✧ (づ。◕‿‿◕。)づ ✧

⤥ welcome to my art reflection ⤦

- Introduction -

For the past few months in art, we have been working on a sculpture, more specifically, a chair sculpture. We were given the task to make a chair sculpture using given materials (cardboard, newspaper, plaster, tissue, etc) based on the theme we chose at the beginning of the semester. As we were given a huge range of different types of materials to choose from, all we had to do was to let our creativity run free! A few of my classmates even used actual candy wrappers and bottles to make the sculpture! We also had to incorporate the elements and principles commonly used in sculptures into our chair. Well, let's start from the beginning. What exactly is a sculpture? A sculpture is a work of art produced by using different sculpting techniques (eg: carving, modeling, casting, etc). Like in any other forms of art, there are various principles and elements used by artists. I have embedded a slideshow I made explaining the elements and principles of a sculpture. You will get more of an idea of what exactly these are once you look at my Skitch poster. There were also a few sculpting techniques such as additive, relief, subtractive, etc. involved in the process. Most of us used additivity for our sculpture as it is easier and requires less time and effort. 

I used most of the six elements listed above. However, here is a quick summary of the four elements that I used the most throughout my chair: 

  • I used a lot of shapes in my chair, organic shapes to be specific. 
  • I also used positive and negative space around my chair. The space around the clocks made people focus more on the actual moving clocks. 
  • I applied colors onto my chair, covering the actual color of the chair. I did this to make the chair prettier (in my opinion). 
  • Apart from this, I also think I used mass a lot as some objects look heavier than they actually are. A pretty good example of this would be my hourglass (the one with sand). It is actually not that heavy as it was not entirely filled with sand. 

You might want to look at the Skitch 'poster' I made if you want to see more (which is embedded in this blog post). 

- Design Process  -

Before starting with the actual making of the chair sculpture, we had to plan everything out to the finest details. First, we had to think of a cool theme for our chair. The theme could literally be anything! However, it is a specific theme is easier to work with in my opinion as the objects harmonize and work well with each other to create more of a feel to it whereas broader themes require more thinking involved. We brainstormed ideas of what we would want our chairs to be about and discussed and commented on other classmates' ideas. At first, my theme was 'nature' but I quickly lost interest and moved on from the thought, choosing 'time' as my new theme.  We then made quick sketches of the design that we want our chairs to look like. In order to make us familiar with the designing process, we were given random themes and ideas to draw onto our chair in class. Some of the random themes we were given were dentistry and sweets. In the course of about 5 to 7 minutes, we had to sketch out about 3 mini-chairs. In my opinion, this process really helped me with the designing aspect of the chair. After 'finalizing' and having more of an idea of what our theme is, we proceeded to try out the process of sculpture. We started planning. Here is the sketch of what my chair was originally supposed to look like:

In order to know more about the actual sculpting process, we got into groups and made a sculpture of a snake eating an ice-cream with newspaper, wire, and tape. We then proceeded to do a bit more research about this. During this process, we found online tutorials on how to make a designated object or how to use a certain material (eg: plaster). We also looked for ideas on how to make the objects on Pinterest. (link to my Pinterest boards here) We also learned how to use different materials in order to model the material according to will/plan. Due to our ineffective use of time in class, we then proceeded to make a timeline of what we were going to do in the ten classes following that day. We then continued on constructing the chair. After finishing a 'product' in each and every class, we made a short video of us talking about what we did on that day. Throughout the entire process, our peers gave us lots of critical and valuable feedback in terms of helping us improve our chair. Towards the end, our teacher, Mrs. Jardin, gave us lots of feedback in order to help us make some final touches before the chairs were displayed. 

[ There is a blog post dedicated to the entire process. If you would like more information, you can view the blog post here. ]

In my opinion, the design cycle really helped me. If we were to start immediately without any specific plans or instructions, I would have made a (worse) chair sculpture with no specific themes or color schemes. Plus, I like doing things with a plan in mind. Apart from this, the cycle also helped me learn more about how to make things. Before this, I never knew how to use plaster or even make paper-mache! It clearly helped me stay organized and on track throughout the process. With the due date and all the planning in mind, I had to think of how to use my class time and studio time wisely in order to finish it on time, considering that I had other homework to do, too. It also helped me improve the appearance of my final chair. As I tend to think of things along the way, my chair would have ended up as a mess due to the lack of planning. Overall, I think I would most likely use this process again at the start of my other projects (whether it's art, writing, science or math)! Even though my chair did not go according to plan and I decided to change some details up at the last possible minute due to the lack of time, I still thought of this as a pretty good process. 

