I had never previously visited New Designers but had heard from previous students and tutors about the show, but have never been able to go. I understood it to be a graduate show where art students were able to display their work to reps of large and small brands over the space of two weeks. However I did not expect the quantity of textile students to dominate the space. However during the second week is very design based where the majority of product designers display their work. From discussion i have had most Makers have gone with the first week where contemporary applied art show. As makers we fall across many disciplines and i can see how it can be difficult to decided when to show. A draw back of new designer is the price. It is incredibly expensive to organise the show and to to stay in London.
I appreciate all areas and mediums of art and design. However certain mediums appeal to me more than others. I found there were some brilliant patterns, colours and concepts but we walked through the textile area relatively quickly. After a few trips round we finally found the more 3D based work, which was hidden away in the side rooms… we decided to visit the recently graduated makers. I was a bit shocked at the size of the space for their money and how easy it was to just walk straight past them. Although i think they did well considering their space, it did make me re think about whether new designs would be worth it. I’ve heard mixed reviews from tutors and graduates. Some were able to network, some received job offers, commissions and some got nothing. Although id argue that going through the process of applying for a show, curating, travelling with work, working on social skills and networking. As helpful as these skills are it can be a bit dis-heartening to not receive any offers when potentially your peers are.
I was able to talk to a Graduate from Essex school of art who made an interesting form based on cracks of a bowl for a kintsugi style piece. The pieces were made from gold plated wire that followed the cracks of a cracked bowl. They had an ethereal presence, a thin cold form just floating on a shelf. they were beautiful in their iridescence and simplicity.
The artists was a graduate called Anthony Milton, who i spoke all about his work and my future ideas from my graduate show. He suggested i try PMC as a substitute from pouring bronze as it is a clay and metal based substance. Thanks to this i now have him on Instagram where we follow each others professional blog on the process of our practices.
Here are some other photos from objects that stood out to me.
Conrad Shawcross is a British who creates metal sculptures based on science and philosophy, these sculptures are mechanical creating a surrounding grid of shadows that change and move as the kinetic sculptures moves its form. The sculptures are made of connecting geometric shapes enhancing and complimenting the mathematical movement of the mechanics.
i have looked more in to his light work which is solely based of the differing shadows created from the kinetic sculptures along side the viewers perception of time like in his work Timepiece 2013 in the Round house London.
Along side is technically perfects metal sculptures with a deep context of Paradigms
I have been looking in to the contrast between sculpture and shadow and metal and space, both very distinguished from each other creating distinctive and beautiful patterns. However Shawcross has been able to create aesthetic pieces with a meaningful and in depth context about philosophy mathematics, perception. these themes take knowledge to understand and translate in to physical piece. on a smaller scale i am investigate the balance of contrast and the balance between function and beauty, a more physical concept but an in depth one inspired from Shawcross’s use of physical and not.
Second year has been a big turn around for me. i found my place within art, design and craft. i feel like i have started to fall in to the category of studio craft after experiencing Bams i want to create bespoke or small batch products that either go up for sale or can happily fit in gallery setting. This is due to the live brief in subject and my constellation essays and subjects. Bams was an intense process in a fairly short time frame. The pressure of time forced me to get my ideas and making sorted very quickly and kept me going through the process. it was an intensive process to make and finish the medal which i found i loved, both the material of bronze and the structure of the project. Although My medal wasn’t what the Bams competition was looking for i am proud of my medal i pushed myself out of my comfort zone and really tried in the project. It showed me that my weaker area for projects is the conceptual side of the brief and if i were to improve to an equal level to my making skills in metal then i would be achieve a much higher grade. I am pleased with the amount of techniques i had to learn and use to create the moving and textured medal that i wanted. This is the first end product that i am proud to show.
For the make your mark project i really wanted to explore bronze, i love the intense process of the molten metal, the variety of finishes and techniques to use on the bronze, i find it all fascinating. I originally started looking at table wear and cutlery, but more textural and sculptural to suit my normal aesthetic, i then moved on to ‘re inventing’ the sport. However it didn’t feel like the project was representing me very well and i started to resent it over Easter. Instead of stumbling along i decided to change my ideas with 4 weeks to go i found some photo and maquette experiments from first year that produced intricate shadows. I took this inspiration as my new starting point and decided to play with contrast between materials specifically metal and ceramic. It is using my favourite medium and what i see as its apposing material. It was an incredibly difficult and held many issues. I decided to view this project and a documentation of experimenting and progressing through the theme of contrast and combining the two materials balancing function and aesthetic. Alot of the process didn’t work but this created a different but interesting result and taught me how to improve and alter some of the process. My mantra for this project was ” If ive learnt form it, its not a mistake or a failure” So i managed to show a collection of aesthetics, functions and processes for my end display. It has inspired me to carry on the challenge and further test the [processes and techniques at try other materials.
AS a starting point for preparing for my future and professional practice was to look at logos and forms of advertising. I don’t feel comfortable at the moment drawing and creating my own brand my hand so i decided to look into websites that design them based on relevant information you put in about your business.
