Take 2

     For this semesters project, 6 questions were asked in the proposal and this is how I answered those questions.  Now, not everything is here as I had finished this with time to spare and time to think about where this new project is going.  Any additional thoughts will be in red to mark them as after this initial draft.

     The questions (or statements) to be answered, to give the answers some context, are as follows...

1) Describe the project you will work on this semester.
2) What will you deliver?(final form)
3) List the resources, labs, and any specific instructions you might need.
4) Include a budget.
5) Include a timetable.
6) Describe success or successful completion of the project.  Describe how your artwork, process, and artist process should be evaluated.

1) During the creation of last semesters project, I started to think of glass as a compositional element, not necessarily the end all solution.  One of the resources I've started to look at has been the blog How Is This Glass, which encapsulates some of the ideas I've been recently thinking about, before I had even found this blog, and can found at the following link...

     This blog highlights artists that are using glass, or more importantly it's properties such as light, restraint, and as a skin or membrane.  Some of these qualities manifested themselves in the last project and exploiting these qualities is something that I want to continue to explore through the rest of the program.  Combining glass, blown or flat, with other materials is an exciting prospect being utilized by modern glass artists today.

The Log, collaborative effort with several designers and architectural firms

Wine Glass by Dulique on Flickr

Kiko Gianocca, Swan 2009, 18k gold and blown glass

The previous artists/collaborators are using the qualities that glass inherently has, optics... which directly effects the light passing through it, form, strength, and container.  Last semesters project was a lot of reduction of ideas, a distillation, to find a more cohesive piece.  Like the artists above I would like to keep exploring the qualities of glass, either in glass or glass-like materials such as plastic, as a vocabulary to inform future work.
     Next semesters project is a mixed media construction.  It will be a corridor approximately 3-3.5 ft wide by 8 ft tall by 6-9 ft in length.  The dimensions are not finalized yet, but will be by the start of next semester.  The main component will be monofilament line.  Lots of monofilament line.  The walls and interior ceiling of the corridor will be made out of different thicknesses of monofilament line, to make the structure appear hair-like or something like spider silk.  I think monofilament will give a glass like feel and surface while keeping it safe for people to walk through.  Small glass vessels will be hung throughout the walls and ceiling of this corridor, some filled with small keepsakes, some filled with fluid or perhaps resin, some empty, and some sandblasted (or maybe all sandblasted, maybe all will be empty).  I am also looking to make this tunnel shake when someone walks through it.  Sensors would be placed inside the tunnel and when tripped would shake the tunnel gently.  If I used some solid sculpted glass "ribs" then they would make noise as they hit each other.

     This project is also an opportunity to work collaboratively with a another artist named Beth Haeseler.  She would be producing small flat glass panels to hang among the vessels in this project.  Beth and I have talked a bit about what she should do and we both agree that subtle imagery  would be preferred.  She and I had a chance to talk over break, she was in town visiting family but she lives in Portland, Maine, while we didn't nail anything down she seemed excited by the prospect of working together.  I will keep in contact with Beth and see if she can commit to a project like this, she is busy herself with her own classes to teach at a local university.  So time, and factoring another artist, are key points to this project.* At this time Beth is getting ready for her 3 classes plus work, I need to contact her over the weekend to see if she can still commit to this, and at the very least talk more about her part in this.*

2) The monofilament will be hung from canvas that is covering a welded steel frame. I am thinking the monofilament will be poked through the canvas and then melted, say with a lighter, to pressed and stuck to the canvas.  That frame will be hung from the ceiling. The interior ceiling height will be ~7 feet tall (this should be tall enough for someone of my height to walk through) while the exterior height will be ~8 feet.  I think that once this is lit well, the monofilament will have a glow to it from the light traveling in the plastic.  I think the project will test a lot of people's mettle as they start to walk through it and it starts to move.  That coupled with the sound from glass hitting other glass will provoke the fight or flight response.   The idea of making it seem not safe while keeping it as safe as possible is something I wanted to do with first project but I think it's better suited for this project. *This next part is why having people to talk to about your ideas can be very helpful.  Nate Gorgen, a fellow MFA, had suggested using mesh or screen instead.  It is a perfect solution.  With the canvas idea, the structural integrity of the canvas was a concern, having to put a hole in the canvas for the monofilament to go through wasn't the problem... the number of holes so close to each other was.  Problem solved with the screen... thank you Nate.*

3) This project will use the Sculpture, Glass, and MFA Studios in different aspects of the fabrication.  Sculpture for welding and cold working any glass, Glass for vessel fabrication and MFA for final construction as the final size is larger than what I have as studio space in the Sculpture lab at the moment.*I'm also using the MFA space for stretching the monofilament as straight as possible, basically unwinding the spools on to larger spools to make strands of straight monofilament that are at least 6 feet in length.*
4) Doing some initial searching on the internet I have found large spools of monofilament for about $13 @ 6000  yards/ spool.  There is a limit in place of how many I can order, I can order 4 spools, that would get me about 24,000 yards.  I would then need to supplement this thinner monofilament with some larger gauges, but I can find that here in town.  The steel for the frame is pretty much free, the canvas will be about $40(roughly, I haven't had to by canvas in a long time), I already have cable to hang the project, new fixtures will not be that expensive.  A book or two on basic electronics would help out as well, sensors could be cannibalized from security lights from Habitat for Humanity at a greatly reduced cost.  The motors are still being researched, maybe toys since I don't need a huge amount of power.  I'm thinking the total cost should be around $600(+,-).
Monofilament ___________$70, $12.95/spool @ 22,800 yards total, so far
Steel__________________$0, the school's stock steel is fine
Total(so far)____________$138
This project should come in  WELL under what I had spent for the first semester project and I have still have $200 of seed money for any emergencies I haven't thought of.  I should have most of the monofilament before the semester begins, and hopefully the frame welded together as well, trying to get as much done as possible before the semester starts.
5) The timetable will be... laborious.  There will be a lot of the same for this project as there was for the last project.  A lot of work and trying to remain flexible as things pop up which they always do. This can be anything form suppliers dragging their feet to an emergency with one of my students.*As far as I can tell, most of the time for this will be in the monofilament prep, everything else is pretty straight forward.*
6) Success can be determined by being able to finish the project while being able to teach at the same time.  The last project was a great test of what I can do in a limited amount of time.  This project builds on that and then adds teaching to the end goal as well.  For my artwork, I am still trying to use glass as a compositional element rather than a vessel plunked down a pedestal.  For example, if glass were red paint then the last project would be very red, I want to try and use less red for this project.  The process builds upon what I already know, and I can't say at this time if it will really expand over the course of this project.  In terms of artistic progress, using glass as a compositional element was an idea that started last semester.  This is something that I want to continue to explore as the MFA program continues.  Slowing myself down and simplifying what I want the viewer to see was paramount for the last project, and I feel that this is something to keep and nurture as my career starts to take root.