The Mood Meter is one of the central tools in RULER, the emotional intelligence curriculum developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. It's a graph that helps people identify and articulate their emotions. The x-axis plots how positive or negative the emotion is, while the y-axis plots energy level. This results in four distinct quadrants:
- Red: Emotions that are unpleasant and high in energy, like anger, frustration and anxiety
- Yellow: Pleasant and high in energy, like excitement, joy and elation
- Blue: Unpleasant and low in energy, like boredom, sadness and despair
- Green: Pleasant and low in energy, like tranquility, serenity and satisfaction
Robin and Marc gave me tons of creative freedom with regard to the style, aesthetic, and materials, which was such a treat for me! I ended up creating a large, square mosaic made out of sheet steel. I took the graph and tipped it on a corner -- diamonds felt more dynamic than squares. If you've seen my work before, you probably know that my color palette is pretty subdued (both my portfolio and my closet could be described as "Fifty Shades of Gray"). I used a variety of finishing techniques -- staining, sanding, sandblasting, waxing -- to create tones in the steel ranging from bright silver to a dark slate gray. There's a subtle ombré from bottom to top: The lower half of the piece is a bit darker, to reflect lower-energy emotions, while the upper half has brighter, shinier steel tones, to symbolize higher-energy emotions. Robin requested small splashes of color as a nod to the Mood Meter, so I painted four small triangles with the original quadrant colors. Lastly, I welded a simple frame out of steel flatbar to give the piece a polished edge.