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Never Judge A Book Sculpture

Page history last edited by Sara Burnett 8 years, 8 months ago


One thing that continued to ring over and over again in my head as I went through this course was we have to stop judging people simply by their looks (the color of their skin, features, etc.).  Maybe it's because I worked in a library last school year, but "Never judge a book by its' cover" kept resonating with me.  I chose to use this idea as my inspiration for my final project.


The fact that people merely use their eyes and minds to look at someone and decide what that person is all about is a tragedy.  They are missing out on so much more that that person has to offer, just as someone may miss out on a wonderful book just because it has a cover they do not like.  I want people to take a book from the bookshelf and study the face on the front of the book.  I want them to come up with their own idea of that face's story.  Then, they will open the book and read the true story and find out if they were wrong or right.  I am hoping to change a few minds about stereotypes or biases they may have.



Elements of Design


• Color – The only reason I used black on the spines of the books was because it was a color that would cover up the words already on the spines as these are hardcovers which I bought from the Goodwill.  I used a mixture of two different blues and two different greens when created the earth on the ends of the bookshelf.  This gave more depth.


• Texture – The main texture is in the hardcover books when the people hold them.  I did use a sponge for some of the painting of the "earth", so there is a bit of bumpiness there.  I sand the bookshelf so all edges and clean and smooth.


• Shape – The shape of the book ends was purposely made to be round to look like the earth.  I wanted to books to be representative of the people of the earth, so the book ends are holding them like the earth holds the people.  In order for it to stand, I did have to cut a flat bottom of the circle.


Principles of Design


• Harmony – The same type of wood was used throughout the entire bookshelf, giving the unpainted parts the same look.


• Balance – Both book ends are the same shape to which represents the roundness of the earth.


• Proportion – The book shelf was made to me just big enough to fit the number of books I would have.  I wanted the books to be as close together as possible as ultimately, we are all in close proximity of one another on earth and without going to extremes, can't just get away from the different people we may not be comfortable with.


I plan on asking if I can display this book shelf in the high school media center in which I work.



Being this is done online, at the bottom of this page, I created a link to each person, so you can participate by looking at their picture, come up with your version of their story, then click the link and find out how close you are.  PLEASE PARTICIPATE.  I will have two response books, per say.  One will be a physical book in which people can write down their experience and hopefully share the differences in their story and the true story after looking at the book.  My other response book will be here, on Wiki.  If you participate and look at the books via the links below, please leave your comments on each person's book page.


Follow along as I document my process with further explanation. 


I began the process by creating a template out of cardboard for the book shelf.  I wanted it to be just big enough to fit the books I am using to show our relative closeness on this planet.  It is a large place, but yet this is all we have, we can't go anywhere else and need to learn to live side by side.




I then gave the template to my brother-in-law who cut my pieces out of wood.  I do not have, nor am I handy with power saws, so I needed some assistance in this area.  I then used wood glue and clamps to assemble the bookshelf.


Once the glue was dry, I removed the clamps and sanded down any rough edges.  From here, I proceeded to paint.  I wanted the book ends to represent the earth.  This book shelf is like the earth as it is holding all different people, all with different stories.


I then began creating my books.  I took hardcover books that I bought at Goodwill and painted the spines black.  At first I was going to then paint each person's name on the spine, but the more I thought about it, it dawned on me that when people are making their judgments of others, merely by appearance, they don't know the person's name most of the time.  So, I decided to leave that as one of the parts of their story and make all the spines look the same.  This way, those looking at my project, can only see a black spine and size of the book when making their selection.



I had printed off the pictures on regular paper and cut them down to fit the size of the books.  I then used Mod Podge to affix the pictures to the front of the books.




I then wrote each person's story in the inside cover of their book.  (If possible, try not to read this one to spoil participating in this project at the end.)



Response book:



Here is my finished project. 




Just like us, these books come in all different shapes and sizes.  Some are taller, some are thinner, some are short, and some are thick.



But, each of us has our own story to tell.  The world would be a much better place if we would just take the time to get to know each person's story.  We will surprise ourselves with what we don't know. 



We'll be more understanding of those we see as "different".  We'll realize how much we really have in common.  And, we just might have our mind changed.


Now, please take the time to pick a book.  Look at the face and develop your story for that face.  Then, when ready, click the link and read their story and compare your story to theirs.  Were you right?  Were you wrong?  Were you surprised? 



Book 1                                                                                                              Book 2



Book 3                                                                                                              Book 4



Book 5                                                                                                               Book 6



Book 7


Note: There are 8 books in my shelf; however, the 8th person had a last minute change of mind about participating in my project.




Comments (14)

Michael Weerts said

at 9:37 pm on Jul 28, 2015

What a great project. You really nailed it.

Amanda McCarty said

at 6:55 am on Jul 29, 2015

This project is amazing! I was surprised by what I read about a couple people, never judge a book by the cover.

angela.zollerbarker@... said

at 8:23 am on Jul 29, 2015

You were able to take an old metaphor and bring it to life. I love it!

Ellie Michaelis said

at 8:41 am on Jul 29, 2015

Great job! Everything from the artwork to the interviews is wonderful. Like Angela said, you really dug into the metaphor!

Denise Bowman said

at 9:29 am on Jul 29, 2015

What a neat idea! Bravo!

Elizabeth Williams said

at 9:39 am on Jul 29, 2015

Whoa!!!! This is a phenomenal sculpture! You put so much thought (and work) into it! Totally spot on with the whole metaphor- so many aha elements incorporated into one.... and love how it is interactive. Extremely impressive! Way to go!

Erin Piel said

at 10:16 am on Jul 29, 2015

Ditto to what everyone else said! This was amazingly done. Just absolutely wonderful! I loved how deep it was--not just something to look at. Way to challenge the audience!

Shelby Andrist said

at 7:51 pm on Jul 29, 2015

I really, really like this project. You did a great job with it, that'll be something to keep around for a long time.

holzner said

at 9:55 pm on Jul 29, 2015

I had a very similar idea at the beginning, but could not think of a good way of pulling it off. You did! Way to go.

LThelen said

at 10:53 pm on Jul 29, 2015

It took me a little while to get through your project, but it certainly was well worth it! Your books are amazing! It makes me want to meet them, they all have great stories to tell.

Sarah.Durand@live.bemidjistate.edu said

at 5:46 am on Jul 30, 2015

Wow, if I had half of your artistic ability I think I'd be set for life! Great job! Lots of thought put into this project!

Valerie Sandstrom said

at 8:48 pm on Jul 30, 2015

The thought and time you spent on this project is quite evident! Love the metaphor of us all being on the same shelf with different stories to tell! The interactive touch is brilliant! Great work :)

Katie Wilhelmi said

at 10:56 pm on Jul 31, 2015

Great job on this sculpture Sara! This is awesome.

Barbara Bridges said

at 1:25 pm on Aug 2, 2015

WOW on all accounts. Books and COvers are a cliche but you took us so far beyond the usual. AND you used the technology so wonderfully! Well done! You did not mention community- put it out there!! You earned a 98
10 Assemblage
10 Size
10 3-D
10 Artist Statement
10 Feedback book
10 HR Message
10 Elements and Principles
10 Document Creative Process WOW on this
10 New Idea
8 Craftsmanship I see son helped. The learning already ripples!

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