Last week I began to play around with my photographs of the New Forest in Photoshop. I started off with creating some photo montages of the landscape shots and the close-up texture shots; layering them together.MontagesI quite like the fantasy world effect that this gives my photos. These would have looked really interesting as a double exposure image on film.

I also used Photoshop to extract pieces of negative space from my images. I wanted to do this as a way of focusing on smaller spaces, with new sets of lines that I may have missed from the bigger picture.

I became very interested in the shapes that came up from these exercises. I particularly liked the rough edges and how these looked like the edges of some of the bark textures that I also photographed.

For my next lot of steel experiments, I decided to take some of the negative space shapes, and simplify them and then cut these shapes out of textured steel sheet.

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I then used the fly press to form a curve in these shapes, and played around with the arrangement of them to assemble larger forms.

I have become quite taken with this idea of assembling a form together from a selection of shapes and components. It would be interesting to experiment with a combination of more than one metal or different types of textures.

 

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This week I have began to look at other ways of creating texture, and have tried out a few bronze castings from collected bark pieces.

Watch this space for an update!

Today, our University held a student’s market which allowed us to set up a table and sell some of our work for free!

This is such a great idea and lots of students embraced the event – selling a range of things including jewellery, textiles, soaps, posters and fine art prints.

Here is my little table:

 

And here are some photos of the work I had on display:

 

It was actually quite well received and I made about £100! I was so happy with this and now I can use this money to invest in further materials for me to work with on the course.

I also held a little competition as a fundraiser for our exhibition. Anyone who donated £2 will be entered into a draw for a chance to win one of my necklaces worth £18!

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Also – here are some images of our official posters for the exhibit!!

Today has been very uplifting and actually worth my time – I’m so so happy.

 

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Thanks to everyone who bought something or donated to our exhibition!

Many happy returns.

So, last week our group went to have a look at the local venue that we will be holding our exhibition in!

It’s the Farnham Vineyard and we were so pleased with the space! Here’s some images:

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With our white plinths, and TV screens showing our experimental film, this will be a really professional space, with sleek finishing.

We also spent some time this week taking some photos of our work in the photography studios to make into posters and info leaflets:

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Things are slowly coming together for this exhibit and I feel very excited!

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Finished promotional posters to follow

So today I took to an unsuspecting bit of steel with the power hammer…

I made my own stamp, using weld to ‘draw’ on another piece of steel. My sheet steel was then heated in the forge and placed under the power hammer with the stamp to create some textures.

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I was really pleased with the results that I got. I feel that it is a realistic representation of the bark textures that I was looking at in the forest last week.

Next, I spent some time developing some drawings, inspired by the textures I had created. I was particularly interested in the concepts of deterioration and lines or sections.

I cut the sheet steel into sections and melted the edges in the forge, getting them to a white hot temperature. I then formed the steel around a solid bar, using an oxy-acetylene torch to aid the bending.

I ended up with these amazing overlapping edges, reminding me of peeling bark from damp logs.

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Here is the the work placed back into the forest. I feel as though it fits in well with the environment, and I like that you can see this is where my inspiration came from.

The colour of the steel seems so natural in this environment, it’s definitely very effective as it is, but I do think I’d like to experiment with adding to colour in other way – like patination and enameling. Perhaps with some of the bare steel still showing.

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I’ll let you know where I progess from here!

 

 

 

I’ve been exploring my local area for the last couple of weeks, to collect some imagery to work from in my university project.

I find a lot of inspiration in the forest and there is an infinite array of avenues that could develop from some of the images I have collected.

Two elements I am looking closely at right now are line and texture.

I am drawn to the linear layout of the trees in the New Forest, as they can be extremely structured. The New Forest was actually created by man; as a hunting ground during the rein of William I, therefore trees were planted in concentrated areas and appear to be very uniform.

I like the spaces that are created between the trees in areas such as this, particularly how they can overlap, and how individual branches can intersect these spaces.

I am also very interested in surface texture of wood. I have worked with wood before in previous projects, and I have always admired the natural patterns that occur in the bark, the roots and the internal structure.

