Olivia Geier, Handgun

I believe the gun has no power at all.
-Malala Yousafzai

From living in Chicago, which sees more violent crime than the US average, I was inspired to create a small, delicate soap gun to represent an issue that is important to me. Over eighty percent of murders in Chicago are committed with a firearm. I wanted to represent the gun in my project as something minuscule and powerless because after Malala Yosafzai defied the Taliban in support of girls’ education, she was shot and survived, and later won the Nobel Peace Prize. I began sketching the general shape of a handgun against a tracing of the bar of soap. The sizing and proportion was perfect. On my first attempt at carving, my gun broke in half because grasping the soap with your whole hand can warm it up and cause it to break. I learned from this mistake, and successfully carved a handgun on my second attempt. Detailing the two sides of the gun was easier than carefully carving down the edges to get rid of the excess soap because my first attempt at carving the edges caused it to break. I feel great about my project because at first, I had the mindset that this would be more difficult than it was to carve the Ivory soap. When I realized this, I had more time to focus on detail and making my project stand out. Through the casting process, I tried to place my hand in a standard “gun-holding” hand position. Because of this position, the plaster did not fully reach the tips of my fingers in my mold, and I had to do the casting process three times. I changed my hand position on my last attempt to further exemplify the theme of a gun being powerless.

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2 thoughts on “Olivia Geier, Handgun

  1. I really like the meaning of the piece and I think it does a great job addressing gun violence. I especially like how your piece addresses a specific account of gun violence while other pieces may just address an issue in a more broad and vague matter. If I have any critique of the work itself i would say that the base of the hand could be cleaned up and sanded smooth. I don’t know if the jaggedness was also speaking to the issue in some kind of way, but if not i think a smooth base would speak more to the intricacy and craftsmanship of the rest of the aspects. Also, as Mrs. Kerrigan mentioned about the blog post itself, the final pictures of the piece could be bigger in the post and you could have included more pictures describing your process to get to your final piece. All in all I really like the piece and what it speaks to. It is obvious that you took a lot of time on every aspect of the work to get it exactly the way you wanted it.


  2. The statistics you put in were really helpful as they show that your sculpture describes a real issue today, adding value to your project. The picture edits could use a little more work. Your sculpture looks a bit pink and you can see the white marks on the paper under it. However, this does not take away from you sculptures meaning. Your point on how guns are powerless is good. Great work!


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