Since there is only two weeks left, I am working whenever the lab is open. I’m working around 5 days a week and at least 5 hours a day outside of the class time. To save time, I didn’t work on one specific component a day, but whatever to make the most of my time. As a result, I will describe my process of making each components instead of what I did each day.
My globe failed because it is too heavy for the body to support it (despite that the globe is holding it’s sphere form). As a result, I ditched this globe. I’m lucky that Penelope was able to get me another balloon globe. For more than 4 days I worked on creating my globe. First, I cut ¼ of the balloon off and glued a motherboards onto one side. Second, I stuffed it with airbags and styrofoam, which is light weighted and voluminous. Third, I used a metal cutting scissor to trim it so it matches the edges of the balloon. A problem is that the motherboard is smaller on some edges than the circumference of the sphere. So, I used estimation to form the sphere while I hot glue the edges down. Then, I stuffed the balloon more. Another problem is it doesn’t fill the balloon perfectly, thus an awkward sphere with protruding edges is formed. So, I used some cotton balls to do the job. Bridget saw me doing so and gave me a bunch of super fluffy unwanted cotton. It worked great because the cotton was way more voluminous than the cotton balls I was using. Fifth, I punched different sized metal pieces with different sized metal holes using the metal puncher. I glued the punched metal pieces and the punched buttons onto the globe to block up the other side as I fill in more cotton. The patterns it create gave the globe a futuristic metal-like look. Sixth, I spent a day building a metal house model I bought. Due to that the model is very small I struggled in building it because it falls apart. My life became easier when I realized I can use the plier to lock certain edges together. Last, to complete the globe, I spent a day refining the globe and mounting the metal model and two speakers on with hot glue.
On the first day of plaster, I experimented making a few fingers. Later, I went right into making my left and right hand model using alginate. I shifted plaster mix and poured it into the alginate mold to create positive plaster molds of my hands. Next, the hands were spray-painted silver for a metallic and godly vibe to portray the futuristic theme and the universe under control feeling. The models are shaped so I can it will hold the balloon giving it the sense of preciousness and sacredness. Chicken wires were used to prepare the base making. After consulting with Claudia, my idea will not work because the items on top are too heavy and the base will crack. I would need to build the base of wood and then plaster it on the outside to form the shapes I want. I spent more 4 days time building the base. Using the jigsaw I cut big sheets of wood to be corresponding to each other (except one is bigger and the other is smaller in size). Subsequently, I drilled a big hole for the light. Finished with the top/down base, I chopped 4 equal lengths of wood block for support between the 2 wood sheets. Successively, I used the staple gun to put chicken wire in the in between gaps to create a surface for the plaster. I put 5 layers of plaster and sanded it for a smooth surface. After it dried, I carved out geometric shapes for the light to be put inside to shine through. Looking at the whole white base, I decided it is too boring. As a result, I bought plastic bowls, smashed them, and spray painted them metallic blue, then glued them on. Last, I used more plaster and white paint to refine the whole base.
Last, I started working on the planets and other parts. Due to time constraint, I had to ditch my original plan of having some weird sharp looking rooms protruding out. I decided to only make planets, which might be a good change too, since it will make the sculpture more focused. My plan was to create balls using strings and white glue wrapped around a balloon, but it didn’t work out as I wished. Looking at my Facebook, I came across some jewelries my friend made out of wires she’s selling. I got inspired to create planets using bronze and black wire, but to me it looked dull. Suddenly Carrie Patterson popped into my head, things within things! So I found a blue quipao cloth and sole it into a ball and put it in the bronze ball. The silky blue really highlighted the rose-gold of the bronze wire. I put a blue light bulb into the black wire ball. Back to my original plan, I built a heart shaped frame around a heart shaped plasma ball to represent the planet Venus. With so many busy planets, I feel like I need some not eye catching planet to extenuate the complex planets. As a result, I made a foil ball and a tape ball. The colors and idea feels futuristic and is coherent to the color scheme for this sculpture. Last, I decided a single plasma ball would be used to interact with my viewers. The plasma ball will allow them to feel a sense of power and control as the electricity follow their finger.
The last two days I spend it on putting all the component pieces together. I had problems where I keep putting together and taking down parts because I want to or need to do something else to the component piece. At first, I thought I can just glue metal pieces together using Ebony or hot glue gun. However, it didn’t work. To solve the problem I did more welding to join the curly metal representing storm and different atmospheric levels together. Then, I screwed the body to the base. I measured and drilled holes into the metal pieces using the drill machine. This is so I can screw the metal piece onto the wood using machine screws. I also inserted nails into the body to act as support for the smashed and sprayed painted pieces of glass. Which I then hot glued on. Subsequently, I put my plaster hands in to hold the globe in the idea of the mythology of the Atlas. Unfortunately, the left hand dropped and fingers broke off. I tried glue, Ebony, super glue, but it would break off once again when the globe is placed on it. So I tried hot glue and it worked. Last, I bent the metal pieces into place to encase the globe. After I’m done with the core body of this sculpture, I had some concept change problems. I am pondering between whether I should have the other planets attached to the whole body or hang around the body. My final decision is to hang them because they will take up more space around the audience. For this, they can be felt from overpowering the audience (by hanging above the audience) to the audience having the power (by being close to the ground). This will engage the audience to feel a sense of body within a universe. If the planets were attached to the body they would only be objects to be gazed at eye-level. Finally I moved the completed piece to the gallery room and hung the planets. To finish a presentable look, I set up the blue lights for the futuristic effect, electronics for the music speaker, and lighting the piece will get. I wanted to have power chords drap from the top but the lab person can’t find the plug on the ceiling rail. As a result, I had to change my plan to hide as much of the power chord as possible while plugging it from the ground. Wala!!! Everything is finally done. I couldn’t be more thrilled!
On the day of the critique, I was really happy to see my first sculpture being presented. I really learned a lot technically and mentally while building this piece. It challenged my boundaries of being used to think 2D. With the response I got from the people about my piece, I couldn’t but feel happy. However, I still see some things I would change in the presentation of my piece if I were to do it all over again. First, I really hope I could have hid the chords better to prevent distractions. Second, I really wished I could have the music adjusted louder because I had it set it low for people to hear talking while the music played. Otherwise, it’s great everyone enjoyed and interacted with my piece. Surprisingly, I wasn’t expecting people to enjoy the atmosphere it created so most that people started semi-dancing around it. Even Luke who said he is not a fan of the music and atmosphere couldn’t help himself but to dance to it. This really showed the issue of technology dominating us in the future I want to convey through this sculpture. Beneficially, we are having a good time, but people lose control of themselves. Thus technology is controlling them. Last, thinking back even though how much I have changed from my original plan, I do not regret it. With the planet floating around instead of attached to the body really gave of a sense of space and engagement to the audience. If I had attached it to the model this vibe would not have existed; especially with the shadows of the planet cast onto the wall by the lighting. In all, I think this idea is a good beginning for me, and could develop into something even bigger.
March 13, 2014