Notes on Artifact Ideas

The digital craftsman: Algorithm meets the material.

Define what you mean by craft

– what differentiates craft from fine art or design ( could draw on ideas from first year archetypes brief)

The applications of digital media in the craft world

does the digital craftsman exist? What do they look like? how can their work be described/ categorized

– organic matter being created from digital algorithm

will this give rise to naturalistic undefinable forms? an emergence of mode of new sculpture?

Theory of Sculpture matters, this needs researching…

– Mike Hansmeyer – using fractural(?) geometries to apply an algorithm to organic architectural design – making a physical object from a computer


– Michael Eden – transforming the organic process of ceramic into a digital form

– Geoffrey Mann – flight of the moth – transforming movement (organic nature body time motion) into physical object using digital techniques.

Process of making:

Algorithmic design – grasshopper- others?

above. grasshopper definitions

you have a 3d print – very complex – direct cast in bronze?

Laser cut- layers approach to large complex object like Hansmeyer…..

Future 3d printers or laser cutters we are able to work in a whole range of materials – ceramic (examples)

rapid prototyping allows us to move on quicker, we can create more stuff/or maybe less stuff but better stuff?

Internet generation (everything is instant)


Your object

How can you apply this to an object. Maybe have different examples of different types of rapid prototyping applied in a craft way relevant to the definition you gave at the beginning to justify them.


Triangles Construction Model

In part of my research into making 3 dimentional fractals I decoded to start with a very basic geometrical from which when multiplied many times can slot together on each side of the shape. I eventually want to create a very complex form that may look like it is multiplying. I decided a fast way to experiment would be to laser cut cardboard and then build models. I am starting with the simple equilateral triangle that interlocks in a series of identical modules or components. 

Here it is cutting. 


As this is cutting a couple of things have occurred to me:

Firstly I should have set up a quick test print of just 2 triangles. Although laser cutting is fast, it can still take a while and I dont want to be getting big peices of work wrong – thats time wasted.

Secondly as the work is cutting I think I can see that the slots are too wide. Ill have to modify the file if I need to do it again. 

Thirdly I need to get more familiar with the laser cutters and their options.  The laser is making multiple passes over the same cuts when im sure its cutting first time!  I should be able quarter the cutting time if I can address this.

Depending on how this works out I intend to use thicker cards (corrugated 5mm) and perspex perhaps even plywood which can be 4mm thick. Its nearly done ill see how it is!



Wednesday Writing Workshop – Criticality

Today I went along to a Wednesday Writing Workshop, the topic this week was on the subject of Criticality and using critical thought/writing in our written work. There were about 12 people in the class today. Chris Dennis who gives the workshops provided us with a series of examples that were good critical pieces of writing. They were writings on architecture, specifically on the Porte Rouge of the Notre-Dame in Paris. We worked through the examples looking for the examples of description and analysis in the writing, how those two things were layed out in successive paragraphs and the critical parts of the writing punctuated the descriptive parts. We learnt that criticality is suggested by phrases, words and the overall structure of presentation of data, description, evidence and then the analysis, questioning and probing of the latter. Critical writing must show control of the material and should contain evaluative sections that present opinions that are contemplative not opinionated and the bringing together of arguments to conclusive points that allow the writing to develop and progress.

So, some of the notes I jotted down that I think are useful I shall list below.