I particularly like the deep cracks that are found in tree bark, which open up a crevice of new textures and imply a sense of layer and depth.

I would like to take a combination of these linear and textural elements to begin my experimentation in the workshop. I would like to experiment with a range of techniques that can produce bold textures on my work to begin with, and then I hope to refine these surfaces later.

I think it would also be interesting to create photographic montages of these images in Photoshop – to see how the two elements interact with each other. These images could then be used to create stencils or transferable imagery which I could potentially apply to my surfaces.

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I will keep you updated with how my experiments progress from here!

 

Last weekend I visited the Business Design Centre in Islington to have a look at the work on display for the London Art Fair.

I wanted to focus on how each gallery was utilizing their space at the fair, in an attempt to gain an understanding of space which could be applied to our group exhibit that will be taking place at the end of the term…

However, once I arrived, I ended up forgetting to document these spaces and I only ended up with images of individual work, and nothing really of how the works interacted with one another in the space!

Thought I would still share with you the work that caught my eye…

 

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‘Shard’ by Allan Forsyth

 

 

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‘The Long Gallery I’ by John Monks

 

 

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‘Frenzy’ by Jack Tanner

 

I have found lots of potential inspiration from these works. I think this blog post will remain as a kind of personal memory bank for me to come back to in the future.

I am particularly interested in looking back at the Bronze cast work and the painting with screws by Jack Tanner.

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Hopefully I can look a little closer at gallery spaces another time!

 

 

I’ve not posted for a while, so I thought I would share with you my last project that I have been working on at University in the lead up to Christmas. The title of our project was ‘Duplication’ and I decided to work with the lathe and mill to produce some machined Aluminium rings.

My design plan was to create ‘Jewellery for Buildings.’ I worked towards creating a scale model of my design which I designed for the Royal College of Art’s WOO building in London.

The process was a subtractive one. I started with a solid bar of Aluminium, and I had to remove unwanted material to create my desired shapes. This was started off on the mill, and then to bore the hole out of the center and cut it into slices, I used the lathe.

I created a variation of sizes and profile shapes to work with…

 

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I then took these rings and anodized them in a Sulphuric acid bath, so that I could then dye them with vibrant colours…

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For my final set, I decided to dye them all with a blue gradient, because this was the colour that I felt complimented the WOO building the most.

I used the tap and die method as a means of attachment for my work, as this was a process that would have been possible in the proposed large scale as well…

I was really pleased with the final outcome I ended up with and I think I did the building justice with my design. I am very tempted to return to this process and create some human scale rings so that I can have them to wear myself!

I have also attached a link to my iMovie that I made in support of this project, so you can see me in action!

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Hopefully I can begin to post on a more regular basis during this term, as we are beginning to move into our personal projects, and I will be looking to get some feedback about my work.

Until then, hope you all make a good start on those New Year’s Resolutions!

 

 

Our University’s recent graduates have just put on a show of their work at the OXO Tower in London. It was so inspiring to see all the student’s work out of the workshops and on display!

Just thought I would document some of my favourite works for you to have a look at here on the blog…

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Leona Read

This has made me very excited to start back at uni and begin making work again. I’ve got a lot of saving to do though if I want to produce some high quality work for my final year exhibit!

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Well done to all the UCA students who graduated this year, and good luck for the future!

This summer, I travelled with my family to the island of Gran Canaria. It was my first time scuba diving, the first time I spotted dolphins and my first time on a desert sand dune.

They had some of the most beautiful little villages that I have ever seen, my favourite being the town of Mogán…

Gran Canaria is well known for it’s Flora population, with a lot of it’s species being extinct to the rest of the planet. It’s contribution to botany is huge and everywhere we went there was incredible plant life to look at…

As one of Spain’s volcanic islands, Gran Canaria had a particularly mountainous landscape. We also visited the Caldera de Bandama – the oldest and largest extinct volcano crater on the island…

There is not a particularly large amount of resident wildlife on the island, however in the ocean, there are around 29 different cetacean species that can be spotted in the surrounding waters of the island. We took a boat trip out to sea to watch some of the dolphins swimming…

What I found really incredible about the island, was the Maspalomas desert. Located right on the coastline, the dunes are listed as a Special Nature Reserve and spread right along the beach front. We visited the dunes just before dusk, and watched the light fade behind the sand…

 

This was such an inspiring place to visit and I really loved seeing how diverse the landscapes could be on such a small island.

