When I first heard about the project we were assigned, I had trouble coming up with an idea I was truly passionate about creating a piece about. I eventually decided to symbolize overdosing through a hand holding a single pill, which has grown to be an important part of my life, as my aunt’s best friend overdosed. Though I was not close to my aunts best friend, the devastation I saw through my aunt greatly affected me. Through the use of a single pill, I aimed to suggest that it is a topic not often talked about, yet having a great impact on so many people all over the world. In the actual process of creating my pill, it wasn’t extremely challenging to carve. I successfully created a pill that I am proud of. The challenging part for me in this project was molding my hand. When I got my first hand back and carved it out of the mold, a finger had fallen off and the details were not very apparent in my hand. I also realized that my fingers were too close together and would not be able to hold the pill that I created. I then re-molded my hand and had a much more detailed and precise version of my hand, but four of the five fingers had fallen off. With help, I was luckily able to glue the fingers back on and end up with a successful piece. The space between the two fingers holding the pill worked out and I was able to rest it between them nicely. If I were to do this assignment again, I would definitely make sure I would be working more diligently and paying very close attention to what I am doing because the pieces are fragile and the slightest distraction can cost an assignment. For me, this project wasn’t extremely challenging, though I do not think that carving soap is something I am particularly talented at. After completing this assignment, I was able to grasp an idea of using my own body to create a piece and my perspective on my original idea of sculpture has changed. As a conclusion to this assignment, I can come out appreciating the ability I was given to take something that really mattered to me and symbolize that through soap and my actual hand.
For my soap sculpture project I choose to sculpt an item symbolizing my connection to my hometown, New York City. My goal was to incorporate values of home and belonging into my piece. I feel like I will always keep the values of my city close to me and think no matter where I live it will remain my home. I placed the empire state building in the palm of my hand to symbolize the place my city has in my heart. In carving the empire state building the biggest conceptual challenge I dealt with was making sure I didn’t carve away too much of the soap when showing the different levels of the building. I wanted to carve away large chunks of soap at a time in order to make my sculpture smoother and make the carving go faster. This resulted in my soap cracking or having chunks break off because i tried to rush the process. In order to get the exact cuts you want it’s imperative you go really slow when carving and shave off tiny pieces. I think my approach to carving the soap, after realizing I could only carve little pieces at a time, was very good. I marked which parts of the soap should be carved to a certain extent and tried to make sure they were carved equally on each side. My final piece is slightly lopsided, but I still think it’s fairly recognizable. If I had the chance to do it again I think I could make each side even because I learned that, when trying to carve four equal sides, what you carve away fro one side takes away from the other.
In my piece I wanted to convey the conflict of deforestation using the hard hat made of soap, as well as show, with the nose, how appreciating nature will become harder in time. The 8.5 x 11 is the dimensions of regular copy paper which is a prime cause of deforestation and is easily relatable to the viewer. I feel the nose was a big accomplishment as it was outside my comfort zone and turned out quite nice. I also carved out the inside of the hardhat cleanly without making it too thin. The biggest challenge was the lid as it needed to be thin but also connect properly with the outside of the hat. If I were to this again I would plan out the soap better before hand in order to keep the dimensions realistic.
Here is where we took a mold of my nose
Sex trafficking is a major problem in our world, and it’s still discussed as a very taboo topic. It is being talked about a lot more in the news and social media lately, but it should be talked about a lot more seeing as how there are around 4.5 million people forced into sex trafficking according to the Polaris Project. In Chicago, many organizations have been making huge strides in stopping sex trafficking. One example is CAASE, according to their website they have recently passed the Justice for Victims of Sex Trafficking Crimes Act as well as being involved in locating many different sex trafficking rings. Despite all the great efforts made by CAASE and many of organizations like them, I felt as though the lack of conversation surrounding this topic is still an issue. That’s what lead me to creating lips with a barcode engraved on them because people who are forced into sex trafficking often have a barcode tattooed on them so that the rings can keep track of them. This project really helped me improve my sculpting techniques. Going in I didn’t know what kinds of tools to use or how to make different textures. After awhile, I learned how to smooth out certain parts and how to curve the lips. I did a pretty good job with going slow while sculpting. However, I didn’t do a great job with planning out what I wanted my sculpture to look like at the end. If I were to do it again I would do a better job of planning it out; I would do this by drawing all six sides of the end product and not just four sides. One part of this project that went pretty smoothly was the casting. I was lucky enough to only have to cast my hand once, and I found the process fairly easy. While working on this project I realized how relevant sculpture was in my everyday life. Just like how I need to go slow when I’m sculpting, I also need to take my time on tests and quizzes.
