This is the second project from my first Sculpture class at UCLA in 2006 with visiting instructor Donald Morgan. Our first assignment was to use a multitude of items to create a sculpture (I wove weaverbird nests out of pipe cleaners) and our second was to use the material we used in our first project and create a piece of furniture.
Prior to starting the project he was teaching us about artists who worked in mundane materials and included Lucky Debellevue in his lecture. Debellevue is known for weaving with pipe cleaners and making abstract sculptures.
My intention was to use a piece of wood as the frame for my chair but I changed to chipboard since I was a little impatient and didn’t want to wait for a jigsaw to become free. The original skeleton was more upright but the shape became more organic with the weight of the pipe cleaner skin. I decided to embrace the organic look and soaked the seat and back in water to let them warp into whatever shape it could which created the gill effect.
The skin was a mix of pipe cleaners and jute twine. There was also a sheet of hot glue (layered strings on a sheet of glass like a giant sheet of felt) in between the skeleton and skin for additional texture. Some of the protrusions are hollow but most of them wrapped around the structure.
I was pretty happy with my chair creature.