Wednesday, July 11, 2012

So much to do so little time!

Sorry for the delay in postings. I have lots of excuses but I don't really wanna talk about them :) 
Basically, I'm exhausted. Who would have thought that taking an advanced class over the summer, while working wouldn't mesh well with planning a wedding....

Oh well. Atleast I love it all! 
Alright quick run through of the class/studio space. 
I have taken 2 levels of sculpture and have chosen it as my focus during school. I have done a lot of metal work and have learned how to use a cutting torch, welder and almost everything in the metal shop. I REALLY enjoy that part and am looking forward to pushing that further. 
But I have decided I need to learn how to work in a wood shop as well. 
Luckily at school we are blessed with both shops stocked with some of the best tools ever. 
(Reed is totally jealous). 
This however is not as impressive to everyone. This is my studio for the summer. 

I am sharing it with 3 people but this picture only shows about half of the space that is available, and it cuts off all of the awesome storage on the back wall. 
Basically this would be a dream studio if I was blessed to have it for longer than a month!! 

Now on to the project. 
This project was titled Relational Prosthetics.
Meaning that we needed to create something that would affect a relationship between two things. 
I decided to focus on relationships between people. I was originally thinking about posture and how we  interact with one another in the space around us. 
I tend to lean towards furniture with all of my projects because of the demand it creates to interact with the piece itself. I really want my viewers to be participants. 
I looked in to some really awesome artists that have taken this same/similar idea and used a park bench as a way to recreate that relationship with the stranger. Brian Rush is an awesome artist who forced people to create a relationship through his sliding bench seat. And Jeppe Hein created a space that caused the participants to rethink their own position and how it affected the space as a whole. 
So taking those two as huge inspiration I decided to make a "bench" of my own. 
I wanted to comment on the balance between relationships. Whether it was between strangers or friends their is a certain way we work together in space all the time and this piece just magnifies it! 

So for starters I bought some pretty thick plywood from Lowes to create the base and the seat. I had to learn how to use a jigsaw and learned that precision is everything when it comes to wood working!! 

In the picture on the left that is a huge compass that my teacher made and its awesome! That is a perfect 48inch circle!! And the image on the right is of two half circles that I puzzle pieced together. Wood working is so much tougher than I thought! 
I then struggled with how I would make this piece sculptural rather than just a piece of furniture. I needed something other than lots of geometric shapes and a cushion. 
I wanted to draw in multiple people and with the one large circle it seemed more fitting for one person. To fix that problem I decided to go with this more organic form that created different seating options. Obviously there are four "seats" but you can also choose different ways of sitting on it, I'll show that later when it is complete. 
 The next thing to do was to finish it and add all of the details that would make this art. 
I have been doing a lot with woodgrain lately and using blue because of its resemblance to water. 
I figured this was a good solution because it commented on the fluidity and balance that was needed for this particular bench to function correctly. 
I then started to add the cushion. At this point I was tired and had been working on this project for 8 days straight. It was due the next day at 1 and I was ready to get it done. 
I didn't wanna try and tackle sewing at 9pm the night before it was due after being in the studio since 10 that morning so I opted for staples. 

But I should have known that would just create more work for me. I ran out of fabric and the bottom was not up to par. I was not about to turn in a sculpture that I had spent countless hours on looking careless on the bottom. I went home at midnight and brainstormed some solutions. 
I really wanted to use rubber but once I checked my bank account I opted for my old bed sheets :) 

Again, I found a way around sewing but this time I used a hot glue gun which made a much cleaner seam. I then used my pillow cases to bring attention to the 4 seats and added the ties to the edge of each  seat to magnify the movement created by the people interacting with the piece itself. 
 So it's kinda a trippy looking piece but I think its fun and it forced the viewers to become participants and to form relationships with each other even if there wasn't one there before! 
These are just some goofy pictures from critique yesterday. 


So as you can tell they had a good time figuring out all of the different ways they could interact with the piece. Now I just have to figure out where I am putting it! 

PS> Only 23 more days for the wedding and they are all packed full! I've already started on my 2nd project and will start my 3rd before the second crit. I'm also working on our new kitchen table. But that is gonna have to go on the back burner until I finish up with school! 


  1. Love the piece Gracie! Very creative! Would make a great fun piece for a kids room. My grandsons would love it! I enjoy looking at your work and would love to get something for my wall when you have time! We have NO art in our living room or bedroom and been here for eight years.


    1. Hi Mrs. Sonja! I'm glad you enjoy my stuff, it really is fun to make! I would love to do something for your house, that is the kind of thing i don't get to do too much of. So if you have some ideas shoot them my way and maybe I'll take a break from my school projects and do something that is more of a relaxing type of creativity :)


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