As i am unsure about where my practice fully lies i decided that my name or my initials is a good starting and neutral starting point. Whether i make my own business or join a company of makers or designers my name as a brand may still be appropriate.
These are my two favourite designs as it is simple but has the relevant a simplest information needed to promote myself i feel the casual brush like strokes of the fronts represent my practice and me as a maker and person well. I think the orange and clear initials would be a striking design on a businesses card and not be to overwhelming.
This particular sight tailor brands charges between £2.50 – £8.99 per month billed annual for unlimited business cards for that year.
I think this is a good and cost efficient option if you can find a logo that suits your practice. However i do want to experiment myself using paint, pencils and even using illustrator over the next year but i am intrigued by the options given by the website.
Initially i looked in to metal cutlery and table wear how functionality and aesthetic show be equal, but in bronze. I wanted to push my boundary and try an object that i had not considered before but in my favourite medium. This line of deigning and thinking didn’t not suit me in my practice i enjoy more studio craft item instead of fully functional more product design briefs. So i changed my ideas to simply vessels. still exploring the balance of function and aesthetic but in one off items and with both metal and ceramic. I also looked in to more of a metal cage around ceramic that properly joining them which is where the handle ideas come from.
I find pintrest is a good starting point gathering inspiration but also seeing what is already out there and looking at whats missing and how you can combat that space in the market.
I choose these particular patterned tiles over other designs because they showed the range of what are considered successful and unsuccessful pewter and ceramic tiles. The straight lines allowed the pewter better fluidity through the tile ass there were open recceses for the metal to run. However they didn’t fill the available space creating over flows and patters that although are not what i wanted show an element of uncontrollability and how it will go where it wants and it can be very beautiful.
The other tiles show how the tiles created a negative space for the pewter so some of the detailing and patterns are hidden within the ceramic tile. Although the tiles didnt produce the forms i was expecting i was pleasantly surprised by the range of outcomes. However i dont think the process of pouring the pewter and pressing it in to the tile is the most effective method for combing metal and ceramic.
The original plan was to create a second mould around the slip then pour the metal in to the mould when it should sit within the concaved marks of the cup. This was apparently not am ideal plan and had Martin Burnell suggest other solutions and plans. Pouring metal over them of trying to replicate the shapes did not work. instead i decided to glaze them and show the potential of the ceramic vessels and how far i had got in the process. Given more time i would have like to test the mould idea whether it would succeed or not. I also choose a vibrant blue glaze to to add contrast to the neutral tone of my display. As most things are pewter coloured a bisque ware due to time constraints i need to add something that would inject some colour. During the glazing process i added wax resist to the grooves keeping them white. However in my haste i forgot to wipe the glaze from the wax resist. This produced solidified glaze bubbled that gave the grooves a bubbly texture. On one vessel i filled the space with resin dulling the textual effect but enhancing the shiny glaze. Where i will leave the second vessel un-glazed to show the true texture left from glazing. Although i didnt manage to incorporate metal in to these two objects i did not want to just leave them behind, although the process didn’t work i still started it and had a lot of trial and error with craving from the water content allowing it to be too soft to crave or to brittle as i found i cracked a few during the carving process. I feel they are an important part of the process and am happy to display them for the progressive project.
I wanted to show a different side of metal and ceramic. Not every experiment or idea has to involve pouring metal, wire can also be effective and give a beautiful aesthetic. I consider it a simpler technique and look as it only involved manipulating the wire around the ceramic vessel. I outsourced the ceramic vessels from Bert as my throwing skills and not adequate i wanted a good canvas to demonstration the wire handle idea. I feel if i had thrown my own vessels they could potentially distract from the wire and would also be more difficult to fit the handle to an irregular object. I have also developed an allergic reaction to most things in the glaze room, the white crackle that off sets the copper wire has a high level of irritation to the skin, matt the technician advised i had assistance for glazing as he did not want me touching the glaze. I had a fair amount of assistance for this object but the design, idea and wire work was all my own doing. It has also helped me understand that in the future i may not be able to every process by myself and delegating or seeking assistance is not a bad thing for a maker.
Ceramic and Metal
Ceramics, pewter, copper, steel,
This work is a visual documentation of experimenting with ceramic and metal. I have used
The make your mark project and my display to show and document the progression of the processes involved in combining the mediums. I have tested different processes and forms of the mediums to show variety and compare what works and what has not. I plan to further explore the balance between the functionality of ceramics in a domestic setting and beauty of metal in other forms such as bronze or aluminium with is often used in contemporary jewellery and embellishments. The work shows a scale from flat ceramic tiles and pewter, to a carved vessel which did not support the pouring of a metal, to wrapping a steel in solid state around a vessel. The inspiration for the patterns came from shadows i made from small maquettes from first year. There is parallel between the juxtaposition of ceramic and metals based on contrast of shadow and light within my initial experiments. The glazes used were planned to enhance the patterns of the shallow carvings based on the shadow work and the intricate wire handles encompassing the ceramic vessels.