Monday, May 8, 2017

Artist of the Week -- Maggie Cole

When deciding on how I wanted my "wonky house" to look, I created a sketch of my ideas first. In order to create my house, I wedged a lot of clay and, using the slab roller, made hard slabs. I then measured out the size I wanted my house to be and stacked corresponding sides together to make the cuts all at once to ensure that they'd be similar. I then started to add on the details to the sides of the house by slipping and scoring. These details symbolized parts of my life and my family. After that was all done, I put the sides of my house together by making coils, slipping and scoring, and blending the pieces together. I then let it get bone dry and after it reached that stage it was fired in the kiln. I decided not to glaze my piece due to the intricate details so instead I used acrylic paint and clear coated it with spray paint.
The front of my wonky house depicts my family in a big picture window. This is supposed to mimic the way the house I live in now looks. My house now has a pentagon shape with a brick bottom, yellow sides, a red door, and the previously described picture window. My wonky house has those exact same details. My wonky house also includes the numbers “415” and “300” painted in black. These numbers represent the house number of my former house and my current house number. On the side of my wonky house you can find a graduation cap, diploma, and a large paw print painted in black and white. My whole family graduated from Athens and is from Athens so we take pride in where we come from. I included these symbols because it isn't very often that a whole family shares an alma mater and I thought that detail about my family was interesting. On the other side of my house, you can find the cursive word “Life” etched in. This is surrounded by a computer, apple, money, and a red cross. These represent the professions in my family. My mother is a teacher, my father is a project manager, my brother is working on becoming an accountant, and I would like to go into the medical field. The top of my house has a plane and the world in space. I enjoy traveling and my dad spent a lot of time traveling for his job, so it was a big part of his life. The back of the house is my favorite part. It has the quote, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” carved at the top. Not only is this my senior quote, it is from my favorite movie, and one of my brother’s and father’s favorite movies too: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It's a movie that we can all quote from memory and I felt that that quote should be included because the quote really does have a deep meaning behind it. Life does move fast and you don't want to miss it. The back of the house also includes a set of bleachers with a soccer ball, sneaker, basketball, and a swimmer above it. This represents not only the sports my brother and I participated in during high school but the bleachers my parents had to sit in all the time while they supported us. I used warm colors such as the yellow on the sides of the house and the reds and oranges in the brick to give a happy and cozy feeling about the house.

The Artists Habits of the Mind I used would be Stretch and Explore, Observe, and Develop Craft. I really wanted my wonky house to be like my current home so I had to observe how my house was constructed so I could make the wonky house similar. I observed the colors used on the outside of our house so I could accurately portray them on the wonky house. I really had to work on developing my craft with this project. I struggled with putting together the hard slabs and making them all even. It was difficult making it thick enough to support itself but not making it so think that it was tough to carry. Finding the middle ground was hard but I think it turned out fine in the end. The last Habit of the Mind I used was Stretch and Explore. I have traditionally used glazes for all my pieces up until this point. I decided with my house that the best way to make it as realistic as possible was to use acrylic paints. I'm not much of a painter and never really learned how to paint so I really had to go out of my comfort zone with this project. I think that using the acrylics was a good decision (despite my shaky painting skills) because the house has the individual colors that I envisioned.

Overall there were some fails with this house but it has its successes too. I would change how I went about adding some details. I don't like how some details are physically added on while others are etched in or painted on. I would change that to make it uniformly all painted or physically added on. The acrylic paint worked well in displaying the feelings behind the house. I think if I had used glaze and brushed it on there, it might have looked almost impersonal. I think by taking the time to paint all the small details in the exact colors I wanted them shows how much this house means to me because of what it represents.

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