Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Advanced Sculpture Prj. 2

This last month has been unbelievable. I have learned so much about myself, my relationships, and myself as an artist. I am so lucky to be taking this summer class, the timing isn't what I call perfect but I wouldn't have given up this opportunity for anything. I've been blessed with a professor that I would like to think is also a friend who is continually pushing me further. 
Todd (my professor) is one of the big reasons why I chose to focus in Sculpture. 
He has such a passion that it is contagious. 
He also sees potential in a student and pushes it to the next level. 
I have learned so much from him that I don't really want to think about next fall when he 
may not be in the department anymore!
(Please Clemson offer him a job! He is an amazing teacher!!) 
Sorry had to do a little plug. 

So all that said this project was a struggle. 
I knew exactly what I wanted to do but I could not come up with a way to execute it. 
I was extremely inspired by Fred Sandback and his 3d line drawings. 
(Here are a few examples, its going to blow your mind). 
Let me explain Sandbacks process. 
Sandback uses yarn and wire to define space. 
A quote that stuck with me was this 
"by defining whats not there he defines what is".
I just think this is a beautiful way to call attention to space. 
So my version of this was to make a chair in the same form. 
I wanted to take the basic ladder back kitchen chair and "draw" it in space with yarn. 
By doing this my plan was to call attention to the assumptions we make about mundane objects while also activating a seemly "unused" space. 
Well this didn't really work out. So then I was thinking of other materials that could be manipulated to draw or form a chair with out functioning like one. 
I started to really investigate hotglue. 
I thought forsure that this would work. Just make molds out of PVC pipe and other materials, pour hot glue in them and then glue all of the pieces together to form a chair! This would then be a "see through" chair that would then challenge our vision, mind, and assumptions of what a chair is. 
Sadly this did not work out. I ended up melting a lot of hotglue in a pot and attempting to pour it in to the PVC pipe. Well I dripped some on my hand before I got to that point and burned myself pretty bad. 
So a friend poured it in to the PVC while I tended to my wound. 
But sadly, the glue was sooo molten hot that it actually melted the PVC pipe. 
After that fiasco I decided I needed another material. 

This is when Todd came to my rescue. 
He pointed out that by doing these things (using hot glue, wire or yarn)  I was dong more of a material study than focusing on the chair and our assumptions with this. 
Thanks to that I got back on track and decided to stick with my original plan. 
Us a chair to call attention to itself and the assumptions and perceptions that go along with it! 
So simple!!

Finally I convinced Reed to let me use one of our kitchen table chairs that we needed to refinish. 
I then proceeded to completely take it apart. 
(Sorry I forgot a before picture, but this is the first process picture!!) 
So I took the chair apart. 
Cut each and every one of the pieces in half (hot dog style). 
And prepared to take the guts out!
I wanted to hollow out the chair so that nothing was left but the shell. 

I was covered in saw dust for about 3 days straight and
 I stayed in the studio for about 10 hours 2 days in a row. 
I used a small router to just slowly take out the middle/guts of each piece
while still leaving the parts to fit the chair back together. 

After 2 long days I finally finished with the router and then had to glue all of the pieces back together. 
I used lots of wood glue and zip ties and let them sit over night!

Then I slowly began to piece the chair back together. 
I used a wooden mallet to just knock the pieces back together  and then added a twine seat for the finished project! 

On critique day I really got to sit back and think about what I had done. 
Why was this considered art?!
I realized that my idea was a lot more conceptual than physical. 
I really could have had the same idea and done nothing to the chair and gotten the same point across.
This hollow chair sat in the gallery with a label that read,
"Just a chair, with no insides." 
Getting the cold read from my peers I was happy to see that many of them questioned whether or not this chair was stable. Only 1 person asked if they could sit, and they asked before doing so that shows a hesitancy that isn't usually there with normal chairs! 
I was very happy with how this piece made the viewer more aware of the assumptions and perceptions of the mundane objects that encompass us daily. 
This chair made the viewer/participant stop and think in a situation that wouldn't usually require it. 
Questioning what the purpose of an unstable chair is and calling to mind why we are so trusting in stability with out really looking any further than the surface. 

PS> sorry that was long but I am just really happy with how this piece turned out and the positive critique I received on monday! This is something that I am really hoping to pursue in the future, so look out I am going to be having a lot more "chair" sculptures!! 

PSS> Only about 9 days until the biggest day of my life! I am so thankful that God has given me a creative passion and a passion to become Reeds life long helper. I can't wait to combine these two for the glory of the Lord!! 
Also, I'm working on posts for the week while I am on the honeymoon. I have one scheduled for the 6th of August so be sure to check back because I wont be posting any updates after August 3rd!! 


  1. Gracie -
    I can "feel" your excitement about this project in your words! You are indeed a creative creature of God's!
    Getting excited for your big day too!
    Ms. Hardee

  2. Really love the minty color you chose for the chair :) just stumbled upon your blog and I really love it! Follow back?

    D a n i e l l e |
    *giveaway* win artwork by Mui-ko! click here


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