The figurine project.

I’ll admit, this one is a tad experimental; I let myself have free reign.

This project does a few things. These are my perceptions & ideations formed while making this piece:

  • to display items in a new light
  • why do we make knick knacks?
  • can time & money be better spent on manufacturing other things?
  • to poke fun at something (knick knacks, figurines) that serves no important purpose
  • what is important in life, how have we changed as a culture over time?
  • the mock environment, although kitschy, imitates a sense of realism with green hills, foliage and the relative size and positioning of the figurines; the simple shapes and hue structure create a sort of ‘contemporary realism;’ the hardware and wire contribute to the sense of the figurines being ‘tacked up’ or ‘bluntly fastened down’ and speak to the fact that they are puropsely placed on the wood, much like they are purposely placed as display pieces on bookshelfs and countertops, etc…
  • what kind of environmental impact is there to manufacture products like these figurines?
  • as humans, this is a representation of our habits–we feel the need to produce in a certain manner, as we also have the need to be mindlessly entertained with the comfort of having knick knacks
  • to explore the ironic beauty of ‘junk’ Americana
  • this particular junk Americana speaks to wildlife and rustic environments
  • if the talent and skill used to create figurines was channeled elsewhere, could you imagine the possibilities?
  • clutter is clutter, let’s face it, knick knacks fall under this category–clutter creates unnecessary chaos

In any case, if the above list doesn’t register with you, at least this is something odd to look at. Develop your own opinion of what this piece says to you. Just in case you’re wondering how to make this, here’s what I did:

  1. gather supplies needed :
    1. wood backing (plywood) with dimensions of a frame
    2. a frame (found object) to display the piece when finished
    3. foam board
    4. paint (acrylic or craft paint)
    5. brushes for painting
    6. figurines–I chose animals that could be found in a real environment of relative size from various thrift and antique shops (this exhibits how readily available these figurines are from many years ago until the present; these are also found objects)
    7. glue or ModPodge
    8. other materials for attaching the figurines such as wire and nails
    9. paper and pencil, pen and/ markers for sketching
    10. tools to chisel figurines, if needed
    11. manipulated photographs of ground material (trees, plants, sky, etc.); this is something specific to my medium of choice, add a touch of what makes you unique as an artist
  2. paint figurines
  3. sketch layout of figurines and where to place foam board
  4. cut foam board layers to create the ‘ground’ for the figurines as well as to add depth (do this how you prefer, if you would like to portray an abstract environment, do so as you see fit)
  5. adhere foam board to wood backing
  6. fasten figurines with glue, add other embellishments such as wire and nails if you’d like
  7. lastly, put on the remaining elements, such as photographs or drawings and anything else you see fit
  8. my final piece is very heavy, so I’m not going to hang it on the wall, but if you’d like, hang it and then place the frame you have around it
  9. title your piece, mine is: ‘Americana Unearthed: Trophies of Our Time’

Finally, I leave with this. Exercise your mind and unleash what you’ve got. Who cares if it doesn’t turn out? If anything, you will have learned what NOT to do. Then you can go forth and keep improving your process.

-Kalli

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