Make you Mark – Take Two

Over the Easter holiday i started to resent the current project of bronze table wear. After researching the writing about craft, it history, context and definitions, i consider my self part of the craft category of art verses a fine artist or a designer. The making of cutlery in my choice of bronze was too heavily product design based. Bronze would not have been a suitable materials for items used for consumption.

With this revelation that the project based on who i am as a maker did not reflect me and my practice i looked through my old photos to try and stir some inspiration up. I came across some shadow work from 1st year, i felt like i didn’t reach and explore the full potential of these photos and sculptures.

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These forms were inspired by Artist such as Cornelia Parker, Conrad Shawcross and Mia Pearlman, who all create large installation pieces although Parker and Shawcross have used Shadow work in their previous pieces Pearlman’s chosen medium is paper.

I am intrigued by the high contrast between shadow and light within these photos, i feel like they would translate in to other mediums such as the combination of ceramic and metal. The shadows have a lot of potential that i want to explore further but not in the form of an installation, i want to create a physical object that would be situated in either as gallery or a craft shop, fair. Although this project is based on our mark i want to test the concept of functionality in my work. Metal is my preferred material but can be hard to make it fully functional for consumption, how ever ceramic is the most associated medium for table wear.

i plan to create a slip cast of a vessel like a cup or mug and etch out the prominent lines from the primary research of the shadow photos. I then plan to pour pewter in to a mould containing the slip cast ceramic where in theory the pewter when heated and in a liquid form should flow in to the grooves etched out. This is a new concept to me and i have not seen this does not yet so there will be trial and error i suspect mainly with creating areas for air bubbles to escape when pouring the pewter. If this concept is successful this has the potential to move on to bronze and maybe even porcelain for 3rd year, but that is all if this process works.

Using the shapes and contrasting colours of the shadow work i plan to experiment with the balance of fragility of ceramics and the durability and beauty of metal in particular for this project pewter. The element of functionality provided by the food safe ceramic cup creates a concept that is functional but durable with the decoration and support from the pewter hugging the ceramic vessel. Pewter in this form is removed but its industrial metal conception and takes on the forms inspired by delicate jewellery rather than heavy industrial forms.

The exploration of opposing materials and how to combine them in a durable but aesthetically delicate form is quite the challenge as the materials require completely different process and techniques to produce both the ceramic and metal elements. i find metal very comfortable to work with and know the process quite well, ceramic is a difficult and unknown process to me and has made time management difficult, however i feel this idea can go far and is very interesting. it represent me as a maker. From the dual materials incorporating metal, in a craft form.

 

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25th January, The Tour 

Im a fussy eater, breakfast being the worst meal of the day for me. However Moroccan food or what ive had so far                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Is fantastic lamb, beef chicken vegetables, rice, cous cous, hand made breads, rotis mint tea and more. I think an important part and one way of intergrating in to a culture is to try the local cuisine. The breakfast was a positive way to start the day and cake for breakfast doesnt hurt. 

Our tour took us on a short walk through the Jewish quarter to the Bahaia Palace. Where we toured the beautifully crafted palace previously owned by the prime minster in the 19th century, where it housed his four wives, 24 concubines and many children. The ornate courtyards and halls housed important governmental figures including kings and was the place of important desisions. For me the architecture and use of materials were beautiful. The locally scourced cedar wood had been hand carved into intricate designs covering the ceilings and half the walls. IT was incredibly ornate and beautiful the many courtyards with lively gardens were a beautiful sight against the vibrant tiles. 


The next stop was the Menara gardens which from what i saw didn’t really look like a garden, outside the madina where the rich flourish we walked down a long stretch surrounded by olive trees. WE reached a resovioure of sorts looking over an absolutely stunning tea hous peering in front of the Atlas Mountains. Surrounding the resovouir were milled of olive trees. To maintain this healthy garden the water wears full of Karpov, that are know to reach 15kg. We stood feeding these massive fish delicious bread whilst viewing the beautiful scenery before heading back to the coach. 

