Our first techniques learned in 3D Fibers was wet felting.
I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee WET FELTING.
Anyway. First, she wanted us to play/practice and to create a "vessel". I wanted my vessel to be organic, deformed, and bulbousy. As I went through the wet felting process I threw in some moss and leaves. Then I cut and shaped the flat sheet of felt to mold how I wanted it to. We also had to needle felt an object to go inside our vessel. I made Mr. Cicada.
((photos by Gaaaaaaaabby)
After this practice run, my Professor wanted us to create something that had to do with a tradition. We went though a writing and researching process and throughout the process of creating and developing this piece, it evolved and took on its meanings as I got further.
For this piece, I decided to think about a tradition in a new way. I believe a tradition is anything that forms a pattern from when or where or how an event happens. I also believe that not only people have traditions, but also insects. I began to do more research on the life-cycle of the periodical cicada. They live anywhere from 13 to 17 years, but they spend all but about 4 weeks of that time underground feeding on tree roots. One could say that their lives actually start once they come up from the ground and molt. At this point, they are able to fly, sing, mate, eat, and reproduce, until they die. I wrote a lot about anything and everything that came to mind that stemmed from the cicada research. I began to think about it more psychologically, rather than biologically--personifying the cicada. I realized that the life cycle of this insect parallels the life of some humans. They spend their almost all of their life doing the same thing their forefathers did, never venturing out and into the world; probably because of lack of knowledge of the possibilities, of their ability, and for fear of the unknown. I then branched off and turned my thinking upside down, literally. I began to think of the life underground as a positive, rather than a negative. A tree's roots are just as intricate as the tree in open air, the main difference is that instead of air there is earth. It's the same, but different. I remembered a lecture I watched by Douglas Adams, where he explains that while all the different species may live on the same earth, we all inhabit a different universe. So this living underground is neither positive nor negative, it just is. I realize that there is no way that an individual could ever know exactly what and how another is feeling. Not a human to a cicada or even a human to a human.
With my piece, I decided to translate both the alternate universe in which we all inhabit separately, and the possible blinding effect of our ancestor's way of life.
I couldn't choose just one meaning. This piece means both to me, and possibly something completely different to you.
The piece is wearable. It cuts the wearer off from the rest of his or her surroundings where he or she is put into a sort of claustrophobic darkness but also a blinding comfort. It gives the wearer a sense of what it might be like for a cicada underground and also comments on the binding, blinding way of doing things just like someone else has already done before you.