My first year at Cardiff met has definitely been quite a journey with highs and lows throughout. I will not lie in saying I am not disappointed in myself for the end results but rather than hanging on this negative feeling see this as a sign that I will get to the standard I know I can achieve but maybe not at the same pace as everyone else and should concentrate on my own strengths rather than what my friends on the course excel at which is the wrong mind-set to be thinking.
From this year I have visited Rome and the maker faire and visited my tutors house in La Perdrix, France. Not only that I have learnt many new skills and had access to materials that I have never used before and in some cases ever heard off.
I have really enjoyed learning the new processes such as woodturning, Raku firing, throwing and many more as well as learning how to operate the machinery and processes safely and to the university’s standard.
My overall feedback from the year quite literally red flagged concern about my quality of work and to some extent the context and ideas in the sense of their presentation resulting in a bare pass and a fail which will need to be resubmitted. However as a first year student I believe that to be in this position rather than getting a 2:1 or higher is better for me personally as I needed to know what I was doing well in and what I was failing in as this is the only way I would ever be able to improve which may seem stupid but it works for me.
Taking this into account I intend to the best of my ability practice and develop the skills I have learnt within uni and revisit the ideas that didn’t make the final piece which probably would have given me a better grade and be more relatable to the brief requirements and purpose behind the piece.
I am looking forward to my second year and hopefully showing my tutors I have taken on board their feedback and with that in mind I hope my final grade will be much better as at this stage this affects my final grade when I graduate so fingers crossed and hopefully I will be able to get my field options of
- Work Experience
- Faking it
so hopefully ill be able to gain more confidence in my abilities were my strengths lie and how to improve on my weaknesses and prepare myself for the kind of career I dream of having.
My first year as a maker student has been amazing, I have met so many new friends that I hope I will continue to know after I have graduated and began my journey on the career path in the wide open world. Before coming onto this course I had a rough idea of what I would like to see myself doing in the future which I hope is in the area of prop making for television/film and theatre and so on, my reasoning for choosing this course rather than a course specific to what I would like to do was down to the atmosphere of the uni and the broad range of materials and processes you can use throughout your three years on he course.
I have really enjoyed the workshops and the guidance of my tutors and the technicians of the individual departments within the university campus. In particular the glass workshop with Martyn was one of my favourites as this is a material that I have never worked in before and the experimental pieces turned out much better in my opinion than they should when you’re trialling and erroring a material.
My first year has been difficult to balance the workload of multiple workshops running in line with one another assessment deadlines and constellation essays and meetings within and outside of the course. Because of this I fear the outcomes at the end currently in exhibition will not be the best quality that I know I can achieve and match to the criteria I am being assessed on but I hope that with feedback and confidence that this is how all first years not matter what their age or whether they are in or out of uni think.
I do feel that I could have done so much better in assessments and my final pieces and hope that with more of an understating of myself and the materials and process at use this will be evident in my work.
For my first piece I wanted to try a simple but challenging idea of building a medium size wardrobe the equivalent of the size of a bedside cabinet and combining this with the criteria of the piece evidence being
this piece would link to the idea of craft as it serves a purpose hence its construction and fine art as I intend to create a minimalist/ optical illusion look. My reasoning for doing this is that the majority of furniture is formed with pattern textures within the wood with a brown stain applied on top so this would have a unique artistic use. Understandably as a first year student I believe that this is an outcome that is to ambitious and may not work or will but will take up to much time and affect the quality of the outcomes throughout the year.
To achieve this I aim to either use a large amount of recycled wood or find a large quantity of wood for a reasonable price. Next I would Marquette these ideas to reduce the amount or level or errors that could occur to save as much time as possible. Once this has been done either using a band saw or a CNC milling machine from the fab lab department or even the laser cutters. Once this is done I will sand of any rough surfaces and edges and apply the stain to the pieces to see the finished look which is unpredictable at the best of times.
As an extension I would wax over the wood to keep the the quality at its best for as long as possible and add any other materials such as glass to the frames of the piece and possibly laser etch my own patterns onto the glass and wood to create a more interesting design and show developments of skills and understanding of materials and machinery.
