Image   DSC01465 - Edited

To be honest, I didn’t know what to do when I first started working on my project. I envisioned a model of my chest, where my scar is located, and I kept on thinking about how I was going to pull off a cast of my chest with my scar on it. I even thought about adding a model of my head, so the chest cast by itself wouldn’t look too odd. I decided to start working towards that vision by first asking a cafeteria worker for a cup of flour. I then cut sheets of paper towel into proportioned strips and then dipped them in the water- flour paste I made and carefully placed them over the parts of my body that I wanted to mold. Afterwards, I used my blow dryer to dry the paper on my body, which was at times painful. I did about three layers of this. Afterwards, I coated the  cast with gesso, and then I  cut it, after realizing that it would be more stable in the form of a heart, instead of the form of my body. Afterwards, I  painted over the gesso, and then  glued the ornaments representing my scar over the breastplate. For the straps, I had originally thought to just use ribbon, but chose a more affordable alternative.  I basically followed the previous steps, except I didn’t use paper mache paste. My finished project is a breastplate, conveniently shaped in the form of a heart, with minimal design, and a text relating to what the breastplate represents. The breastplate is fit to my form since I used my upper body to create she shape, and it looks very strong and secure, even though it is very fragile, which is kind of symbolic to me. I am mostly content with my project, even though I wish I could alter a few thing.

If I had  an unlimited budget, I wouldn’t do much else over what I did, or change the materials too much, but I would most- definitely buy paint with  copper, red, and brown tints and use that over the colors I used, and I would buy metallic ink in a bottle and use an old-fashioned scroll pen in a gold/copper color for the text. Last, I would buy a nice finish gloss to paint over my breastplate.

I had a fulfilling time doing this project, and I  learned a lot  during the critique of it as well. I learned how spontaneous art can be, especially when you are so limited with the materials that you need to complete your work. I learned that planning your time is important, especially when you don’t know what might happen between your working time and the deadline. I last learned that it is important for your work to have a universal appeal that everyone can feel they can relate to, even if your work has a deep connection to your life and what you believe.