So the fact that I had been on target with my ‘action plan’ was good. But then the fact that my whole plan was being flipped upside down 3 classes before the final made me very frustrated. When I was suggested to try weaving with another material my instinct was to retort with how there was no other weavable material that looked good. Just tacky ribbons. Then we thought of how the material doesn’t even need to be fabric or flexible. Weaving felt through a rigid material would catch more attention, be more dynamic and portray the concept of the word better.
I began with getting strips of wood from the woodshop. Okay, I didn’t just ‘get them’, I had to relearn how to use the…belt saw[?].
^First I literally just weaved the two materials together. The checkered effect was pretty and all, but how could I show the letters of adapt on this? I googled weaving for inspiration, to see what kinds of weaving exist. Initially, they were all very pattern oriented and looked very technical. I googled ‘weave typography’ to get better results (top right). This inspired me to create pixelated type. Having the felt as the positive space was clear, but it was also too simple. Having the wood as the positive space was more interesting and I think the only reason it is not as clear is because the wood pieces weren’t cut evenly…
SO, despite inwardly hating on the professor for making me experiment some more when I was so close to finishing my initial plan, I hate to admit that wow am I glad I did that. This idea looks tons better than the first one. TONS. After this, I felt very little hesitation to change my plan completely.
I started by trying to split the meta type into squares. It wouldn’t be possible unless I divided the frame into an impossible amount of tiny squares. Instead, I decide to keep it 40×20 squares and roughly follow meta, but focus on creating my own kind of type:
^ I knew that I wanted some kind of directing device in my sign from the beginning, because signs often show directions and it gives the word extra layers of meaning (adapting is like growing in a certain direction). To incorporate an arrow, I saw a third material I could use (a thin sheet of mirror that a friend had to spare). It would add flashes of contrast in the work and would look good with grey felt and wood. I also considered whether I wanted the wood to be horizontal or vertical. I picked horizontal so that it flowed with the direction of the arrow.
^ Plywood because it looked more like wood. MDF looked dull and fake, didn’t have the patterns that plywood has. I was running out of my original, textured grey felt and when I went to buy more, they had run out. I considered bleaching it to get the look I wanted but got success. In the end I was able to cut my strips in a way to get enough.
^Laser cutting was an experience in itself. I thought I could use the band saw (THAT’S WHAT IT’S CALLED!), but the wood strips wouldn’t be even and I needed them to be perfectly even. Also, I initally thought I needed 40 strips of 1.5 inch by 60 cm of wood, so for that the table saw needed to be used and Shankar said it would be more efficient to just use the laser cutter. The plywood was difficult to cut because it warped and had to be taped into the printer, even then there were points where it didn’t cut through completely and I had to go back with an xacto knife.
Initially, the wood was organized randomly, but I organized them in the proper order to capture all the knots in the wood. Lastly, I needed to experiment with adhesives to see what would stick to what.
Felt and metal sheets stuck to wood and each other with super glue. Wood to wood didn’t stick with super glue, oddly enough, wood glue did the trick.