I’ve begun to construct the frame from my final design, i want to use a material that is strong enough to hold plenty of decoration, and a material that is also not so heavy that i cannot transport it to the gallery space. I went to B&Q and looked at a variety of woods and MDF’s:
MDF: is far too smooth for icing or silicone or anything to stick on it easily, it is also very heavy and thick, but it would cut into intricate shapes well.
Plywood: rough enough surface that materials would stick to it well, could be a bit too thin to stand up to the weight unless i got about 3/4 inch thick ply. More expensive than MDF but certainly more suitable, and relatively easy to cut with a jigsaw.
The decision i made was to get 2x (8×4) sheets of plywood at 3/4 inch thick, this was thick and strong enough to withstand heavy decoration without warping. these 2 sheets would have been large enough to create an elaborate frame to house my large canvas. I arranged the 2 sheets next to eachother on a flat surface, because i intend to make the frame in 2 halves and then create a casing behind to hold the canvas which will join the 2 pieces together, and if i create it in 2 halfs i can make it completely symmetrical by cutting out one side and drawing around it and cutting out the second 🙂
i drew out a baroque inspired frame, quite wide so that it can hold alot of decoration and with the long part of the bottom which will join with a puddle shape to create the melting effect 🙂 A jigsaw was used to cut out the frame, i had help with the fiddly curly bits. I then sanded down the frame to ensure they edges were smooth.
here’s the first half of the frame, i’m so pleased with how the drips came out and the shape works well i think, i want the frame to be opulent to reflect the wealth of Kim Jong Un, and over the top in style and design to represent his over the top dictator view of leadership and the control he feels the need to exercise over his nation.
Here is the finished frame, it stands at 6ft tall so it definitely has the opulent extravagant feel i was going for. Now onto the decorating of the frame, i intend on piping either silicone or icing onto the entirety of this frame, with the addition of sweets, cookies and other confectionary to decorate, i want it to look like it melts and cracks at the bottom, like where his illusion of sweetness will begin to crack and become the decapitation of his uncle. I still need to create the puddle but i will test out decoration methods on a spare peice of wood first in order to decide, and then once i have decorate the frame i will create the puddle to accompany it.
I have the choice of using real icing or silicone substitute to do the piping on my frame, the piping was inspired by the work of Osamu Watanabe.
Icing: made from icing sugar and water:
Pros- its authentic, smells sweet which adds another sense to my work as well as sight, malleable and easily coloured
Cons- Perishable, can be different consistencies so may not set, could go off before the deadline, may not stick to the frame because sugar can melt in temperature change.
Silicone: can be piped in a piping bag, used to “ice” products like phone cases and decorative items
Pros: Non perishable, water proof, can be manipulated into different styles and shapes of piping, quick drying, adhesive so it will stick to wood, can be painted/varnished easily
Cons- won’t smell as nice
I cannot think of alot of con’s for using silicone, as it is used in crafts to create fake whipped cream and icing already in examples like this below:
i really like how it looks and i think it will look impressive on a large scale, and as its adhesive it won’t come off of the frame or come off if the wood warps in transit.
Below are progress images of icing the frame, it took 2 days in total to ice the frame, decorate it using the biscuits i varnished before hand and the sweets, and then it was given a coat of spray adhesive to ensure everything was stuck down and then varnished with car lacquer, then a final coat of cake shimmer spray was added to give it a sweet smell and a glittery lustre. I really enjoyed creating this frame, it was the most fun part of a project i have done in a while to be honest and it was great to really get experimental with my materials and just go for it. It was also fun to create something so decorative and have such a wide range of materials open to use, because each supermarket is stacked with a huge variety of sweets. I used rainbow striped sour strips to decorate parts of the frame, gingerbread men, cookies, smarties, licorice allsorts (which some had a funny reaction to the silicone but were fine when they dried out) willy wonkers “nerds” and i also chose love heart sweets with specifically ironic messages on them, like the one up the top says “Cheeky Boy” which is an affectionate pet name that i’m certain Kim Jong Un would attribute to himself.
i had 2 types of piping nozzle which worked best, and a combination of 2 was used to decorate the frame, the are shown together above and i think they look very much like traditional icing. Tools were used to pipe out the silicone because its very hard, these are guns used when doing sealing on windows and sinks, they made the task much more achievable, and this way there was a rough metal surface to tape the piping nozzle around which was much more secure than just sticking it on with tape to the plastic tube. First i piped around the edges of the frame to get a nice neat edge, and then began to fill it in with swirls and patterns and then began to attach cookies and sweets. I liked the idea of having the two gingerbread men at the top of the frame, like how opulent baroque frames have an elaborate center piece at the top. And i think they went well with the drips. Whilst attaching all of the sweets and cookies, the coloured sugar had a reaction to the silicone and some of the colour leaked out but i really likes this effect because it implies how the perfect sugary image i’m showing of the dictator is actually fragile and cracking and not as it seems. Below is what the piping nozzle looked like attached to the tube, i used carpet tape which is very strong because there were a few times it came off and some silicone was wasted. In total it took 26 tubes of silicone to ice the entire frame! For the melted part of the frame i piped half way down and then dragged the silicone downwards, to show to delicate details crumbling and becoming gloop. I also stuck broken cookies and sweets in this section to show the crumbling of the sweet perfect imagery shown above.
I really enjoyed creating the frame for this piece, i think i will continue creating iced objects outside of this project for the home and perhaps even create a business out of it, i’ve found something that i really enjoy doing thanks to this project and i think the sheer size of a 6ft iced frame looks really impressive!