This week, I have been focused on experimenting with new ways to translate my drawings onto a metal surface. This is something that I have struggled with recently and I wanted to dedicate some more time to it.

I have quite enjoyed applying marks to material by using multiple texturing techniques. The first technique of hammering wire into the surface begins by either marking a sheet of metal with a marker pen or ‘re-drawing’ the lines in wire.

 

I then tape the wire down to the surface of the metal with masking tape and use a hammer to press the lines into the metal. The force with which I strike the wire determines how deep an impression I make. I quite like this method because I have a lot of control over the lines and I can create impressions of varying pressures, just like my drawings do. This level of detail was something that I think was missing in previous experiments.

I have previously tested out multiple other ways to translate my drawings, including engraving, impressions from a rolling mill and using a range of diamond burrs on the dremel. None of these are methods that I feel I have perfected as of yet, and am still developing in the workshop. I am most interested to see how combining multiple methods of mark making may effect the look of the final surface.

The next development I have made in the translation of my drawings have been to cut out from these sheets the shapes of negative space that I have recorded from the landscape. These are the spaces in between the trees and vegetation, the emptier voids of space, which lack in pattern or the intersection of other forms.

By using these areas of the landscape as my focus, I create new components to work with that illustrate the space in a way that is uniquely interpreted by me. I am beginning to identify with the term ‘site-specific’ when describing this method of working.

Each piece can then be used to form a piece of a puzzle, if you like; a small section of the bigger piece. I aim to effectively combine these ‘drawn’ components with my cast pieces, to create works that illustrate my personal interactions with the space.

I think I am finally getting somewhere with these translations of my drawings and I can not wait to start assembling some together!

~

For now, if you would like some more up to date info on the progression of my project, please visit my instagram page @explorecreaterosie or search the hashtag #explorecreaterosie!

Just recently, our course tutor organised a cross-course induction at University for us to learn how to use the photography studios. The induction was led by the photography technician Beytan Erkmen and we were shown how to use an infinity table, coloured backdrops and how to successfully light different products.

Here are some action shots of us using the studio equipment:

 

I found using the infinity table quite difficult, as my pieces required very specific lighting qualities against a white background to achieve a realistic colour.

Beytan encouraged me to try using a black backdrop instead, which I was completely skeptical of at first. I thought that the dark background would seem as if it was swallowing up my pieces, rather than showing them off. However, once trying it out and swapping out a softbox light cover with a snood, it lit my work perfectly!

I am extremely happy with the results and wanted to share them with you… so here they are:

 

I am very excited to use these images for my promotion, and to upload online! I think I will probably use the photograph of the pieces ‘Ashurst I, II & III’ for my new business cards too… how exciting!

Some new pieces are now in planning, and I want to really explore the incorporation of my drawings into the works with this new collection. I think this is an area that I have currently been lacking in.

~

Watch this space for more workshop updates!

Apologies for having dropped off the radar recently, but I have some exciting news! My work has been shortlisted for the Rising Stars exhibition at the New Ashgate Gallery.

I applied for this competition at the end of last year; it was a competition open to any final year student, or any maker who had graduated within the last five years. Having previously volunteered with the gallery for around 10 months, this had been a competition that I was eager to be a part of and from over 60 applicants, 22 people were selected for the final shortlist and are set to exhibit at the gallery over the next month and a half.

IMG_6928

I delivered my work to the gallery two weeks ago, along with my newly finished piece: Beaulieu’s Silver Birch and I am really pleased with how gallery director Outi Remes’ has curated them.

 

The whole exhibition is in fact curated really nicely and the level of the work on show is very high. I am extremely grateful that my work has been selected to be shown alongside the other makers! I would definitely recommend that you go along and visit. Everybody’s work is also up for sale, if people should wish to invest in new emerging talents.

~

I shall leave you with this link to the online catalogue, and you can view / read about some of the other maker’s work that is on show:

This week I finally finished the big bronze piece that I’ve been working on! I am so pleased, as I desperately wanted this piece to be shown in the rising stars exhibition in March.

img_6661

It’s taken a long old journey from it’s wood and wax construction to the finished bronze – a total of 55 working hours! Here’s a little montage of it’s journey:

 

That’s my only update for this week, but thought it would be nice to map out how far this piece has come!

~

If you’d like to see it in the flesh, or rather ‘bronze’, come to The New Ashgate Gallery in Farnham for the Rising Stars Exhibition which runs from 4th March – 15th April!

