"The Enrichment Center reminds you that the Weighted Companion Cube will never threaten to stab you and, in fact, cannot speak. In the event that the Weighted Companion Cube does speak, the Enrichment Center urges you to disregard its advice."
                                                               - GLaDOS

     For my third art project of the year, I made a replica of the Weighted Companion Cube from the video-game Portal. I'm a huge fan of the games, and, like all Portal fans, I especially loved the Companion Cube.

    For anyone who hasn't played Portal, the game revolves around an artificial intelligence program called GLaDOS making the player, represented by a character named Chell, solve tests. These tests often involve lasers, potentially lethal falls, or GLaDOS's favourite, neurotoxin. Chell is equipped with a gun that shoots both an orange and a blue portal. When both portals are active, you can enter one and come out the other.

    In one level of the game, GLaDOS gives Chell a Weighted Companion Cube, which she has to take with her through the entire level. At the end of that test chamber, the player is forced to throw their Companion Cube into an incinerator, destroying it.

    I based my version of the companion cube off of a tutorial I found here. I started with six 11"x11" squares of foam core, and glued them into the shape of a cube. Originally, I wasn't sure if glue would be strong enough, and tried to attach them by placing paper clips in between the layers of the foam core. However, I realized that lining them up was very difficult when trying this method, and so I switched to using glue. Now that the project is finished, the glue has proven to be more than strong enough.

    After creating the cube shape, I cut out the eight corner pieces, and folded and glued them together. After I had glued them onto the cube, I found a YouTube video which had suggested to reinforce the corners by putting newspaper between them and the cube. I regretted not finding the video earlier, but by this point it was too late to do anything. While gluing the corners on, I also debated whether or not I was going to add the edge pieces. As you can see in the picture below, the Weighted Companion Cube created by the game designers has raised pieces along the edges which my version lacks.
    I decided not to add in the edge pieces for a number of reasons. I couldn't find any very good online templates, and it would have been very time-consuming. Because there was a deadline for this project, I didn't want to waste time cutting out, folding, assembling, and gluing on twelve edge pieces.

    When I'd attached the corners, I started painting the cube. The only real problem I ran into while painting was getting the colour right. The grey from the bottle had a slight greenish tinge to it, which I didn't want to use for my companion cube. I mixed my own grey out of black and white paint, which worked fine.

    The Companion Cube used in Portal is designed to replicate a human's weight. Obviously, my hollow and miniaturized version is mostly air. The entire thing probably weighs only a pound or two at most. Therefore, I say that my creation is an UNWeighted Companion Cube.

    Overall, I'm extremely happy with my Companion Cube. There are versions of the Companion Cube all over the internet, ranging from replicas like mine to plush version to fuzzy dice. I'm definitely looking forward to creating more Portal-based artwork. Maybe I'll crochet a Companion Cube next...