Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Strange Places Pendant, 2009
brass, copper, synthetic felt, thread, patina

Reflection Necklace, 2009
copper, cork, stainless steel, cork, leather, plaster, pencil drawing

Thursday, May 7, 2009

This necklace is about my love of the rain and about trying to capture it. It is not quite finished but I am sitting with it for a few days until I decide if or what it needs.
Another soft structure that I am experimenting with.

I have been exploring soft forms in a more literal way, with fabric and stuffing, with the implication that they are holding some unknown thing. I like that rather than the implied softness of the plaster, these can be held and interacted with.

I really like drawing on the plaster, it captures the really delicate pencil lines. I think I am going to move away from the pillow as a form and start to think more about the plaster as a canvas and use a more abstracted shape. The pillow is not always wanted as part of the narrative.

Brooch with plaster pillow and ladder. I like that this could be taken to mean many different things, rather than overly leading the viewer. Still figuring out how to position the pillows to keep them protected from breaking so they are more wearable.

Menelik, our cat brought this mouse in and I found it dead in the morning. It was so peaceful looking and I couldn't get the image of it out of my head. I decided to use the silhouette of it to create the 'bottom' half of this necklace with the plaster pillow.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

These are some automatic drawings that I have done. I am actually surprised at how organized and intentional they look after I am done with them. I think that they could be great sources for inspiration in creating. Rather than planning out my design, follow the automatic drawing. It is easier and more automatic to draw in a subconscious way than to make in an automatic way, which requires absolute conscious decision making. I am focusing on creating objects that take an introverted look at myself and at society's impact on my aesthetic choices. I would also like to incorporate a form of image making on the pieces I make, whether it be drawing or silhouette, which has yet to be decided. . .

This is a sample I made playing with the cutout cloth, inspired from the construction of a burkha screen. I think it is interesting, using this see through fabric to surround a structure, a screen offering protection.

More automatic making, using what I had in front of me. I like the idea of making pendants, with less restriction of a brooch, which needs to sit on the body and be somewhat flat. A pendant can have a 360 view and great movement.
I am hooked on this form and all of its possibilities. Dreamlike feel no matter what material. They capture a moment in time. They beg to be with something more, though.

More plaster pillows. . . I am fascinated by the way this material captures the wrinkles, almost better than the real thing. These are quite a bit bigger than the ones that I was working with before. I would like to incorporate them into some designs produced from automatic drawing.

I made these in a pretty automatic way, using what I had in front of me and not planning. I find it difficult though, while I am in the process, to not think about what the end result will be.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Baby piece: Below is the beginning of the fabric attachment. To the left are two finished images. I will probably be adding more of the black silhouettes, not in copper, but rather paper or fabric. This became quite a large piece but is still light enough to hold. . . like a baby. The fabric was laser cut and has brown burnt edges which seems antique to me and makes me like the light pink fabric a lot more. The rows of fabric make me think of baby fat, and follow the under structure. I am trying to decide if there needs to be a more obvious way for this to be held, or if that even matters. It won't be held by the viewer, it will be viewed. . .

These are the gestures from before, but I have added curious tails to them, curling and uncurling. They have been soldered in a fan arrangement (not shown) and are attached as a brooch. I am still deciding on a finish.

Sean hanging from the ropes: This necklace needs something more. I thought about adding a small ladder to the back string, the silhouette climbing to get to another climbing tool. . .

Couple's Necklace: I would like to add even more of the suspended ball bearings and possibly change the red string to something more soothing. If I did this again I would have included rings that the hands were attached to in order to attach the string so that it doesn't come across as binding or restraint.

Friday, March 27, 2009

This is a super thick piece of copper that I will patina and hang from this 'tiny rope.' I think that the weight of this will really impact what the rope does, which will either be a wrap around ladder(necklace), or a net type necklace, which will be more chaotic looking. I like building these scenes for the silhouette. The body is the magical landscape where these can exist.
I am using this image in multiples for a brooch. I really like the gestures I can play with. It's like the wearer doesn't have to say anything because the jewelry does. This one is "Shh. . . look" I am cutting these out in copper and will patina them or paint them. I am also thinking about extending the lower half with a pattern, rather than the lower body.
This is two pieces of stainless steel, which will be connected to two necklaces/chains and then to each other. Still trying to figure out the connection. I really like the mirror quality of the steel and gives the idea of a silhouette a whole new meaning, since you can see yourself in them.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I'm going with silhouettes!