- Chair evaluation -

Overall, I think I did a pretty decent job at finishing my chair on time and not missing the deadline (maybe not a lot, but only slightly?). However, there are lots of things that I need to change.

Let's start with my weaknesses (and things that I really need to change), first! Throughout the process, I realized that I am the absolute worst at time management. I tend to sometimes horse around and talk during class, not focusing entirely on finishing my chair. I did not get much work done during the first five classes. However, I chose not to spend studio time doing the work. Because of this, as the end comes closer, I had to stay back almost every single day to finish my chair. Also, I did not like my design much. Even though I had already simplified it, I still felt like there were way too many details, distracting the viewers' eyes from the actual focal point, the hourglass. As there was not much time left, some of the painting was done hastily, resulting in a not very neat chair and some white spots. Apart from this, I think I used 'repetition' a bit too much. This resulted in my chair being kind of 'unoriginal' and kind of 'strange.' Aside from those thousands of problems that I still need to work on, I think my chair was pretty decent to an extent of decency. 

Admittedly, I have a few strengths (very few, actually). First of all, I am really proud of my color choice and the palette I used for my chair. It had the look I was going for and it really makes my eyes focus on the 'brighter' objects. Aside from this 'strength,' I think I used spacing correctly, making people focus more on the positive space. An example of this would be at the back of the top part of my chair, where I had the hanging clocks and another hourglass. The negative space around the hanging object not only allows them to move but it also allows the viewers to focus on the moving objects. This brings me to another point. I am kind of (very) proud of myself for using kinetic as one of the main methods for my chair. The hanging and non-stop moving clocks kind of made my chair more interesting and gave my chair a 'cool' feel to it. Instead of staring at an unmoving object for about 5 minutes and criticize it, people can now stare at a partly movable object for about 5 minutes.

Here is a picture of my chair for people to criticize. 

- Summary -

Here is a short slideshow talking about how I felt about the project and my chair. (Link to slideshow in case you want to view it using a different platform)

- Chair Progress Video - 

Here is a sped-up video of all the progress I have made in terms of finishing my chair. The video is embedded here, however, if you wish to watch it using a different platform, please use this link.

- Skitch Poster - 

Here is a poster I made using Skitch to label the elements and principles used in the chair sculpture. The poster is embedded here, however, if you wish to view it using a different platform, please use this link.

Thank you so much for reading my uninteresting blog post!


What will be easy?

I think the process of choosing the colors for the chair would be the easiest part of the entire project/assessment. Painting various objects would also be an enjoyable activity for me to do.

What will be challenging?

I think the process of making and modelling the gravestones on the chair using clay would be the hardest part of the entire assessment since I am not good at modelling clay.

What ideas do I have already?

My ideas are quite plain in a way. They are not as detailed as ones that belong to many others, however, I find them okay to work with. They include hourglasses, gravestones, staircases, ladders and city skylines.

Why do we use the design process and not just take our first idea?

As this assessment is graded and it is HUGE, taking our first idea would result in us being completely confused and not having the best chair possible. Since we get more inspirations from others and their comments, changing and remaking our ideas seem like it is going to get us farther from our starting point (from scratch). This is also because we get more of an idea of our plan after we keep on improving it.

What am I looking forward to about this task?

I am looking forward to the process of painting and adding textures to the details on the chair since I love painting small objects.

What topic am I thinking of? Why?

My topic is time because I feel like time is important to me. Time is important to everyone. It is extremely important. Also, I chose this topic because I felt like I have not made the best use out of my time.