Ben yeses old university Suks 

Medicine man 

The square 

Food 

Tombs 

Goverment shop 780-69

Final idea 

I decided that the wrapping of birnbeck around the grand pier would be the best idea. I really like the fact that i would be taking industrial rust old materials and wrapping the around a new popular structure, a structure that is the same just before and after of a storm and the abandonments from the local community. IT would also bring attention to lack of care given to historic parts of the town. I remember as a kid going under the old pier at low tide playing on the foundations. MY favourite spot in weston looks over the pier look out to sea i have some very fond memory’s of birn beck. I hate to that no on cares about such an essential part of weston and that its going to ruin. 

Cognitive futures reflection 

THis term I have enjoyed constellation, i found the subject matter relevant and relatable to my subject work.  AS a maker we often relate our work to materiality and how sustainable it is, so being able to discuss sustainability and how our design had changed aour culture throught the years.  The structure of the session helped me stay focus through the 5 hours. 

  • Beginning video, 
  • text or discussion,
  •  group work and reading texts. 

IT is helpful to have a task of reading through a break so you have enough time to actually process the information at your own speed. I sometimes felt that if i had 20 minutes for a lomng or complex text i would find it hard to focus and understand it in the time given. Although videos such as  youtube videos are a tricky scource to write valuable information from, i find it useful to hear the actual deliver talk about their work and theory’s. similarly it is beneficial to talk in groups to understand from someone else’s perspective who potentially find its easier to understand or adds a new point. I have also found it interesting to see how a graphic designer talks about sustainability in their practice. WE often deal with intense or sometimes difficult theory’s so the group presentations or discussions helped me understand the work and relate it to my practice, for example the tasks inspired from the STI in cuddly toy form. I heard alot about the first session which I wasn’t there for so cant really comment of it, how ever the rest of the session flowed well and made sense to me. I honestly didn’t think i would be able to cope with 5 hour lectures but they’re really weren’t that bad. I have enjoyed the subjects we explored especially wabi sabi and will treasure Lenorads KOrens book on wabi sabi

Finger prints 

My Bams! Design involved alot of new techniques and process that took time to learn, get inductions for a book equipment. During this process of learning rhino and how 3D printing works i decided to focus on the fingerprints. The first hurdle I came across was how to get clear finger prints. I tried ink from stamps and pens before i thought about going to the paper print studio, where there was non drying black ink… that had dried. Tom topped the roller up with some ink and i was able to get clear prints. I then asked 11 makers to come down to the studio and create some finger prints for me.


I scanned these prints at 600dpi which is the highest the scanners at the uni go. I took this scan down to craig the technical demonstrates in the soft modelling room. He helped me scan and slightly clean up the images. As a tester i laser cut/etched in to an acrylic circle. IT came out very well, it cut a very defined and clear finger print. Hower it was 3 times the size of an actual finger print. For my medal i want to have the prints at a realistic scale. AS they are representing makers i want them to actually look like finger prints. 


The photocopier scan wasn’t at a high enough resolution to cut the finger prints on a realistic scale. SO after a day of running around the whole campus looking for a high resolution. I managed to get the actual prints home where my grandfarther scanned them at 1200dpi. With this new scans i put the best prints on illustrator an laser etched them. They were okay on the correct scale but the lines were to close together. ALthough you can tell they are fingerprints and individual theres not as much detail as i would have liked. 


I went and saw Charlie the tech dem of interior architecture where she helped clean up the prints on illustrator making it clearer for the laser cutter to etch the prints. I also changed the settings on the laser cutter so it would etch deeper and take out any large chunks of black areas emphasising the detail lines of the finger. 

After i was happy with the etching of the finger prints and i had perfected the maquette of the actual madeal, and how it would move. I laser cutt accrylic versions of of the medal in accrycli because it was the easiest and really the only possibvmle way of getting the finger prints on to the medal, where i created a silicone mould. 

 

Beautiful useable Making 

My beautiful useable project has developed incredibly far from my original autumnal lamp ideas THGrought out the year I was learning more and more process and discovering more nature based artists ones that worked with light and shadows or movement and perspective.I eventually followed the path of waves. And movement of wate. I feel like my first year and been constantly moving changing and developing never stopping.