I feel the most connected to the art of silhouettes. I have always been attracted to the use of silhouettes by contemporary artists and feel that I can make them my own. The two dimentional quality of the profile relates to my background and love of painting and drawing. I am interested in bridging that gap between 2D and 3D art and see this as a great opportunity to do so. A profile of someone can say a lot about a person, their posture indicates if they are tired or alert, proud or shy. Their movement can be further exaggerated to accentuate the profile. A silhouette points out everything that can be missed in a regular portrait. The body says what the face does not. I plan to enhance my silhouettes with my own hand and make them my own through my narratives.
A narrative can be told through a simple blackened profile of a person or an object and I feel that this could strongly affect my work. Without pointing out a person's identity, the profile can represent the entire human race or only a part of it. By giving a figure to an expression, the meaning is more closely linked to us as humans, and more specifically to the viewer. Emotion is expressed differently through a profile than a portrait, which will be a worthwhile challenge. How much of the emphasis is put on the body, rather than the face? What is a profile's relation to the objects around it? Because the figure is unknown, will it make that person less important? If I do use a familiar face, will anyone recognize it? These are some of the questions I plan to explore throughout this process. I am still interested in the two words I discussed about my work, narrative and duality, and feel I can continue with these themes with the aid of the silhouette.

American Silhouettes

American silhouettes are an art form that was popular in the 17th century and took inspiration from the Egyptians and Greeks. Then, it was referred to as shadow or profile art. A shadow was projected with the subject and a light behind a screen and the artist would then trace the shadow from the other side. The shadow was then filled in with paint or cut out with black paper. There were specific silhouette machines that helped the prolific profile artist. During the Middle Ages, shadow art was not as popular because it was linked with the soul and tampering with it could cause bad luck or disaster. Silhouette art was also popular in England, France, Germany and Switzerland. Many silhouette artists would create small profile portraits for less money, and could be incorporated into jewelry or household objects. I have always been drawn to art that incorporates the use of silhouettes. Kara Walker makes very powerful work that demonstrates the use of a gestural figure and addresses aspects of racism. Banksy, a British graffiti artist uses the silhouette to make a powerful public statement. The silhouette points out the gesture without giving away a specific identity, which can be a powerful tool for telling a story or getting a point across.

Mexican Ex-votos

Mexican ex-votos or votive paintings, have been a long tradition for the Catholic people of Mexico. They are paintings, originally done on tin, that give an offering of thanks to the icon who performed the miracle. These paintings are often done by family members of the saved person, and not necessarily a professionally trained painter. The votive paintings represent the event that occurred and always include the icon, raised above the scene. The votives are usually small, averaging 9" X 12" and have very stylized figures and include an inscription at the bottom. The occurrences that happen in these scenes range from an illness to loss of wealth to violence. The icons are usually the Virgin of a particular area or a specific saint. I find these paintings very interesting because of their perspective and their narrative. The point of view is always as if the viewer is looking at the action, a very traditional format. The stylized figures and the scene tell an interesting story, based on the painter's point of view. Exaggerated features often tell a personal detail of the afflicted person. These little stories of thanks recap a usually horriffic event, but it is necessary to relive this event to give the thanks. I am not a religious person, but can appreciate the gratitude they give to their icons of belief.

Morocco- stucco carvings

Moroccan's design has long incorporated the use of stucco carvings. They are used in Moroccan architecture over doorways, called chemmassiats, and are a kind of false window, letting in light. They also can be found in archways or surrounding doorways. The carvings are highly ornate and reveal patterning seen in Moroccan textile and tile work motifs. Similar to the stucco, are carved wooden screens that are used to diffuse the indoor and outdoor in a house, letting in some light but creating a barrier at the same time. Moroccan furniture also incorporates this type of wood carving technique and patterning. I am interested in the beatiful patterning and the ornate use. Every doorway seems so much more important when it is surrounded with the carved stucco. Also, the window aspect of it, controlling the light through small openings is very attractive to me. They are able to use the light of day while staying protected.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I haven't decided which form the plaster will take on, but there will be multiples. The binary part will come through in the story I tell and possibly physically in the form. I am interested in drawing directly on the plaster, like we would draw on a sheet of paper.

Wrong Material

I have decided to work with plaster for my 'wrong material'. I have only used it once, but am excited to see what can be done with this moldable material. Plaster has the feel of a blank slate, white and begging to be touched. I described my work to Chris Rose as 'narrative' and during Lori's seminar, I chose the word 'binary'. I think that these two things naturally go together, because there are always two sides to a story. Also, I believe that the opposing forces are necessary to get my point of view across.

My paper clouds, very long and wrapped around. I like the chaos that this creates, it tangles and overlaps and gives no specific sense of direction.

I am drawn to clouds because they represent a moving place, never constant and somewhat make believe. I am interested in telling an imaginative story in a not so serious way.

Week 1

This week, I finished my Head in the Clouds thinking cap and am trying out new materials to incorporate into further exploration of this ephemeral subject. I am using my imagination as inspiration and am focusing on the cloud shape for now, and trying different ways of implying movement. My first attempt was in paper, which I like as a media to start with, but it is not very practical (tears easily). I will move on to other metals, acrylic, monofilament, fabric and possibly plaster.