Shaping the Antler
Using an unconventional material; in this project, we shaped found deer antlers. The decisions we made revolved around what to preserve about the natural antler, what to manipulate, and how to emerge a new form. In the first process, we acted on our given antler with various methods of formgiving. We painted this new form white. In the second process, we wrapped our white antlers with colored thread taken from an endangered species, again creating a new way to experience the antler.
Negotionating with the antler was a huge part of the process. While I did have preplanned intention with my antler, the process dictated that I listen and responded to how the antler acted under the forces I was trying to apply. This shaping and forming process was certainly a negotiation wiLeth this unconventional material.
Form is the record of a force acting on a material. Since I was removing parts of the natural antler, I had to remain conscious of and highly sensitive towards the new form that I was creating while proceeding with utmost care and craft. By shaping the antler, I started to show the human forces acting on a natural form.
Learning to understand a new form: As objects that lack utility, these antlers allowed our class to ponder a deeper set of questions that moved past their surface function. Rather than focus on decoding the utility of these objects, we though about how we can scrutinize and ponder these objects, how we can ponder life with or without objects, how we self actualize with objects, and if we can truly be one with nature.
In the next stage of the project, I applied yet another method of formgiving. I used the colors of an Albatross to wrap the antler with thread. We chose endangered animals, essentially utilizing the white antler to alter another animal. I chose Albatross as they are known as “The most legendary of all birds,” and they certainly have been some of the most memorable birds that I have experienced. Albatrosses are also auspicious in their relationship with humans; it is a bad omen to kill one at sea.
Wrapping the antler as formgiving: Upon choosing a color scheme and iterating with drawings how I was going to wrap the antler, I slowly began enveloping the entire antler in color. While I was originally drawn to literally applying the albatross to the antler by making the tips the beaks of the albatross, I took a more abstract approach in locating my colors. Similarly to before, the nature of the objects we made allowed us to critique other formal aspects beyond utility. Craft and form are always themes, but our discussion also evolved to discuss the meaning and importance of subjectivity and how we can understand these objects.