MY favourite macketes are the last two pictures. They have more complexity to them involving more weaving and movement. Waves have a stunning form they are constantly moving there’s freedom and fluidity in its shape that Stubbs people so many picture are taken of eater the ocean beaches,The ocean is one of the most beautiful things at least in my opinion.. 


After deciding to go with the copper design I started making a larger version in 1.5ml mild steel.Using the metal guilt teen I cut a 90 by 90 cm square of steel. I then measured 15 70 cm long lines with 5cm between each line. This produced 14 stripes. 

Using the plasma cutter and a steel beam as a ruler or guide I cut along the 70cm lines. This produced a large barcode. 

I then used the roller to curve the whole piece in to a sin shape preparing the sheet for the manipulation of each strip.

Using a variety of sized metal tube I roughly shaped some of the strips into different curves. When this was too subtl for my liking I decided ( with gloves) to hand pull the strips into varying heights curves and kinks. I pulled some forward and some back to create a random yet harmonious composition each wave is different and won’t be symmetrical to others so I played on this and kept manipulating till I was happy. 


The manipulation of the strips made the curve of the whole sheet lose its s shaped but seeing as the centre of the design is the focus a subtle outer curve adds balance and throw focus to the stips.

Plasma cutting produce metal dust and dirt, so before I added anything or carried on with process I needed to clean the metal. I firstly tried using hand soap which sort of worked but it still look grimes. I then found some methylated spirits which cleaned the metal straight away. IT also got rid of the pen marks I used to map out the lines for cutting.


The next step was to polish the metal. Using a electric polish bit I polished a cleaned up the sheet I mainly focuses on the outer boarder because it was. Staying shiny chrome.

In the 3rd year show Bryn Richards has used a process called blue steel on his geometric sculptures-.brynarichagrds@wordpress.co.uk , brynrichards.org

Blue steel is a process where’s metal is heated to roughly 400-600 degrees c. This temperature scale produces and varying colour gradient from purple to blue to black once dipped in oil and cooled. NOt really thinking it through or having the time to properly test my ideas I decided to try blue steel on my final piece. I actually did the process the wrong way Lund and dint achieve the proper finish but on the plus side I actually like the affect I got. 

Usually for the space and equipment we have at uni blue steel needs to be done on small pieces of steel as I have quite a large sheet for my piece is couldn’t use the conventional way.  I wiped linseed oil over some of the steel strands and heated them up with a the industrial blow torch on the forge. Not know ing I had top reach a specific temperature I just went with it. I then put a damp cloth of some patches with unfortunately stuck due to the intense heat and synthetic material;l. As it takes a few minutes to get hot enough a lot of the oil actually dried leaving oil stains and patterns. Although I dint achieve a blue steel Like BRyns work I really like the pattern I have created, it’s not neat it reacted and developed in its own way. I love materials and process where I don’t fully control the out com. Because I used Oslo the end results seems to look like oil spills AS my them is natural influence a key one being waves it seems fitting. Just like the ocean I’m going with the flow and want the piece to form I don’t want to restrict it.


To add dimension to the sheet I decided to add strands of write, in particular copper wire. Copper and blue is one of my favourite colour combination. I was able to get hold of thin electrical wire, thicker copper wire, copper mesh and navy wire.  The coloured writes cohesively enhance the movement and shape of the metal sheet. 


My first attempt at securing the. Wire was with the fastening from a rivet. It help the wire securely bu the whole rivet wasn’t. Secure in the hole in between because strip. Copper wire cannot be welded so spot welding wasn’t a option. I then tripe to whole punch in between each hole so I could weave the wire but the outer boarder is too large .My last option was to knot and bend the end of the wire in most cases they wire held securely between each steel strip but in some cases I had to just glue the end a little so nothing would ping out.

This project has ended up being an experimentation and development of material and process with a influence from nature .its represents my journey of first year how I developed and how my knowledge and experience of materials and processes have improved and been enhanced. 

THis wall hanging is certainly more beautiful than useable but is useable for either gallery space or home decor. THis piece is incredibly personal not just because of the materials but I find that waves very calming. I hope it can provoke the same feelings in others.