Our task was to create a chair sculpture. Sculpture is a two- or three-dimensional form of fine art where the artist creates representative or abstract shapes and designs. We were tasked with coming up with a theme and creating a sculpture based on that theme using the chair as a base. We used the design process to complete this, which included planning, sketching, etc. I chose koi fish in space as my theme, because I thought it was very unique – I also think koi fish and space are cool topics separately and thought it would be fun to combine them. Our sculpture will be assessed based on our knowledge, construction, planning, neatness, etc.
To begin, we had to learn about the different techniques and elements associated with sculpture. Of the 15 total elements, line, shape, space, mass/volume, texture/pattern, movement, colour, plane, balance, form, proportion/scale, value, contrast/variety/focal point, repetition/rhythm, and harmony. Of these 15, we were tasked with using at least six in our chair sculpture; I chose contrast (opposing colors), line (a form for the eye to follow), color (natural or applied), texture (the way it feels), movement (the impression the sculpture is moving), and space (positive or negative). The most helpful technique we practised was with wire, newspaper, and tape, wherein we created the skeleton of the shape/sculpture we want and then covered it with newspaper. This technique leaves a lot of room for interpretation – we made a snake eating ice cream for example. Using what we’d learned about techniques and elements, we planned our chair sculpture. We chose our theme – koi fish, space and coral – researched things that would help us make our theme come to life, and drew many sketches of what we wanted our final sculpture to look like. After this stage, we were split into small groups to share our ideas and get some recommendations from our peers and Ms. Jardin. From this, I created my final sketch and got approval from Ms. Jardin, which allowed me to get to work. Ms. Jardin always recommends making the biggest things first, so I chose to create my Earth and moon using balloons I brought into class. I blew up the balloons and then paper-mached them so they would be strong and not pop. Next, I made the skeleton of my first koi fish using wire to create the ribs. I stuffed the fish with balled-up newspaper so it would be strong and also covered it in paper mache – something I did not do for the following koi fish. Instead, I plastered the following koi fish to save time. After plastering the koi fish and everything was dry, I plastered the Earth, moon and all the fish onto my chair. I spent the next three classes making and painting meteors. Once that was complete, I wired the meteors and plastered the wires to the chair. Next, I created a fish hook using a long piece of wire and plaster. This was probably the easiest thing I made since I only needed to shape the wire into a hook, plaster it, and connect it to the chair. After everything was connected to the chair, it took me another three classes and a few days after school to paint the whole thing. While waiting for my nearly-complete masterpiece to dry, I created pieces of coral by adding glue gun glue to wire. Once the ‘coral’ dried, I glued it to the chair and with that, my chair sculpture was complete. All-in-all, I spent approximately eight to ten weeks on this project.
Overall, I am proud of my work as I accomplished many of my goals, worked very hard over the course of two months, and my final product looks pretty good. In doing this, I discovered three personal strengths: productivity because I created many sculptures in this period; my eye for design because the final product looks great and is exactly what I aimed for; and project planning because my final chair sculpture doesn’t look different from the original sketches. As a bonus, my theme is unique. If I were to do it again, I would probably do a few things differently because the individual pieces took me a long time and I think I could have made them more effectively. There is definitely room for improvement, wherein I could practice sculpting as my plastering is not very smooth or the nicest to look at.
To summarize, the project is about creating a chair sculpture that represents our chosen theme. After all is finished, I think I did better than I thought I would and I think everybody else that did this project also did extremely well. I think the most challenging part was creating everything before the deadline because many of us struggled to finish in time, but most of us were able. I think that organization and planning are the two most important skills that I have learned and will help me in real life beyond the art studio.