Photo of my design + brief explanation of how I think I will make it

I think I will make the following components using the materials listed below:

  • gravestones - polymer clay
  • staircases - wires and plaster
  • buildings in the hell city - cardboard boxes
  • ladders - pipes/paper-mache/plaster
  • hourglass - plastic/glass containers (bottles/jars)
  • clocks - cardboard/clay
  • inside of hourglass - beans/sand
  • person falling - polymer clay
  • trees - wires
AND PLASTER (to stick everything together)
AND PAINT (to make everything look nicer)
AND SUPPORT (to support the stuff that needs support)
Link to my Pinterest: here

Most relevant tutorial

Since I will be using this technique a lot, I found this tutorial very helpful to an extent. In the video, the person made their 'sculpture' out of various materials. Ever since I had started working on the chair, I had used a lot of materials to make the objects I needed, too. I am planning to use the paper-mache technique they used later in the project, when I make the smaller objects.
Reflection on progress grade
I didn't expect it. I thought I was going to get a better grade, however, I feel like this one actually suited my progress. I haven't gotten much done so far. Also, I feel like everything took longer than I had initially expected it too.
I need to step up my game in order to get an A. I need to try not to waste time in class and immediately get to work. I am thinking about using extra studio in order to get more things done, however, I might not be able to. With that being said, I feel like I'm kind of on the right track, however, I must keep my hands on the bigger details, first, and be more productive in class.
Timeline - 10 classes 
class 1: make the city - plaster + cardboard
class 2: continue working on the city
class 3: work on the hourglass
class 4: work on the clocks (behind)
class 5: small details - gravestones and mini clocks
class 6: half-half - small details and plastering
class 7: plastering everything together
class 8: paint big details
class 9: painting smaller details - clocks
class 10: paint small details - gravestones, quotes

My progress
1st day

2nd day

3rd day

4th day

5th day

6th day

7th day

8th day

Latest Update

9th day

10th day

11th day

12th day

13th day + progress

14th day

15th day

16th day

17th day

18th day

 Reflection on progress so far
start - day 1                                                                       nearly finished - day 18
For the past ten weeks, what have I achieved? How do I feel about it?
For the past ten weeks, I have made many different sculptures for my chair. To be honest, I am really glad I have gotten this far. At first, I was not very productive and usually spent most of the class time given talking to my classmates instead of focusing on my work. This one of the many factors why I deserve the progress grades that I got. However, as I continue to make progress and time flies by, I realised that I had to pull myself together and complete what was needed to be done.
As you can see, I spent 1 hour and 30 minutes of my time on a small clock on the first day of class because of my procrastination. I later focused and spent a lot of my free time using the studio and getting some of my work done. The picture with the chair was the result.
All in all, I have achieved a lot. To be specific, I have gotten many sculptures done. I made most of my sculptures using plaster, aluminium foil, newspaper, masking tape and boxes. In order to make the object I desired as a sculpture, I shaped or bent the objects (newspaper, aluminium foil, boxes) according to my drawings. I then plastered the objects in order for it to stay in that shape as plaster is (incredibly) hard once dried.
For my smaller components, I made it out of clay. I modelled the clay according to the shape I wanted and left it out for a couple of days. As I used air-dry clay, the clay was hard once dried. I added it on to my chair using hot glue. I made my hourglass out of two plastic bottles and added (actual) sand inside to give it some realism.
I am proud of my accomplishments. I am very grateful that we all got an extension. I am happy that I have enough materials to finish my chair. I am positive that I will get it done on time. (not really but I will try my best) About my chair, I feel like it is lacking something like creativity or passion. Even though I have devoted what little I have of art skills, I still feel like it isn't good enough. It makes me feel even worse about mine once I look at everyone else's. They are all very talented. However, I am still thankful as many of them had helped me in the process, from choosing a few colours to giving me feedback on my designs. I will try my best (again) and maybe, just maybe, it will be good (enough) for me. I love how it is progressing though.
How are the elements applied to my chair (so far)? If I were to choose ONE to be the most important one, what would it be? Why?
Based on what I have done so far, I think I have applied a few elements including space, shape, texture and color. How?
For color, I painted some parts of my chair instead of leaving it in its original color (woody brown). The texture element was incorporated thanks to the painting. During the process, I spent a tad more time trying to get the rough-ish texture with the acrylic paint. In order to do this, I had to dab the paint onto the surface several times before I get my desired texture.
In my chair (as you can see in the image), there is a lot of negative space. I tend to like my objects apart from each other. For example, the clocks area were made using negative space between the clocks as they were hung at different spots, from different elevations.
As for the shape, everything I made was related to this element. From the min-humans I made out of newspaper to the bigger city models, they were all made with a particular/specific shape in mind. They are now in that form and the materials I used give it a 'shape.'
If I were to choose ONE to be the most important one in my sculpture, it would be 'shape.' I kind of had a hard time choosing between 'color' and 'shape' for the most important place, however, I quickly realized my sculpture wouldn't be anything special without the shapes on it. Though the element of 'color' is very special to me, the latter would be even more special.
There are many different reasons for why I chose it. One of the many reasons would be the chair's appearance without shapes. Without shapes, my chair would look as if it has random blobs of clay and newspaper on a chair. It would not even look like anything.
Most of the sculptures in my chair were 'sculpted' or 'made' with the idea of becoming something. If I take out the 'shape' element, they are nothing. The chair then does not make sense. My theme does not go with the chair. The chair is a regular chair. There is nothing there to make it more 'me' and 'unique' as most of my design elements are gone.
Also, all of my components were made using this element. For example, the clocks would make a shape.

