Getsumkunstwerk Bowl

The Getsumkunstwerk project was initialy from a presentation of several works that help create a picture of our “ideal object”. From this the group gave us a list of words or characteristic that got from our presentation. WE then had to pick 6 words from this list that we really felt summarised our ideal object, form this we were to make a bowl using these words. The Words that i choose were:

  • Contrast
  • Materiality
  • Honest
  • Functional
  • Engineering
  • Metal

The finished bowl consisted of two hexagonal bowls both cut at angles. The bowls were made so that the outer bowl mad of bronze which has an aesthetic purpose but also supports and protects the inner ceramic bowl. this is the more functional of the two bowls in a domestic context.

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My bowl has meet all 6 requirements for this project as it has not only material but colour contrast. Metal is my preferred medium although I do like to experiment and try other materials metal specifically bronze is my favourite medium. The process of pouring and finish bronze is very extensive , high of risk and exciting. However the way the strong and solid material can portray such fluid forms and the warmth in its finishes when most metal are coll and chrome is fascinating to me. Ceramic is a very versatile and to me precious material, its ranges in form, methods, glazes and process are extensive and quite freeing if you have the patience. They are almost polar opposite materials in terms of fragility, making and finish, they work beautifully together although they are distinctly different.

The Bowl is also about the material its form how the planes of the hexagon intercept.  The bowls presence as an object. And how the two bowls can be separated or used as one. The materials are honest in their finishes and purpose as a functional object, one for domestic use the other for visual and to support. Although coloured glazes and patination of the bronze would not discredit the fact the bowl is bronze and ceramic I still choose to finish them in more honest and simple way. The white and bronze are polished but natural finish which create striking contrast between the two layers which still sitting in harmony together.

The ceramic bowl can hold food, liquids or  object just as the bronze bowl can hold non consumer able object and the ceramic. However together they create one object one that is usable and safe. i would like to explore other routes where i can use hopefully bronze but if not another casting metal that is food safe. The problem of having a bronze vessel is that a customer could easily use it for products that can be consumed even with warnings. The bowl is still usable even for food just no the bronze part of it. For decoration or holding objects it is 100% usable.

It took many weeks to engineer this bowl. It involved a lot of calculation and trial and error to make a two 6 sided angled bowls that fit inside each other, whilst working with different shrinkage’s from two materials. They both took different time frames and processes and techniques to make.  This is the most difficult object I have made to date, my skills were thoroughly challenged in this project.

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IF there were more time or i knew alot of what i had learnt then i would have taken the time to properly work out how the shrinkage would affect the materials and therefore the fit of the bowls. I would also have liked to taken more time in finishing polishing and refining the bowls. as a few days are not enough to finish the bronze bowl to a high standard. I would also like to go back a re make my slip casting mould i did not make a funnel of sort to the edge of the cast would have been more precise.

However, i ma proud of the bowl it is one of the most complex thing i have made and it did push me. but most importantly to me it gave to the motivation to continue on with the combination of bronze and ceramic. There are aspects of the bowl and my processes that i can improve on but i have made a bowl that i am proud of. The most successful part for me is the visual of the two angels meeting. The interception is defined even more by the contrasting white and bronze. This is what i want to explore further.

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Dissertation Reflection.

I found myself enjoying the actual writing of my dissertation. I found that by choosing a subject I am actually interested, that loosely links to my subject worked help me find motivation to write. However I did not have enough motivation do to the foundation work earlier on in the summer, if i could go back i would force myself to do so much more reading and note taking during this time. I can not even explain why i didn’t get my act together and do the work sooner. When it came to the few weeks before formative hand in I was incredibly stressed i had to do a lot of reading and the writing but again found my self enjoying a few of the books I used within the formative. It was a silly mistake which I  payed the price for during formative.

I am having issues splitting my week in to subject and dissertation time. I found I have not been able to focus on writing when my project is so up in the air and so close to the summative deadline for subject. I know I should not but I feel like I may have to reduce the dissertation work to just reading extra books during the term and focus more of the writing during Christmas. This will not be easy but I believe it is better to do this rather that procrastinating with Sennett’s ‘The Craftsman’ open in front of me for the whole day.

