Third Year Begins…

3 October 2015

If I think back to the beginning of this week and the last few weeks prior to this one I suppose I was feeling quite nervous about starting my first year. All sorts of things bothered me about it. Firstly what would I be making? What would it be made from? How was I going to make it? Fairly early on I decided that I would be making a bronze sculpture with a subject centring on form using rapid prototyping techniques to inform or produce that form which would then be processed and cast into bronze. However I was still toying with ideas of producing a series of luxury craft items both decorative and functional, developing and pushing my enamelling skills and some ideas of interactive installations among many others. Throughout all these lines of thought however bronze sculpture kept rising to the surface of my mind.

So whilst thinking about all this stuff I was also turning over what I wanted to do with my dissertation… A 10,000 word essay or an Artefact with an accompanying written piece. Gradually it got to the point where, thoroughly conflicted, knotted and in a muddle I stopped thinking about it and let it all stew in the background as I got on with my summer holidaying and reading for dissertation. The first week back has catapulted me back into production and decision making mode! Although I have still been agonising over some decisions .

On Monday morning we were allocated our studio spaces via random allocation with numbers plucked from a ceramic gramophone horn. I was initially a little disappointed with my space as its a bit tucked away and dark but then I just started planning how to light it better, and saw it as an opportunity to get some electronics and maybe arduino practise. An Interactive light system for my desk would be pretty cool.

Then began the terror. Ingrid, who is now our year leader, sat us all down to the years briefing/introduction. Afterwards we all agreed (slightly wide-eyed) that we were a bit scared. We have a lot to do. And not an enormous amount of time in which to do it! The final pieces for the show need to be conceived, developed and preferably made by Christmas. This is work to do alongside dissertations and extra curricular competitions (should we want to do them, I want to do BAM’s and Pewter Live this year. We as a group and individuals need to decide if we want work shown in international shows such as Tent and Young Designers. Then in the second term we need to be designing and constructing models and bits for our show, funding raising for it and preparing all the other stuff that goes with it all.  Despite leaving the room feeling a little anxious and apprehensive about what lies ahead now I just feel very excited and charged up!

Tuesday saw some Petcha Kutcha talks by about half of the year group, in these talks the presenter talked about his or here ideal object, their Gesamkunstwerk, their idea or vision of their ideal work of art or their ideal object. The brief was to collect a selection of objects or artworks (pretty much anything) that inspired and informed our practise. These were to be gathered in a ‘cabinet of curiosities’ kind of way and then curated and contemplated so as to reach an ideal work.

My pethca kucha started as a very loose and varied collection of objects from all areas of craft, art and design. I considered looking making a set of luxury craft items such as tableware or small domestic objects. I also considered furniture using interesting material combinations. The main other idea I thought about before settling down to one was working with interactive objects and displays.  Despite all these varied ideas I was tying to think what I could make that tailored to my strengths and recent making experience. I have thus decided to make bronze my material of choice and sculpture my source of inspiration to make. I have been looking at all of my favourite classical and modern bronze sculptures and interesting forms old and new. But I am also interested in rapid prototyping and 3-D printing so I decided that I want to explore form, from an abstract and sculptural point of view using traditional and technological skills. These forms will be explored and trailed with Rapid Prototyping techniques and when forms I like begin to emerge I will start to transfer them somehow into bronze and other metals.

On Wednesday I attended the ‘Fragile?’ ceramics exhibition conference. It marked the end of the exhibition with talks from some of the artists about their works, the inspirations, ways of working, processes and their finished pieces. Some of the talks were very direct and straight forward some were more philosophical and convoluted requiring more concentration. I found it to be very inspiring and I enjoyed most of the talks. It left me feeling uplifted and brimming with ideas. I found the work of Phoebe Cummings and Keith Harrison the most interesting.

We met Hue the new member of staff on maker who is timetabled to use on Thursdays. He’s great! Full of interesting ideas, techniques and processes. He comes from an interesting and differnet back ground from the rest of our tutors, more Product and Industrial Design but has had alot of experience in Art and Craft type work and production. He seems really friendly, willing and easy to engage in conversation.

This year is my chance to shine. I do not have a history of being the hardest worker in the world when it comes to working on and finishing projects on time, coupled with a wandering mind (curiosity frequently hampers progress for me) bad time management and motivation issues have plagued me in the past too. But no more. I am excited, motivated and I have a vision, a goal that is pretty clear in my mind. This is going to be a good year, it’s going to be fun, it’s going to be stressful and hard but rewarding!





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