Monday, March 1, 2010

Lighted Sculpture: Cocoon

My sculptures for this class are getting so sophisticated! I've learned so much about light and construction especially considering it's a self directed course. Honestly the work I did at my midterm looked like what I had envisioned my final project looking, and now I am moved beyond that. I sound very self satisfied, but look what I made from an umbrella, lamp base, pencils, and stockings.

lit, with flash for clarity but doesn't show the color.
unlit, I think with flash
close up of texture, shows color betterthough I think it's more vivid in person.

I made the texture by creating runs in the stockings, gathers with small stitches, and some draping excess. It's not resined because I like the softness. It looks a lot like I planned although it also came together in response to the materials instead of just following a design. This is the second incarnation of this light. The first one was more dangerous because the bulb was really close to the paper I used. And I didn't like it very much but I spent so many hours trying to make the umbrella work but it just kept getting worse and worse. That happens a lot working with found objects or even unfamiliar materials. But usually after a while I figure out the constraints and make something work, and the umbrella just never did during that session.

Eventually I made it into this with scrapbook paper, playing with the lanterny shadowbox thing* and thinking about how to integrate the spidery umbrella and old fashioned papers kind of like steampunk, but with a different aesthetic. My professor said it was much too lamp-like and decorative. Since I thought it was very ugly and didn't integrate the components I didn't mind the criticism. So in the remake I stripped the paper and made the shape less lamp-like using golf pencils. Then I had planned to cover it with stocking material, shape it with thread, stiffen with fabric stiffener, and paint it. But I was in Oakland without my paints so I bought red tights along with the sheer. I think that worked out brilliantly because I was limited to pulling and distorting the fabric to create interest.

*before the term ends I really want to make a silhouette based light. My friend Max has some little frosted cube lights he might give me one when he moves, which would be amazing.


Robert van de Walle said...

So Brilliant!

Diane Dew said...

Awesome, Caitlan. I love hearing about your process.