Another big worry for me is getting the dissertation technically correct, so getting the referencing correct, the abstract, making sure I do not plagiarise myself  and the structure to name a few points. I am confident enough that I will hand in a relatively okay piece of writing and I do not think I will fail. The fact that the dissertations hold so much weight in regards to credits accounting towards my degree is very scary, as I find this is not my strongest are.  I know not to let that worry me as from previous essay i have surprised my self and managed to achieve good marks, so with better time management i can achieve a good dissertation.

I am still worrying about the dissertation and am slightly anxious by the huge word count. The largest piece of writing I have previously had to do is 4000 and that was the proposal. So 8000-10,000 is a little bit daunting. I have left a lot of the work  till this term but there is nothing I can do except face the challenge, try to improve my time management skills and get on with it.

After the Pitch

current bowl:

after feed back in the pitch I started to think about whether the current design and path way of table wear is suited to me a maker.  The bowl is heavy, which meas it is clunky and would cost a lot. with the current design of two flat bowls that sit within each other the bronze has no use. why use both bowls together when you could just use the ceramic bowl. however if the bronze bowl is the support for the ceramic bowl which could not stand by itself, would be a hindrance. Also i enjoy the aspect of intercepting planes but  dont feel like the geometric shapes represents my potential practice.

I want to stay working with bronze, i love the materiality of bronze. they way you can use what is a very brittle and rigid materials but create a very fluid even globular form with the material. compared to many other materials i feel the colouring even without patina has such warmth. the warm yellow or bronze tones give me a bigger sense of character for the material than steel or iron.

i think bronze has a connotation of luxury, with a big sense of tradition or historical value. Its a weighty material that takes time and resources to make the material. It is not the cheapest material or widely functional.

potential ideas

  • Continue with table wear but more delicate and simplified
  • coffee tables
  • lighting
  • items of value
  • small things, door handles, handheld mirrors, candelabra

valued objects

1# – phone laptop, stuffed toy

2#  – jewellery, stuffed toy, photographs,

3# – Irish wishing stone, books, pliers

4#  – guitar, beautiful utilitarian, knifes, pots, bronze zippo, up cycled bottle opener, novel and strange

5# – laptop, phone, bed

would any of these objects suit bronze? deciding from and making objects inspired by items of worth is a key point. I want to create objects that instigate value in the owner or user. But i feel like the list above has potential but is currently just me fishing and forcing ideas.

Furniture – again not a bad option has potential but i am not massively interested in furniture. In the future wit could be an interesting route to explore but right now i don’t feel like this is the best option for my ideas and for bronze. not 100% dismissing the idea though.

lighting- very interesting now that have researched and see the working bronze lighting i think it is a very good idea. Particularly inspired by Dubloons project Akaroa lighting.

http://www.dubloon.co.uk/akaroa-lights/

However i keep coming back to table wear i don’t feel like i have experimented enough to give in firm no to the idea of bronze and ceramic in a domestic setting as table wear.

I have been inspired by forms such as hammered bronze, dripping bronze, textured bronze being used as a holder or delicate casing based of cafetieres, only for support and small amount of decoration,

 

Bronze bowl

Similarly to the ceramic bow I used the wooden bowl as my former, except after a few goes it wasn’t as crisp as I would have wanted. So using the illustrator files I already had I cut the same pieces in acrylic. I picked 5mm instead of 3mm like the former for the ceramic bowl. I used different thicknesses to hopefully compensate for the shrinkage of the ceramics. As the ceramics bowl needs to sit inside the bronze bowl it needed to be smaller. Although new earthenware roughly shrinks between 6% and 10%, it was to vague of a guess to work out so I made the ceramics first and up scaled the bronze slightly to counter the shrinkage. I was hoping the shrinkage of the clay and difference in thickness would be enough, I wasn’t far off. I know I should have taken the time to further work it out but I did not have a lot of time left on the project and I was very fed up with the complex mathematics I was already using. They fit together but it could fit better. If there was time to re do the bowl and improve it i wold work out the shrinkage rates properly and make them fit perfectly.

  • The first task was to cut the acrylic bowl in 5mm.
  • Then I bevelled the edges to the same angles at the previous MDF bowl.
  • next I glued and filled any gaps where I had sanded too much away.

