental Policy Instruments"
Stavins, Robert N. (November 2001)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sculpture Project 2: Thoughts

For this sculpture project, our subject was mould making. Our two choices of media were cast plaster or cast wax. If we wanted to use plaster, we had to create a open-face latex mould of our object first, but if we wanted to cast only wax, we could either make the time-consuming latex mould, or simply take a plaster cast directly off the object itself and use that.

When we first started this project, I brought in two objects that I was interested in working with. One was a pint mason jar, and the other was a small empty bottle that once contained Very Cherre: Tart Cherry Blueberry Juice. I wanted to cast the mason jar in plaster because I think it is a very striking and iconic object, especially in the quasi-rural midwest, where they are ubiquitous, and as I find plaster to be an aesthetically pleasing yet quantidian material, I thought an appropriate choice. I wanted to cast the bottle in wax through, because of its unique shape, and when turned upside down I thought it looked kind of like an stylised tree.

Once I started casting though, I became more and more interested in the wax bottles than the mason jars and so I set them aside for now. Rather than make a simple two piece mould though (as the rest of my class had done) I decided to be adventurous and try to make a three piece mould so that I could include the detail of the depressed bottom of the bottle (which otherwise would have been a fairy incapacitating undercut had I left it unfilled in). What this extra step resulted in though, was many hours of frustrating as my moulds kept breaking, and I kept remaking them, until I finally finished the project, having mixed approximately 10 batches of plaster for the wax bottles alone, but also a very interesting, otherwise impossible shape in cast wax.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sculpture Project 1: Cardboard

For our first project in Sculpture, we were given the guidelines:
  1. You must create a sphere that is exactly 12" wide
  2. It must be able to roll down a ramp
  3. You can only use corrugated cardboard
We were given a quick demonstration on how to create a variety of different joints using cardboard and then let loose.

Using three different types of joints I proceeded to make three maquettes (a sphere, a cube, and a triangle) in preparation for my sphere. I was originally planning on doing a sphere that was essentially a cage, with said maquettes inside as a nod to the process of creation but after looking at these objects, I decided to do something completely different.

Instead, what I based my sphere on was the concept of creating the illusion of three dimensional space using a two dimensional form by spiral cutting two circles and then expanding them out like an accordion. Unfortunately, in my smaller shapes I forgot to take into consideration that thinner longer pieces of cardboard tend to suffer significantly in the realm of structural integrity and so I had to add a large number of elements to make the piece even physically viable.

That said, this is what I finally ended up with:

And in case you were wondering: It was a little too wide and almost made it down the ramp (which was about 14" wide)

Monday, February 14, 2011

House of Cards

This semester, the art class that I find myself taking is ARTS 049: Visual Processes: Introduction to Sculpture. I am really excited about this because it will give me the opportunity to work in 3-dimensional space, in a media that I have been really excited about for a long time, but have never actually tried to work in.

I will still be taking photographs and printing silkscreen in the coming months, but most of my creative efforts will be dedicated to this new class and new medium. Our first project (more of a fun, one-off sort of thing, that an actual project) was to build a house of cards; the results are listed below.

This is what I created:

No, not really.
When I first got the deck (it was brand new) I decided I wanted to make this elaborate monolith of a piece, but eventually due to certain restraints, such as the fact I must live and work in reality, this idea was whittled ever so slightly down to the playing card version of Versailles.

Designing this piece was relatively simple and while I could only use playing cards for the house, I was going to make the grounds and assorted wall/architecture out of other cards (Tarot, Pokemon TCG, Magic the Gathering, etc...) so I was very excited and fully prepared to set forth and accomplish the beast of a building.

Unfortunately, as these cards were brand new, they were incredibly slippery and therefore very irksome to stack 'traditionally.' After about 30 minutes of fruitless attempts to create even just two consecutive A-frames, I moved on to a more experimental method for the stacking. Armed with this new process (using two cards as support beams for a single central column) I abstracted from my Versailles idea, a one story 'version' and thus created the below house of cards.






After completing this, I did attempt to create a processional and garden with Tarot and Pokémon cards, but at this point I had been at this task for over two hours straight and I decided to give it a rest.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Colour Project 4: Final


In my art I strive to explore ideas of identity and past grandeur. I am fascinated by the press of time; what has come before us and what we have left behind; items once so important, now cast aside and forgotten.

This project is about that ideal of something forgotten. This massive plant, now almost completely subsumed and wholly forgotten by those who once placed it there and those who relied on it for their livelihood. It stands for decay, a past industrial age, now quietly disintegrating with time.
There is another aspect to it to though, this idea of the factory within the setting. It sits there like a monster simultaneously towering over a part of the landscape and an integral part of it. It is alien and foreign, but also a source of great life that the flora and fauna could not live with out.

- -
One last note: I mentioned this during my critique but I don't really feel as if this is the end of the project. I have had a lot of ideas and I definitely see a lot more work of this kind in my future.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Silkscreen Project 6: Final

Series II

Within a series, there is an inherent sense of commonality and conformity. However, at what point does that begin to break down and where does a series become a collection disparate forms.

This project seeks to explore the conceits of individuality and identity and how disparate elements change and affect said ideas.