Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Material Strain

When I was assigned to make a material strain that looked like an experiment gone wrong, I started to think of viruses, mold, a snowflake, and an explosion. Making a ten-foot long organism going along the wall of DAAP gave me many ideas. Since we had to have five different mutations, I started thinking of the materials that I could use. Straws, bottle caps, paper plates, and plastic wrap were the things that came to mind. I knew I couldn’t start without having the material right in front of me to experiment. I then went out and bought some dixie cups. It took about and hour to realize what I finally wanted to do with the dixie cups so I knew I had to get the other materials soon to start experimenting. I went home the following weekend and scrounged around the house for materials. I found hemp, straws, an old deck of cards, and clothespins. After finishing the first strand of mutation, I began working on the next one. My sisters and I have always used hemp to make bracelets, so I decided to use my hemp bracelet skills to good use. I was making these hemp bracelets while being forced to watch the Justin Bieber movie when I babysat. Turns out I was working a lot faster then I thought I was because I made ten long strands. After I connected the hemp to the cups I began to make a snake looking head out of cut up straws. I was scared to use the straws because I thought it would make the mutation look crappy but once it was connected it worked out. Once I finished first three mutations, I then went back to add a smooth transition between them. A mutation can’t just appear it has to form. After those three mutations were done I started to work on the final mutations. I started with the last one first because I wanted to connect both materials before I connected them to the other three. When I started to work with the clothespins, I wanted it to look like a twisted DNA strand. Since I already did that with the hemp someone gave me the idea to make it look like a spinal cord by adding cardboard to it. It was hard to keep it altogether so I had to put hemp through the holes. That still wouldn’t hold it together so out came the hot glue. After I got them all connected I started working on my fourth mutation; a deck of cards. I first painted them with a light brown coating of paint to make them look older. Then I decided to just curve them and glue them together. The way I hung the cards gave them a floating effect. Once I got the last two mutations finished I could connect them to the other mutations and give them all transitions. After I was finished one of my friends wanted to mutate with mine so my hemp mutated with her hair. She worked on the transition for that because I didn't want to touch her hair!

When hanging the project on the wall, I had to be mindful of the restrictions. I couldn’t be more than sixteen inches from the wall because people had to be able to walk through the hallway. I also wasn’t allowed to hot glue anything to the wall. However, both of these restrictions had to be broken. I had to move my strain many times to find the right spot for it on the wall. Once I found the right spot, the straw part of my mutation was jutting out more than sixteen inches. I decided since it looked good that way, it was ok to break the rules. When sticking the mutation to the wall, tacs, didn’t hold everything up so I had to bring out the hot glue and stick it to the wall. Hot glue became my best friend for this project.

Altogether, I feel proud of what I accomplished in this project and how fast I accomplished it. I was one of the firsts ones to get finished because I managed my time wisely. This assignment helped me branch out with materials and my ideas. Now I am ready to work more in 3-D.

Here is a slide show of the pictures! Click!

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