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  • The next step was to use the bowl as a former in a sand mould. This is a bronze casting technique which creates a solid carbonised sand box allowing, molten metal to be poured in to the appropriate shape. (see hand book for method. p29-32)
  • After the mould is made and the acrylic mould removed leaving a negative space. i was able to complete the bronze pour and make the actual bowl.
  • The bowl poured perfectly, the straight lines and accuracy of the acrylic produced a very precise bowl. The extra bronze in the photos is the excess material that bubbled up through the pour hole and air holes.
  • The next steps were to refine and polish the bowl, using and angle grinder with a cutting disk, I removed the excess bronze leaving just the bowl. Some of the edges were a bit rough due to easing the former out of the mould. So I sanded both with a air pressured sander and with a hand file to really perfect the edge. Unfortunately the Bronze pour happened a lot later than I had planned for. It is very easy to spend weeks finishing bronze and I did not have that much time to spend on the bowl.
  • After the edges were smooth I then polished the whole bowl up on the large polisher in the metal work shop. I found it really shined up the surface without taking to much of the texture from the sand mould away. However the polisher is a fairly large disk and i could not reach inside. If I had more time then using smaller dremle I would have tried to polish the inside but as i was on to the next project i just worked on the outside.

 

Ceramic bowl

It was a very lengthy process to make the bowl, i had to learn many new processes within in a short time frame to complete the bowl in 5 weeks.

  1. Firstly i had to design the bowl, this took drawing sketching, rough paper and card board maquettes, when the lack of precision was an issue I started deisgning in Solid works to make deisgn sheets and test the dimensions. This lead to Lazer cutting illustrator files to test the design further. After a few weeks of trial and error i was happy the the original dimension, I had to lazer cut the bowl in to MDF to make full size maquettes.  with all the piece of my bowl ready i needed to bevel the edges to make them sit together. this is where most of the struggle came from. I finlly managed to work out the side angles as 30 degress, however the bottom bevel and the base took a lot of time to work out. wiht the help of craig we made a wedge of wood at the perfect angle to shape the pieces. i belive the angel is roughly at 56 degrees.
  2. After applying shellack which is a type of varnish to the wooden bowl i made a Plater slip cast mould from the MDF form. Wood is pourous and wood absorb some of the plaster leaving the former stuck with in the mould. The shellack stops this form happening ensuring i can get the wooden bowl out of the mould.
  3. 20171012_134243Using the mould which took about 3 days and two attempts to make i was able to make slip casts of the bowl. I made a lot of casts which unfortunately didn’t survive. I made lots of ceramic vessels from the mould to test what thickness i wanted, or how long i need to leave to to dry. 20171208_185821.jpgI have choosen to slip cast instead of hand build the geometric bowl due to the precise angles. i did not feel like i had the tact for hand building so carefully, and slip casting takes a lot of skill and time to execute and good mould. After making the plaster mould i realise i could make a far better mould, but it did the job for such a short project.
  4. i then had to fettle the casts. This involves using scalped, metal kidney and sponge to thin and perfect the edges. this is due to handling the cast and dripping happening from the actual pour process.
  5. The next step was the bisque the clay, this is where the clay is put in to the kiln and heated so it vectrafies in to ceramic. I fired them up to 1000 degrees which is the general bisque temperature.
  6. The slip cast is made form earthen ware clay which fires to a lower temperature than stone ware or porcelain once glazed the ceramic will go to about 1100 degrees. I made 3 different glossy glazes going up to this temperature as the glossy finishes are safer to drink or use than matt.
  • The first glaze is glaze 1, which consisted of the pre made earthenware translucent glaze with 6% of black copper oxide, fired to 1100 degrees, in the test kiln. The clour is strong and pigmented, it fits well in to the potential art deco theme, especially against the bronze bowl. However it is quite patchy, which could be due to dust under the glaze or nit going higher in the bisque firing and then lower in the glaze firing. i could also soak it so when the kiln reaches a certain temperature keeping it there for a certain amount of time. but over a good colour.
  • The second glaze is just the translucent glaze, which for a more refined and luxury look would contrast well with the bronze outside bowl.
  • The third glaze is again the translucent glaze with 3.5% black copper oxide, fired in the same kiln. It created a beautiful sea green which came out smoother than the other coloured glazes but still had some texture. Making similar amendments like dust or changing the temperatures as said with the 6%copper glaze would improve the finish. But over all my favourite colour of the glazes.
  • The last earthen ware glaze used the same translucent glazes for its glossy finish but with 4% cobalt mixed in. The same issues with texture is evident. But has come out the firing with a deep royal blue colouring. it has the most even colour through the application and no evidence of slight running with the other two glazes.

