Utilization of pennies in an art installation can be extremely pleasing due to the varying colors of copper and the shape of the penny. When used in a linear pattern placement like the final product, they can create wonderful designs.
As discussed in the video presentation, the final design was chosen to look like a sprouting plant. The center “stem” curves out of the ground and has small “branches” breaking off and curling on itself like a spring sapling would. The reason for this design stems from the original idea I had for the upcycle project, which was discussed in a previous post. I wanted to try to retain the idea of having a plant still be apart of my final creation.
Though this idea of incorporating the original idea into my final product stayed with me throughout the entire process, I did still draw up some possible concepts. The very first concept, seen below, shows the pennies spread out to mirror a playing card, the Ace of Hearts. This idea comes from the in class activity where Professor Hertzberg challenged us to incorporate a random aesthetic we pulled from a hat into our upcycle project.
The two pictures below depict random designs I had come up with during the design process. I cannot pinpoint the inspiration for these two designs. However, the final design chosen by me was in fact the plant like design. This was because after laying down the pennies on the poster board, I did not like how the Ace of Hearts design nor the other to designs looked as the line design seemed random and the swirl design and Ace of Heart design looked too clunky and claustrophobic. The plant design, though simple, seemed fresh and open. No part of it felt clunky. It was for this reason that it was ultimately chosen.
The making of the piece, once the design was chosen, was not all too difficult. I only needed the large amount of pennies, a hot glue gun, and a poster board. For those who have been following the development of this, you may recall I said I would try to use Styrofoam. I changed material because my idea for what I wanted to do changed as well as I was originally going to have pennies and possibly other coins, standing up and the Styrofoam would’ve proved to be a good way to do this. However, my ideas changed and ultimately I felt that a poster would be the best option and chose that as my canvas.
The final product pleases me greatly. It turned out great and perfectly captures the aesthetic of pennies and how they are still of use if used in application like this. Unfortunately some pennies did fall off while transporting this piece to campus but it can be fixed easily. Though the final product is slightly fragile when exposed to wind, which makes the poster board bend and causes the pennies to dislodge, I plan to hang this up in my house.
If I was to repeat this project, and I was given more time to work on it, I would try to use a bigger canvas which would allow for a more intricate design. This design, as I stated, was not all too complex. I would try for a more difficult design to create using pennies still. I would also maybe emphasize the placement of each penny depending on its color. Depending on the design I chose, I may even consider using nickels or dimes as well to aid in the project.