3-D Print: Swaggy Hello Kitty, Killer Queen

One of the coolest projects we’ve done all year was the 3-D printing project. We actually got to use a computer and 3-D printer to bring our virtual ideas to life. The basic concept and process of the project was to find small objects we would be interested in printing, taking photos of them, putting them online, and sending them to the 3-D printer. This was actually a much longer, more complicated process than any of us expected.

First, we were required to find and/or buy small Kitsch-like objects that we would be interested in printing. The objects I originally chose were a small Elmo figurine and a shell. We had to take 100 photos max in total per object, because that’s the most photos the computer programs could handle for 3-D printing. We had to take a full 360 view around the objects and 360 overhead view.

Once the photos were taken, we had to upload them to the photo scanning program. This is where it gets tricky. The photos wouldn’t upload at first into the original photo-sharing program, so we had to figure out an alternative to this. This took about an hour of one class for our Professor and the technicians to figure out. Eventually, they figured out a way to make it work. I was one of the first students in the class to have my photos uploaded and scanned so everyone gathered around my desk to see how they came out. EPIC FAILURE. I don’t have the scanned photos anymore because they uploaded to the library’s computer system, but they were horrific. Imagine the photos from above, but Elmo went through a pasta spiralizer! Very scary.

I was disappointed my Elmo wouldn’t work and I figured I might as well not even take my shells pictures. I felt stuck. Fortunately for our class, we had access to a website called Thingiverse.com. This website is comprised of thousands of ready-to-print 3-D models that you can download onto the editing site, MeshMixer.com, and mess with to make it your own. I ended up finding a Hello Kitty, a converse, and a sunglasses scan that I combined to make them into one object. The finished product is Hello Kitty sitting in big converse shoes, wearing the sunglasses. To make these my own, I played around with the textures and shaping on the sides. I also wrote out “Killer Queen” on the shoes in bubble effect.

Vessel

For the vessel project, we were required to create casts of a fruit and a Kitsch object. A Kitsch object is a mass-produced, tacky object that typically appeals to the popular style of art rather than high art. The Kitsch object I chose was a honey bottle in the shape of a bear.

The first thing we had to do was take clay and form it around half of our object. We had to create a sort of flat ring type structure around the halfway point of our object, where we could create the divide of the two plaster casts.

After creating the clay ring and half point, we had to make our plaster. We did this by filling a bucket about and inch and a half with cold water and putting in the plaster powder until the powder piled up to look like a mountain.

Next, we had to mix our plaster and get to work. We first flicked the plaster onto his exposed half of our fruit until it was entirely covered. Once we covered the whole thing, we began putting thicker amounts of plaster on top of the flicking we did. After we used all the plaster one that side, we waited until it dried. You knew when it was ready to be flipped over when the plaster went from really warm to cooling down. When it was ready, we could flip it over, peel off the clay ring, and start plastering on the other side. It was the same routine, and the end result looked like a frosted cake. We did this same process for both our objects.

Once the plaster cake was done drying and cooled off, we had to shave down the sides to find the line between the two molds so the can be separated. After they were separated we had to sand down the inside so they were smooth for the next step. With the molds prepared, we could start putting the clay inside to made our casts of our fruit and Kitsch object, my honey bear. We were required to make four casts of both objects.

When the four casts were made, we were able to start the vessel production. For my vessel, there was really no rhyme or reason for the structure of my vessel, I just started playing. I ended up creating a round vessel and implemented holes all over the walls to create texture. I chopped and attached my objects in different ways to create a dynamic piece. My favorite part of this project was painting. Again, there was no rhyme or reason for how I painted it, I just went for it. After finishing the paint job I constructed a narrative. The narrative is that my vessel is a space ship run by a pink, Honey Bear Pirate. There’s two control panels on board with him, a red Honey Bear soldier on the side of the vessel for war, and the head of his enemy on the bottom of the ship for display.

Kitsch Questions

What does the word “etymology” mean?
The origin of a word and the development of its meaning

Define “Kitsch”
considered to be in poor taste but appreciated in an ironic or knowing way

Define “Ubiquity”
The fact of appearing everywhere or being very common

Why was the word “kitsch” used to describe both “objects” and “a way of life” in the early 20th century? In your answer describe the “objects” and “the way of life” that came before that time.   How was it different?
“Kitsch” is used to describe both “objects” and “a way of life” because in the early to mid 20th century, mas production and mass culture were two commonalities among the era. “Objects” were being mass produced by factories, like cars, TVs, radios, toys, clothes, etc. Kitsch was a “way of life” because it made art more accessible to everyone through its easy access, unlike before when art was more scarce.

