FIN 131 Unit 2


Rust Photoshoot #1 April 10

I selected the most gestural (and small) pieces of metal and displayed them on a piece of wood. As I worked on these, I imagined that these were small figures, or “inhospitable dolls”: my hands got dirty from the rust, and the rust tore my skin as I worked with it. Rust is unpleasant to hold, although it is beautiful to look at.

After taking and posting the previous photographs, I decided that I wanted to try to use a rusty metal base for the gestures instead of the wooden base. The following photographs are the result of that change. Exchanging the wooden base for a metal one was a good choice as it removed the smoothness of the wood from the display, replacing it with a texture that matches the smaller pieces and doesn’t distract from them, as the wood did. The wooden base created a “display” type of look; the metal base creates the illusion that the piece is both the small individual pieces, and a whole piece.

Reflection: As I worked through this section of the project, I realized that unlike the Unit 1 project, which elicited feelings in me as I worked on the project, this section of Unit 2 did not involve the depth of feeling. I experienced some disappointment at that, and my thought is that for me “making” needs to move me through from concept to design, planning, experimenting, re-working…and somewhere in that process I lose the planning parts and fall into a place where who I am and what I want to say and how I want to say it all combine in whatever it is I am making. I didn’t achieve this flow in this project – yet – but I’m sitting here with all this rusted metal.

Somehow I haven’t yet made the connection between my head and my heart, and that connection, for me, is the whole point of making, and that connection feels like the certainty of two magnets clamping together.

Photoshoot #2 metal April 11

Something was bothering me overnight about the metal piece; this morning I worked again on the piece, and realized that what was missing for me was a sense of relationship among the pieces that were also in awkward relationship with the base. I rearranged and re-photographed the metal pieces, and think I have come closer to what I am trying to achieve, which is a sense of a dynamic tension between the various metal pieces that are attached to the base, attached either directly or attached by space between. The following photographs capture the changes somewhat, but I still have not reached the point in creating that seems an important part of my creative process, which is to reach the point at which my feelings are deeply engaged and I know at some level that I have expressed those feelings in some way. I think this may be because I have not myself fully connected to the medium. Or I cannot flex the medium enough to make it express what I want and must work with the shapes and sizes that I find.

Inhospitable dolls photo shoot phase 3 April 11

In this section of the project, I sat down beside all the metal pieces that were left after the previous section. I was thinking about the fact that I had not really addressed my theme of “inhospitable dolls”, so I decided to see what type of human figure I could create with the metal pieces. Here is what I came up with:

This doll is made entirely from metal pieces reclaimed from beaches, the side of the highway, and abandoned vehicles found in the woods around the Comox Valley. I travelled on my ebike with a pair of metal cutters. Most of the metal is rusted, with a few exceptions: the bolt on the right knee, the chrome around the “head” of the figure, and the chrome ring at the top of the figure used to hold up the figure. But all found objects. I used new wire to bind everything together.