This work is part of a retrospective collection of 179 electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) from the VCU Libraries pilot ETD system that were designated as available only to VCU users. Please contact us at if you have questions or if you are the author of one of these and would like to release it for online public access.

Non-VCU users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Title

Gizmology

Defense Date

1999

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

Department

Crafts

First Advisor

Dr. Allan Rosenbaum

Abstract

I find a similarity between my work and the absurd character of many of the unrealized inventions of earlier times. An example of the latter is the Saluting Device, whch allowed a gentleman to tip his hat without having to use his hand. These machines were never produced for popular use precisely because of their absurdity. Unlike these inventions, however, my sculptures are not created to perform any useful function. I intend them to be viewed as satirical, comical, and fictitious oddities through which I work to convey ideas and feelings about the dilemmas of modem society. Like a machine, our society needs careful maintenance and fuel to function smoothly, but it is, I believe, running out of energy and beginning to break down. I build my obsessive-compulsive objects to resemble household appliances and toys. Ths is an attempt to establish a comfort level for the viewer. Contemplation of ,these machnes will, I hope, spark the viewer's curiosity and stimulate their imagnation to propel and enable the objects to perform their intended satirical purpose. My creative process starts with intuitive pencil sketches that resemble crude technical drawings. The drawings suggest machnes that might perform some imagnary function. I determine the function and then fkther refine the drawing. The final drawing becomes a reference point and sometimes a template for the building process. For further interpretation and intricacy, I allow for deviation from the drawing as I build. The buildmg process begms with an interior frame which is similar to house construction, except that I use clay slabs instead of framing boards. After the skeleton is complete, I enclose the structure and make any parts that must be added or assembled after firing. I use whatever type of builQng procedure necessary to complete the object; this may include coil building, wheel throwing, extruding shapes, and surface carving. Through these odd, imagnative gizmos and gadgets, I offer social commentary. I have chosen satire and humor to engage the viewer in various ways of looking at the modem world. This is an attempt to provoke joyful imagination and intrigue through the intricacy of the pieces. I also suggest my view of the current human condition through the precariousness of the various elements in these sculptures. Finally, my work is an attempt to provide another context from whch to view and respond to our place and time in history.

Comments

Part of Retrospective ETD Collection, restricted to VCU only. Includes supplemental content, currently unavailable for access.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

6-13-2008

Share

COinS