I have been working my butt off this week! I finished my headdress, but probably won't get around to photographing it until my studio hours on Tuesday. I started my next headdress, and I am scared that it is going to even more slow moving than the last. As of yet, I still have no idea what I want to put in the test tubes that I am going to use, nor do I know how I am going to seal them. I'm thinking I may just order rubber stoppers for the bottles, drill a hole up the center, and then insert a piece of wire and create a hanging mechanism that way. I also started my 365-day portrait project. I've been good about taking pictures of myself and writing in my journal daily, but I have yet to actually paint a picture. That's just one more thing I need to add to my daily to-do list!
I've also slowly been plugging away at filing down all these 'pills' that I made at the beginning of the semester. Originally, I was going to mount 1400+ pills on silk pins inside a shadowbox, but now that my work has slowly taken this wearable turn, I think I might want to whittle down the number to 365 and make very simple rings to mount them on. I have also been progressing on my woven shibori samples. Essentially, you weave the cloth as you normally would do, then insert a pick every so often into the weaving, which you pull when it comes off the loom. Then you dye the cloth and remove the threads you pulled, creating beautiful patterns! Here are the two I have completed so far:
Until next week!
Kind of. I have about 2-3 more slides to add to the very top, but I ran out of copper foil. So, as soon as it gets here, I will make those and add them to the the piece. This project has changed so much, but ultimately, I am happy with it.
If you look at the bottom picture, you see that I created a companion brooch using the circle of fabric that I cut out of the cap. Historically, the piece of bone that was extracted from the skull was sometimes worn as a totem to ward off evil. I wanted to emulate that idea with this piece.
More pictures to come once the piece is completed!
The past couple of days I have been real sick. However, I was laying in bed last night when I got a Facebook message from my friend with a picture of my piece that is hanging in the Greenville Museum of Art's Juried Exhibition. I thought she was just taking a picture of my piece to take a picture of it. But, as I zoomed in, I notices that there were two placards on the wall next to it. Usually, that's a good sign at an art exhibition. Come to find out, I won best in show! I still can't believe it!
In other news, my headdress is coming along quite nicely. The deadline for the piece got pushed back a full week (thankfully), which will be just enough time for me to complete it. We did have a semi-in-progress critique in class the other day and while the reception of my piece was positive, I was a little surprised that they were drawn to the elements of the work that I considered bad craft. As you can see in the picture below, the flesh-toned cap that I created to only serve a structural purpose was what they enjoyed the most. They loved the seaming and the stitching, which I totally half-assed since it was not meant to be seen. They also only wanted me to cover half with the microscope slides because the stitching was so "beautiful". So I left class totally confused and unsure of what to do. I consulted some other people about the piece, and their input was not especially helpful since one person thought sticking to my original idea was the better plan, and the other saw merit in what I was told in class.
So I decided to settle and make the piece about trepanation, an ancient process that has been used to treat a myriad of mental disabilities, including depression and anxiety.
The first project of the year has commenced! It is for my mixed metals class. I am working on a headdress that consists of a cap with microscope slides attached. The microscope slides have been soldered together with a piece of printed organza in the middle. n The organza has been printed with the chemical structure of serotonin (pictured above). The piece references the imbalance of serotonin in the brain that can cause anxiety disorders and depression. The image (which is printed in dark blue) fades into the darker portions of the organza and stands in stark contrast to the portions of the organza that are undyed.
I am excited about the piece, but it hasn't been smooth sailing. Technically it is supposed to be due today, but I am no where near finished. The fabric cap of the headdress is made from pelltex, the thick interfacing that I was working with at the SDA conference workshop in April. But, having only used it that one other time, I have not yet learned the nuances of the material. Additionally, I have not soldered anything since junior year of high school, which is much longer ago now than I care to admit. So, I have had to get back in the groove of using an iron and hot metal (needless to say, I have burned myself more than once now). So, progress has been very slow. I am hoping that the deadline for the piece will be extended until Tuesday, which will give me enough time to finish it, IF I don't run out of materials, which is also highly likely at this point.
This past week, I have learned several things. For instance, wasp spray is evidently just as good as mace. But the most shocking thing I learned is that some artists have a very limited knowledge of different mediums beyond their own. I think that it is important, no matter your area of concentration that you know a little about a lot of different art medias. We were in class last week discussing our ideas, and when I told the class mine, they were dumbfounded and I was immediately met with a chorus of protests trying to tell me that what I wanted to do couldn't be done. According to my classmates, I couldn't solder two pieces of glass together. Obviously they have not looked at stained glass as a process, merely an art form. There were other concerns about the fragility of the piece, the risk of catching the fabric on fire (which won't happen since I have been using a soldering iron, not a torch), etc, etc. I was just baffled that no matter how I described my intended process, they just didn't get it. Now, I don't proclaim to be a metalsmith since their is no way that I could even begin to do what they can. However, I understand enough about the nature of metal and the process of metalsmithing that I could understand the production of a piece. I suppose some people just live in sheltered environments.
Until next time!