Land Art

This work was inspired by Robert Smithson. He created a piece that was a swirl containint different colors in a lake. In my piece, I used different colored leaves and swirled them around a part a tree. Creating a piece outside made me realize that that it is very stressful and can be very frustrating because you can’t control the weather so the leaves and other pieces easily fell apart. When this happened, I had to recreate my piece several times which was very frustrating. Overall, it was a different experience that was very interesting.

Soap Carving and Plaster Sculpture

For this piece, we were required to carve a global issue as an object. As a representation of the destruction causes mentally and physically to the victims of the of the recent hurricanes in the US and Caribbean, I sculpted pieces of a broken house and the tools required to mend it. Throughout the last month, four hurricanes have affected the southern coastal United States and Caribbean Islands causing dozens of deaths, thousands of people’s homes and cars destruction, and extreme lack of supplies and power. The tools represent the supplies, attention, and love the victims are relying on from the rest of the world in order to allow them to heal from the tragedy they have experienced. In my own way, I have been attempting to send love and prayers to my family in Texas living in Huston, one of the cities affected by Hurricane Harvey. My cousins were forced to evacuate their house only to return to severe flooding, broken windows and walls, and minimal hope. This project has allowed me to understand more in depth how important it is to care for and support our fellow Americans and humans in times when they are most vulnerable and desperate. A month later many in Florida, Texas, and many Caribbean Islands are struggling to figure out their next step as they slowly regain power and resources. It is our responsibility as citizens of the world to offer our support, donations, and love in a time when so many people are in pain.

Although my finished product is not what I envisioned when I began this project, I am proud of the work I accomplished. I was specifically impressed with how much attention I paid to the smallest details in some of my carvings, which for someone who is typically impatient and in a rush to get things over with was surprising. If I was to do this project again I would re-think my idea to create multiple soap carvings to tell one story. If I had chosen a more complex carving that made my global issue clear it would have given me a lot less stress about time restrictions. I would also be more careful towards the end of the project to be sensitive and patient with the carvings because I easily forgot how delicate the soap was. Overall, I really enjoyed this project and how it forced me to focus on the details of every object I carved.

Faithful, Friendly, and Fluffy, Emma Beier

The Process:

The Final Product:

          When I was six years old, my dog, Sukie, was given to me as a gift. I’m an only child, so getting a dog was a huge deal. My dog and I have always been incredibly compatible. She’s more than happy to sleep by my feet while I’m doing homework and always showers me with love when I’ve had a bad day. Since we first brought her home, she’s had the same collar, although now it’s very dirty. Her collar has become symbolic of her personality and reminds me of all the amazing times we’ve spent together. When presented with the wire sculpture project, my immediate thought was to recreate Sukie’s collar. I snapped photos of my dog wearing the collar to examine how the material appeared on her neck. I also had to decide how large I wanted my sculpture to be. In the end, I determined that a smaller scale was better to indicate my dog’s innocent and kind personality. I then drew a sketch of her collar and began sculpting.

          Although I quickly determined what I wanted to sculpt, I had no idea where to start. Eventually I resolved to experiment with different techniques. Though the first few attempts were not successful, the third gave me the result I hoped for. Previous to this project, I would have been too afraid of making a mistake to sample different procedures. However, now I feel excited about exploring all possibilities. I started by hand-straightening a thick silver wire. I then secured the wire vertically into a clamp and wound a thin silver wire tightly around it. Once doing so, I wrapped another thin silver wire loosely around the other two wires to make the sculpture appear more rounded, similar to Sukie’s collar. This was the basic form of the collar. Reflecting now, I recognize that I should have payed more attention to the appearance of the collar when worn by Sukie. Currently, the collar appears stiff, inaccurate to its true form. Next, I cut a small square from a flat sheet of Aluminum. From this square, I cut a cross, serving as Sukie’s dog tag. Then, using a hammer and a nail, I created a small hole near the top of the cross. After that, I looped a thin bronze wire through the hole and twisted the wire until it was tightly wound. I then hammered the cross to make it appear more realistic. From there, I bent a thick silver wire around the collar until it had created a circle. I then looped the opposite end of the wire attached to the dog tag through this circle, securing the dog tag to the collar. Lastly, I created the collar’s clasp. I tried many ideas, however, the majority did not work. Eventually I looped a wire to create a circle on one end of the collar and then hooked a wire of the opposite end through this hole.

          Because this was my first experience with wire, I changed materials often to explore their functions. Although it was interesting to sample these tools, I never developed a level of comfort with a specific material. This created difficulty for me later, as I struggled to form certain shapes due to my lack of security with using specific tools. If I was able to approach this project again, I would try to find a material that I could become skilled with. Additionally, during the project, I often became frustrated with myself and felt disappointed with my work. I have now come to the realization that I should appreciate my work and recognize my mistakes as learning experiences. In the future, I hope to continue to develop this growth mindset. #furry friend #dog lover #loyalty #love #best companion #dog collar #wire sculpture

Stop Motion Short of Wire Sculpture: