VIS270 activity 1.4: coelacanth (mesh)


It was challenging doing a project I have no emotional connection to but I found that once I got into the work of the fish, I enjoyed it. In hindsight, I probably should have chosen an animal a bit closer to my heart. (the Yamaha Paper Craft site I found had heaps of models to choose from). I used aluminum fly mesh as the armature - it didn't respond well to folding and would snap leaving sharp edges so rolling the mesh was better. Originally, I wanted to tie it together with red bead wire but this proved impossibly fiddly and awkward. I then tried black cotton with the same result - way too fiddly and awkward. Finally, I used black embroidery cotton with good results. It was easy to sew the pieces of mesh together but edges were challenging to work with - the cotton kept getting caught and tangled in the tiny bits of metal and fingers kept getting caught and tangled and injured by the tiny bits of metal. I ran out of black embroidery thread so the original plan to create a sleek and interesting fish in red and black was replaced by the rainbow fish. Stuffing it with micro fairy lights and adding the fish hook was a joke but I kinda like it. Despite being flexible, the mesh was a good, strong material to use as an armature - it could have held layers of material or papier mache or been wrapped around with fairy lights etc on the outside to build on the underlying structure. See the finished fish here.


  • In sculpture, one must be prepared to do a ton of experimenting with different materials to understand how they work and how best to join pieces together. 
  • Make sure I have all the materials on hand before I start a project so I don't run out of colours and have to change the vision.
  • It's OK to have no idea how anything is going to turn out, just start, things will evolve until I have enough experience and confidence in working with the material to know what's possible with it.