Out of the glazes the sea green or glaze 3 is my preferred colour but when considering the bronze, contrast and my influences the the dark green, glaze 1 is the most suitable. or the transparent glaze on white ceramic and it just gives a mor polished look.

 

 

 

 

Ceramic and bronze Bowl

During my research two artists who collaborated on a project called “re naturing the vessel”. These artists were Julian stair an ceramicist and Simone ten Hompel a silver smith. Using their chosen mediums ceramic and metal they made a series of table wear with trays, scucers and spoons, mixing matching between the materials and colour combinations. They have from a physical stand point shown how the two material can vary yet still create a harmonious collection and how they work together as very different materials. Yet they are also showing vessels as more than a function object. A piece of table wear that can be used but admired at the same time treasured made out of interesting materials. I want to achieve a similar effect from my contrast bowl. The thought of buying a new mug is very exciting to me i get to see whats new, pick a new colour them or change the shape that im used to i can potentially buy a mug that i will love a treasure. So why not buy an object that has been hand crafted that has been engineered. instead of some cheap tat fro  Tesco. I want to be able to use an item yet still show it off and take pride in using it.

My initial research with the ideas of ceramic an bronze helped me come to a contrasting two tiered bowl made of the two materials. After researching Art Deco, intercepting planes, surface and plane i wanted to seriously push my skills as a maker. this lead to a very geometric and in regards to me a very maths heavy design. i usually stick to very natural fluid forms that i can hand make and not really plan to far ahead with.

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Im am not the quickest when it comes to mathematics problem solving and i do not particularly enjoy it, however to get a crisp six sided bowl i needed to really plan, design and work out plenty of angles and problems.  my first mock up on Cad with the help of Rhys as my computer skills were a bit lacking ended with this design.

It was very far from my usual style and was very challenging for me. I found it very difficult to find suitable proportions for the bowl as i have never done any form of table wear or vessel. It did cross my mind that i may have jumped to quickly in to the deep end, but as it was the first project of my final year i wanted to start with a bang. I made many paper and cardboard maquettes and sketched a lot of mock bowls which helped but not enough to get actual measurements to make a bowl with. I tried to create another CAD file on solid works with measurement which although it took me a lot longer than a product designer i finally made. However i found it difficult transferring measurement from 2D to 3D as the angles in 2D form would change in each form due to perspective.

 

One of the main inspirations from my Geamtkunstwerk bowl is from Richard Serra. Serra is an American artist who works with weathered steel on a very large scale, hundred of tons across meters of space. His works embody the practice of intercepting planes and the engineering of materials. Although there are points that intercept Serra’s work has inspired me to think about angling the bowls to create a more severe interception. After a tutorial with Ingrid we discussed how to vamp up the bowl, i have pictures of Serra’s work on my wall which lead us to creating a design with tilting sides. The visible planes of the bowl to intercept.

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The interceptions brings the two bowls together creating a more cohesive bowl. It now become a singular object with two components instead of two separate bowls. The angles sides also emphasise the geometric design of the bowl and gives more purpose to the hexagon shape. before i could have made any different amount of sides including spherical. To create the dichotomy of angles and materials, i wanted 3 different pieces the make the interception, meaning there are two of everything or 6 pieces to make either the bronze or ceramic bowl.

 

 

 

 

Art Deco

Art Deco was an art movement between the 1920’s and 1930’s it simultaneously celebrated tradition and modern mechanised qualities. Art Deco spanned, furnishing, pottery, architecture, glassware, prints and fashion.

” Decorative elegance and exquisite craftsmanship is displayed through the works of Clarice Cliff, Frank Lloyd Wright, Rene Lalique, Emile-Jaques Ruhlmann and Jeanne Lanvin, providing lively insight into the development of one of the world’s first truly global design movements.” (V&A, Art Deco)

Art deco is based on geometric shapes and lines, and bright colours. the added metallics of bright metals add a touch of luxury to the aesthetic. Craftsmanship especially of expensive materials like ebony and ivory add to the lux feel of Art Deco.

 

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Bibliography 

V&A, Art Deco. Available at https://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/art-deco [Accessed on 11 Oct 2017]