 

This weekend was the year’s biggest craft show in London. Saatchi Gallery’s COLLECT; organised by the Crafts Council, showcases a range of national and international galleries, with work by hundreds of current crafts practitioners.

img_6471

I went up with two friends from the course; Hannah and Abi, and we had great fun walking around, finding new inspiration for our projects, and trying to work out which galleries could potentially be good ones for us to approach with our work once we’ve graduated.

A new feature this year was the ‘spotlight’ booths. These were areas of the show that particular galleries had used to showcase some more experimental and innovative work. One of these that I really liked, was this collaboration piece between Helen Carnac and David Gates.

I also really liked Katie Spragg’s While Away, but I don’t have any photos of that work, so you’ll have to look at that here.

img_6458

Play It Again and Again by Safia Hijos

The other ‘spotlight’ piece that intrigued me was Safia Hijos’ Play It Again and Again. It was a series of ceramic records, and a scratched copy of ‘As times go by’ from Casablanca, which could be listened to through a pair of headphones.

img_6415

Lines by Lauren Nauman

A little more close to home, was Lauren Nauman’s ceramics. Lauren’s work is absolutely beautiful, and my work will be displayed alongside hers in the upcoming exhibition Rising Stars at the New Ashgate Gallery.

In fact, most of the ceramic work on show was of a particularly high standard, and all unique work.

Naturally, I was drawn to the metalwork at the show. Some of which, I was particularly interested in because of it’s patination. This is an area that I would like to learn lots more about, as I currently feel as though I am very inexperienced.

These silver and brass pieces by Peter Bauhuis have amazing patination on them! I would love to know how these effects are achieved!

I also loved these brass wall pieces by an international artist, Kenmoku. I initially thought they were made from woo, because the patination was so detailed!

Finally, I wanted to share with you some of my favourite textile pieces. Textiles is a medium that I have always found fascinating, but it is not something that I keep up to date with.

These wall pieces are by Shihoko Fukumoto and explore ideas of constellations and astrological patterns. I fell in love with the colours of the dyes, and how soft the lines were. I could have stared at these pieces all day!

img_6418

Finally, this set of ___ by ___ also captured my attention. The series shows an image of a butterfly, morphing into a digital image QRcode, which, when scanned with a smart phone, took you back to the original image! I thought that this collaboration of craft and technology was really clever.

~

Well, that’s all of my highlights, I’d love to hear what you guys enjoyed from the show too!

I also vlogged the day, so keep an eye out on my YouTube channel for that!

This weekend, I travelled back to The New Forest to take some photos in Beaulieu – the current focus location for the collection I am working on. I documented the space with photos, audio clips and drawings.

I focused mainly on the negative space and the atmospherics of the location. But I also really enjoyed photographing was the textures of the bark, too…

I loved walking around this area of the forest and taking photos of the natural materials. It helps me to develop ideas and really record my feelings about the space, to then try and translate into my work.

Here’s me exploring and sitting in a big tree drawing!

One concept that I have been beginning to explore is how photography can be used alongside my work to create an installation-style piece. Therefore, I began to start taking some Polaroid photographs of small sections of the space, the forgotten areas or areas of landscape that are often ignored.

img_6346

I am planning to stitch these Polaroids together in a sort of ‘curtain’ which I would display with my work, and also potentially, a speaker with captured audio from the environment.

I had lots of fun just exploring the forest and collecting snippets to work with! Hope you guys don’t mind the really brief blog update this week!

 

~

I’ll let you guys know how the Polaroids turn out once I put them all together!

So, one strand of my studies that I have not really discussed so far with you guys on my blog is the use of film/lighting/audio in my work.

I am really interested in the relationship between craft and digital media to create unique, immersive experiences and I think this stemmed from an exhibition that I was a part of last year, called ORIGINS.  (I’ll insert a link to the blog about that, here.)

In this exhibition, I collaborated with my brother to produce a short film of my work within an environment. For my current work, I am beginning to explore the potential of creating a film of an environment, that accompanies my work to tell an emotive story, about my experiences with the space; which in turn, compliments my three dimensional pieces.

I started to explore the use of film by creating some 30 second videos of different locations within the New Forest that focused on the atmosphere and sound of the space, then uploaded these to my YouTube channel:

I was extremely happy with how these videos turned out, and I feel like they have really helped me to develop my practical work too, and focus on the aspects of the space that are most important to me.

I have since moved on from these videos and have begun to look at the potential to showcase both film/lighting and my pieces together. I have tried out quite a few lighting experiments, however I have not been 100% happy with the results.