Explain what is meant in the reading by “Two Tears of Kitsch”. Give some examples of objects in culture that do what this statement describes: “Kitsch’s ubiquity as “the faked article that surrounds and presses in” [11] obscures–some would claim consumes–the reality that it imitates.” He (Broch) compared the difference between art and kitsch to the absolute schism between good and evil: “The Anti-Christ looks like Christ, acts and speaks like Christ, but is all the same Lucifer.

Why did Greenberg see Kitsch as a threat to High Culture?Greenberg saw Kitsch as a threat to High Culture because he believed it was similar to Avante Garde art, and there were only two options left for artists. They could be influenced by the old ways of Avante Garde art or fall into the trap of the over-produced, mainstream Kitsch.

Who was Clement Greenberg? (Yup! Google it!)

Clement Greenberg was an art critic from the late 20th century. He is considered to be one of the greatest visual art critics of all time. He would write his critiques occasionally under the pseudonym K. Hardesh.

Three Forms

The project “3 Forms” consisted of a three part project; linear, planar, solid. The definitions of the types of forms are…

Linear: exaggerated length dimension, longer than high or wide, minimum mass

Planar: length and width; curved or irregular surface that have two exaggerated dimensions

Solid: length, width, thickness are equal.

The first form we worked on was linear. Our materials included different wires that ranged from thin brass or silver wire to moderately thin steel, dark wire. We were given pliers for manipulating the wire, but a lot of us ended up using our hands as well. After many different attempts at wire manipulations, I ended up finding myself with a jellyfish-type form at the end.

For the second form, we created a planar form. This time, our materials consisted of cardboard that we were asked to bring in. I will admit this project was much tougher than the wire manipulation because cardboard is much stiffer and harder to bend and curl. I made the mistake of coming up with an idea for the project and working from there instead of letting the idea come to me through playing with the medium. I created a mermaid tail that didn’t look so much like a mermaid tail, so I decided to change my approach. I went back in and just free-balled the whole thing. Through some destruction of my first cardboard piece, I ended up manipulating the mermaid tail into an elongated cardboard tube type piece, with a V cut into one end to accent the diamond and V textures I carves and cut into the sides.

Now for the third piece, we were required to make a solid form using plastic (trash bags), tape, and either just air inside or stuffing. Considering how poorly my pieces have turned out when I plan them out, I decided to just mess around with the materials to begin with. This process was much more successful than the previous one. After some trial and error with manipulating how to seal the trash bag with the tape, I created a triangle shaped, solid form. I first attempted to just fill it with air, but the air kept escaping through tiny holes, so I just stuffed it with the fluffy stuffing and sealed it. I then decided to add some tape onto the flat side of the form to add some character, make it look like a face.

Finally, I combined the three forms. The final step of the “Three Forms” project. The inspiration for my final piece design came from the face I had added to the solid form. The personification of the third form inspired the idea of making a man out of the three. The first form made from wire ended up being a body for my little man. The second piece made of cardboard turned into the cape. Lastly, the third form of plastic became the head of the man. I’m very happy with my final result, and I think it’s interesting how the three forms came together to create a man figure when the three alone look like totally different art pieces.

Suit in Wonderland

Our 3-D Design class started and finished our third project, designing a Teflon Suit. For me, this project was both fun and tedious. We were allowed to choose our theme and run with it however we wanted, as long as we included repetition, contrast, pattern, and a linear element. In theory, this sounds like a piece of cake, but this is where the “tedious” aspect comes in because drawing out your idea is one thing, but bringing it to life is a whole other ball park.

The process: So first things first, we were required to do some research on different themes and ideas we may want to incorporate to our theme. I immediately thought “trippy”. I knew one thing I wanted to incorporate was a checkerboard pattern, and that kind of the birth of the Alice in Wonderland theme. After brainstorming some theme ideas, we were asked to free draw out some random theme scenes, without any rules other than make it totally random.

Our homework was to choose 1 of the few themes we came up with and complete 3 pages of suit maquettes for them. The next class we discussed our maquettes and once we were set on our “final” theme look on the suit, we were able to get started.

The next three class periods were dedicated to working on our suits. Our final critique was on Thursday, February 28th. Everyone had to put their suits on and do a short catwalk for the class so we could see the full 360 view.

Reflection: This project was unique and fun in many ways, mostly in the brainstorming process. With the positive, there was some struggle. The hardest part of creating our designs on the suit was actually drawing them out on the material because it was so thin and would get picked up by the sharpies, messing up your line work if you weren’t careful. Another personal struggle I faced was my detail work. I had a lot of small detail ideas I wanted to incorporate into the whole project, but I was over ambitious. I ended up spending a lot more time on the detail work than i wanted to, especially in the checkered pattern. All in all, I enjoyed this project. It was especially cool to see everyone else’s finished projects.

Drawing in Space

One of the first major projects my 3-D class has explored is a drawing in space piece. The basic process for our project was to come up with a list of five random objects and drawing them to appear as if they’re floating in space.