  • At appropriate moments refer back to and reiterate to key points and arguments this is one of the elements of a strong dissertation.
  • After longer passages of description and presentation of facts and ‘data’ (try to break this up with sentences of analysis) a longer section of analysis and critical thought/approach is necessary to show your skill in really thinking about an idea and questioning it laterally.
  • In the examples given in the workshop the writer measures what she is saying against other writers.
  • Succinctly and clearly summarise an argument! This is important to do frequently, especially if you have been writing for a while. Doing this will give the writing sort of check points and help to keep the interest of the reader. It is a critical technique that shows the consideration of the writer for their argument and how it is developing.
  • Summarise briefly and clearly the main points of past work and then a few points that suggests what is coming or where the writing is to head next in its discussion or line of inquiry.
  • Clearly articulated arguments.
  • Take what you have amassed and written and communicated or express it in another way – it should challenge conventions or cross examine – holding the work up to scrutiny.
  • What in the ideas and opinions you have assembled is clear and really thought out? What isnt? Which areas does the author/writer underplay or not write much about? How does that area affect their point or argument?
  • Transform and Extend the knowledge/work you are working on/writing about!
  • Bringing together opinions – analysis and breakdown, then stand back and pull out the key points and arguments and themes. Scrutinise, do they hold up? use them to make an informed opinion or evaluation.
  •  Good criticality emerges out of well written knowledge and analysis. The questioning and ‘taking forward’ of the knowledge and ideas.
  • Evaluation calls for a broad view of a topic to justify focusing on specific things. The relative importance to what the specific context is.
  • Dissertation is about supporting your opinions convincingly.
  • What is the overall argument? THINK!
  • Summaries should be structured with juxtapositions, comparisons and consideration for each part.

Chris suggested we look at Socratic Thinking/Questioning as a way into topics or as a method of becoming unstuck if writing becomes stagnant. There are is a guide on the CSAD website.

Some further research into critical writing this evening came up with this really good concise guide from the University of Leicester website.

Another good one I found which is a bit more lengthy and involved is from the University of Worcester website.

Made By Hand

Made By Hand is a contemporary Craft fair that is based in Cardiff where it was born. The show is based in the city hall over the course of a 3 day weekend, Friday to Sunday. The show features may makers and craftspeople from around the UK, although from wondering the show I would say most are from Wales or Southern England. Its a bright and vibrant affair which bustles with its plethora of activity, there are people at work demonstrating their skills, artists, craftspeople and makers discussing their work enticing people with the stories and backgrounds of their pieces. There’s music, food, activities and talks – so yes, a lot happening. Some of the stall holders were veterans some young people just starting out trying to get a foothold in the craft world/market. IMGP3092

I was able to show a piece of my work at Made By Hand on the Cardiff School of Art and Design (CSAD) stall. This is the first time I have presented my work to sell in a show! I was showing my work alongside other makers and ceramists. There was a fair amount of jewellery and pots and bowls. Some of the more unusual items where Malwina’s (a ceramics exchange student whose work is most popular) strange ceramic creatures that got a lot of attention. I had some people express interest in my work and even got the contact details for a possible commission for a gallery in St Davids, Pembrokeshire. That’s exciting for me! I have emailed the gallery and am now awaiting a response!

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As there was a large group of us showing work we all took turns in managing the stall. I had the Friday afternoon, the first day of the show. There was a fair amount of people there, always a stream of people walking by and stopping. I learnt several things whilst manning the stall and compiled those things into a list in my pocket book to consider for future endeavours. The list goes as follows:

  1. Have business cards! I did not have any and several people out of the many I spoke to asked for one, others would have picked one up to if they were there I’m sure.
  2. Either fill the wall space of the stall, use it minimally with a strong composition or leave it blank. The back wall to our stall did not look so great in my opinion it needed more up there I think.
  3. Make packaging PROFESSIONAL and EASY. I did well here, I made a strong well padded cardboard transit box for my steel bowl which was clearly labelled with essential details and an image of the work. Others did not have such great packaging which was difficult to sort through and looked very ‘faffy’ and uncool.
  4. Organise the storage space of your stall very well and be familiar with it. We spent ages looking for the ledger, then the right box and the right packaging or the other pieces of work in the other range of colours. There is not a lot of space so be tidy and efficient.
  5. If possible try and be able to accept Cash, CARD and CHEQUE. It was a bit off putting for some people when they needed to pay for higher priced items via cash.
  6. Everything MUST be priced VERY clearly. Even if its not on display and under the stall in the box, you may end up getting it out, showing it and selling it.

Those where the main points I felt I should look out for next time.

Overall it was a good experience and I got some interest from potential buyers/commissioners! IMGP3094