Drawing Through Making Centre – Final Project

     For my final project, I was inspired by Joseph Cornell’s works displayed in Moma. I like his idea of making shallow wooden boxes into small poetic theatres. His assemblage is full of distorted surrealism and imagination. The collision of animal and machinery creates an interesting narrative.

     In my initial proposal, I was planning to draw machinery and parrots. After further consideration, I thought an autonomy of heart intertwined with flowers would have a stronger visual impact. I kept the idea of combining laser-cutting and drypoint etching, and then began with brainstorming on my sketchbook. Later, I scanned my sketches of heart with flower and outlined in Photoshop, while the gears were drawn in Illustrator. The results were satisfactory. Since I chose wood as the material to laser cut out gears, I like the natural burn mark left on the wood. The texture of etching also created rough strokes as if there were scratches on the heart. The frame of my box was made of foam board. Some of the gears were sticking on the heart, whereas two of them were hanging at the front to create a different dimension. Unfortunately, the knife I used to cut the foam board was not sharp enough, so the effect did not meet my expectation. If I had more time, I wished I could have made a wooden frame.  

     During the making process, these two techniques gave me very distinct feelings. In the laser lab, I was letting the machine to do the precise work, and I already had an idea of how the piece would come out. In contrast, etching was more uncontrollable, and I could feel the roughness of every line. Although I was tracing my own drawing, the outcome was more unpredictable. Such different feelings reiterate with the theme of my work: the juxtaposition of man-made machinery and life matters.

Indeed, laser lab and print lab are two of my favourite sessions in this course. I am thankful for the various techniques I learned from DTMC and hope that I can elaborate on my future project in these labs again to improve my illustrative skills.

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