Defying Limits

I started my investigation with cardboard, a simple, stiff material typically used for shipping items around the world. I’m drawn to cardboard due to its versatility, its mass availability, and its low cost. I use cardboard and materials alike such as foam core to create kinetic sculptures using simple geometric forms seen in nature such as circles and spirals, along with creative engineering techniques. I wanted to defy the commonly perceived limits of these materials, creating sculptures with life from a stiff, lifeless material. To create my work I get inspiration from artists like Tara Donovan, who makes sculptures from simple materials and geometric forms. 

I first mastered simple techniques like scoring cardboard to create cylindrical forms, and then evolved to creating my own methods to carry out the complex, kinetic plans I sketched in my notebook. An early project involved stacking 1x1 inch cardboard squares in a spiral to form my first kinetic sculpture—a bouncy, slinky-like structure. I then replicated this type of movement by stacking slightly rotated open rings to mimic a slinky, which I examined closely to devise my plan for creating my own cardboard version. My experimentation continued with a sphere-shaped sculpture inspired by a soccer ball's geometry. Initially, I laser-cut hexagons and pentagons to assemble the shape, but it wasn’t refined. To fix this and to make the process of making these spheres more efficient, I scored and folded nets of the sphere’s two halves before gluing them together, achieving a refined and accurate form. As I started to create more projects with countless geometric forms involved, using a laser cutter became vital to my process, making it easier, more efficient, and most importantly, more enjoyable.