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3-D Design
Elee Sharp
Fort Atkinson High School|Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin
Elee Sharp 1.jpg
Fragile|12 x 5 x 2 in. Material(s): Ceramic tools used on real wood and nails to break them, juxtaposes expectations with reality. Process(es): Irony of breaking tools with use, synthesizes pressures of society and flaws with toxic masculinity. Curatorial Note: Letting go of perfection. Student breaks object then reassembles. Symbolizes ideas of damage, stress, and mending and transformation.
“How can the processes of breaking/mending add to content in a piece? I was driven to investigate this to practice letting go of perfectionism and adapting to changes. Furthermore, throughout the sustained investigation each work demanded revision of original plans due to the unexpected nature of breaking, encouraging, growth in problem solving, and open mindedness.”
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One of the most upsetting events that could happen to an artist is an accident that breaks or ruins a piece that they have invested many strenuous hours into making. My sustained investigation was guided by this idea of destruction, specifically how the process of breaking and mending can be utilized in the content of a piece. I was compelled to pursue this in my sustained investigation because it was going to force me out of my comfort zone and would break the monotony of having my pieces turn out as planned. I soon found that purposefully ruining my work was both nerve-wracking and exciting.
This piece, Fragile, is one such piece from my sustained investigation that incorporated breaking as a key aspect. This piece is a series of three types of tools: a hammer, some nails, and a crowbar. Each piece was crafted from clay with walls that were as thin as possible. I then spray-painted these delicate pieces white. Using layers of blue enamel paint, I built up floral and geometric designs resembling fine china that wrap around each of the tools. These visually and physically delicate tools juxtapose the expectation that tools are rugged and strong. The performance of breaking the clay tools simply through typical use represents the societal pressures on gender and the flaws associated with toxic masculinity. While the decoration of the tools alone reflects gender stereotypes, breaking the tools adds an additional and more complex layer that demonstrates the damage caused by these stereotypes.
Some of the best support I received from my art teacher while working on my portfolio was her encouragement to push my limits in all directions. In terms of meaning, detail, or scale, she continually showed me how to go one step further. Whether through practicing with different combinations and styles of breaking and mending or experimenting with non-traditional art materials, I can attribute much of my growth and enjoyment through crafting my portfolio to my art teacher.
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Elee Sharp
Material(s): Red clay, experiment with blue enamel paint and white spray paint on ceramic to replicate fine china. Process(es): Built delicately with thin walls, practice painting patterns of china, broke using as real tools.
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Elee Sharp1 with Process 4.jpg
Elee Sharp