Tuesday, November 16, 2010

ping pong necklace

I thought since this piece is all about scale, it would make sense to add a picture of it on me, so I got my son to take this. Terrible picture, but it does the job.

ping pong ball necklace

I've had a fun day. A few weeks ago Florida Craftsmen sent out a call to artists for an Art to Wear show with a theme of unusual materials. Seemed like time to break out the ping pong balls. Most of the pieces I've made so far have been just 1 bead/ball thick, because otherwise the size seemed overwhelming. But that has meant that they were verging on not being firm enough. I did make one basket form that was thicker (made from ball tetrahedrons) and I thought it was a bit too thick for its overall size. I don't think it's on this blog, but if you want to take a look it's in my etsy shop--eporiginals.etsy.com. Now I'm rethinking and I plan trying to add on to the outside to make the overall size more in line with the thickness.
Anyway, for the necklace, I knew I wanted it to be an actual 3-dimensional structure. I started making a string of RAW cubes, but that was really too big, so I switched to triangular sections, and liked that better. I tried other types of line, looking for something with a bit more bling, to make it seem like jewelry. Ultimately, I went back to the rug wool, though. It's really ideal, as it has enough cross section to fill up the holes in the balls (I drill 7/64" holes through the balls on a drill press) and yet it will compress to let me get multiple passes through a ball to create the structures. Also it's hairy enough that it creates friction so the thing doesn't loosen up if I don't keep it under tension.
After I got the main oval done I spent a long time figuring out now to embellish it on the bottom to make it more jewelry-ish. I tried adding some sparkly eyelash type thread, but they didn't fit with the scale. Then I tried it again with other colors of wool and still wasn't happy. Finally I came up with the dangly structure hanging from the center, and I really liked that. It's so very jewelry-ish to have a dangly thing hanging down, and yet the scale matches the rest of the necklace.
Anyway, I submitted it, and I really like it, although once again my family thinks I've lost my mind. I should mention that in the prospectus they had a great picture of a necklace made out of lego blocks, so I'm not totally out of their realm. And it was great fun, whether I get in the show or not.