Week 2: Companion Piece

I started to pin the fabric and manipulating it, but something is still off.

After my meeting with Professor Nell, we decided that this is not enough fabric. It isn’t bulbous enough, grotesque enough, or heavy enough. I need more fabric. After talking, one of my classmates mentioned how the piece reminds them of the Elephants Foot.

The Elephant foot is a “The Elephant’s Foot is an extremely radioactive mass of corium formed during the Chernobyl disaster in April 1986, and was discovered in December 1986. It is named for its wrinkly appearance, resembling the foot of an elephant.” It is huge, deadly, and an abomination. I frantically wrote and drew about it in my notes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can not go any further until I get more fabric.

There was one thing I noticed in my piece. It can be seen in the first picture of this post. There is an eye-shaped fold that I really like. It stares unashamed back at the viewer. It challenges their gaze, just like how self-hate challenges the heart.

Week 1: Companion Piece

My idea for the companion piece project is for it to be a mass of fabric that appears to be engulfing the wooden, rough table.

At first I called it The Blob, but after staring at my sketches, I decided to title it The Weight of Self-Deprecation. I want it to be heavy, to burden the viewer. I want the viewer to feel uncomfortable because they understand the weight if self-hate and how it can crush your soul.

 

I use to hate myself so much that I would always imagine myself dying. I didn’t really have any suicidal tendencies, but if something happened, I would be ok with being dead.  Still, even after all these years, I can remember the crushing weight upon my shoulders that make me slouch, made me hide, made me want to die.

I do not want to trigger anyone. I do not want anyone to have a break down. I just want them to feel the weight, just for a minute. That way when they look away from the piece, it weight will be gone and they will feel as light as air. The table is the one being engulfed, not the person.

I carefully chose my fabrics. I wanted them to be different textures so that each fabric will bring its own unique sense of heaviness to the piece. I have white and black felt, cotton, velvet, and shimmering silver fabric.

 

 

 

 

Now what I have to do is to start pinning it up and shaping the sculpture.

We are at the Beginning of the Companion Piece Project

I have been waiting for this. Weeks ago I went to the store, browsed for a while, and carefully picked out fabrics to make my blob for my piece The Weight of Self-Depreciation. I wanted a variety of striking fabric to be sewed and overlay ed on black and white felt and cotton. I want the viewer to not only see the weight of the fabric but to feel it as well. I also plan on making the darker colors to the top of the table and the lighter ones by the legs. I think that would create and interesting balance to such a visually heavy piece.

I have my fabrics and handy dandy sewing kit at the ready. We shall start shortly.

Final for the Table

My table is officially dry and complete. It is surprisingly stable considering someone like me created it. The only two hiccups were that I cut the legs a little shorter than I wanted, and there is a giant gash on the bottom of the tabletop. I did not stabilized the biscuits cutter correctly and it jumped out of my hand. Luckily no one was hurt, not even me for a change, although according to Professor apparently I squeak when startled. I wonder if the mice in Dana thought I was their friend so a second.

Mini Project

We first learned about this project when professor handed out sheets of paper with seemingly random objects sewn onto it. I received one with the bandage.

Professor then told us that we had to make something soft and sewn. I could be anything, any size, any material, it just had to look soft and some element of sewing. Since I like to sew, specifically hand sew, I was very happy. I brought my sewing kit and a box of bandaged to class and got to work on it as soon as I finished my table.

I’m a huge klutz. I always get hurt. I’ve hurt myself at least 6 times this semester. I do have photos of some of them, but I’ll spare you the cuts and bruising. Anyway, because of that I am very use to bandages, I use them all the time, so I started to think of a memory of an injury to give me inspiration on this abstract project.

Then I noticed the lose way the bandage was sewn onto the paper. It looked like it would flutter when placed in the wind. There was my inspiration.