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I truly made some fantastic memories here!

A few weeks ago, I spent my weekend in London helping the Cynthia Corbett Gallery at COLLECT. I had been working alongside Cynthia, Celia (associate director) and Daisy (curator) in the run up to the exhibition with the creation of the brochures and helping to set up their Instagram page.

For the weekend, my job was to help set up the work, attend the private view, take shifts to man the stand and then help with the take down.

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The private view was one of the most surreal situations I have ever been in. The whole of the Saatchi was full of well established artists, journalists and scholars.

It definitely forced me to improve on my skills of talking to people and it was also an amazing opportunity for me to meet some artists and discuss their work with them.

The highlight of our Gallery’s stand was the Meissen porcelain chandelier made by Chris Antemann:

This was a massive talking point for people coming to the exhibition and it was my job to tell people about the artist and her position with Meissen to create this work.

 

I also got some time to look around the rest of the show and attend some of the scheduled talks. Here are a few of the works that particularly caught my eye:

I loved this chance at work experience, and I made some valuable contacts whilst I was there. Looking to do the same again next year, but potentially with another gallery!

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Now that I’ve finished at Uni for the year, I will stick to posting about any other exhibitions I visit in the summer or maybe just some inspiring images I might find/take.

 

My first year at University has been a challenging one. There have been times when I have felt defeated and times when I wasn’t sure of where the course was heading for me personally, but at the end of this 8 month journey, I feel fairly proud of what I have achieved.

I just wanted to share with you a few images of my favourite pieces I have made from throughout the year, and I hope that you enjoy them!

Hand thrown ceramics with cut away details

Tribal inspired steel neck piece

Glass core cast cups taken from a plastic bottle

Manipulated cutlery

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Japanese paper folding inspired enamel necklaces

 

 

I think I am pretty much settled on my decision in specializing with metalwork and enamels. These areas are without a doubt the most interesting for me and my mind is truly buzzing with ideas and possibilities of these materials.

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Let’s see where it takes me next year!

As I find myself becoming more settled in my degree, I thought it would be nice to document my creative ideas and sourced inspirations through a blog. I begin this adventure with some sculptural jewellery pieces which have inspired me for our ‘Adornment’ project.

Tone Vigeland Necklace (1976)

Tone Vigeland Necklace (1976)

Tone Vigeland Necklace (1980)

Tone Vigeland Necklace (1980)

Tone Vigeland; a Norwegian jeweller who uses lots of singular elements to create a piece. I like how chunky these are, after being built up in layers or sections. In the 1976 necklace, it is constructed in a way that looks like chain mail, creating a fairly protective piece that looks to have significant weight to it. In the 1980 necklace, each individual element is attached to allow movement and reminds me of feathers.

The way in which these two very different examples of jewellery are assembled would enable the necklaces to sculpt to your body. I am interested in how this would change the jewellery depending on who was wearing it.

Anita Quansah Necklace (SS14 Collection)

Anita Quansah Necklace (SS14 Collection)

Anita Quansah Necklace (AW11 Collection)

Anita Quansah Necklace (AW11 Collection)

Anita Quansah Necklace (SS14 Collection)

Anita Quansah Necklace (SS14 Collection)

Anita Quansah; a designer jeweller with a diverse background who creates bespoke pieces which incorporate textiles. The statement that these create is a powerful and elegant one. I really fell in love with the use of feathers and can only imagine that the movement within these pieces is exquisite.

I am interested in the embellishment that is explored in her work, and I think creating trinkets or combining metals with textiles, beading or feathers could add a sophisticated depth to my studies.

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I hope to keep you up to date with all the little things that inspire me, places I have explored and the bits and pieces I create along the way!

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