Sunday, October 31, 2010

Power tools?! . . . YES. (PHASE II)

My journey with power tools was an interesting, and at times, trying exploration.  The original excitement mixed with fear of not mastering the technique, and the idea of finally getting to use wood mixed with uncertainty of what to do with it. I knew that I wanted to get on it right away and begin exploring everything I could and come up with something that would be very successful for me. As soon as it was possible I got it together and began this quest for harmony with my 18" piece of 2 x 4.

As you can imagine I did not have the prettiest of starts. I had an idea of my jointing techniques and I wanted to get it down and let the wood decide where it wanted to take me.  I started off using the bandsaw, and it was okay at helping my cut the wood into the smaller pieces that are displayed above, but when it came to getting it as exact as I wanted it, it would not have happened in the time given. I decided to work with in anyway, and during the time that I practiced on this machine I came to realize that I wanted to make something that I would be able to use as time went on. This fact led me to go out and get another 2 x 4 so that I could have a number of 18" pieces and GO TO WORK.

On my next piece of 2 x 4 I was still unsure of what I wanted to do with the project, but I was 100% sure that I wanted to use tongue and groove joints, so I decided to work on that and get it down pact. This is when I discovered the table saw. It made cutting the grooves, as well as the tongues very simple, and all I had to do was decide the level that I heights that I wanted it at and push it across the saw. However, the pieces were not as perfect as they could be, and because I was doing it mostly by eye it was hard to determine the exact locations of my grooves, which made it hard to decide where to put the tongues. Although they did not line up the way that I had hoped, the fit together very nicely, and made a few heavy duty beverage coasters.

After the last 2 x 4 and all of my uncertainty of location, I discovered something that made life wonderful. MEASUREMENTS! Yes I said it, measurements. By using the measurements on the table saw and planing the wood down so that it was even all around I was able to accentuate the beauty of the cuts. I played around a lot with this, and during this play time I came up with an idea of what I wanted to do.

I decided to create an organizer that I could use at my desk as a place for my water bottle, pencils and erasers, ruler and scale, and of course, my cell phone. The pieces above were pieces of my first attempt at this organizer. While I was creating it I learned more about the wood, and support, and midway I realized that  I needed to simplify my cuts in order to have a better supported system.

In order to achieve this simplification I adjusted a few measurements to ass extra support room to the sides, and removed one of the slots that were set to have a the possibility of moving the wall that would allow everything to be contained. By doing this, everything became much more supported. It also resulted in much less complications. The end result is an organizer that can be placed in more than one way and holds itself together very nicely.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Paul Friedlander

What exactly is light? Light is something that makes it possible for us to see everything around us. It illuminates our life and allows us to enjoy all of the visual pleasures of our world. Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines it as the sensation aroused by stimulation of the visual receptors; and electromagnetic radiation of any wavelegnth that travels in a vacuum (volume of space that essentially empty of matter) with speed of about 186,281 miles (300,000 kilometers) per second; specifically : such radiation that is visible to the human eye. The five main properties of light are intensity, wavelength, polarization, phase, and orbital angular momentum. It also has a ride range of colors and varies with variations in the wavelength.

The most intriguing aspect of Friedlander's work is the musicality of it. It has a harmonious flow it the way the light moves. And the great ranges in colors add to the emotion of it. It is very inspiring for me because as a musician I can appreciate the manner in which he uses his work to inflict different emotions and ideas. His work has a certain playfulness to it that has made it quite enjoyable for me to look at.

His handheld kinetic light sculpture that was done in London in 2004 remains the most interesting to me of all of his works. The reason I am fascinated by this piece of work is because of the manner in which it changes. You cant just take a picture of it and grasp the complete greatness of the sculpture. As he moves it around the colors change, the size of the waves change, the intensity changes, and the feeling that come across change. This constant change makes it a very captivating piece of work. not only for the eyes, but for the soul.

