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The Beautiful Minds Challenge 2015
Fifth Place | Cinco Ranch High School | Katy, TX
“This piece was created using a method called Encaustics. I started out with a flat piece of wooden board. First, I added random items, such as pencils, papers, wrapping papers, strings, and the remnants of sharpened pencils (found inside pencil sharpeners). Then, I put Gesso and Mod Podge all over the items. I mixed them well and let everything dry for a day.
After the surface was dry, I went over it with hot wax. Using a large flat brush, I applied wax as if I am applying wall paint, trying to make it smooth. Then, I took a dryer specially designed for using on artwork (it is hotter than usual hair dryers), and removed excess wax to make the surface even thinner and smoother.
I took shellac, usually used to polish wood surfaces, and covered the surface. I took a blowtorch next, and burned the shellac to create the effect that I wanted. The shellac would catch on fire and burn away, and I blew on some of the flames to control how much I wanted to burn the shellac (This was my favorite part! It is stress relieving to watch the shellac melt in). Lastly, I let the shellac dry for a few days so it is not sticky anymore.
When I first saw the prompt, I thought about what can be destructive. The first thing that came to my mind was fire. Only a few things are fire-proof; the flame can gulp down houses, towns and even forests in minutes. However, this destructive force, when controlled, is the source of energy and beauty. I used fire to transform and finalize my creation.”
To read the rest of Yeonsoo Koo’s story on the Beautiful Minds Challenge 2015 website, click here. (READ MORE)