In this piece, I experimented with a heated instrument that let me burn designs into a book. My main task was the front cover which took up the majority of the time spent on the project. I wanted to play with the juxtaposition of fire being uncontrollable and resembling chaos with geometric shapes. I got to show this through the randomness and seemingly spreading of the shapes yet the lines are straight and have definitive ends. The reason for the enlarged amount of time was because the lines were drawn free-hand. I had no guidance in it and that is the reason for lines being thicker than others in areas. I love using the heated pen and the book as a medium , especially the cover because of the ability to design. Plain paper burns too easily and is too thin to burn individually or would be too time consuming. I had always seen fire as a powerful element in the way it could harm, engulf, and sometimes make objects seemingly disappear. I was hoping to demonstrate these qualities with the giant whole burned through the book and the first page of the book almost engulfed by flames except for the words “Catching Fire.” I also designed the back cover but did not have the time to make another intricate piece. If I was able to spend more time on the book, I would have done a similar design on the back cover but in reverse with the condensed part on the top left. Also, I would have hoped to have done actual designs within the book using multiple pages to create a medium easier to work with. All in all, I was satisfied with my work and glad to work with such an interesting element.
This piece is a set of 7 foot wings that are made up of over 375 knives. Each knife is protruding from a knife above it, the base of the knife never being being except for at the beginning of the wing, mimicking the natural order in which feathers would be layered on an eagle, which was the specimen that I was trying to imitate. I had multiple experiments with other utensils and in the pattern of the knives yet I am satisfied with how I ended up. The knives are plastic but seem metallic and have a reflection to them. The knives were glued together with a hot glue gun that led to them not being very stable. I also made on of the pair at home without bringing the other home with no pictures, so one was made from memory and I got lucky to get seemingly symmetrical set.
I made this piece because of my interest in the beauty of nature and I had always seen flight as superior element of nature, a reason the wings are large enough to be a human wingspan, even though some bird wings can span 12 feet. Flight not only is a different form of transportation, but opens a window to new perspectives and destinations. The metallic element of the wings also provides a contrast with the heavy “metal” knives while wings are supposed to help animals defy gravity. I could never keep a completely solid pattern, but I realized how that symbolized the organic creation of nature, I adapt in order to create the wings as nature adapts to survive and conquer their natural adversaries. In the end, the shape and size of the wings came to my satisfaction.
In this project, I was trying build a tie, given to me by my father, that resembled my introduction into my social life in ballroom dancing. At first, my sculpture was too large and I had to completely scrap it but I did not change my process. I wanted to make a tied tie and I made the two hanging pieces independent of the collar, with a connection at the knot of the tie. I used pliers to bend the metal with the diamond tips at the ends of a tie. In order to get the wire straight in the first place, I put it into a screwdriver and spun it until it became basically straight. I wrapped wire around itself to make the knot and then did wider wraps to be the collar. In order to give a design to the tie, I wrapped skinny wire around the sculpture. In the end, I wish I had taken more time and detail with one idea because in this project I had remodeled multiple times which led my final piece to be not what it could be.
This tie is supposed to be a symbol for me taking a step up in society. In seventh grade, I joined a class that taught ballroom dancing with some friends from my school. In that class, we learned how to be gentlemen as well as dance. In this class I had to ask girls to dance that I had not known, and from this relationships with people from different schools sparked. My tie was given to me from my dad who helped me get set up because I had never had to work with suits and tie this much before. I took a leap in society and in class as the tie was very nice and I got lots of compliments on it. This piece helps to resemble the confidence given to me in a time of new beginnings and with that comes confusion and nerves but with the support of my father I got through it and am the better for the experience.
In this project, I sculpted an orca out of soap and molded my hands with alginate. My two pieces interact through my hand seemingly to grasp at the fleeing whale, which is much smaller than the god-like outstretched fingers. This idea came from recents events that have come to light about the captivity of orcas at places such as Sea World. The Orca “Tilikum” died just weeks ago, who inspired the documentary “Blackfish” which looks into the treatment of these intelligent mammals at sea parks and his two killings of trainers. He died at the age of 36, a common age for orcas in captivity yet only about a third of the lifetime of wild orcas. Through this project, I had hoped to make people aware of the chase down and trapping of these magnificent creatures that were born to roam oceans, not ponds. My whale has a tall dorsal fin, as 99% of wild orcas do yet 100% of those in captivity have slumped fins. Orcas may weigh over four tons, yet our actions do influence in the length and quality of their lives.
I had always been into animals, especially orcas because in my mind they are the most powerful creatures in the world. In my sculpture, I wanted to capture the beauty that I had always viewed them with. I started by sketching the orca on rectangles proportional to the soap and then carved those sketches onto the soap as an outline. First, I had carved out huge chunks because most of the soap I would not use and I could make a general outline. This proved to be a problem for me, as I was too excited and wanted to carve out the same amount of soap every work period. This led me to rush and end up cutting off the tail of my first project. But, progress comes with trial and error and I learned that as I moved farther to my final piece, I must become more meticulous with my carving. The contortion of the back of the orca contributes to my idea of it swimming away from the giant hand, fins outstretched and the tail seemingly about to push down and push the animal forward. Initially, I had wanted the fingers of the hand to stand as bars trapping the orca. I could not however make my hand stand freely because my mold was not exactly what I had imagined. But, the idea of us coming over them still works and gives the sense that we have power over their lives. Although, the fingers encasing the whale may better represent the fact that humanity has already trapped these animals and is having negative effects on it. The chasing hand does fit well with the non-slumped dorsal fin and the orca being in motion as well as almost encasing the orca so it was not a huge setback. If I had gotten to change my final piece, I would touch up on the paint job and the black marks that smudged my hand. Also, because of the tail falling off in the first carving, I was hesitant to make the back end of the body skinnier, which would’ve made the depiction more accurate. All in all, I think this was a successful project, depicting my message of humanity overpowering orcas, that taught me lessons in making mistakes and patience as well.