I started off the project unsure on what my soap sculpture should represent. So many different problems in the world filled my head and I couldn’t decide which one I should make. I finally chose the idea of poverty because of its global and local effect. Nearly 1/2 of the world’s population, more than 3 billion people, live on less than $2.50 a day, and in Chicago 1.3 million people below the poverty line. I chose to represent this by making soap pennies to place in the plaster hands. I started off carving the soap in shape of pennies and adding details on them. I used both of my hands to do the plaster molding so the hands would be holding the pennies together.
I think I did very well on the details and and encompassing the theme of poverty into my piece. After doing this project, I realized how much focus it takes to make the tiny details and how challenging it is to make sculptures this small. If I did this project again (or if I had more time) I would make more coins other than pennies. For the next project, I will try to fit as much detail into my sculpture in the amount of time I’ve given.
(Progress of where I started to the finished product)
This project allowed me to have a new insight when it comes to creating art. I learned that patience is a necessity. That an ok artist can look professional if he takes his time. I spent a lot of time on this project in order to feel satisfied with every detail. I never let myself become frustrated with my work, knowing that would occur in a lack of focus, resulting in a possibly mishap. Even after taking my time I had a lot of challenges figuring out how I was going to create a full 3D image. Due to the fact that I did not want to mess up, I spent a lot of time drawing and laying out how I was going to carve it, before I started the work. This made me realize that I need to make a a plan before I start the actual creating portion. I believe that I did very well. I took my time and tried to add a lot of detail that I am happy with. The cast of my hand came out very well and together they make a very good pair. I couldn’t have been happier with how this project turned out. The lessons that I have learned during this process will help me in other areas of school. I can’t rush any work. Taking my time will help me limit mistakes, that can potentially be fatal. I will also try and think about my work before I start, whether that is brainstorming or making a formal outline. This will help me stay organized and help me figure out the steps I should take.
I chose the topic of obesity because it is a very important issue, that for a while had gone unnoticed. According to the National Institute of Health, 35% of U.S. adults are obese and nearly 32% of children are obese, where the percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2012. Obesity is so much more then health. It affects people physically as well as mentally. Obese people start to become self-conscious. In general organizations are making the problem of obesity aware, and food companies are trying to limit the amount of fat in their products. Even though things are starting to change, people still need to be aware.
Violence is a major issue in the world today.
Bullets are more specific to violence as most homicides are executed with firearms. Each bullet in this project stands for a different type of violence. One of them is gang violence in Chicago and in other big cities. The second bullet stands for police brutality and shooting issues that have come up in the past couple of months. The last bullet stands for war and the cost of lives that comes from it. People die because of bullets and the violence that comes with them. These three bullets caused trouble throughout the project as they were supposed to be exactly alike. They convey similar meanings, so they should look almost exactly the same. These pieces of soap were not only hard to carve alike, but for each bullet, the cylinder shape proved to be another challenge. I found that making smooth sides was harder than expected. After many trials, The last bullet showed me the lesson of patients. I realized that I needed to take my time once I found the right tool. This bullet turned out to be my best. If I were to do my project again, I would definitely take more time on each bullet and make sure to use the templates to make them all the same. Overall, the product of this project was the hard work that you put in, and the lesson to be learned is to take your time and focus on every step, because once you begin with something, you can not go back. Just like how these bullets affect their victims. Taking a life is permanent.