19th day

 20th day

21st day

Not much changes here!

22nd day 

I just painted some more objects!

 23rd day - I'm done!!! 

HUGE CHANGE HERE! (Read the final chair blog post for more information!)

This post is not required.

The dome lasted AT LEAST 3 weeks and 5 days. (winter break)

Before (the last ecodome)

Images of the grasshoppers and the dome after it was being opened: 


Some observations: 

  • a dead grasshopper (since it was bright green, I can assume that it died about a day before the day that I opened the dome)
  • a grasshopper (STILL ALIVE)
  • the snake plant was still alive
  • ALL OF THE FOOD (grass + salad) WAS EATEN
  • the soil was kind of dry

Extra pictures: releasing of the only surviving grasshopper 


  • Both of the grasshoppers were alive at the time of opening
  • The snake plant was still alive
  • All of the grass plants were eaten (their roots were still in the soil)
  • Most of the cabbage was eaten
  • Grasshoppers' poop was all over the place
  • The water inside the caps completely dried up
  • The amount of condensation formed this time had increased


The ecodome after it was being opened

img_2246-jpg img_2249-jpg

The grasshoppers on the opening day (there were 2)

img_2235-jpg img_2243-jpg

img_2244-jpg img_2250-jpg

img_2254-jpg img_2243-jpg


Research & Changes made to new ecodome

Since I am happy with the way the ecodome is now, I barely made any large changes to the next ecodome (the final one).

Some of the small changes I made include:

  • taking out some of the twigs
  • adding more cabbages to the new dome so that they would have more to eat
  • adding more grass plants so that they have more to eat
  • changed the arrangements of the rocks and the caps to make it look better
  • I will definitely use the 'adult' grasshoppers since the baby grasshoppers (nymphs) are unable to move around as much as the adult ones.
  • I will also place the ecodome at a place with a moderate amount of sunlight to make it easier for the Sansevieria to photosynthesize.

Some of the research that I did were on these websites:

Here are some images of the new ecodome (and the last one): 

15491465_2009899699236367_1786473526_o 15536621_2009899172569753_245332568_o

15536675_2009899605903043_38148181_o 15556365_2009900602569610_1025682843_o

Ecodome design components: 

  • A snake plant so that photosynthesis can happen
  • Bundles of grass plants as food for the grasshoppers
  • About 6 pieces of cabbage as extra food for the grasshoppers
  • Soil to grow the plants
  • 4 bottle caps of water to provide the grasshoppers with water
  • 4 twigs for the grasshoppers to jump on
  • Rocks under the soil to provide a drainage system (just in case the water overflows from the bottle and the soil gets too wet)
  • Rocks on top of the soil to hold it down and to create a fun place for the grasshoppers to play at
  • A water bottle with a slightly unscrewed cap to water the plants daily


Change(s) made on design day

The only change that I made on the design day was adding more twigs to the ecodome. I added about 2 more to the dome in order to make it a better experience for the grasshoppers.


