Gesamtkunstwerk Robert Coby


The current pieces from the Topography Series of glass vessels

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Function – what does it do, or did it do … is this of interest to you? What is it purpose.

Robert Coby’s work in general doesn’t have a function but serves as a more applied art piece that demonstrates the execution of the long running techniques of glassblowing. The removal of material from the surface and finishing touches to create a jagged and unfinished look adds to the process and final result and develops my interest in the manipulation of form and look.

Material – Are you drawn to it because of the material it is made from?

The use of glass as a material is of great interest to me as I believe glass has a lot of advantages to other materials as being a very manipulative but also unforgiving material that adds a greater challenge to the process.

Craftsmanship – Is it the virtuosity of skill evident in the object?

There is indeed a high level of craftsmanship as glassblowing requires a great amount of attention not just from an observational perspective but also a quality look as one mistake can prove fatal and unforgiving.

Expression – Does it speak to you, move you, if so how?

This series of work speaks to me as looking at the pieces there is a high attention to detail and a ver unique look to every piece, what moves me is the relation to the environment of the working area and the dedication and hard work of making the piece then removing a substantial amount of the original form to reveal the layers underneath.

Innovative – Does it inspire? Does it challenge, is it beautiful, and if so why?

This is an inspiring series of work as glassblowing is a long existing technique but I’ve never seen a piece that exhibits the look that his work displays. I believe that this series of work is challenging as in the competitive market and expensive market that glassblowing when you are able to create a way of making that goes against the norm and look of the traditional you are on to a winner.





Gesamtkunstwerk Johnathan Keep

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Function – what does it do, or did it do … is this of interest to you? What is it purpose.

Johnathan’s work focuses between decorative and functional aesthetics and serves as an example of the problem solving and basic understandings of traditional techniques and merging them with new and constantly adapting and upgrading technologies. This is of interest to me as this allows me to work with ceramics but in a way that I can work with the material and shows that there is more than one way to achieve a result but a certain isn’t necessarily the way that works for you.

Material – Are you drawn to it because of the material it is made from?

As I’ve stated before I believe my love hate relationship with ceramics is loving the look of the work but hating the fact that this is a process that I am unable to achieve a high quality of outcome from. But the use of 3D technology I believe removes this problem and this is what makes the use of clay appealing as it challenges me to create 3D pieces that will print out layer after layer like a standard 3d print on Makerbot but in clay on a larger buildable printer.

Craftsmanship – Is it the virtuosity of skill evident in the object?

There is evidence of great skill in use as throwing itself requires a dedication and consistency as one wrong move will overbalance and potentially ruin the success of the original, but 3D printing isn’t without its own problems as when clay is used there needs to be a consistent amount of pressure as well as quality of material to avoid errors which when demonstrated occur no matter how much experience you have of working in this method.

Expression – Does it speak to you, move you, if so how?

To me this method of working speaks to me as a good example of adapting a situation in this case a process to better suit you so that the opportunities are freely open to you which can allow undiscovered interests and ideas to emerge which can greatly benefit any existing knowledge or technical skill which is an edge on anyone else working in this area or material and is a highly desired skill to be employed for.

Innovative – Does it inspire? Does it challenge, is it beautiful, and if so why?

To me this is inspiring as when you’re an undergraduate you want to be able to try a bit of everything but throwing has been something I haven’t mastered at all in fact a donut is the best result I’ve had. I believe this inspires as it shows a working process of ceramic that allows anyone who can’t throw a pot or any form of thrown vessel but has a reasonable understanding of 3d printing and software that allows 3D making such as Rhino an opportunity to work in any material they desire providing the necessary machine is capable of supporting that material in question. This also to me challenges whether newer markets will emerge where artists can develop weaker areas together with stronger areas of work to create new outcomes that would not have been achievable.

Future Gesamtkunstwerk

At the end feedback talk with Pip we discussed the future prospects and ideas that I was thinking of doing not just in third year but also in the graduate market. Admittedly the results haven’t exactly helped the confidence aspect of my work but its never to late to change things, Pity they didn’t tell whoever came up with that at any point a student like myself would curse those words whilst struggling to keep to a deadline. With Gesamtkunstwerk meaning the ideal and Ideal meaning :- Satisfying one’s concept of perfection. Looking further in research wise I discovered a mathematical practice method known as Fibonacci which like the title of the project I can’t flaming pronounce either which is considered the perfect pattern of nature and architecture among many things.

Due to my interests in digital processes such as Rhino the 3d printing software and Glass and wood I believe that I have found an area that will be off great interest to work in for third year and beyond as long as things work out the best they can

Focusing Gesamtkunstwerk project

With a Resubmission, Summer project and dissertation to among many things ive decided to highlight everything I need to achieve with each project and slowly highlight on the long list what  has been done and the evidence that will show this shown here. :-

  • What is Gesamtkunstwerk
  • What is my Ideal/characteristic appeal
  • What is my ideal Material/s
  • What would the audience of my work see in view of my ideas and interests
  • Do my objects have a meaning, a sentimental reasoning
  • Do they have a function or a method of having a function that the owner can endure
  • Is there a message to the pieces or body of work that I want to get across and why this is
  • Do the materials highlight this deeper rooted meaning
  • What is the emotive appeal and visual physical appeal

These areas among many others are the focus points. Overall the meaning and reasoning of the project is what my tutor and head of course Ingrid is looking for in the final year. I feel that the pressure is on come September and what exactly I want to do and the standard of work that is needed for the Pecha Kucha talk is worrying and whether the object I have selected will be good enough is another thing but with the flexibility to do my own thing this year which I struggled with for the past two years will give me the edge to get the best grade possible. Just have to see how things work out.

Formative feedback regarding Blog

Having just recently got my feedback regarding my blog and the Delight In Light and BAMS project the feedback for all three is much more positive than I was expecting and the constructive criticism was telling me to basically keep up with what i was doing already.

All in all i need to bring more influences and links on to the blog for both of the projects set and go into greater detail the relevance of choosing these particular images, artists and ways of designing and how this can shape the portfolio of work that will be viewed upon on completion of the outcome and any other supporting artefacts.

Lamp influence (Helico) Houda Kaddouh

Prior to starting second year Pip the head of second year recommended visiting upcoming events locally and in London to gain ideas for what we would make in regards to products for the second year briefs as well as to think about

  • What is already on the market in relations to a particular purpose or a material
  • How these works are presented and priced in accordance to the maker
  • