Wednesday, December 8, 2010

personal reflection

This semester was probably one of the most interesting and exciting experiences of my college life.  When I first came into the course, I'll admit I may have been a little cocky, having taken several art classes in the past.  I quickly learned, however, that there were many things beyond me.  Drafting was completely new to me; I feel that took me some time to get the hang of only because, I was so used to being able to complete assignments free-hand.  Overall, I widened my horizons and refined skills I already had.  Most importantly, I enjoyed myself along the way.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Designing ze luminaire.

         As a prerequisite to coming up with a luminaire design, our task was to find and document an interesting light effect.  I thought I'd find a phenomenon unique in its quality.  My solution was to use the camera as a medium for capturing the effect, rather than capturing an effect that is primarily seen by the naked eye and then documented with the camera.  Cut out the middle man.  With the camera as a medium, I am guaranteed a pure representation, not an obfuscated, second-hand image.
          The light effect I found is called lens flare.  It occurs when the camera is pointed directly at the sun.  This causes the light to fray out in beams with the sun's form as a focal point (shown upper right).  I wanted to take this phenomenon and display this overwhelming quality of light.  My original design of a translucent dome which would house the light bulb and be mounted onto a wall.  Slits would be cut into the edges for beams of light to pass through (shown left).  Unfortunately, this design required a very thin frame so as to not be seen through the paper when the bulb was lit.  Also, I did not want to replicate the sun shot for shot.  It is never a good start if the designer tries to exactly replicate what is already perfect in nature.
         Instead, I chose to design a luminaire positioned at the joining of the wall and the floor.  The rays radiate out, but only onto the wall.  I first built a frame consisting of only 4 sides of a hexagon.  Then, with a bandsaw, I cut slits about 2 inches long into the wood cuts.  After using wood glue to connect all four of these pieces, I traced the semi-hexagonal shape onto a piece of matboard.  This I hot-glued onto the back of the wood frame, a plane which serves primarily as my bulb holder.  Now, I was faced with the issue of covering my light switch.  Otherwise, it would distract the observer from the actual light effect.  My solution was to construct a dome around it, concealing it, except for a small hole from which the wire would pass through.  As my medium was again, matboard, this process took a good deal of time to create just the right forms that fit together properly.  At the time, I felt that I needed to do something to the dome to ensure that it had continuity of the light effect.  This would have been the way to go if my piece were about the light fixture, rather than the effect itself.  That is the main thing I would have done differently.

    When lit up, I feel my luminaire most accurately demonstrates lens flare when positioned about half an inch off of a wall.  Had I kept it flush to the wall, the focus would be on the sharp distinction between light and dark.  By keeping it slightly off the wall, I created the effect of light pushing into the boundaries of the shadow, thus accentuating light's overwhelming quality.
This is lens flare.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Everyone did some other type of drawing....I didn't know so I ended up with a contour...

And the two stripes on the hood are a by-product of artistic license.

This was my favorite from that day.  Turned out to be pretty accurate.

'Tis thy wood project

          The point of this project was to expose us to wood as a medium.  With an 18" 2x4, the assignment was to rebuild in a way that not only utilizes the entire volume of the wood, but also makes it into something unique.  My first idea was reminiscent of some of my old elementary art.  I would gouge out curves from the block and simply shift them either directly on top of or directly below, depending on their previous
orientation.  The picture above is how I originally framed this idea and that is exactly what I did in my first version.  However, this felt much too simplistic to be called a final product, even with proper sanding.  I thought the piece would be more interesting if I found a way to elevate the rounded cuts off of the main wood piece.  I'd also need a way to anchor them in this raised position.  My solution was to cut a 1/8" strip off the side before building the main body. At the same time, I cut two parallel slots of a corresponding width down the length of the 2x4.  When the time came, I was able to successfully elevate rounded wedges by implementing my make-shift dowels.  The picture to the left is what my final piece looks like.  I feel it is most successful when positioned vertically like this because it draws along every curve to the top.  When left positioned with two of the rounded surfaces as its base, it seems very awkward.  
My main issue with the piece lies with the negative space spanning through the entire length of the work. Perhaps an additional wave going through here would help fill the space, while also having continuity with the rest of the form. I feel that had there been another prototype before my declaring a final piece, there would be much better balance in the later version. 
          While writing that last section, I felt I should address my self critiquing process a bit.  Several people have mentioned how it seems unusual for me to be harsh when discussing my own work.  I don't think it's strange in the slightest, rather a necessity.  It's important to be able to point out one's own failures, because its only from here that it is possible to learn and grow as an artist. 

It's 'posta be me