Mute.

A piece in which I embody the form of a guitar using wire framing

GUITAR2

Neck of guitar

DRAWING1

Graphite drawing of guitar

This piece utilizes repeating shapes and forms to provide visual appeal to the viewer.  It utilizes very organic lines in the body and headstock of the guitar as well as the neck.  I utilized geometric line in the fret board and the support for the body.  I tried to use a good balance of organic and geometric forms so that the piece was very balanced.  I tried to smoothly taper the body of the guitar to the neck so it would look visually appealing.  What’s more important than the breakdown of the aesthetics of the piece is the symbolism that lies deep within.

The reason I constructed a bass guitar is because growing up, music was always a really big part of my life.  I’m always playing shows with my band, going to see other bands play, writing music, or just listening to music.  I can be said that music is basically the reason I’m alive.  I felt that there would be no better way of representing me, and my life than doing a guitar.  I’ve owned this bass for years and it’s basically a part of who I am.  I wanted to ensure that this project turned out very well as not to tarnish the pristine figure of the beautiful handcrafted instrument that is a work of art in itself.  Though the inspiration of the piece was influenced by music, it also became heavily influenced by failure.

This piece was a huge hurtle for me to overcome.  There were many challenges that I had to face when making it.  It was very difficult mastering the medium that I worked with.  It took a very long time to figure out how to properly tie seams with the wire that would look aesthetically pleasing and actually stay in place.  I went through many feet of copper wire in failed attempts until I had finally learned how to properly construct a well-tied seam.  Another thing that was difficult was bending the thick wire so that it would properly conform to the acute angles of the body of the guitar.  It took several attempts to get the angle just right, but after much perseverance I learned the tricks of the trade.

The biggest problem for me was managing my time.  The night before the project was due, I sat down and attempted to finish my project that I had worked tirelessly on.  I worked really hard and put a lot of effort into the piece and wanted to ensure that the piece was nothing less than perfect.   All of a sudden, I hit a wall.  I ran out of wire.  Without hesitation, I drove to the nearest hardware store and picked up 50 feet of thick wire to use on my project.  I returned to my dorm with a positive attitude and was ready to finish my work of art.  I attempted to cut the wire I had just purchased, but realized that it was far too thick and thus, unable to be cut.  I was prepared to drive back to the store and get a more malleable, thinner material that I could cut, but it was too late.  The store was closed.  The project that had once seemed completely doable now had turned into something impossible.  The creation that I had spent so much time on was now nothing but a ticking time bomb, a symbol of my poor time management.  My once highly positive attitude had collapsed and I had to start grabbing at straws.

Thinking irrationally, I completely disassembled and destroyed what I had made in an effort to construct something else that would utilize less wire.  What was once a work of art was now but a mangled abomination.  I sat down and thought hard about what else I could potentially make in a few hours.  I attempted to make several other items: a chair, violin, stool, but it was all for none.  My efforts to create something else amounted to nothing..  All I ended up with was a mangled mess of wire, which could symbolize my failure, the disappointment I felt, and all of my mental anguish.  That in itself could have passed for some sort of art piece, but I wasn’t about to go to class with a mangled ball of wire, for I would have been mocked out and laughed at by my peers despite the deep emotional connections that I made to the piece.

I showed up to critique day where all of the students showed off their wire frame masterpieces.  All I could show off was my head hanging in shame.  I explained to everyone how I had run out of material and destroyed my very own creation.  Students felt empathetic about the position that I was in and gave me all of their unused wire.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to get credit for doing the assignment. Even as I am frantically typing these words in the dead of night, I am unsure of how the teacher will react to my recycled efforts and I am unaware if I will get any credit for this.  This was no longer a concern of mine.  The project was no longer about the grade; it’s about proving to myself that I could complete the project.  Upon the completion of class, I returned to my dorm and sat down to do the wire frame project as I had hours before.

This time was different.  Instead of being pessimistic, I played the role of an optimist.  I mustered up everything that I had inside of me to make a well-crafted wire-frame guitar.  I channeled all of my disappointment, all of my failure, all of the mangled discord in my head and worked tirelessly for hours to complete this work of art.  I was determined to work, blood sweat and tears until this guitar was finished.  Several hours later, it was done.  What once seemed like an unfathomable dream now became reality.  I had finally proven to myself that I could do this.  Despite finishing the project late, I no longer felt like a quitter.  The fact that I turned around my attitude and got everything completed helped me learn something about myself: I will never give up.

Life is all about trial and error, disappointment and reward.  The visual appeal of the piece doesn’t compare to the personal pride that I am now feeling.  The guitar isn’t the art here.  The real work of art is my story: a story of failure, a story of beating the odds, a story of perseverance.  This piece will forever inspire me, and serve as a constant reminder of what I can accomplish when I put myself to the test.

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About JamesWrobel

I'm a junior at Alfred State College majoring in Digital Media and Animation. I specialize in digital art and photography rather than drawing and painting. It's a work in progress and I'm working hard to achieve my dreams.
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