For the final project, Professor Hickman gave us a lecture and assigned the due date for sketches of the processes. It was vital that we started with the sketches because each process adds up together to form the final product. Since we only had one month to finish the project, Professor urged us to start early.
First, we measured the height, width, and length of our desks to figure out how to group the tables. Since there were 17 classes, I made various sketches of how to organize the tables, vertically, horizontally, 7 tables straight in the center and 5 on either side, and vice versa. The class voted to decide which design to go for, and majority of us voted for the one with two sets of 8 tables vertically in the center and one at the end. Finally, we had to come up with our own themes for out table. Irene and I both decided to show the Korean culture, so we could not be next to each other for the picnic party.
Illustrator files for the place mat and utensils
I had a hard time with the laser lab, as it was my first time actually using the machine. After I figured out the correct setting, I sent my Illustrator files to create a set of spoon and chopsticks. I added a shape of tiger and the current president of Korea on my spoon; for my chopsticks, I engraved stripes and traditional Chinese character (used in Korea) meaning ‘Korean dress’ at the bottom.
For the table mat, I designed a circle that shows the traditional Korean dress both in shape and in Hangul (‘한복’ means Korean dress). I also added mugunghwa (althea, national flower) and the Sungnyemun Gate (national treasure #1). At the top, I put traditional Korean hats, gat, as well.
I made one cup and two plates for ceramics.
On the cup, I carved in the shape of Taegeuk, which resembles the Pepsi symbol.
After deciding which food to cast, I made two plates, one for yakgwa (honey cookies) and one for green rice cakes. For the yakgwa plate, I used an x-acto knife to carve a magpie sitting at the top of a pine tree in the center (national bird and tree) and traditional 3-colored Taegeuk, which was used more often in the past, on the outer part. On the other plate, I drew the Namsan tower and Mt. Baekdu in the middle and added the map of South Korea on the outer part.
Unfortunately, my ceramics were not fully dried to be fired before the due date. It would have been nice if I finished them in advance, which could have allowed me to paint and fire.
I came up with various food to cast, such as pork, rice cake, and kimchi. However, I faced some challenges doing so, as some of them would be difficult to cast. Eventually, I decided to cast yakgwa and green rice cakes, which are popular traditional snacks in Korea.
plaster cast for yakgwa
I used a wide aluminum foil tray and cups to cast them on. After casting, I removed some sharp parts and painted yakgwa in brown and rice cakes in green to resemble their actual colors.
Even though I learned how to cast objects from the orientation, it was still a bit hard for me, and I had to ask professor for some assistance as I was working on it. During the process, I learned that I should be careful not to waste too much alginate or plaster.
I tried to make my poster not too similar to my other designs. I wanted to include King Sejong in my initial design, which is known to be the greatest king in the history of Korea. However, I realized it would be difficult to carve in all the details of the face on the linoleum, so I decided to focus on the royal robe worn by the kings. Instead of the original complicated patterns, I added the Turtle Ship sailing at the Ocean, which was used to protected the sea of Chosun Dynasty. Above the circle, I put the characters for “Great King Sejong.”
After tracing my final sketch on the linoleum and carving with chisels, I chose brown color to print the posters. Although I had to try a few times before I could get the copies I wanted, I got used to it by the time I got all 20 posters. I initially tried to print the poster like stamps, but then I realized I just had to cut papers in the size of linoleum and print one at a time. Since I put extra sepia oil to minimize the uncolored parts, it took me longer to dry them. Also, the fact that the sepia tones were slightly different for each poster which concerned me.
I hung four posters on the following places: the entrance of my apartment, Target, traffic light/street lamp near my house, and the telephone booth.
I had to iron my fabric at the fourth floor of the Making Center to remove the wrinkles.
Since my theme is Korean culture, I came up with various tablecloth designs I could make that could symbolize it. My final design was the pattern of Taegeuk in a shape of heart.
We gathered in Washington Square Park at 4 pm, hanging our posters in front of the benches.
I organized all my works, including my place mat, utensils, cup and plates, and casted food on top of the tablecloths. We went in the order from the top right from where I sat; when we critiqued the artworks of our peers, the presenters explained the reasons for and the symbols of their ceramics, casts, and laser cuts.