Today as the BAMS and Delight In Light project time before field level 5 approaches comes to an end, Marcy Levitt of the BAMS medal society came to talk to our group regarding the medal project to go deeper into the important details of entering and taking part in this competition as well as the benefits.
Since joining maker Jon, Pip and Ingrid have stressed that no one stands more or less chance at being successful as an individual creative practitioner but what will is the way you sell and advertise yourself. You could be fantastic at sculpting from nature but without putting yourself out there which is a scary and sometimes intimidating thing trust me I know, but that’s how you gain the attention you deserve. Plus entering competitions and attending events is a good place to start whilst your still in a university setting.
About the competition
The BAMS medal project competition first started in 1982 with the intention of promoting artists in their chosen medium in this case being Medals which are usually made in Bronze. the competition has 10 prizes in total ranging from the best use of lettering to the best use of imagery between the two sides of the medal piece. Once all of the medals have been completed and put forward for selection the best 15 from each academic institution will be entered into the competition and each participant will receive a free medal book and journal which there medal and a brief artist statement will be published in. I am really confident that I will be able to create a high quality medal for this competition and if I don’t make it to the final 15 my medal will still be displayed at Craft In The Bay so you get recognition one way or another. These are some of the examples of the medals Marcy brought and displayed after the talk in the meeting space.
This year in order to build on my strengths through materials and processes I revisited areas to refresh myself on the basics of software and programs that can make better quality outcomes and finished products. Photoshop has always been one of those less time invested areas for me. I found the two lessons really useful but difficult to recreate without Matt to help when things don’t work or go wrong and will basically need future practice with but I am happy to have achieved these pieces this being one of the examples.
These last five weeks have been a testing time pushing me into territories that my weaknesses as an Artist, Designer and Maker lie in and hopefully have shown how far I have come so far and how far I still need to go to reach the required high level of expectations.
By the end of this academic term I am aiming and hoping to :-
- Completed or as close to completed a high quality medal possibly entirely or mostly in bronze.
- The equivalent of 500 – 1000 words on constellation lectures.
- Two completed sketchbooks on Delight In Light and BAMS medal or as close as is physically possible dependant on circumstances.
- Two completed outcomes or prototypes dependant on requirements at the moment in time for assessment.
- Completion of first field project and any necessities based upon that afterwards.
As well as many other things I am hopeful I can achieve all this with a moderate level of difficulty and a better understanding of my abilities and fingers crossed the feedback and end of year feedback will have highly positive results mark and feedback wise.
Starting of another week of constellation this week our lecture focused in particular on three different reading materials
- Design Away – Cameron Tonkinwise
- International Picture Language
- The Blind Men And The Elephant
To my understanding all three texts argue different things all of which in some shape or form relates to our individual practices whether we are makers, illustrators or product designers.
International Picture Language
This text as a collective and individually seemed very opinionated and judgemental against the female population and non english speaking areas of the world. Basically stereotyping how to live and how you should live your life and how other languages alter the way you live your life location wise and when travelling.
The Blind Men And The Elephant
As you can guess from the title the story was about six blind men who were trying to depict through touch physically than seeing visually what an elephant looks like :-
- The first blind man fell against the side of the elephant and said “God bless me but this Elephant is very like a wall!.”
- The second blind man felt the tusk of the elephant and said “This wonder of an Elephant is very like a spear!”.
- The third blind man felt the trunk of the elephant and said “I see this Elephant is very like a snake.”
- The fourth blind man felt the knee of the elephant and said “This is clear enough the Elephant is like a tree”.
- The fifth blind man stumbled across the elephants ears and said ” This marvel of an Elephant is very like a fan!”.
- The sixth blind man grabbed ahold of the elephant’s tail and said “I see this Elephant is very like a rope”.
This text in my own understanding symbolises how different the senses of seeing and touching in objects is when put into a practical example. If I was able to feel an object I would imagine that the shape would help me draw the object even if I am not sure what the object is and then see whether I was right or wrong or in between.
The third text focuses more on the practical and mental thinking processes that we go through from designing to making to displaying the finished outcome in its finalized state. One particular quote that caught my attention was
” I don’t teach students how to design; my job is to get them to think about what they are going to design and why”. And ” Yes I suppose that’s right. My colleagues teach the students to design stuff, and I teach them not to.”
This gives me the impression that we are being convinced to believe that in order to move forward we first need to go back to the very start by not designing. So if we want to be successful we need to understand :-
- Why we make
- How we make
and so many more questions. The lectures so far have been really useful and have better adapted me to second year than I thought would have been possible and time will tell how much of this has rubbed of and how this affects my creative and thinking process.
With just under a week until the formative assessment from martin’s advice I attempted to silicone mould one side of my completed medal. If im honest im worried that the piece doesn’t look like and when its finished will not be of a high quality that is expected. But at this stage it is a matter of waiting to see the results.
The medal focuses on one word “Sustainability” and how visual imagery can suggest this. My own understanding of what sustainability means is a form of object such as coal, fish and trees that has been adapting and evolving over the years to be what it has become now and how these resources are used to sustain us as a species but in the process are being used to the point that sustainability itself is becoming unstable. To explain what I mean through example take a:-
- Tree = takes in carbon dioxide gives of o2 = used for paper and firewood
as an example a tree helps us breath and creates furniture and paper which in a sense is sustainable if more trees are planted but for every tree we cut down there is a highly likely chance the local animals and natural process will be Affected such as food, homes and shelter from the elements being a consequence.
Keeping all this in mind I want to keep to the idea from right at the beginning when given the medal brief, but make changes and alterations so that the final piece looks like what i hoped it would when finished.
As another week ends the projects are slowly but surely making their way to the final making process:-
LAMP:- For the lamp project I am torn between a young child/baby designed based outcome and a lamp for the more maturer market so to speak. With this in mind I have decided to keep with both ideas throughout my sketchbook but separate so that during tutorials and group talks I am able to distinguish between the two and explain the difference in the look of the two different possible prototypes and outcomes. At this stage with the November formative assessment deadline approaching a prototype and accompanying sketchbook evidence and design boards are expected and a rough idea of how you are going to make this and from this the tutors will decide whether I individually will be entered into this competition or whether the piece will remain as an internal marked project per say. So for the moment I intend to develop and investigate as much as I can to the requirements and necessities of the brief for both the child and the adult light. Once I have a better idea of if I am meeting the brief requirements I will be able to tell which age is going to work better for the project and which is the more confident one to present at the formative assessment.