Art: Braces.

(The original entry can be found here. (German))

Every now and then I have a good idea for an art project. Less some kind of a DIY that can be useful to someone but something you can hang up your wall. And this time I did not forget to take photos of the process (at least a bit).


When I went to elementary school I got my first braces. The bottom one was loose and you could take it out, the upper one was kind of cemented to the side teeth and my mother had to turn a screw so my maxilla would widen which was really annoying. Small child's mouth, high palate, big hands of a grown up and then there was this small "key" you had to manoeuvre into that tiny hole to turn the winch.
I never really liked braces and my forgetfulness wasn't much of a help to remind me about putting the damn thing in and wearing in regularly. On the other hand I sat at my orthodontist's and he praised me for wearing it even I actually did nothing of that kind. Same the other way around. I had my phases when I remembered putting in this cage for my mouth but the doctor scolded me for not doing so. That was pretty confusing to me.
On time or another one of the braces broke or I lost it. Another reason why I had that many. That handful in the picture is a fraction of 30-40% maybe? The rest disappeared or I had to leave them at the doctor's office. To make space in my mouth they pulled out four of my teeth and during and x-ray that was not actually planned but I was used to them being done after a cast so I asked for it, they discovered three extra teeth in my lower jaw which prevented the others from moving at all. After two surgeries plus removing a benign zyst these were gone as well. Since then I have dental phobia.
What I probably hated the most was getting a new wire for my fixed braces. You are happy if you can eat some soft toast the first few days. Or soft-boiled potatoes in a soup. How much I did not like braces was something I found out on a couple of mornings every now and then. I woke up and they were lying next to me. Maybe I spit them out or I just could not remember taking them out in the middle of the night.
Funny enough I wake up now and ask myself if there are some braces missing in my mouth sometimes. And then I remember I don't wear them anymore since almost ten years. In the end my mum got her money back and I got through all of this torture. Until my wisdom teeth started showing up. And I should probably let get them taken care of as well. Someday.

So far so good. That's me and my story about getting my teeth fixed.
Since some time I had my braces in a box with other things I wanted to get on my wall. I wanted to use them for something other than just putting them on the wall. Maybe they could have filled up small spaces between bigger stuff but that was not what I wanted. I wanted to do something more with them. Also I could have used them to make some cool earrings. A hook through one of the wires - done. Seemed like a nice idea but braces + hair...? Not so nice anymore.

The last time I have been at my aunt's place, I found a beautiful empty frame for my wall. Until now I could not find anything to put in it but in the back of my mind there was this spark of an idea to used it for the braces somehow. A simple unicoloured background was way too simple, so I opted to do it more like in some of my collages to have something more going on in the picture.


I think I would not use "die Zigeunerseele" (a gypsy's soul) anymore today. Back then the word "Gypsy" was something to me with no real negative connotation to it. When I was in elementary school people used it as a slur but personally I thought it was just the name of a group of people.
At the time of the making of this picture, I was thinking of this romanticised form of unbound and free way of living. A wild and uneasy heart that feels restless. Today I know there's more to this word. It has its history.
""Zigeuner" is an imprecise term derived from a Greek word for "untouchable".[1][2][3] It is considered offensive by many Romani. In Germany, the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma rejects the use of the corresponding German term, "Zigeuner", as a designation for the Roma, regarding it as racist and as having been discredited by the Nazis' use of it." [Source: Wiktionary, Term: Zigeuner]
"An exonym (external name) based on the mistaken belief that the Romani people came from Egypt, the term Gypsy is loaded with negative connotations.[1][2] Some dictionaries therefore either recommend avoiding the term entirely, or give it a negative or warning label.[3][4][5][6][7][8] Careful speakers and most international organizations typically use Romani, Roma (Rroma) or Rom (Rrom) as designations for the people, although narrowly speaking, the last two designate a subgroup. However, Gypsy is more common in informal speech than Romani, and is used by some British laws and court decisions, such as the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 and the 1989 decision in the case of the Commission for Racial Equality v Dutton. This is because its offensiveness is not always understood by non-Romani, whose use of it is often not intended to cause offense. Further, some Romani organizations use "Gypsy" as a self-designation." [Source: Wiktionary, Term: Gypsy]
And me as someone who is not a part of this group, is not in the place to tell Roma and Sinti what they should and should not find offensive.

Anyhow, with this picture I discovered my love for doing collages. Shortly after that I created this skeleton. Which was 492934095 hells of work. 


Unfortunately I've only done these two. There has to be the right occasion. Sometimes and idea needs the right kind of material. So far I have a couple of new ideas and I already have collected some stuff for them.



So, I simply copied the back on a DIN A3 paper and glued the snips to it. Got through this quite quickly since I did not have any specific colours and had to stick to a drawing. All I wanted was some kind of regularity in it. Fluid glue is the best for this. You just smear everything on it and get every small edge that lifts itself from the paper/carton. 

But for me, that was not enough and you could not really see the braces on all that jumble. It was kind of confusing. Also I was looking for something I could display them on. At first I thought of these paper doilies they use in cafés or restaurants but the ones I found back then (at that time I wanted to finally finish the piece on a weekend) were from Karstadt and boring.
Easy isn't really my thing. So I fiddled around with a small crochet hook and some thin wool. Finishing the doilies took me months, I had some pretty long breaks in between and forgot parts of the pattern but I did it eventually. They vary a bit in size but I'm still satisfied with the outcome.




To glue them on to the carton I used "Fixogum". Best thing about it: it's entirely removable. I mean not just pulling two papers that are glued together but really removing the glue itself. I bought this tube at the beginning of my training ca. five years ago and after using it for this project, there is still more than one third left of it, hahaha! You can find it at every well-assorted store for office, stationary and art supplies.
I did not want to use a glue gun, I was afraid the braces might melt.



And again: something was amiss. With the needles it reminded me of taxidermied butterflies and that was just the kind of detail this piece needed.




After everything had some time to dry properly, I saw that the glue stained the wool a bit but that's okay. It's only noticable if you're really close to it. The braces don't have much plain surface so it's pretty hard to stick them on stably and I did not want to use a glue gun. Once in a while one of them comes off and I have to fix it. The needles don't give them much hold either, the carton is very hard so it's not easy to pin them without bending them too much. Other than that I'm pretty satisfied.

That's what the piece looks like on my wall. 

Have you already tried to used old, unused things to create something new with them?
I hope you liked this "making of". 


Bye! ♥

[Source: tumblr]

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