Final Suitcase Post!

Overall, I am very happy with the outcome of this project. I have learned a lot about how you can turn objects into art and while I may not have used the techniques we learned in class, I still learned so much!

This class was always so fun to go to and I loved learning about all the ways you can use art.

As I mentioned in class, I could not do the second suitcase because it was too hard to carve. The material was too thick and got on my tool really easily or sprayed hot plastic off in all directions. There were also strings inside the suitcase so when they got tangled in the tool, it whipped around and could hit my hand.

Thanks for a great class and good luck with the rest of the year!


Suitcase Update 2/23

My first suitcase is done!

I have finally finished the carving of the travel suitcase. I think it turned out well and I am trying to figure out if I want to add something on the top of it, but I kind of liked the way it looked and don’t want to make it cluttered. If I was going to add anything, it would be a skyline or pyramids or something that is longer horizontally  and shorter vertically.

I got a second suitcase and I figured out how I want to incorporate the theme of long distance relationships into it. It is kind of hard to explain, but I will have two different “collages” on each side of the suitcase that show how each persons’ story is different but similar. The middle will be a heart cut out with a head of a man on one side and a head of a women on the other side. When you look straight on to the suitcase, the two heads will come together to interact within the heart. I want to do this for the other images on the suitcase and have them relate to each other but tell a different story.

I am excited about being able to have two dimensions for shadow and using both sides of the suitcase. I will be a very fine way of carving and needs to be exact, but I think I can do it!

Here is the picture of the light coming through my finalized suitcase (unless I add more….)  Also the pictures are so hard to make it look as good as it does in person. 

Suitcase Update


I have finally been able to work on some more carving of the suitcase- I have drawn on the final image that I wanted to have on the suitcase and I am almost done carving it. It has become a balance between finding time to carve while also waiting for the tool to charge. I could have a solid hour to work on the suitcase, but in about 20 minute the tool will die and I will have to wait a little while before I can use it again.

I have also invested in some face masks that people wear when they’re sick as too prevent inhaling any smoke. It gets pretty smokey and I still haven’t figured out if there is a way that I can stop the smoking because sometimes it is a lot smokier than other times. I also found that lighting a candle during the carving will help with the smell. I’ve come to find the smell of burning suitcase to be something I am not a huge fan of.

Here is a picture of what I have so far- the picture that is dark doesn’t have all the carving done that is done now. The picture of the suitcase with the lights on is what has been done so far. My plan for the next week is to buy another suitcase and put together a plan for that suitcase.

I hope to have two or three pieces done for the end of this project.

Latest Update 2/9/2017

Hello all!

For this week I had a pretty bad sinus infection, so I was out for the count for most of the week. I was unable to physically work on my art piece, but I started to think about what I wanted to do with the other pieces. I really like working with suitcases because I like the idea of them and how “easy” they are to carve. I started to think about the story of suitcases and how those have been all over the world. I;ve always loved airports because people are going somewhere for a reason and I always want to know where people are going and why they are going there. Sometimes it’s not a happy reason and sometimes it’s an extremely exciting reason.

Looking at the suitcase that I have from savers, I was wondering about where it had been and why it went those places. It’s pretty beat up so I know that it was used a decent amount. From this thought process, I decided to stick with suitcases and carving those to tell their stories. I am going to get some hard-shell cases and try to tell some of their stories. One will be more sad, one will be happy, and other ones that I have not determined yet.

I’m pretty excited about this and can’t wait to start to putting together the images that will be carved into the suitcases and think about the stories that they are going to be telling. My next step for this week is to finish carving my current suitcase and then get some more hard-shell cases. Once I get two or three more, I will start to put together what I want to carve into it.

More to come later!

Let me know if you have any thoughts 🙂

Project Update

Hello Everyone!

This is a little late as I have been sick all week and forgot to post it last class-

I have been working on my art piece the past week and decided to go with a “carved object” style art piece. I took a trip to Savers to see if I could find any inspiration and I found it very helpful. Walking through the aisles I had an idea of what I maybe wanted to do, but I knew that it would be heavily influenced by the objects that I could find. I found some really cool objects that I knew I could put lights inside and light up if I found a way to carve them. I wasn’t super worried about the carving aspect and figured I could find some way to puncture the object to make light come through it.

Some of the objects that I found include a suitcase, a wooden prayer stool, a big metal pot, and tv/radio thing. I was really drawn to the suitcase because I knew I would be able to light it up and I thought the material would be easy to carve. I also knew I could carve travel type things into it and it would be appropriate for the suitcase.

I went to Home Depot and bought a Dremel to carve things and decided to get the wireless “micro” one that is better for engraving and working with smaller lines. I am glad that I got this one because it is easier to use, but the wireless is a pain when I have to charge it so often. I need to make sure to be on top of getting it done and not waiting until the last minute because with the time taken in for charging, it could take a long time if I was rushed.

I decided to carve the world map into the suitcase and add some iconic sights around the world. I used transfer paper that I normally use for pumpkin carving and printed off pictures from online to trace onto the suitcase. It was a little bit of a learning curve to carve the suitcase because I found that it was a balance between melting the suitcase with the dremel and cutting away at the material. It gets pretty easy after a while and I was able to get a good chunk of the suitcase done.

I am not sure what I am going to do for the other pieces yet- I have some odd items that I could carve but I want to be sure it’s safe and will look good.

I am going to spend this week figuring out what I will do for the other pieces.

Project Ideas – Megan

For this project, I really want to either create a story or environment. I also want to stick to simple techniques for the piece and not get really involved with the technology aspect and focus on the art and story. I really like working with shadow and contrast between light and dark.

