Today, I decided to work with the kernels. I began by holding the ear over the stove to burn some of the kernels so that I could get a wider variation of color. This had some surprising results! I didn’t realize that the corn would literally pop off of the ear when exposed to the bare flame! At first, I was afraid that the ear was catching on fire and would spit fiery kernels all over the kitchen. Luckily, all that happened just a surprising sound and some small pieces of kernel on the stove, but to be safe I stopped burning the corn.
Originally, I was going to make a mosaic of kernels. I am still considering this for another day, but today I wanted to do something inspired by a photo of a 10-day project from a previous year. The person had taken pieces out of a potato and strung them on a wire, then attached the wire to the potato so it was as if the potato pieces were a kind of tail. I cut the kernels off of the cob, strung them on wire, and then reattached the wire to the cob. Because there were so many kernels on the wire, I was able to twist it around the cob a couple of times, creating a kind of cyclone made of corn. I was surprised by the stickiness of the raw corn. I think I expected it to be whole, hard kernels, but instead the kernels were flexible and sticky on the inside.
Working with corn kernels presents its own challenge. They leave a sticky residue, which can be problematic for some people. They can break or be crushed unexpectedly, or can be easily pulled from a fastener. However, because there are so many, the artist has many opportunities to restart if the kernels don’t cooperate at first. I think I will explore working with kernels again later in this project.