Made By Hand 2016/Subject Research Level 6

For the past two years since joining Maker ive visited and helped with setting up in any way I can with Sarah James and Made By Hand. Made by hand without doubt is no easy event to pull of but is a fantastic day visit if ever around Cardiff at the end of October. Made by Hand brings together artists from all across the Uk primarily 60% or so being from Wales alone. This year due to the importance of time and the ending of my degree on the horizon I didn’t volunteer but I’m hoping that given the way the Cardiff stall has changed I will be able to present my work in the Maker stall next october with Made By Hand. In order to link my work that at this moment in time is experimental ive looked through the separate parts of the stall criteria for Made By Hand and highlighted artists and companies that link to the ideas that I would like to bring out in my work for Formative submission in December and Summative in early May next year. These were the few I came across

Covering a few areas of interest mainly due to the possibilities of cross technique experiments  and such throughout my sketchbook and through the cabinet ive been trying to create experiments that highlight this and whether these in themselves focus on objects even though im not intending them to for the sake of the stage im at in the process.

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Centre For Entrepreneurship The Plan (Business)

During this week’s workshop myself and fellow students across mainly Maker and the Business Studies courses at Cardiff Met began highlighting the areas of individual importance to our business ideas in their early form. Due to being a Maker and the need to be able to promote our skills and promote our work this is a central part of my business idea that allows me to help myself but also help others. To help us highlight and break down the central parts of this idea we mind mapped ideas these areas being :-

  1. Concept
  2. Customers
  3. Competitors
  4. Compatibility
  5. Contents
  6. Money In and Money Out

This was displayed to each individual at the meeting to Make notes on using sticky pad notes to highlight with our individual ideas of what each area means to our ideas. These areas developed in further detail being : –

  1. Compatibility –
  2. Competitors – Who are your Competitors? What do your competitors do well and not so well? Why will people choose you ahead of your competitors?
  3. Customers – What is the size of the market? Who are your customers (Gender, Age, Lifestyle)? How will you get your customers?
  4. Concept – What is the idea? What does it do? What problem does it solve or need does it meet?
  • Passion – How much do you love the thought of running your own business?
  • Resilience – How well do you think you stick to tasks when things get tough?
  • Communication – How confident are you at communicating your ideas?
  • Planning – How well do you believe you plan and keep on top of things?
  • Network – How much support do you feel you will get from your network (Family, friends)?

5. Contents – what are the necessary ingredients of the idea? What things will you need to do to make the idea happen?

6. Cost/Money – In – How will you make money? What initial funding do you think you might need?

Cost money – Out – What are the things you will need to spend money on to make the idea happen?

With each part we highlighted key aspects and important parts to each section that over the weeks will become more and more filled out and professional.


Dissertation Hand – In

On Tuesday myself and my fellow makers and Cardiff Met School of Art and Design students will be handing in our drafts of our dissertations for formative assessment before the final deadline on January 24th. So far ive had difficulty starting and continuing the flow of the essay but I appear to have found my common ground and will present this idea to my tutor Martyn on the day and see whether this is doable or not and make any alterations and extra content ready for the deadline next year.

Advice from tutorial

From my presentation to a small group of fellow makers last week there was confusion but also understanding about what I was intending to present in December and hoping to achieve in May for the final year exhibition. Watching other Makers presentations and looking through my own I was drawn more to functional but as well as that decorative pieces which is a difficult balance as functional doesn’t really require pattern but pattern and detail makes objects more interesting rather than the bland which is good don’t get me wrong but if something catches your eye and appeals to the senses does that override our way of thinking over the norm objects.

With one of my close friends on Maker this comes into effect as we couldn’t be more different in what we like. My friend likes minimal outcomes that are simple but desirable usually made in metal or wood, whereas I use glass, wood, 3D print, textiles as examples and make objects that use patterns and details that don’t come across in their work which isn’t a bad thing it just compliments what we like about our work and each others.

This week coming I want to be able to develop further my experimental prototypes and create more depth to the prototypes and begin to correlate my sketchbook to these ideas as well as the links to the artists I am using as influences and additions to the 20 in the Pecha Kucha.

