My initial thought was to have only the ribbons of the present constructed in steel. I made this example above using a sculpting product called Paper Clay to see what it might look like. I made a framework out of wire first, then wrapped with the paper clay. I wanted the metal inside not only for support, but so I could suspend the piece off the wall (with nails and magnets) for interesting shadows.
I liked the way the clay piece looked but I felt there was something else I wanted to say with the steel. Journaling and doing tiny thumbnail sketches helps me sort through ideas, it's like thinking out loud. I realized I should incorporate the meaning of the material in some way - steel as a barrier, strong, safeguarding - so the idea for the steel box with chains as ribbon and several padlocks piled on top for a 'bow' hit me! This pic above shows the original idea of how I thought it might look.
Then Mark went to work, and appeared with the real thing! This is a picture taken during the reception. I hung the box on the wall along with the drawing and painting of piece.
The drawing is graphite on Yupo. I loved drawing and painting my chain ribbons! Working on transparent papers during the residency was a way to experiment with ideas about losing the box. And suddenly it felt like the box was saying, "oh no you don't, I'm here to stay!"
I love Mark's box, it's a more subtle idea of a present, not as obvious as the multiple locks. But being the obsessive person that I am, and being really excited about potentially a strong visual statement, I made a trip to Home Depot last night for more chains, metal flashing, and 8 padlocks. :) Who knows if it will work out, I'll let you know.