Saturday, April 28, 2018

Week 16: FINAL POST!

Here's the skinny on my final project.

I seem to have a bad habit of thinking of incredibly tedious project ideas, because much like my deer piece, this one took a LOOOONG time to put together. Here are the "scales," completely untouched and fresh from the printer:

BONUS: my own personal hell for 3+ hours


Notice that they were printed at a very low resolution. This was necessary, as per the file's instructions on Thingiverse (though now I'll need to smooth everything out by hand. Yay! I ordered a second batch from the Skylab since, predictably, peeling these things off their "support" was a bitch, and a good few of them broke.

As much as I wanted to play with the translucency of the newer scales, I didn't quite have the materials to do so, and research wasn't entirely too helpful. (Any methods of "dusting" pigment on to the material also called for primer, which would have been just as bad as painting it normally.)

I played with a couple of design ideas (as you can see from previous blog posts), but ultimately decided on the design sketched out here:

I messed with the orientation of them a little as I was laying them out for "weaving." I based the dimensions on my product on average US bust sizing, with the "cups" spanning about 5-6 inches and roughly 4-5 inches in between for design purposes. It looks like a lot laid flat like that, but when the scales get "woven" together the actual cups will be much smaller; I needed to account for the extra space in between cups where the breast wouldn't be covered.

A problem with the design laid out in scales alone was that the top part of each "scale" was exposed, so unless I wanted big ugly plastic hoops poking out as part of my design, I had to find a way to cover them up. I decided to use some leftover scales to cover the tops of the cups, rather than tack fabric on top and clash the materials.

I decided to go with black, as the "creature" I'm basing my project on is this scary, unreal Klingon-nightmare-beast (and I don't think a scary-unreal-nightmare-beast would look like cotton candy). I did two coats of black acrylic spray (primer included).

As you can see there were still some white spots in areas where the paint didn't reach. Since applying the paint before heating wasn't an option, I had to touch up these areas by hand. I bent and stretched the "weave" of scales as best I could to reveal these spots, then paint them out with a brush. I also touched up the bottom of the scales with a little bronze tip, to give the scales a more organic touch.

I went back and printed more scales, this time without hooks, so I could have something to cover up the loops on the top of my piece. I glued (and painted!) these individually. Here's the piece after painting:

Aaaand here's the piece all strung up!

This class was fairly challenging for me. I don't think it was extremely difficult, because I had the benefit of taking it while working on campus at the Skylab. However, with many classes there is the struggle of meeting deadlines, doing the coursework, the overall feel of the class, etc. I definitely feel like I've made an improvement, and I normally don't feel like I change much after finishing a class. I think this was the class that finally had me realize just how important it is to find passion in your work. There were many times where we would have in-class discussions or respond to readings we did, and I would come in guns a-blazing, super enthusiastic and ready to participate.

There's also the work I did for this project, our final. It started off as a joke, making Trekkie lingerie, but I actually had a lot of fun putting everything together. I don't think I would've had the steam to do all the things I did if I had chosen to do ship redesigns, or something technical like that.

I don't think I've improved my work-ethic per se, but I definitely feel like this class has helped me discover the tools I need to be successful for the rest of my time in college.

 (Bonus Skeleton model from the critique!) 

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