Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The ROYGBIV Project :: Making it happen :: Pt. 2 of 5

This stage was the absolute messiest of all of the stages but it also was the one that the students really enjoyed because it allowed them to really explore and experiment with the creative process and truly give life to the ideas that they were tasked with. Here is a little of what each of the groups were attempting to work with...

Sun group
Idea was pretty close to THIS idea that I had originally shown them
  • Wanted to paper mache in order to sculpt a single extra-large spherical structure
  • Needed an exercise/yoga ball for their form
  • Wanted to pull in some texture by adhering muffin/cupcake paper cups to the outside of the structure after it was completely sculpted
  • Wanted to use lighting in order to illuminate the structure from the inside out

Clouds group
Idea derived from THIS I found and showed them during the lesson intro
  •  Required them to do paper mache to sculpt multiple different but similar structures
  • Needed lots of balloons for the form of each structure
  • Required cotton batting/stuffing for the texture of the clouds
  • Wanted to do at least seven clouds in order to fill out the gallery hallway space

Rainbow group
Idea was inspired by THIS that I found and showed them during the lesson intro
  • Required them to use watered down glue mixture to soak string so that it could adhere to individual forms
  • Needed lots of balloons for what would be over 100 individual forms suspended from the ceiling
  • Required paint in Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Violet

We spent at least a week and a half total of class time doing just the fabrication/sculpting of all of the different elements of the total installation. It was definitely messy and that's not something that all of the students were keen on but with lots of encouragement and redirection from me that this was a GROUP effort and we needed to be unified in order for it to really be successful, it became a rare thing for any of them to sit and be idle for too long. Most all of the students wanted to play an active role because they fully understood that the effort we had to put forth was major and collective. They truly started understanding that if one person didn't invest themselves, the whole of the project would ultimately suffer.

Two groups needed newspaper for papier mache so they banded together to create triangles - because that's the best shape for seamless and smooth coverage - in order to prep the paper.

The sun group gets started on the first of many layers!
The clouds group also got to work but they had an easier time than the sun because there were multiple cloud clusters to work on.

The rainbow group had perhaps the most challenging of all of the elements of the installation to work on both because of the sheer number of items that needed to be sculpted - they were shooting for about 100 total to fill the space we have - and because working with string coated in glue mixture? Well... it's just way messier than papier mache. Surprising that anything could be that way compared to papier mache but it was true! Also, wrapping and layering the string had to be done a little more strategically (read: it was less forgiving than papier mache) so there was a bit of a learning curve for everyone in the sun group.

The sun group discovered it required at least two people to coat the string and then wrap a balloon with the glue coated string. They tried to have at least two stations of this going at once.
One of the balloons that they did as a "prototype" to figure out if it would work, how long it would take to dry, etc.

One of the major challenges from this stage (as with almost every project endeavor I do) is dealing with how to store things when they are in the WiP (work-in-progress) phase. I share the studio art classroom with a part-time faculty member and while it might sometimes seem like I have a pretty cushy set-up (based on what I share on the blog) the room I share with the other teacher is about 2/3 the size of what I know most art classrooms are that are not shared. This always creates problems when it comes to storing supplies or student works on top of the fact that I know my colleague is not usually thrilled with some of my zany endeavors. (They are much more neat and tidy than I am.)

For this project I solved some of the project by storing some of the bags of balloons behind this huge canvas that another student has been trying to work on when they can...

Far from ideal but making the best of what I have is all I can do

Tomorrow I will show you the next phase of the project when we were getting to the stage of finishing up the sculpting and fabrication of the different elements and starting to install it all in the student gallery hallway.

This installation art study was student-centered and collaboratively designed and constructed (across two classes). It utilized paper sculpting and papier mache, string wrapping, spray painting and brush painting, fiber application in order to create a sun, clouds, and rainbow display suspended from the ceiling of the student art gallery hallway. It was originally presented in a week long series that showed the planning and creative processing, the beginning part of the sculpting/working stage, the point just about when everything was done being sculpted, and then some notes about when things went awry and how those things were dealt with. The final view of it can be found HERE. This project was meant to be a re-imagining of The Ombre Experience project idea.

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