No Curtain Required

   by Linda Susan Bowen for Re-Invent a Work of Art (2013)

Inspiration Piece: "minutiae"

Inspiration Artist: Robert Rauschenberg

I started with a rough sketch and choice of color palette for the project. Next I painted the strips of paper that were packed in the box, so that I could use them in lieu of fabric. I had to rethink my process when I realized the coping saw, purchased for the project, would not cut the larger blocks. I decided to use the blocks intact; gluing them together as needed.

After painting the large blocks, I glued two of them together. The thinner pieces of wood were also given several coats of paint, and a couple trimmed using an industrial paper cutter. The 8 x 10 piece of wood was used as a base and I began to play with the pieces; arranging them to allow some uncluttered spaces for movement. Since my inspirational piece was designed for the stage, I felt I needed space as well.

Once I was satisfied with the very basic placement of my construction elements, I began embellishing the wood blocks; stenciling with inks and paint. Cardboard from the lid of the Mystery Box was then ripped and distressed, using a sharp pointed tool, to reveal interesting grain and shapes. I used the cardboard not only for decorative texture, but also in the construction for additional support. I unraveled the hemp rope and used it in two ways. The first was ornamental and the second use was to glue down the wire sculpture. I glued a small piece of cardboard to the top of the embellished block, tied a small length of hemp to the bottom of the wire sculpture, and used the glue to anchor it.

Wire was then wrapped around some of the other wood pieces. I drilled a hole into one of the slim wood pieces so I could attach a piece of wire, to the wire wrapped piece. As I assembled the final piece, I used the white glue to fasten everything down and together as needed. I used the coping saw to cut the floral foam and after painting it, glued it down to my substrate for extra stability.

After I was satisfied with the stability, I added more wire to connect my three primary elements. Wire was also used to further embellish the piece by fashioning letters. I feel this compliments the other ways that I used wire by utilizing the wire for both construction and embellishments. The final touch was to hang the paper, faux fabric, strips over the connecting wires.

Tools used : coping saw, drill, tool with a sharp point, paper cutter, stencils, paint, ink, glue (included in kit), c clamp.

Materials used from Mystery Build Box: paper strips, 8 x 10 wood panel, all of the blocks, slim wood panels, cardboard from lid of box, wire, hemp rope, floral foam, canvas, white glue.

I chose Robert Rauschenberg as my inspiration because he very often incorporated ordinary materials into extraordinary works of art.