The Process:

The first thing we did was make five lists of items belonging to a specific category, such as “items in my closet” or “items in my fridge.” Once we created these lists, we would mix up the items into five more lists, being cautious not to have an imbalance of geometric to organic items or elongated to spherical items. So from our original 5 categories, we created five final, miscellaneous lists. The next thing we did was sketch out the different lists, drawing the items from memory and playing with their perspective, values, and shape. Our professor Marylena assigned us homework to draw four different sketches for the following class. In that class period, we decided which sketch we liked best and got some feedback on what was working, what could be improved, and what could be added for a better composition. Our homework that day was to construct a solid layout for a final draft. After a long, backbreaking weekend of creating our final draft, we came in for our critique and thought we were finally finished… Not quite. Professor Marylena had us all take a piece of bigger, finer drawing paper to redraw our final drafts with the feedback our peers had given us. Once we had finished drawing that, we were finally done. Let me tell you, the second final drawing left a much better taste in my mouth.

Reflection:

This project required a lot of time, effort, and brainpower to try to imagine items in space that may not have even been there at all. On one hand, it was a tedious, tiring process. On the other, I ultimately really enjoyed this project and definitely think this was a great experience. At first, it was really difficult to draw objects in different perspectives. We were trying to have the lines make sense and angled correctly, then searching for the right value felt extremely discouraging. After all was said and done, this project ended up proving to be an example of the biggest cliche of all; “Practice makes perfect.” Practice really is the key to creating a successful drawing, especially this one. I believe the second-to-final critique we did was one of the best things we could’ve done at that point in the project. From an insider perspective, a member of the class, no one really felt super confident in their pieces at this stage. We all got kind of fed up with the piece we had and couldn’t necessarily understand what to fix, so we were just happy to be done. As disappointing as it felt to have to redraw our final draft for our final piece (and draw it bigger), it really, really was worth it. When we all came in with our final pieces the next class, there was an atmosphere of overall positive energy. EVeryone’s confidence was higher. We had better compositions with more confident line work and values. This project was actually quite fun in the long run and I’m glad we got to do this. In conclusion, I believe my drawing skills and eye for perspective have improved significantly through the process of this project.

Ch. 3: Context is Everything

The question at hand here is “Are the terms “queer” and “dyke” offensive or terms to be celebrated?”

It really doesn’t matter how you use them or the direct context of the word, it’s the audience who is going to interpret your words however the words mean to them. So someone who may be offended by the words “queer” or “dyke” could potentially be offended by what you’re saying. On the other hand, someone who infect identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community may find humor/empowerment in the words and be okay with whatever it is you are trying to convey in your statements.

As it was said in the reading, it’s easy as the reader to walk away from a reading with only the interpretation of the author’s words as your own. This makes reading “disinteresting” and “not revolutionary”. I have to agree. I personally try to understand what a person is trying to say with no bias of my own. However, if someone says something that does offend me, I call it out from the jump to understand if I just interpreted their words wrong or if they are being rude.

I think the terms “queer” and “dyke” have gravitated from offensive terms to empowering terms because the communities which these words are targeted towards have claim the words as their own. They no longer let the words have power over them because they are much stronger than any word could ever try to make them seem. The terms “queer” and “dyke” are words that I personally never use to avoid offending anyone. I do think these are words that are okay to use in the right context. Context is everything. They should never be used in a derogatory or hateful way.

Ch. 2 Q. 1: Authorship

This piece of writing can be read as both a parody or a serious piece of writing. Of course, the author may have intended for it to be silly and inconsequential, but the way a piece of work is perceived by an audience is out of an author’s control. For example, the movie Pulp Fiction is a cult-classic for many people; it’s part of a canon. Just because many people love it and think it’s brilliant, dark humor doesn’t mean I have to view it as so. I could think it’s confusing and distasteful (I don’t.) Also, the movie Rocky Horror Picture Show is another cult-classic. I love that movie. I think it’s funny, entertaining, and legendary, but the true intention of this film was to parody 60’s science-fiction film culture.

Ch. 1: Theory in a Studio Art Class

“Theory begins as action.” Theory is, to me, each individual’s reality of the world, and how they believe it works. My theory is karma exists and can/will punish or reward you for every and any deed you do. Some people can agree with this theory. Others may call it BS. Whether they agree, disagree, or agree to disagree, my views remain the same.

I think theory could be useful to a studio art class if everyone was able to accept one another’s truths at face value and not necessarily hold any grudge. Theory could be an incredibly useful tool for getting to know how one another’s minds operate in thought processes and even daily life. What techniques work best for them and why. Maybe their way of manipulating a wire is much easier than my way. Maybe I could give someone some tips for using the pliers effectively to tuck their wire end in. Theory could help a classroom grow to understand each other better and work better together.