My first idea that I can do for the project involves one of the examples we were shown on the first day of class. It involves creating an environment from a single shade covering a light. I really like this because it can change any place into a whole new area. It can make it creepy, beautiful, whimsical or anything else. It can evoke feelings and thoughts by putting someone in the area that is being created from the object. The materials for this could be lamp shades, plastics, materials that could give it texture and depth.

The second idea is something that I thought of because I love carving pumpkins. I thought of the idea of carving scenes into objects that wouldn’t be carved or even gutted. One object made me think of this originally was an old TV. It could be gutted out and then a scene could be carved into it using pinhole poking or a powered carver. I really like the idea of using the objects and scenes carved into it to make a statement or show a contradiction. For example, this could be like a TV with scenes of nature on it to show how people spend too much time watching TV and not outside.

The third idea is from artists that were shown during the artist presentations. I really liked the idea of creating shadows from objects that you would have never known created that shadow. I would use this technique in a similar way to my second idea. I like the idea of showing one thing with the objects and then showing something different with the shadow. One idea I had with this was to show a story about people meeting and the journey of falling in love by showing objected involved in their lives but showing more in the shadow. I like to tell stories and do things that people can relate to so I could do this through the sculptures. This project would have to be done in a room but then only documented in pictures, so it is not very movable or permanent.

James Turrell Light Artist Bio

“My work is about your seeing. There is a rich tradition in painting of work about light, but it is not light –it is the record of seeing. My material is light, and it is responsive to your seeing.” –James Turrell

James Turrell Portrait

James Turrell is a light artist in the most genuine way. He uses light in a way that puts it as the medium and not just something involved with the art piece. He creates objects and places for people to have experiences through light.

Standing in the Akhob exhibit in Las Vegas

Turrell has been featured in many museums but his work isn’t an easy thing to just throw up on a wall or place in a room. All of Turrell’s art pieces require modification to the space that it will be placed in. Whether it is blacking out or covering windows, building structures inside rooms, or creating zigzag hallways that prepare the viewer to see his art, there aren’t many “easy” installations when it comes to Turrell’s works.

The art that Turrell creates is all about immersive experience for the viewer. He works with shapes and light to create what appear to be physical embodiments of light. Experiencing Turrell’s art may take a lot of time for viewers to fully appreciate and understand his work. Laying on the ground and looking up at a mass of colored light or standing in what seems to be an dimensionless room are just two examples of what one could expect from Turrell’s work. Many people would say that it is impossible to explain his work without having experienced it.

One of Turrell’s art pieces that he is known for involve what is called a perceptual chamber. These chambers are for one person at a time and normally take about 12 minutes per person. Each person is slid into a chamber that is similar to an MRI machine. Once inside, the lights change and morph keeping beat to music that is played through headsets. Many people will not go inside these chamber because of the disorienting nature of Turrell’s work.

Inside the Perceptual Chambers
Outside the Perceptual Chambers

Overall Turrell has an amazing understanding of light and creating an experience using light as the subject and medium. To experience Turrell’s work is something that is inexplicable but unforgettable.


Megan Mueller Bio


Art has always been something that I want to bring into school projects or different aspects of my life. In school, I’ve always wanted to approach class projects in a different way which normally translates to an artistic approach. For instance, we had a very open ended project in an English class in high school where we could interpret readings into anything we wanted to make- most people wrote passages in a journal or painted what they thought the scenes would look like. For my project, I created a shadow box representing themes from the passages we had read.

Outside of school, I’ve always loved to do creative art projects, but not anything like drawing or painting. In high school, I had a mini cake decorating business where I could create cakes and decorate them in many ways. I then progressed to pumpkin carving where every year I push myself to do something more intricate and complicated. I can now create my own patters or just freehand carvings to make pumpkins of things that I want to make.

Some pumpkins I have carved:


I haven’t had a lot of experience with technology in the sense of coding and designing electronics. The types of experiences that I have had don’t necessarily entail building or designing things, but knowing and learning how it works. When I worked for Disney, my first co-op involved running three different attractions in Tomorrowland, and my second co-op was with Engineering Services in Magic Kingdom. I have learned and played with a lot of technology that is used all over the parks from attractions to shows to parades and more. Being able to see how certain effects happen is something I can draw from and use.

Other creative arts I enjoy include piano and theater. I have never been in a play or musical, but I am very passionate about the shows and have worked a little backstage. I have seen many plays live and loved all of them! I have been playing the piano since Kindergarten and like to mess around on the piano in my free time.

As far as creative inspirations, I don’t think there are any specific people that inspire me. My career is focused on working for a themed entertainment industry with the top companies being Disney Parks and Resorts and Universal Studios. The work that they do to bring a story to life so people can experience and live in inspires me. It also works in the opposite ways where I see other inspiration and I imagine where I can involve or include it in an attraction or experience at a theme park.

As I mentioned before, my goal is to work for Disney or Universal. I have completed two six-month Co-Ops with Disney and this has confirmed the fact that I want to work in this industry. My artistic goals are included in this career goal because I hope to help with the creation of an attraction or, bigger picture, a whole park. I want to assist in having people be blown away at how something happens and leaving the attraction wondering how it happened. I like to work with senses and make people feel something as they experience whatever it is they are experiencing; it’s not just ‘pretty’ and ‘cool’.

Working in Engineering Services at Magic Kingdom Park in Walt Disney World

My recent creative projects are probably my pumpkins that I carved. I started to just freehand designs and while I know that they aren’t my best work, I am still proud of being able to carve what I want to carve. Next year I hope to take more time to draw out a pattern and create a cool new design. I am excited to see what I can do in the future from school work to professional work and work in my own time.

Mardi Gras cake with completely edible chocolate masks
Practice wedding cake with fondant flowers