True Tales of Fabulous Flops, Volume 1: Series 2
FEATURING: Juliet Hinely, MFA Candidate 2014

Let's face it:
Failure is a part of life. It is an essential part of creating, and an important thing to come to grips with in any art and design education. Everybody has had a project or idea go terribly wrong. Even brilliant makers and thinkers like current graduate student Juliet Hinely sometimes have epic fails that teach them something important about themselves and their creative practice.

IT began in the summer of 2011... when Juliet moved to Ypsilanti, MI before starting Grad School that fall. She was interested in making site-specific work to connect her to this new place she called home.

She discovered an abandoned Silo nearby, and thought it would be the perfect place to make a cyclorama (panoramic wallpaper) of Ypsilanti.

At Juliet’s first critique, however, people were more interested in a photo she had taken of the sky from inside of the silo than her wallpaper idea. She decided she would work with both the sky and the silo.

With a background in textiles and installation, Juliet decided she would make a ‘sky quilt’— a tessellating set of cut mirrors placed in the bottom of the silo to reflect the sky. She spent $200 on mirrors and began carefully cutting them into pieces.

When Juliet finished cutting, she trudged across a frozen field dragging boxes and bags of mirror with her through the snow—they weighed 30 pounds each! She began to install in the silo, working slowly from the center out.

Juliet stepped back, ready to see the blue sky reflected in the mirror—
— problem was, IT WAS GRAY.
not because the sky was gray... but because where you had to stand to see the mirror, it only reflected the ugly gray sides of the crumbling silo.

HER Project SIMPLY DIDN’T WORK.
She picked up her mirrors, loaded her bags, and dragged it all home.

so, what did she learn from this?

Juliet learned the importance of researching the qualities of materials (in this case, light and mirrors) before working with them. She also learned that site-specific installations require site-specific testing; trying a little mirror in the silo first would have shown her the best viewing angles in advance.
If your work is site-specific, test it first— it’ll be terrific!

mia cinelli + kath weider-roos, 2013 • Sherri Smith: epic fail #1