Sunday, September 14, 2008

10 Day Project: Day 1

For one of our classes, we have to pick an unusual-for-art-therapy material and then do something every day using that material.  Then we have to write a response paper (of course).  My material is corn.  I'll post my daily works and papers here, too, because... why not?


As a last-minute decision, I switched my material to corn. I was going to work with seeds, but was intimidated by the material. I therefore switched to corn, which seemed more a manageable material for 10 short projects.

I was inspired by the versatility of corn. There are so many different textures, colors, possibilities. Today, I worked with the husks, which can be wide, flat and paper-like, or torn into small fibers. At first, I tried weaving, which is something I might come back to on another day when perhaps I don’t feel as overloaded as today - weaving will take more time and patience than I had today. While trying to think of what to do, I began to knot the small fibers I had made by tearing up the husks, then I knotted a two pieces together, and then created a small chain. This process was appealing to me, because knotting is very basic, and it created an almost cyclone-esque rope. I enjoyed the possibilities of this rope. I put it around my neck like a necklace, or on my head like a crown. My cat also enjoyed the spikes of the husks sticking out. I also liked the smell of the husks. Corn has good associations with me, of camping and barbecues and friends and family. Smelling the husks while working with this simple and familiar process of knotting was very satisfying. I also enjoyed the idea of taking many short pieces and creating a long, elastic and relatively strong rope.

Corn husks can be very difficult to work with. They vary in width, length, thickness, curliness, and strength. I experimented with poking wires through pieces of the husk, which either destroyed the piece or created an interesting ornament. The husks will eventually dry out or rot, and in the meanwhile collect fruit flies and other insect friends. This is not a special attribute of corn, but I do wonder what the pieces I create will look like by the time I bring them to class.

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