Commemorative Table Top Panel
Good Day Everyone
Today I have here a custom project that I did for a friend of mine at work. Her son graduated from Elementary school this past Spring and so she wanted some way to preserve and commemorate this milestone in her son's life. So she came to me and asked if I could help.
I said, "sure I can - what do you have in mind?" She gave me a blank look and then shrugged her shoulders, so I started asking questions-gettin' personal:
Where do you plan to display it
What colors would you like for it to be
How large do you want the finished piece
What all do you want me to include in it
Do you want space for a photo...if so how big would you like that to be
Needless to say she still didn't have much of a response, except for when I asked what all she had to include in the overall piece. Turned out she had of course his school picture for that year, his 5th grade class picture, the 5th graders group picture, the graduation ceremony program, his certificate of completion, and then finally a CD.
She did also mention that she wanted it to be for a boy/guy...otherwise the sky was the limit...okay...I'm good with that.
So I deliberated for a couple of days/weeks (being that she wasn't in any hurry) and then got to work. My first task was getting all of her photos and ephemera into my computer so that I could work with whatever copy I wanted and not have to worry about ruining her actual photos and ephemera pieces. Once I got that finished I went on to my next task which basically was the whole concept of the project for me. When I think of boys, I think rough and tough...right? Not trying to stereo type anyone, that's just what came to mind when she mentioned that it did in fact need to represent him. So what looks masculine? I opted for metal, with lots of blacks, grays, and white. So the main component of this piece is the craft aluminum that I embossed using texture fades, the first one I used for the main background is 'riveted metal' the second texture I used was 'diamond plated' both by the wonderful Tim Holtz. The one and only color that I left in this piece, because I turned the two other photos to black and white-along with the program and certificate, is the color of her son's shirt which was red. I did this for two reasons: yes red does look good with all of my other color choices but what if this year say, she wants to put in a different photo? then she would have to figure out a way to match the colors - had I done anything else in the way of color. But with this monochromatic color scheme and just the red inside to add a punch (which is removable-by the way), this is still a very neutral piece and therefore could accommodate any colorful photo she cares to add in, over the next several years. Not only did I keep the color palate neutral, I also kept the cover interchangeable, meaning that all the pieces that label it 5th grade or even Elementary, are all on the inside - leaving the front cover open to display a recent photo and making the entire piece a decorative item. Does that make sense? I hope so...
So here is just a peek inside, as you can see the left-sided panel has the 5th graders all together, the opposite panel (which for some reason I did not get a picture of) has his class picture, then in the very center is where I put his school year photo, and of course I intentionally left that shut to protect his privacy. Now the two side photos I copied off as black & white and made them 7 by 5 in size, the center photo - which is just him - I kept in color and enlarged it to an 8 by 10 size. The two side photos cannot be changed, I adhered those down to the panels but the center photo can be removed. I created over sized photo corners so that it could be removed and my reasoning for this is that ever in the future her son wants to display maybe his own children's photo from the 5th grade - he'd have a great spot - either on the inside like his or on the outside with the bullnose clip. As for right now the clip is what will display his Certificate of Completion, and then the program is tucked in a little pocket on the right side flap as you open up the piece. So overall the piece closed is 10 1/2 by 11, there are 3 panels that open from the left then the right which I attached with metal hinges, the open piece would be approximately 10 1/2 by 24 - I'm guessing.
So there you have it, a finished commemorative table top panel that celebrates her son's accomplishment, a milestone within his educational journey. What an awesome way to display this, besides being an art piece in itself, it really does keep all those special pieces all in one tangible place for everyone to 'take notice'.
(for more on this piece please check out my video)