The first experiments were done in an already lit room. This gave a subtle glow to my pieces and cast some very interesting shadows, however, I wanted the overall effect to be much more striking than this…

The next experiments I tried with the lights off… as if the pieces were being viewed in a dark room; a ‘black box’ environment.

I preferred the overall effect of the lighting in these experiments, however I came to the conclusion from these that coloured light on its own does not convey the effect that I wanted. It is too ambiguous.

Next, I tried projecting my photographs over the work:

These experiments are starting to get closer to what I had imagined in my head. I really love how the projection overlays on the texture of the pieces. However, this does take away from the texture, so I tried reducing the size of the projection, so that you have to physically move closer to the pieces, to look at what is being projected; which also draws more attention to the textures.

I feel as though the use of photographs of each location is too obvious a use of imagery. I would like to experiment with perhaps blurred imagery, or montages of imagery. Abstracted images would give a more artistic overall effect.

My final experiments were playing my 30 second films projected over the work:

This is where I finally felt my ideas coming together in one place. It made me realise that I definitely would like to using moving image/film in an installation setting. I still feel as though these film clips are too static and too clear though. I would like to maybe experiment with footage that moves through the environment, takes you on a journey, or is a blurred compilation of footage, with a stronger focus on an audio accompaniment.

I have however, continued to make these 30 second videos and am uploading them to my YouTube page as a miniature series. I am hoping that these small experimental videos will help me to identify the perfect settings for my final film.

Feel free to check out my channel to see the new ones!

~

If you have any comments, advice or feedback I would really appreciate it!

 

This week I took a trip down to The Sculpture Park in Churt, Farnham. This is a very local sculpture park, but one that I had not previously visited! It is home to over 800 sculptures, by a huge range of artists and spans roughly 10 acres of forest.

I wanted to visit so that I could have a look at the type of work that was displayed, and to look at a few of the commissioned pieces. It was a great day out – I ended up spending nearly 5 hours meandering around! I wanted to share with you some of my personal favourites of the day…

The first piece that caught my eye was A.T Bend’s Triple Variable Infinity:

This stainless steel piece looked absolutely incredible. Positioned right next to the pond, it reflected the light and the water beautifully… even in the rain!

The weather did not spoil the day for me at all, and some work even looked to be most impressive in the slightly gloomy light.

Two examples are these bronzes by Won Lee and Ann Vrielinck:

I have found myself slowly falling more and more in love with bronzes. I’m not sure if I just have more appreciation for the time that goes into them, or whether they just naturally appeal to my current aesthetic taste, but nonetheless, I loved these two pieces.

This site-specific piece is a walkway/bridge made by Colin Wright out of chainsawed oak. I actually really like how the ivy has taken over parts of this piece, and that not all of it was immediately visible…

The next piece I found that I liked was this set of ‘Obelisks.’ These were not labelled with an artist or maker, and simply said ‘The Sculpture Park,’ so I assumed they were a commissioned piece. There was a couple of sets of these dotted throughout the park and I really liked them.

img_5887

I think that reflective surfaces, like mirrors or stainless steel work so well in the forest, because they really interact with the space. Again, they are not easy to spot, so you find yourself physically moving closer and building a more intimate connection with the work.

Some more bronzes I liked were David Goode’s The Drinker, and Enzo Plazzotta’s Creation of Adam:

The Drinker looked so cheeky hiding in the reeds! He had also collected some rain water in his leaf which made me smile!

This slate piece was one that I found to be really impressive! I have no idea how it was made, but I thought it was stunning.

img_5907

Cube by James Parker

I also like how it had some moss and weathering, which highlighted some areas of the piece. I’m starting to realise that I am drawn to pieces that seem to blend into their environment, or use colours with which they are naturally surrounded in…

Finally, here a few other pieces that I felt interacted with the space really well:

I just couldn’t get over how diverse the work was here. There was so many pieces and all in different materials! Most of what I have shared with you here looks very similar, as it is al of my favourite bits, but I also did a vlog of the day, which I am planning to upload to youtube soon, so keep an eye out!

~

That’s it for now, see you soon…

 

 

I had a little break from blogging over the Christmas break, and took out some much needed time for myself. I caught up with family, and tied up some loose ends of my university work.

Now that I’m back, I just felt like a quick little update on my final experiments from the end of term would be a nice thing to look back on, before moving forward!

