Monday, June 6, 2016

Project Music is Life

Hey guys!

      I'm baaaaack! This post is one that I promised not too long ago when I told you about Juliek's postponement: the repurposing of Juliek's canvas.

      Here's the story: I have this really cool friend who's really into music, and her birthday's coming up. I've  known her about two years now, but up until her birthday I hadn't spent that much time with her. That created an issue, because I didn't exactly know what she likes in music and stuff. I was told she likes a couple bands in particular, so I redid the cover of the Beatle's Abbey Road album cover for her cake (it was legit, but I can't find a photo, so awkward...). But when it comes more specifically to what to give her, I was too much of an artist to give her money or a gift card.

      I came up with this idea to make a 3-D suplture heart with earbuds growing out of it into this tree-like shape. I'd been saving some dead earbuds of mine for a few years with the intent of using them for art, so I figured this would be a perfect idea. So then, I started working through the particulars: what medium to make the heart sculpture from (not too heavy and out of a material that can be attached to the canvas without falling off, but still detailed and pretty), what shaped canvas to use (it had to be one of the 9ish I already own), what to paint the background of the canvas, and what glue to use to put it all together.

      I decided that with the materials I had on hand, the heart could not be made out of paper maché (I don't have much experience with it, and I wanted this to turn out nice, not as an experiment). Likewise, I couldn't use Plaster of Paris, like I did on my last project for English class (far too heavy and messsy-looking, even with a newspaper base to lighten it). Hot glue sculpture would not work for the same reasons as Plaster of Paris, not to mention all attempts to use it as a sculpture medium have thus far failed miserably. That meant I was running out of sculpture options, fast. That is, until I remembered back to my sophomore year sculputre class, when we made cardboard sculptures.
      Cardboard is ideal for this project because: (1) it is an extremely cheap, lightweight material that is easily glued onto an acrylic-covered canvas, (2) it is easily manipulated and fairly exact, (3) it is easily colored with cheap acrylic paint, and lastly, (4) it is visually simple and appealing to the eye when done correctly. Not to mention I have previous experience with this material.

      Next for some of the other details. First, the main reason that the Juliek project has been put on hold is because I decided that a matte black background would be striking and perfect for this project, since most of the dead earbuds I will be using are mosly white. I went ahead and put on a whole fresh coat of paint on the Julied canvas, since I had sketched and partially painted the violin on the canvas already, and there were a few smudges and stains on it from heaven knows what. Next, I went through my adhesives to see what would work the best. When in doubt, E6000 industrial-strenght craft adhesive will save the day, but it has possiblycarcinogenic fumes and must be used outside, not to mention it takes forever to dry, so I passed over him. Hot glue was an option, but I've had some bad experiences trying to get hot glue to stick to certain materials, and I didn't want to chance that acrylic-painted canvas and plastic-coated earbuds were some of those. Wood glue, glue sticks, and Elmer's were clearly inappropriate for the task in my view, so that left me with the magical Aleene's Tacky Glue, and it worked like a charm.

           My next post will go more into the creation of the heart and the use of the earbuds. Stay tuned!

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