Dissertation Breakdown

Next Tuesday will be the formative hand in for the Dissertation/Constellation Module which I am to hand in all that I have done no matter what format that is to be valued see what works, see what doesn’t and so on. Speaking to Martyn even last year to be precise my idea and the whole point of this Dissertation has been difficult to piece together and if this is how I feel who knows what anyone else is going through. As I collect and read through more material I believe the idea is becoming clearer and is more focused now on how a broad philosophical theory which Phenomenology is has such a big impact on what I do and think as a Maker. So for the dissertation I selected the 6,000 words and artefact option which may be seen as the easier option but making hasn’t been easy for me and the fact that the object must link to the dissertation means that there is an additional two challenges to the one of the dissertation itself. But I remain confident and will try my best with this challenge and see what my feedback says and suggest whether it is better to do the full 8,000 words to 10,000 words or concentrate on the artefact and 6,000 words option. To simplify and ensure I have the correct layout for the formative as well as the official final document I came up with a rough layout plan and during tutorials highlighted what was necessary and what wasnt or was but needed to be altered to fit in with the rest. And this is the final plan layout of 4,000 words with the remaining 2,000 and the artefact to be discussed afterwards :-

  • What is Phenomenology and phenomenology of glass
  • Why is this important and relevant to my studies and ethos and how does this help me understand the material of glass.
  • How an object is phenomenological and can be made that way

This would cover the opening 500 words of the dissertation followed by the first bulk part of around 2,000 words

  • Introducing Phenomenology
  • The theory and methods of Edmund Husserl
  • The Theory and methods of Maurice Merleau Ponty
  • How are objects phenomenological

Following that with the bulk of the research in place I would move onto:-

  • The phenomenology of glass
  • Don Ihde

Which would leave me with the remaining word count to focus on the object and the findings overall combined with the theoretical discoveries and arguments of Maurice Merleau Ponty and Edward Husrel


Simple vs pattern

One concept that has come up throughout my work since the beginning of Maker and during my work for the final year is this battle between the simple and pattern. Many of my friends balance the boat on this category with the idea less is more and why complicate a design with pattern when the beauty of the natural material shines through.

As much as I love pattern I understand the desires of both cases and this is something im interested in exploring and even approaching artists about. I believe that as a maker there is a great deal of interpretation and face value to what we individually make but the idea of what the viewer sees in comparison to what you see and what you want them to see and think remains a blurred vision. For my work throughout the year im aiming to challenge this idea by making simplified and more complexed pieces and ask individuals their interpretation of them when viewed and their interpretation when I present them in some shape or form what my pieces mean to me.

Also this seems to be flowing into the idea that my dissertation is about. For my dissertation I have been looking into the idea of phenomenology and the broad relationship we have to objects which is of interest to me as ive always wondered why my work is viewed in one way when I see it in another, And if there is a reason for this more in the sense of the experience of the object and its presentation on Maker. I believe that this is something that will benefit me on Maker and also in future experiences as making work that the general public can see and interact with is something id like to potentially do in the future.

Group Presentation Talk (The Pitch)

Yesterday along with a larger than I initially thought group of my fellow maker friends presented our ideas in the form of presentations as a pitch much like when what businessman do on shows like the Apprentice which covered what we have done since the start of term, our ideas and where we are at now, and where we are intending to go and do to reach these goals.  For my presentation I was thankfully able to get the experiments out of the kiln in time to show my group and my tutor Jon, And I highlighted how the use of natural materials highlighted my interests in objects but their place in nature and how they would look in the home environment. There is a lot of technical not just in the idea but the complexity of the ideas that are causing concerns at this moment in time and the group highlighted confusion as to what I was trying to achieve with the idea of geometric and a jigsaw effect being very difficult maybe not to do but get done to a high quality, basically a worthy challenge but maybe with more experience and working up the difficulty ladder to achieve in the meantime.

With every talk whether this be tutorial or group discussion we are each given feedback on what has been discussed and how we can take things forward for the next stage and talk whenever that may be. These were the areas that were highlighted :-

  • The use of leaves and ways that I can push more to experiment with the desired effects such as shape,detail,individual parts and so on. and methods of making moulds that achieve these results such as CNC, plaster moulds that can then be formed into vessels
  • Once this has been achieved this can then be taken into experiments with Lighting and the puzzle but only when the previous areas have been trialed and error to as far as is possible based on the ideas given and working through on the development.

As an ending point Jon recommended speaking to Sophie a recent graduate as of this june of the maker course after me discussing and displaying an experiment of the process of pate de verre and how this could be a potential experiment turned to object idea for future tutorials and the deadline in december.