Images of my new ecodome



Changes from the previous ecodome 

  • New water bottle without the plastic wrap
    • I saw one of the two grasshoppers nibbling on the plastic wrap that was covering the bottle
    • A grasshopper was trying to cut a hole inside the wrap
  • grass plants with roots so that they can live longer
    • I took the grass I took last time (without the roots) died within a day. By the time that the experiment was ending, all of the grass had become dried leaves.
  • more twigs
    • The grasshoppers could have a fun time playing and jumping onto them.
  • drier layer of soil on top
    • This layer could hold water in for the plants better and could even keep the soil moist for days.
  • more rocks
    • for decoration
  • more caps
    • longer-lasting water


Links - research: 

How to care for the snake plant

Snake plants

Taking care of a snake plant

Since these plants hold water (like cacti), they do not need much of those to survive. They usually need only about 1 cup of water MAX for 2-3 weeks.

I've decided to give them a bit more than normal so that they can indirectly produce extra water vapor (just in case the water in the caps run out).


Changes made from day 1


~ Intro

Statement: The battery had a more significant impact on shaping human life than the invention of the rocket.

PRO Team: Thanh (me) and Harry

CON Team: Sally and Hina

~ Links

Roles matrix: here 

Assessments: teacher, judge, peer, self, overview - a1, a2

Self Debate Planning Doc: here

~ Reflection

From the research, preparation and the debates themselves, what did you learn about the art of persuasion? Please explain.
Throughout the course of the preparation process, I have heard about how exceptional research could easily convince certain beings to believe in a specific cause, however, I had never experienced such an understanding firsthand. Experiencing the persuasion process in a first-hand manner was an interesting thing for me to try out. During the process, the art of persuasion was one of the many things that was clearly imprinted into the core of my head.
Information can be more persuasive when they are backed up with outstanding examples and evidences. Of course, all of these must be taken from a trustable source. The citations said during the debates (as expected) could also be a game changer if used correctly. Also, while speaking, the person debating must not show any doubts of whatever they are saying. Their face should show loads of calmness and well-composedness.

How do you establish credibility as a debater? Explain fully.
As a debater, a person needs to appear calm, composed and undoubtful. As said earlier, gaining credibility from an audience is a needed step in order to persuade them. In order to gain credibility, the person needs to be well-prepared and thoughtful in many ways. They should not show any signs of anxiousness or doubt in any way. As that is being said, being unconfident might lead to make the audience think of the person’s research as being incorrect and false.

What surprised you the most about your debate and/or the debate experience?
The thing that surprised me the most about my debate was the fact that I stuttered. Normally, (in all of the other debates that I had participated in) I appeared calm and collected. I think I appeared anxious this time because of the thought of this debate being graded and counted in my grades. Just the thought of a debate being graded could shake my mind into a million pieces and shatter my confidence. I love debates, however, debates contain loads of pressure that might shatter a fragile human being (I don’t think I am one). My experience, overall, was good. I feel like I still need to calm my brain down before the debate starts in order to get it into the best shape.

What were you most proud of in your own debate?
I was most proud of my ability to counter the other team’s claims during the debate. According to my brain, some of the claims were strong and needed a good comeback in order to be taken down. I felt like searching for the appropriate information to make a counter was the toughest challenge that I had to face during this experience. Therefore, I am most proud of accomplishing the act of searching for a counterclaim.

What would be your next steps? Or in other words, what would you have done differently?
I do not think that I would like to do the things that I did in a different manner. I like going through things once (and once only). If I would like to change things, I would have had changed it before debating against the other team. Therefore, I would not like to change anything. Everything was fine the way it was.

