Identity Sounds Like

I believe that objects can contain value and meaning beyond monetary worth. This concept is something I have been experimenting this semester through making. Objects include much more than the materials from which they are formed. There is the ideation, planning, prototyping, and reflection within almost every object I make. During reflection, so many avenues can be explored.

Processes      Ideation, prototyping, material experimentation, artifact creation.
Materials        Clay, multicolored threads, wooden hoop.
Produced      December 2018

My first idea with this project was to create a ‘totem’ that expressed how society has evolved and the directions that lay before it. However, after sketching, I crafted a small prototype of chimes made out of wood. After feedback, a question of whether the final piece would represent me or a call to action creating awareness for multiple people was presented. Could the piece be an artifact that could be modified for multiple users?

I began by creating the support system with linen thread and a wooden ring. I went to the shop and wandered the aisles looking for a new material that I have not worked with before.

Ultimately, clay was the medium I chose. While making the rectangular tiles, I was still unsure of how I would alter them. After some time I thought about how each tile could represent a person that has shaped my identity in some fashion, and then I narrowed it further to include only women.

Creating a grid of nine dots, I experimented with a system of uppercase letters that could be stitched on to the tiles. Back and forth I would go from the list of women I was creating and working with the clay tiles. It was a very intuitive process of creation. Once the list was final, I collected each person’s favorite color to use for the first letter and just picked the second color freely. However, my mother and her mother received yellow because that is a color of mourning in Mexico. The first few tiles have no tails. I decided after that I liked the visual of the tails. Improvisation was also a factor in this artifact. Once assembled, and with the tiles thoroughly dried it makes a nice hollow clinking sound when the tiles bump against each other. I want to recreate the piece using a ceramic or kiln-dried clay to hear how those materials sound.