Julien Breton, a French light calligrapher, on the other hand has a much different approach to light art. It relates more to the aspects of graffiti art. He lets his work flow and it involves a great deal of imagination in creating the different strokes. Breton and Friedlander do have some similarities in their work however. Both of the artists use methods that allow the light to flow in a harmonious manner. They just use it to portray different ideas.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Drafting Pictorials

Two Worlds (PHASE I)

Phenomenon. How in the world am I supposed to choose a light phenomenon?! This is what first went through my mind when we were given this difficult task. So many possibilities to choose from, and then one day it hit me while waiting for my Art 100 class in the Weatherspoon Museum. As I gazed out of the door with mindless boredom something caught my eye. It was with a glance down at the ground that I had seen something I had never noticed before. There was a second world inside of the floor and I could see it, but could not touch it. This excitement got me tingling inside, however I could not let it show. Jumping up with joy in the middle of an art museum is not a good look. So instead I decided to capture this in a photograph and thus I had my PHENOMENON! 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Twelve Twigs

This project was somewhat easy for me to start, but the followthrough was much more difficult. I began by choosing my Twelve Twigs. Through much scrutiny and exploration of twigs I decided that I wanted to work with The beautiful bamboo. These twigs look very similar, however they do have many differences that deserve to be accentuated. Differences in the way they change color, differences in hight, and differences in width are some of the few. The difficulty in choosing these sticks revealed itself soon after.  Because they are not the most common of sticks, finding a  way to accentuate this beauty without taking away from, or overpowering the sticks involved a lot of thought. I began with making a basket. The design of it was an upside down Chinese roof. However it could have been said to fit ANY Twelve Twigs. In the end I decided to spiral my paper around the bamboo, which put emphasis on the differences in size and hight, and also brought your attention to the color changes on the twigs. This spiral effect also allowed the work to have motion. Making this design movable by not binding the twigs to each other gives it a more natural feel as well as makes it more engaging.

Starting off this project was fairly smooth for me. I wasn't there when it was first assigned, but when I found out that we were working with sticks I knew exactly which ones I wanted to use, and exactly what I wanted them to look like. The sticks I decided to go with are bamboo, which are used most commonly in East Asia for things ranging from food to medicine to building materials and more. Because of this I chose to go with an Asian theme all together which led me to explore the different colors and other aspects of Asian design. In the end I chose to go with a red, textured paper, and golden flowers.

After choosing my materials I had the task of coming up with a was to make them into a "container" for Twelve Twigs. As I explored many different possibilities I came up with the idea of using the design of a Chinese roof and putting it upside down so that the twigs were rested in it. The roof design worked well, but after actually looking into the project I came to realize that it was not actually about making a container for some twigs. It was like the place for a leaf project in which we had to create a place where these specific twigs belong. Not just something that would hold them.

With my new found understanding of the project I decided to explore more patterns in my design. I used a woven design similar to the one pictured above to add more definition and give it more character, which in turn made it fit more with the theme of my design, which was an Asian theme. Unfortunately, it was still just a basket, no matter how well crafted it was, and I had to explore new ideas.

I could be found many days sitting at my desk playing music on my bamboo, trying to find inspiration while also keeping myself entertained until one day. . . . . One magical day came. It started out just like any other. I picked up my bamboo and began to blow into them listening to the magnificent sounds they created and POW! I realized that I could incorporate this aspect of the twigs into the design. Thus the idea of a bamboo wind chime was born.

BUT . . this just wasn't enough for me. I wanted to still be able to play with my bamboo whenever I wanted and to be able to create my own music without having to rely on the wind to do it for me. So I decided to go with a new approach. I organized the bamboo into a curve and hot glued them together, and then weaved paper around it to accent the changes in height that occurred, but as my final product I chose to remove this glue that binded them together. I instead glued the paper to each individual bamboo so that they would be mobile yet still maintain the woven accents.