Phase 1 Photos!
January 17, 2007
Alright! I finally have some photos of my studio and how all of this crazy cutting of paper is working. Welcome to my studio! It’s on the 3rd floor of the Industrial Design building with a lovely mezzanine view of all who come and go below.
This is my studio, in a shoddy panoramic view. It’s really big! Or at least, it seems huge when you’re used to having a single desk as your studio space and no walls between you and the other 30+ people in the room. I love it–it makes living here 24/7 easy…
So now the process. I do some really quick sketches of various plant patterns, then head to my trusty technology corner and scan all of my drawings into my computer. The department has loaned me their digital projector for the course of this project (which is amazing, thank you so much ID Department!), so from my computer I can instantly project my small sketches onto the wall at any scale I want. On the wall there are a couple cutting mats pinned up with layers of paper just waiting to be cut. Projecting everything is amazing because it means I can go from a small drawing to a gigantic cutout almost instantly. Plus, since it’s projected, I don’t have to draw anything directly on the paper itself so it all comes out crispy clean white in the end. Generally I can cut 4 sheets at a time, but it depends on what type of paper it is and I have several different weights that I’m working with. Since I’m working off of a 3′ wide, 50 yard long roll (and one 4′ wide roll–woohoo!), I just start at the bottom and cut up until I run out of pattern and then consider it done! Starting at the bottom has proven to be essential. I stupidly started at the top once and everything I cut fell down on top of me and it was quite difficult…
Since this project is at least partially about the environment, it’s important to me to waste as little of the paper as possible. Everything I’m using either came from the Recycling Center (meaning it was handed down to me from a larger company/corporation that was about to throw it away), taken from other students that were about to throw out large amounts of paper, or is made of 90% recycled paper. I’m also using both the positive part of each cutting and the negative instead of just throwing the negative away. In these photos, you can see the positive set of one pattern, the negative set, and one sheet that hasn’t been separated yet. This sheet was the bottom of the four so some of the knife cuts didn’t make it all the way through. I’ll probably actually leave it as it is and hang it with both parts still attached in some locations.
As if just filling a room with paper wasn’t enough work, there’s also the issue of the ceiling. The museum will not let anyone attach anything to the ceiling, which means I basically have to build my own dropped ceiling to hang all of the cuttings from. Coincidentally, the room I’m working in has the exact kind of ceiling I intend to build. It’s an aluminum grid system and although you can’t tell from this photo, each cross-member has the profile of an upside-down “T”. I’m going to build a series of wood frames (9 of them) that will have wires secured to them to hang paper off of. The point of this system is so that I can very quickly install the aluminum grid on Feb. 20th and then have all of the wood frames pre-hung so that they can be dropped into place on the aluminum. This way I won’t be scrambling around during my very short installation period trying to hang individual sheets of paper. Know anyone who wants to build a ceiling for me? I’m looking to possibly outsource this work because I’m feeling a little panicked about getting all the paper cut in time!
And of course, the most essential tools to this entire project; knives and endless amounts of blades. (Sorry for the horrible color in this photo… my camera has been dropped a few too many times) I have a feeling I’ll be done with my first 100 pack of blades by the end of this week. Good thing they’re recyclable!