Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Behind the Nike Project

Scattered Crayons
First off I just wanted to say WOW!!!  Holy cow, I didn't expect such an amazing response to this project!  Thank you EVERYONE in Internetland and beyond!  Here is a quick peek at some in progress images.

Wonder Woman Cheering
Right after the Nike Project was confirmed I did a little dance and got right to work.  I started by making a few sketches and peeling crayon labels.  The peeling process has become somewhat meditative.  If I ever end up in an asylum I'll be the girl in the corner rocking back and forth peeling crayon labels.  Wonder Woman was also there to cheer me on. 

Shoe Detail
I made a few partially carved samples including this one.  I wanted to focus on the shoes (naturally), grass texture and the figure's movement.  I've always carved standing figures, this was my first attempt at carving more dynamic movements.  There's only so much you can do within the physical borders of a crayon, but I wanted to see how much I can allude to.

Making copies
No, they're not spooning...
This was also my first time making multiples of one figure.  Next to the major time crunch making multiples was my biggest challenge.  I made a "master" carving and used it as reference for all of the other copies.  I would draw guidelines from one figure to the next and quickly rough out an approximation.  After all of the major parts were in place it was only a matter of refining the details.  The details take time, but it's not as nerve-racking.

Let the Chips Fall Where They May
A friend once compared my carved crayon surface to the facets of a crystal.
Here's what W+K's got to say.  There goes my secret of outsourcing to gerbils!  :P


Christina said...

Amazing work, you give me an odd urge to carve crayons*L*

Yoli said...

Is this carved from a single crayon or do you glue different parts together? This is just mind mendingly beautiful.

Anonymous said...

This and W+K's post make me laugh. It's funny that they were wondering about your hands... :) Too bad they did not take better shots of the shoe part since you put so much effort into that...

Diem Chau said...

Thanks Christina ^_^ Loving your Japanese fashion posts!

Thanks Yoli- they're carved from a single crayon.

Thanks VonMuttern :) They have a good sense of humor.

Michael Thompson said...

These are very creative, and great to look at. I also love the box and the whole concept.

What a fun project!

I hope you don't mind, but I'll write an article on this on my studio blog and forward people through to have a look... - (Should be up later today)

How did they find you?

Diem Chau said...

Thanks for the post Michael!
I've worked with a few people from W+K before and I'm sure they've seen my work through blogs :)

Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors said...

in the photo, are those the tools you actually used? Your detail work is extraordinary. I know this because I was inspired by your work and carved a few crayons myself.
Thanks for this blog post. I guess i'd better subscribe so i don't miss anything else!

Diem Chau said...

Hi Mimi,
yes that's the actual knife I use. It's a hanga to from McClain's Printmaking supply in Portland. Thanks for coming by the blog :)

Paul said...

Great work, you must have a steady hand and very patient. How long does it normally take to create?

Diem Chau said...

Thanks Paul. It usually takes 3-4 hours to carve a single crayon if the crayon doesn't bread during the process. I've gotten pretty good at taking things slowly and not breaking them.