~ Footage

Observations of ecodome:

At day 15 (when everyone was opening theirs) - my ecodome was not opened yet at the time

  • 1 of the 2 grasshoppers was still alive
  • All of the salad was completely eaten
  • The snake plant was still alive
  • Half of the grass remained was wilted (and dead)
  • Loads of condensed water remained at the sides
  • The dead grasshopper died with a broken leg (might be cannibalism)

At day 17

  • The snake plant was still alive and functional at the time of the opening.
  • The grass at the side of the container was brown and dead.
  • Both of the grasshoppers were dead.
  • All of the salad was completely eaten (after the first 3 days).
  • All of the water had been completely drained out of the two pieces of sponges.
  • All of the water in the caps were drunk.
  • The twigs were slightly moved.
  • The green and red leaf was kind of less fresh (looks decayed).
  • There was a piece of shredded skin in the container





Images of the second ecodome after being opened

15228051_760488207422793_1946604868_n  15218179_760488120756135_2074909633_n


Image of the dead crickets (at day 17)



Other images


The (living) grasshopper at day 15


The shredding of the skin of one of the two grasshoppers

What was my biggest success? 

My biggest success was completing it. I had written a few research papers, however, most of them were generally curt. They were not even close to the definition of the word 'okay' for that matter. Though I had faced loads of difficulties writing the essay, I still felt like this was (by far) my best research paper. To be specific, my biggest success was writing a proper introduction. Since I have never written a thesis before, writing a decent one is a huge accomplishments to me in many ways.

What was my biggest difficulty? 

My biggest difficulty was writing a conclusion. Since I am not that good at concluding essays, I am pretty sure I had failed it. My 'food for thought' part was the worst thing ever. I wasted loads of time thinking about what to write.

What would you have done differently? 

For instance, I would not have waited until the last minute only to find a printer that was not functional. I wouldn't have wasted so much time on the notecards. I REMADE THE NOTECARDS 4 TIMES! I would also have thought through the entire process more thoroughly and planned everything carefully before starting to actually write the essay. My time management was also terrible. Being a procrastinator, I tend to cram everything and do them all on the night before the due date. I could have managed my time in a better fashion and spaced out.


Here is my embedded research paper: 

>> Just scroll through it!

Designing ~

Design components: 

  • A bottle with a slightly unscrewed cap (and a covered top to prevent the animals from drowning) to water the plant daily
  • 1 snake plant to produce oxygen for the animals through photosynthesis
  • 3 small plastic caps (mini water stations) for the animals to drink from - with marbles (deco)
  • 2 big twigs to provide a space for them to hop around
  • 3 small twigs
  • 2 grasshoppers since they live longer
  • Leaves (food for the animals)
  • Marbles - decoration
  • A small sponge to water the plants

Changes made from day 1: 

  • I am not going to change much. This ecodome is going to kind of look similar to the old one.
  • Instead of using the smaller snake plant, I am going to use a bigger snake plant.
  • I am going to use grasshoppers instead of crickets this time (according to google, crickets can only live up to 3 weeks while grasshoppers can live up to a year).
  • I am also going to add some rocks and clean sand/gravel under the soil (to provide a drainage for the excess water.
  • Unlike the last time, I am not going to add beans and cabbage since they became smelly afterwards.

Links & Research 

Grasshoppers eat grasses or anything in that family. Nymphs (baby grasshoppers) eat tender food instead of bigger plants with bigger leaves with hard veins. The adult grasshoppers can bigger and harder leaves. They tend to not be picky and eat the types of leaves available to them.

As pets, they can live in a container. The range of the temperature in which they can survive in is from 15  to 35 (according to WikiHow). They like to eat fresh grass, especially ones with water since their main source of water is from the food they eat (they don't often 'drink' water).

Building ~

Changes made on building day

I did NOT make any changes on building day.


Pictures of the new ecodome 

15218571_760720380732909_527148758_n   15207801_760720344066246_167113680_n


  • One of the two crickets was still alive and well. The other one fell inside the gap of the tree
    and died.
  • All of the plants (3) were alive and well - including the snake plant.
  • Water in the caps and in the sponges were still there.
  • Since I was quite messy at the beginning, my ecodome did not look that pretty.
  • There were many bean sprouts. I did NOT expect them to grow at first.
  • Throughout the course of the experiment, there was a moldy piece of bean sprout in the soil.
  • Everything is the same as the original design on the first day except for the fact that there is a dead cricket.

Images of the cricket that survived
14996410_751422901662657_1574782601_n    14997077_751422874995993_867037100_n

Images of my ecodome AFTER I had opened it.

14996460_751422948329319_2035741483_n  15049770_751422858329328_925204010_n