So, the area that I began to look into was how to translate my drawings into my work somehow. I want to find a way that the mark makings I record from my encounter with the space can be translated into metal.

I began with some simple etching and stamp experiments, but I didn’t feel as though these marks were bold or clear enough. I then tried recreating my drawings in wire, and pressing these wire shapes into the metal by putting it through the rollers.

This method of ‘drawing with wire’ was really successful. I love how it gives a strong, deep impression and how I can almost identically recreate my drawings from my sketchbook.

img_5549

I then took these sheets with my ‘drawings’ on them and began to mark out the areas of negative space which corresponded with the location they came from. These shapes are so irregular, that I had to cut them all out by hand with a piercing saw.

These are some of the results I ended up with! I loved how well these pieces came out – it was exactly what I had imagined them to look like!

I would really like to find a way that I can create these on a much, much larger scale, so that the same concept can be incorporate into my larger scale work, alongside my foundry castings.

img_5575

I have had a little play with arranging these bits on a bench, with some of my silver bark castings and I definitely feel like there is potential here. I finally feel as though I am moving closer towards my intended designs!

I’m hoping that this term I can finalize some of these pieces and get some finished, solid work done that I am happy with.

~

Wish me luck!

A close friend of mine let me loose on her iPad yesterday – so that I could try out an app called Adobe Sketch. It was so much fun!

The app is compatible with a Wacom pen and reacts to the pressure of the stylus on the screen. It also has a huge range of brushes and pencils and ink pens to choose from.

But the feature that I had the most fun with was the layers – and how you can insert photographs and work on top of them in a new layer. This was a great way for me to visualize how my work might look in different locations…

img_0509

They’re just some rough and playful sketches but I was so excited by being able to draw digitally that I had to share them with you!

~

I would highly recommend this app to any avid drawers – it’s very user friendly and extremely responsive. There is even a ‘discover’ section where you can browse amazing work that other people have created using the app!

After looking some more into the kind of aesthetic contrast that I want to achieve in my work, I decided to take a small tangent into exploring some other materials. I started off making some moulds of my bark with Alginate:

I did one mould where I pressed the bark half into a mixed tub of alginate and then one larger mould which I made by spreading the mixed alginate over the surface of the bark.

The first thing I wanted to test out in these moulds was the use of Crystal Clear Resin. I chose this resin because it was supposedly the most effective to use in highly textured moulds, an that it would still come out looking transparent and not frosty’.

I poured the resin into the half moulds, and used some moss in one piece to see what an injection of colour may look like too.

img_5401

The resin takes a total of 24 hours to fully harden. However once removed from the moulds, I found that the textural surface had not fully hardened, and was still sticky to touch.

This could have been for a number of reasons. The most likely being that a) the resin and hardener elements were not thoroughly mixed, or that b) there was some residue or water still in the mould which interfered with the resin solution; because the back set perfectly well and turned clear.

img_5540

Unfortunately this was a very unsuccessful experiment, and I was unable to use these pieces as an element to incorporate into a final piece. I would really like to try these resin experiments again – I was so disappointed to find out they didn’t work!

~

You’ll have to wish me luck for next time!

The wait is over! This week, I successfully finished my bronze castings and I can now share the results with you!

The spruing was quite a challenge, and I’m still not looking forward to cutting them off next week, but this is how they looked before the ceramic shell was applied:

The first one needed all of the sprues entering from the back, so that I didn’t compromise the texture, and the second one I could sprue on the outside, as there was breaks in the texture.

I then applied the 7 layers of ceramic shell, which is a long process that takes roughly 4 days, and requires lots of patience!

img_5261

Next, the moulds are placed in the kiln for a burn out cycle. This time, I put them in for a longer burn out cycle and used compressed air to clear the shell at different stages during the burn out.

The pour was on Thursday and I managed to catch some cool photos of the techs in action!

Unfortunately, de-shelling down in the foundry isn’t as easy as it is in the jewellery department, and we can’t just submerge the piece in water to release the shell. Instead, the ceramic shell then has to be removed with a hammer and chisel.

However, I was extremely pleased to see the results! The castings came out almost perfect, and it seems that we successfully managed to remove all of the wood residue from the mould before pouring – leaving a really high quality texture in the bronze.

I think the combination of a longer burn out and the use of compressed air to clear the mould have been the two factors which have made this casting so successful.

I can now progress with this technique in the new year , knowing that it is going to give me the results that I want!

~

I am now very excited to start spruing up for the January pour!

%d bloggers like this: