The term “blood, sweat and tears” became a literal event for me in my last sculpture project. As you may have seen my recent Facebook status, “I got into a fight with a glue gun and lost.”, all I can say is it was painful. In my sad humiliated defeat, which I have the scares to prove it, I managed to finish my project. Four blisters and a patch of missing skin later, I had a 50” cardboard sculpture.
The goal of the project was to use plane. In a simple term, it means to use space in three dimensions on a flat surface. Each person was given two sheets of 3’X6’ cardboard and a large amount of hot glue. We had to use every piece of cardboard for the project, no more and no less. We also had to make these sculptures half to life size. Don’t ask me how the professor would be able to know if we followed the rule of using all the cardboard, but I didn’t feel like trying to get away with anything. The complicated aspect of the project was avoiding to come up short of cardboard. If I used too much, then I would have an incomplete design. If I used too little, it would be obvious I did not plan my design well because I would have useless pieces.
Another parameter I had to meet was to make my sculpture resemble the human form, nature, or architecture. Well, as some of you may know already, most of my artwork has imagery of the human form. So, I decided to make a human head. My design had the head made from strips of cardboard instead of solid pieces. This would allow me to build larger and gave me room for detail work. This would make the head hollow as well.
My plan was simple at first when I sketched it. However, I had to rely on a lot of math skills to make sure I scaled the piece right to fit the cardboard. It took me about three days to measure and grid out the cardboard. I measured the sketch in inches and divided the measurements by two then changed the inch sign to feet. The next step was to cut the cardboard. After several attempts to cut the cardboard in one slice, I found it was easier to score then cut through.
Wednesday was an adventure. As usual, I was on my way to Elliot for softball practice. I decided that I wanted to cut all my cardboard before Thursday so I would only have to assemble the pieces. Not even thinking, I placed all two sheets of 3'X6' pieces of cardboard in the back of the car and took off. About half way, I realized where am I going to put Michael? The passenger seat was almost flush with the dashboard and the back was all cardboard. By the time I got to Elliot, I decided to cut the pieces before practice, but the question I still had was "where?" Thankfully, my art teacher was kind enough to let his old art student use his room. So for the next hour and a half before practice I was cutting away. I was able to finish. The last obstacle I had to overcome was my knees. As I had already experienced earlier in the day while measuring the cardboard, I noticed after standing in the same place for a while that my knees would get stiff. It happened again just fifteen minutes before practice. Well it turned out it took me a much longer time to warm- up that day. The life lesson I learned that day is that I am getting old...lol.
So Thursday, I was able to hobble over to the Ceramics building. I started the frame of the head. I did not realize it would be so large. I worked from 11 am to about 2:30 p.m. I was a little fatigued and decided to get lunch. Lunch turned into calling it a day. I packed up my large head into the car once again, but this time it was not flat. The head stayed in the car and I took a nap. On Friday, I reasoned with myself that I could finish my project at home but a change of event caused me to doubt. The little cousin was coming over for an afternoon. And just like that I was off to the studio once again. I spent a good half hour by myself which was nice because I was able to listen to Martini in the Morning. The music kept me sane from not burning my sculpture on the spot. I had a problem getting the sculpture to stand. I scrapped the long neck and made it shorter. This helped the cardboard from buckling and it gave me extra pieces for detail work. The time flew by. I got a little hungrier and a little more tired, but I had no choice to stop then because the project was due Monday. I got to a point where I could add detail. That was easy until I had a lot of extra cardboard I did not know what to do with. I decided to use the excess as interior support and as space fillers. In the process of maneuvering around the already placed pieces, I was burning my hands left and right. That's why you don't mess with grandma, because she has her glue gun..lol. The studio glue guns were a little different. I was burning myself because the glue was running off the cardboard. The moment I put glue on the cardboard I could smell burning cardboard. The glue was even bubbling. I found the pain was the kind that was delayed and then all of a sudden you are in the air from the shock. Besides that, I finished the project around 6pm. I had been in the studio on my feet for seven hours. Believe it or not, but Friday was my fall break. Some break that was..lol. My day did not end there; I still had to go to the football game. Here is the youtube link to what craziness happened that night:
It was a long day for me on Oct 9, 2009.
Monday, we presented our work. The professor liked my sculpture enough he is considering hanging it up in the classroom. We also took pictures with our sculptures. Hopefully I will be able to get a hold of the pictures and post them. Well, one project down and many more to follow. Our next project for Sculpture is to make three clay vessels.
Well, I'll be seeing you,