I love the wind, I always have. There is nothing better than feeling a nice breeze. Sometimes when it really is blowing hard I find myself laughing just because it is so much fun to be in the middle of it. However, I am very well aware of the dangers that come with wind. I am terrified of tornadoes. One thing that I know is also dangerous are kites.

When I was little, about 5 or 6, my dad, my sister, and I were playing in the wind. They were flying a kite as I ran around in circles with me head up and facing the sky. I didn’t see the string of the kite in front of me that was as sharp as a fishnet line. I ran right into it and it sliced into my neck. I don’t remember much of what happened next. All I do remember is hearing my doctor say how lucky I was because if the string went a little deeper or cut a little higher I would most likely be dead. It was not traumatizing or anything. I don’t even have a scar from it because it was cut so finely. Still, I was a good source of inspiration.

At first I just started to sew the bandages together. You always have to start with something, so I made a little hallow rectangle. I then remembered I had bells in my sewing box. When the wind goes by they will sing like chimes. So I added that. It needed something to help balance the bells, so I added more bandaged to the top of the piece. It still felt incomplete though.

I also had a few scraps of leftover see through mesh. It was so fine and pretty that I knew that when the wind catches it that it would be beautiful and ethereal. I added that to the bottom and wrapped it around the piece, almost like I was trying to bandage up a bandage. I added felt and buttons to the bottom to get stability. The plastic flower was honestly an after thought. I didn’t even think of putting one on there, but them my very dear friend of mine just happened to hand it to me while we were out on an art project. How she found them in the middle of the woods, I’m not sure, but I decided to keep it. The piece is about memory and something I love, so it made sense to put something from someone I love on it.

I was very excited to present this to the class. Luckily the day of class was fairly windy. I set up the piece with more of the white and black mesh on one of the old chairs. Not only would it present the piece, but it would frame it and give it an almost old and forgotten feeling, like something that was dear to someone but was lost with age.

I was pleased with the class’s reaction. They said it was nostalgic, ethereal, and worked with the environment.

After I told my inspiration, Professor said that I needed to progress with the piece more. It did not scream danger and death to her. That is true, I also don’t see it. That was not my intention, I wanted to create something peaceful, like sitting on a hill feeling the wind blow by as you watched the clouds. However, I can not help but to be intrigued to see what a danger version of my abstract piece would look like. If I were to continue this, I would love to create one with more of Professor’s mindset and set them side by side. I want to see the difference. Also, it would just naturally fit in with the framing due to the other chair next to the one I used. I would change the mesh color, something to make it bold and strong to counterbalance the sweetness and softness of the already created piece.  It will be an intriguing sight.

 

Bryant Holsenbeck Workshop

I was very eager for this workshop even since I recognized the artist’s name from the mandala and the leaf birds from upstairs in the Transformer’s Exhibition. I wanted to she who she was and what she was like as well as learn what I can from such an established artist.

My first impression of Holsenbeck was that she was a very nice and funny old lady. I wasn’t wrong per say, but she is more than meets the eye. In the few minutes of her demonstrating the process of choosing fabric and wrapping it tightly with yarn, she made such a great little figure. I wanted t try this method. I wanted to learn.

My first few minutes of experimenting gave me a pile of mess. It resembled nothing, but I knew soon it would. Holsenbeck was very supportive and helpful the whole time. Also, everyone in the class was in the room as well. We were all talking, laughing, and learning. It was so fun!

In the end I made 2 pieces, a snail and a flamingo, both have an impressive Pompadour because I wanted them to, also I made Saul mad so that was fun.

I was very proud of my work, I even gave them to my dear friends. I know I’m far from talented, but being able to turn these discarded materials into something made me feel happy and helpful. I didn’t have to worry about ruining the material. If I messed up, then I messed up. I never felt that though due to the helpfulness and support from both Holsenbeck and my classmates.

 

I hope to make more of those in the future. I always have leftover fabric and yarn. This is a good way to both be artsy and use every last bit of material you have.