Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Iron Craft 2014 Challenge #3--Sochi Snowflake Book (Project 6)

Sochi Snowflake Book
I have to admit that I really struggled with Challenge #3. Not from an artistic standpoint but from a political one. First, I must admit that I am a huge fan of the Olympics and its original purpose. Now, it seems that politics and money have overshadowed the athletic showcase of the event. There is so much money to be made from the Olympics that one of the motivators for the organizers, Olympic committees and sponsors seems to be the selling of the Olympics.

Also, this year and the Russian government's anti-gay stance seems, for me, to overshadow this wonderful event. This is the first year that I have not watched the Olympics. NBC and my cable network, at least in my part of the world, require you to get a special Olympics package in order to watch anything that does not appear in its prime time broadcast. One of my resolutions this year was to watch less television so I decided not to watch the Olympics and in the process got rid of my television service. I have also decided to not drink any Coca-Cola products or visit McDonalds due to their "non-support" of  pro-gay support in their advertising during the Olympics (BTW, this pro-gay stance is one they take at all other times of the year.) So, while the Olympics is on, I will not support these companies. Please keep in mind that I do support the Olympians and have donated money to the US Olympic Committee and have purchased some USOC merchandise as a way to support the Olympic competitors.

So it was with heavy heart that I read the assignment for Iron Craft Challenge #3--create something motivated by the Olympics. I was going to just skip the assignment but it kept nagging at me if this was the right thing to do. Also, I wanted to see if I could complete another year without missing a challenge.

After hearing about the Opening Ceremonies and the difficulty with one of the snowflakes malfunctioning, I came up with the idea of making a snowflake book. A simple accordion book with covers that would contain a collection of cut out snowflakes. Surely that would be something that I could complete. There would be four snowflakes: two to represent the evolving snowflake of the Opening Ceremonies, one to represent the fireworks and one to represent the Olympic torch.

Torch Cutout (left) and
Starburst1 Cutout (right)
Starburst2 Cutout (left) and
Fireworks Cutout (right
Open Book--Snowflake Opening
As I was cutting the snowflakes, I read about the protesters that were being jailed and/or beaten by Russian police officers--some of which were protesting the treatment of gays but also some protesters who were simply protesting the Russian government without any mention of gays or gay rights. During this time, I decided that my snowflake book had to become something different--an expose of the juxtaposition of the good and bad of the Sochi Olympics. If you open the book in one direction, you will see the snowflakes. If you open the book in the opposite direction, you will find a collection of the protest images.

Protest Pages 1 & 2
Protest Page 3 and
Google Doodle
Protest Pages 5 & 6
Open Book--Protest Opening
 Although I struggles with this challenge, I am very pleased to have completed a project with which I am comfortable and that fits the intent of Iron Craft challenges.


Just Crafty Enough said...

I have to say, I struggled a bit with posing this challenge too. I don't believe in the way Russia is handling human rights (as is so much of the world). At the same time, I do love to watch the athletes. We have the only Olympic team that isn't government supported so it is not surprising so much money is coming from commercialism. I also have to say I love the stories of the people who come knowing they'll never win but just want to go to the Olympics. It's a tough year for it, that is for sure. I'm glad you found a way to make the challenge work for you & feel comfortable with it.

playsculptlive said...

I admire your convictions and the time you spent thinking this through. As in other Olympics, there usually is a good and bad story to them. I suspect that the same was true for the original Olympics back in Rome. The spirit of them though is to overcome the obstacles to get to step up and do what you do best. I think that you have achieved that in this project! Brava!

Dr. Russ said...

Thanks for the comments. I just wanted to participate without being disrespectful to the other creators/crafters. Thank for the support.