Keara Friel

Helping Hands

Class of: 2025

Major: Fashion Design BFA

Medium: Sculpture, wire, beads, chain

Faculty: Aviva Maya Shulem

Prompt: Over 5 weeks I had to design a 3D personal symbol using linear materials.

Starting this project was challenging as I had no idea what I could to make that would represent me. I thought I could use my heritage as a form of representation, yet I’m not very connected to where my family came from. I thought about things I enjoy such as sewing, but I didn’t want my passions to define me. I thought about my personality and felt that it was a good starting point, as it was an overall representation of me. When thinking about my personality, the main idea I wanted to focus on was how I give my time away to others and though I come off as helpful, it creates stress inside me. With this idea in mind, I went into the research phase focusing on symbols that represent giving and helping. I learned about the history of symbols and discovered how modern symbols came to be. I also learned about the symbolism behind hands. In many cultures hands are used to represent helping others. My favorite part of this project was creating meaning behind each aspect of the crown. The overall crown represents giving my time away and being praised for it. The hands represent me while the chains spilling out represent my time and energy given to others, and the chains on the face are a vail show how I actually feel. I added pearls to the vail to represent my stress and tears. When the final project came together, I was proud and felt that it represented this idea of showing my personality through my ‘helping hands,’ if you will. Though this project was challenging, I found inspiration when diving into the meaning of this project, and I think it helped me execute the crown in a way that I could not have imagined.