I have been working on the table for about a month now. I’ve done everything from picking the wood, cutting it, to gluing it. Everyone has been a great help. Professor Nell has been there every step of the way and was able to teach how to do all the steps in an easy to understand way. The environment as also been very nice. Everyone is so supportive and sweet. Jazmine and I have been working together most of the time and helping the other when we are confused. Together we have mostly conquered in creating the table.
Shinique Smith is an accomplished artist that uses both hard and soft material in her expressive compositions. While she is mainly known for her colorful paintings that she includes textiles, such as “Whirlwind Dancer” and “Sometimes I Wonder”, her sculptures share similar traits to my table project.
In her sculptures, Smith combines two different mediums, fabric and wood, to create an intricate and interesting piece of art. One example of her work made from these materials was shown at the David Castillo Gallery in Miami, Florida. Named “Bale Variant No.0024 (Everything)”, this sculpture was created in 2017 with clothing, fabric, ribbon, rope, acrylic mirror, acrylic, fabric dye and wood.
Using ropes, Smith bundles and groups the different fabrics together to make it look like a bulging mass is emerging from a wooden base. The piece is tall in stature, towering over many people. Despite the size, the softness and colors of the materials chosen make it less intimidating and more comforting. The fabric is mostly in shades of muted blue, but there are pops of colors from the patterns. For example, the sky-blue fabric at the bottom left of the piece includes an image that appears to be a red flower. However, these secondary colors do not distract from the overall effect of the sculpture. Due to the overwhelming muted shades of blue, the other colors retreat to the background, not even noticeable at first glance. It requires a second look to further explore the piece to see everything.
Within the sculpture, Smith creates a smooth transition from the wooden base to the bulging fabrics without any painful break. The overhanging fabrics act as a bridge to combine these two contrasting materials and make it into one visual experience without losing either the hardness of the wood or the softness of the fabric.
I would add a conclusion and maybe tie it to your work (to come full circle from the opening paragraph, something like….
The acclaimed artist, Shinique Smith, can create a mood by using different materials. There is weight and size to the exhibit that are offset by softness and color. My goal with my art this semester is to also to generate an emotional response through my manipulation of wood and fabric. Instead of the overwhelming softness and comfort created by Smith, my plan of stretching and grouping the fabric over the heavy wood hopes to create feelings of anxiety and stress.
Shinique Smith’s website
We have to make a soft element to belong with the wooden table. Thee needs to be at least one sewing aspect in it.
Idea 1- My first thought was having a giant blog of fabric engulf and surround one of the table legs. The blob would seem to crawl up the table. When it is on the table top though the thing changes. It is stretched out fabric that is pinned to the table. I want it to be both heavy and painful for the viewer to experience. I want them to be uncomfortable.
Idea 2- My second idea was inspired by a Spanish winery that leaves out a little chalice filled with sherry and miniature ladder so that the mice in the basement can drink and celebrate with the people as well. I can see many fabric ladders created and crossing all over the legs. It would be like a confusing and disorganized spider web. Stuffed fabric mice would be on the ladders and climbing up to the top of the table. I want it to be fun, cute, and engaging.
Idea 3- Idea 3 is still in the making. I want to use fabric balls, but also have a tall tower on top of the table. So far I’m thinking of using fabric balls to make a tall pole that emerges from the middle of the table top. I need to sketch and develop this idea more. I want it to be dynamic and striking.
A lot has been accomplished in these few weeks. It’s only been a month, less that that really, yet at the same time it feels both so long ago and that it just happened yesterday.
The first main step the class took together to creating our projects was go to the store. It was the first field trip I have been on in ages. While it seems like an easy concept , pick out wood that we will work with, I learned it was more advanced.
Wood naturally warps, so we had to be careful to pick one as straight as possible. You had to get up close and really examine the wood. One that looked great from far away had some really bad warping near the top. Since we were making table, it can’t be warped or else the whole structure would be compromised.
I admit I was a little apprehensive to be working with the power tools. I always end up getting hurt when doing projects. I’ve carved into my hands many times, I’ve stabbed myself in the face when sewing, I cut into my knuckles when carving wood, and much more. Still, I wasn’t about to let any of that stop me. As long as I be careful there is no way for me to get severely hurt.
In class on work days, everyone is crowding around and it’s hard to use the tools. I figured out that the best way for me to work and get my pieces cut and sanded would be doing it after class.
Jazmine and I have meet in Dana in the evening to work on our table. We spot each other and are able to work in a quite and calm workshop. We can do things at our own pace without having to worry that we are in someone’s way. We meet up yesterday at 6pm in the workshop to sand out pieces. We carried outside the tables, found the extension cord, and used the sanding tools. Most likely we will meet up on Monday to finish cutting and gluing the skirt and legs of the table.