Sunday, November 22, 2015

Project 1 | Reflection

Project 1

Project one was a project that went through many phases, ideations, and allowed me to gain much knowledge and experience with materiality, new processes, and craftsmanship. It was stressful at times but extremely rewarding, not in the sense that my piece came out just as I had intended it to, but in that it was an extremely valuable learning process.

I experienced and learned about a material I had never worked with but always wanted to, wood. I was in the wood shop for many nights in a row, working meticulously with the nature of the material, not against it. I was ambitious in that I decided to not buy new wood, I was given old hardwood that was in terrible shape, and I took it upon myself to mill it to perfection. In an extension of the theme of space, I also wanted to put myself in a new environment, the wood shop, and work away for endless hours, gaining a new skill while being dedicated and honest to the craft. It became a ritual and a meditative act to mill the panels to perfection. I was meticulous and a perfectionist. 

In addition to wanting to learn how to use the machines in the wood shop and to work with such a beautiful material, also chose to do this tedious process instead of buying new wood, because I thought a piece so formalistic and minimal deserved high attention to the materiality and should make up for the simplicity of the aesthetic in the craft. Though it may not be apparent that the wood was dedicatedly transformed, I learned how to work with and try to honor the material, which reinforces the concept behind such a minimal piece.

I also challenged myself to work with even more unfamiliar materials, and when given the option to change them, I decided not to and stick it out. I worked with stainless steel and it was tough, with issues cutting, but I got the product I intended, and it worked out.

I also learned a lot about gaining resources and working with others for help. The guys in the wood shop were awesome in teaching me about each machine I used and also helped with production in the wooden frames. I reached out and made great connections with those at Boone Welding and took many trips there to get the stainless steel just right.

There were many successful aspects of the piece and notes on the experience are as such –

The scale is inviting and harmonious in its proportions
The craft is very well-done and shows attention to detail
A respect for the materials is apparent
There are a lot of shadows and reflective light play which makes the formal piece dynamic
There is a subtle dialogue and connection between the frames and also between the space
The frames look different in various settings based off of light

Ways to improve or considerations are as such –

Consider the color of the raw materials and think about a stain
What happens if these frames are placed in natural landscapes
Play up the lighting even more to create more reflections and shadows
Think about how the dialogue can be pushed more, perhaps more dramatic lighting will do this

I'm proud of my dedication to project one, despite it not turning out as cool as I had thought it would from my sketches, inspiration, and ambitions. It is intended to be in settings with various types of lighting and not in regular indoor lighting. It was rough in that it took so many hours, I had to go to the welding shop many times, there were issues with cutting the stainless steel, it was very costly, and I was going through a spell of my illness, but I pulled through.

In the future, I think I want to stain the wood to make it more rich and dark, but I don't know what stain color to choose. I would also like to play with light and environment. I would like to see how it is perceived in a landscape. I feel that if you came upon this in a forest, you would want to meditate on gazing through these spaces and see a lot of reflection and shadows with the light that comes through. I also would like to shine various lights on it in different ways to allow the light to reflect off of the stainless steel onto each frame in ways that allow the frames to have more of a dialogue and a dynamic interaction.

I feel the piece was overall successful and it gave way to a lot more than meets the eye for me. The formal qualities reinforced the theme of space by showcasing wooden frames whose scale and familiar materials invite the viewer to crouch and meditate, gazing through open window-like frames. Space is shown through these comfortable units that come together to reflect light between them and communicate an intimacy of space and connection. The ways that the light hits and shadows form translate a sense of dialogue between each frame.

The concept of the piece that is reinforced is an intimate and subtle, yet almost impossible connections between separate forms through a dialogue facilitated by light, line, form, and space. The negative space is in the soul of each form and gives way for passaged between them, though not entirely explicit.

This piece actually came about from heart break and studies of Orion's belt. It also conjures my thought process behind this piece that involved relationships and trust between individuals. So close and so identical, yet so disconnected, and wary of the invitation because it looks too perfect.

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