Friday, October 7, 2011

IP Weekly Progress -- #4

What I did:

Monday: (2 hours) Sketches of trees and flora. Sat outdoors at the Arb while thinking about the meaning of my project.

Tuesday: (4 hours) Sketched some organic forms like leaves and vines, dedicated time to ordering more supplies after finding a good recipe – Calcium Carbonate and Cotton Fibers. Drew a lot of leaves on a large piece of paper, cut them out, soaked them, and folded them into shapes using a wet folding technique. Also watched the movie, Between the Lines (A paper engineer documentary) while folding these forms.

Wednesday: (1 hour) Picked up wood, staples, and other supplies around my house to bring to my studio. Composed a plan of how to work on Thursday and make my time much more efficient.

Thursday: (8 hours) After sketching and looking up animal anatomy -- built a wire armature and blocked it with pink foam for a Jackson’s Chameleon and a Buffalo relief sculpture to make molds out of in order to test the paper pulp recipe (Once the materials arrive). Made a few more leaves using the wet folding technique and created flowers and other organic forms.


Once I gathered the materials, I got right to work. Tuesday I didn’t waste time nor on Thursday at all and because of that I managed to accomplish 2 sculptures simultaneously and started folding paper. I’m happy to see physical pieces of work developing in my studio.

Paper leaves!
Wet folding process.

Folded flowers from wet paper drying on my wall.

Start of my Chameleon armature.

A relief sculpture just to try two different forms of cast paper pulp.

What I accomplished/discovered/encountered:

I really wanted to dive into my work rather than keep thinking about it. So this week I really pushed myself to make two different kinds of sculptures and start making molds of them this weekend. I will just make the relief sculpture mold, because I’m low on rubber and have to order more, but while waiting for my materials to come in I’ve been developing handmade sculpture from wet paper and letting it air-dry into these delicate and natural forms. When paper is wet it changes the quality of the medium. Rather than have these sharp, straight corners when folded, the edges become rounded and sculpted – it looks more organic and lively. Akira Yoshizawa is an artist who introduced the technique of wet paper folding – an offspring of traditional Origami. His models look alive and have inspired paper folders to explore organic forms through the wonder of paper.

Folded by Akira Yoshizawa

Another artist I've been looking at is Kevin Dyer. He does quite a bit of 2D paper pulp work and paints on his pieces. There is something unique and enticing about his use of color on soft pulp. I'm still considering painting my pulp pieces -- but until I find the right recipe, I cannot be sure if I even want to yet.
Cast paper by Kevin Dyer

Through folding basic leaf and petal forms, I have found myself caught in a whirlwind of creative problem solving. I’ve made leaves following the same pattern over and over just so I learn how I made that certain leaf. Although once I move on to another method I find myself forgetting my previous technique if I try it again. After repeating this frustrating process I have learned to make three models of the same leaf: One of the completed leaf, one with fold creases, and one flat leaf with lines drawn on it. I hang up the successful leaves on my wall and keep the rejected leaves in a small pile to go back to later. It seems like such a simplified process that nothing spectacular is produced from it, but I feel that through this “drafting” stage I have more drive and a much better thought process than just researching. My research is used to supplement, but I’m at a stage now where I really should be making rather than just thinking.

On Thursday I dedicated myself to the studio almost all day away from the computer and books to producing more physical pieces of work. I started building my armature (Later to be put into a mold) and my relief sculpture to be placed in a mold this weekend. Once the materials arrive at my house I will be making a 3rd batch of paper pulp to see if this one is more successful than the previous recipes. I finished the relief sculpture, but the armature still needs more clay blocking and detailing to the figure. On the side I continued my paper leaf folding by hand, but I see an issue arising: should keep this technique of hand folding flora with thicker paper or make molds of individual leaves and use paper pulp? I see a lack of consistency between how I make flora and fauna – so I have to consider using the same paper for the paper pulp and the wet folding technique, but how drastic will the cotton fibers change the material? Ultimately I was planning on using recycled paper for the paper pulp, but most recycled paper is poor quality for wet folding. I would need something thicker like watercolor paper, but that could get expensive. I could try making my own sheets of paper FRM recycled paper which would guarantee nice thick paper, but that would involve an additional amount of work to my process. With the limited amount of time I have, I need to try making my own paper this Saturday at Hollinder’s to see if making my own paper is a possible variable to my IP progress. Once I get a good feel for making my own paper I can decide how things will fare.

What I think I should do next:

On Saturday I will be taking a papermaking class at Hollinder’s for a couple of hours and see if making my own paper would be a possibility in my project. I need to be realistic of the time I have this year – so I will be making a huge decision based off how this Saturday class goes. I will also start making a mold of relief sculptures while I wait for the cotton and calcium to arrive. I’m hoping to have some nice sculptures casted and wet fold sculptures done by Monday afternoon. Worst case, I have an alternate recipe to use from last time. Wish me luck this weekend!

1 comment:

Juliet said...

Lindsay! You have hit the ground running this week! So wonderful to hear of your productivity. Keep up the pace! Looking forward to see what happens once the rest of your materials arrive. I realize what is pictured are mostly studio samples but I will still urge you here to consider scale as you move forward. Life-size? Larger than life? miniatures? What do all of these scales imply/project/lead to? Thanks for getting your blog in on time!