Using the material of glass as a basis my interactions with the material as part of a “dance of agency” perception I collect the piece from the stored collection in the cupboard and place it on the carpented surface of the table, next I clean the piece and check for any damages such as chips or cracks that could affect the quality of work or any smudges, and any wet areas on the glass on either side that could cause me to slip or the cutter. Next with an inquired design in mind I cut the glass template in four as my hand holds a tight grip on the cutter as a solid mechanism of movement. As the next part unfolds I cut the desired colour pieces of float glass and position them in place to see whether they work or whether they are to big or incorrectly shaped. Next with all the pieces ready all that remains is to remove any sharp points using a cutter pad grinding the side of the glass as the hand morphs to the shape of the cutter pad for the best possible effect. With the prep, designing, cutting, positioning and drying all complete now the piece must be fired. As this was a trial piece being the first time I have ever used this material the piece was in four shapes and carried two floors down to the kiln and carefully positioned inside the kiln along with other works to be fired and fused and cooled ready to be removed a few days later. As it wasn’t intended to be a one piece the dance of agency took place as the end result was impressive and from that point it was moulded together as one and sank to give a curb shape effect from above and from a side angle view.
The experience of writing this sentence begins when I notice that my posture is more sitting up and paying attention as the mind-set of doing something affects my posture when I am not physically writing, as when I am not writing or anything that involves the physical process of making a piece of work my posture loosens up. as I move the pen writing on the pen I notice that my hand seizes up to maintain grip on the surface of the pen as it crosses from the beginning of the page on the left to the end of the page on the right. When writing such as an essay for example I notice that my control over the pen is more tight and alert so the quality of work on the page is at its best and my hand appears to have adapted to the shape of my pen in fluid movement as I write on the page and leave the page for the next line as if the pen is now a part of my physical hand. As the surroundings around me at the time differ the pressure and concentration of my hand on the pen differs in strength and quality. Having finished the paragraph I have been writing, and comparing the feelings in my left (writing hand) to my right hand I notice that the muscles of my arm and hand are more constricted and tighter and less easier to feel as well as the colour of my skin being slightly darker and moulded to the way I was holding my pen when writing.
As a group my idea for using a car as the object of analysis was used which I was quite surprised about due to the ideas that were being mentioned by the other members of our group. Using the three areas the object must meet which are
- Normalizing happiness
- Selling good news
- Demonizing evil
A car can be seen as normalizing happiness for many reasons such as getting us from one location to another within a quicker period than walking would especially to other countries or around other countries abroad and has larger capacities to carry than a person could carry at a single point. Selling good news is that cars represent a growing economic climate for retailers and petrol companies, and in regards to evil purposes they can be dangerous to pedestrians, cause serious accidents, pollution caused by exhausts, number of vehicles on the road and causes traffic build up.
taking this into consideration I came up with the idea and presented this idea to the group that realistically speaking the biggest problem with cars is pollution so the objective would be to find a way to make pollution the co2 produced by cars more beneficial for the environment in some way. to do this I stated why not redesign cars and the petrol within to produce smaller amounts over time of carbon dioxide so that plant life can over a long distance accommodate the demand being given.
When thinking of an object that could influence the shape of the body I focused on in general high heels as a fashion and medical stance, High heels are used to give women greater height as well as part of their personal style as seen in magazines on TV and local shops, given that the foot is reasonably flat on the ground and a high heel is pointing the toes of the wearer at an angle to the surface floor which seems to only be beneficial for more height but over time could change the bone structure within the foot putting pressure on the area which should an accident occur result in bones being broken or permanently out-of-place, so in long-term the individual may not be able to walk as easily which will affect their daily routine dependant on the level of damage that could be caused, plus this could have a significant effect when not wearing high heels over long periods causing discomfort and cramp within the region as the bones re adjust
Thankfully after much trial and error I have been able to put my hollowed and dried heart pieces in the kiln for firing for the end of the week to be glazed, from this I have developed more of an understanding of the process of firing such as the temperatures as well as the different types of clay as well as the glazes and which are suitable for the clays and which aren’t to avoid any problems within the kiln especially with not long to go till the end of year assessment.
In preparation for the pieces coming out tomorrow, and at this point I don’t know if they are in one piece I searched through a selection of ceramic glaze books to find suitable colours in relation to the project and the meaning of the pieces.
For my human heart piece I wanted to create a pop arty look with bright and appealing colours, and to contrast my robotic looking heart I wanted to show darker colours to give a more hardened look for the idea behind cybernetics and hopefully these pieces would show the idea that technology can become a part of us and maybe even save us.
In order to achieve these glazes I first had to find the desired colours such as:-
Then using the template formula I mixed the correct ingredients to give me the desired effect, which was easier than I thought as I was panicking as measuring amounts is not something im really good at. From this I was recommended to double the amount of each ingredient within the glaze to make sure I don’t run out halfway through as glazing in order to get the best finish requires two to three layers which to extent also changes the brightness of the outcome when fired which is something you pretty much have to wait and see the results.
glazes mixed awaiting outcomes t come out of bisque firing.
Respirator for use when measuring ingredients with high toxicity.
To measure accurately the amount of the different formulas
Containers for glaze mixtures and scoops for measuring.