Thursday, March 4, 2010

Octopus Chair

Ok, so this is a project that I've been working on for what seems like a million bajillion years. I started it during my sculpture class, but it was a way bigger project than I expected and wasn't able to finish it during the class. I'm not entirely sure where the idea to create an octopus chair came from but I'm kind of glad that once it's finished it will be both ridiculous and functional!

So this is the chair that I started from. And I know what everyone is thinking, "But Erica, that chair is so dazzling and stunning on it's own. Why would you ever want to cover it up with an octopus?!" And let me tell you it wasn't easy to cover up the majesty that was this chair. Especially since it reminded me of something that you would see on my grandmas patio...But sacrifices must be made for the sake of art!

I started by taking thin sheets of styrofoam and covering the back and seat of the chair. I used water based rubber cement to get it to stick together.

I shaped the legs out of sheets of wire mesh and learned very quickly that gloves were kind of the best things ever. Unfortunately this was after my hands were bleeding quite a bit...

I made some arms out of the wire mesh and attached them to the chair with more wire. I also added some more styrofoam to the front of the chair to make the basic form of the face.

After I had built and attached all of the legs I used duct tape to cover the especially sharp and poky bits if wire and then I used strips of muslin in a kind of paper mache fashion to cover them. I used a mixture of white glue and water instead of paper mache paste though.

I rounded out the back of the head with more sheets of styrofoam and sanded and filed down the edges to make in not quite as square. There was so much styrofoam on me it looked like I had been snowed on. Or just had like the worst case of dandruff the world has ever seen.

I drilled holes on the underside of the arms and legs and put little suction cups in them. Because really, what's an octopus chair without suction cups?!

I started covering the arms and legs with a coat of yellow gel medium to try and hide the strips of muslin to make it look less paper mache-y.

I rounded out the head a little more by cutting tiny pieces of styrofoam and hot gluing them around the sides kind of like an igloo.

And this is what it looks like so far! Hopefully I can finish this beast soon!

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