Like level four of constellation I was unsure of who to pick for Constellation as all I had to go on was the description of what we would study with each lecturer but at this early stage we didn’t know where we were going with our studies and even at level five I was torn with the idea of do I try and go for something new or do I stick with Martyn whose lectures have benefited me quite a lot throughout level 4. In the end I stuck with Martyn which gave me the chance to refresh on a few theories covered in level 4 as well as introducing other theories by notable individuals in their respected fields such as Juhani Pallasmaa and the Thinking hand that has really helped with my experimental practice on Maker when responding to the briefs, which highlights how we think and work with tools and ideas as a physical entity where the tools are essentially an extended external part of use that help us for fill what we want to achieve with our material outcomes. I am happy that I got Martyn for both constellation options as I don’t know if I would have got to this stage and high quality that my feedback is stating with any other tutor.
After the second year constellation sessions I went back through the theories I had been studying to give me ideas of what I could write my dissertation prep and my eventual essay topic like usual I was thinking oh bloody hell panic and I simply threw out so many ideas that relate to three key areas
- What I learnt from constellation
- What I enjoy making and how this relates to processes and techniques that relate to constellation theories
- What I have learnt in my studies on Maker
Around this time I was as part of my course choosing workshops within Maker that would benefit me most in regards to the outcomes I had presented the term before and I was recommended to take glass and really enjoyed working with the material so I thought if dissertation is about picking a topic that you will be interested in that will keep you going until the hand in that relates to your individual studies from constellation why not take the risk and see where it goes.
Presenting my ideas to Martyn the idea from his professional opinion he believed was really interesting and in comparison to the theories studied in constellation was something that was not covered in the dialogue of the theories but could easily be used as an artefact of study in relation to the theories covered in particular Juhani Pallasmaas the thinking hand and Tim Ingolds making theory. As well as speaking to Martyn about this he recommended speaking to Natasha Mayo head of Ceramics in Cardiff who much like Ingrid the head of Maker is a brain box and knowledge of the idea of Phenomenology of glass. Using Glass as a discussion topic Natasha was really helpful and practically gave me a possible essay equivalent amount of information to use on the topic which covered not just the materiality meanings of the material structure but how the material can link to our embodied experience of our surroundings and when we are making, and having looked into Natasha’s work in ceramics and the surface of skin and recent exhibitions in Cardiff with the Sensorial object exhibition in Craft in the bay and Fragile in Cardiff museum I know for a fact that Natasha knows her stuff and there is plenty I can take from her work despite it being focused on the material of ceramics that is re interpretable to Glass.
Also Natasha further explained the ideology of objects in more than one dimensional means of thinking such as the thickness of layering materials and how like materials and our means and processes of creating can be reflected on the layers of thinking and embodiment of the maker him or herself. And as a final point how when a piece is finalised and displayed as a person viewing the object without seeing the process behind the scenes that resulted in the object’s creation you feel a series of physical experiences that through visually studying the object in a passive and static state allows you to almost possibly visualise how it was made. To add to my research results Natasha recommended looking into the theoretical philosophical theories of Julia Kristeva and her study entitled Milk and Maurice Merleau Ponty whose theories focus mainly on Phenomenology.
With all this data to go through I was not able to go through all the resources available due to time restraints and being unable to gain access to copies of the necessary books or certain individuals around the university such as Clive Kasoo, who research into phenomenology is of a greater level of study than Natasha which is going to be impossible to book to see before the deadline as well as the two theorist Natasha has mentioned but with more time afterwards will be more rounded and manipulated into the structure of my dissertation.
In conclusion it has been a long struggle for me in many ways such as finding a topic to talk about, relevant studies and theories outside of those in constellation that are suitable, organising the structure of the essay and making sure everything is presented correctly and to the best of my ability. Despite everything that has happened im really happy to be at a reasonably good level of theories and information for dissertation and I am looking forward to seeing where the essay will go and how the object/artifact that will accompany the essay as part of the marking profile will reflect my understanding theoretically, professionally and how this will reflect on my understanding of making from before I came to Cardiff to study Artist Designer Maker to now and how this can potentially help me in my future practice and career aspects. I guess I will have to wait and see try my best, cover as much relevant detail as possible, keep on top of things and basically see how everything pans out.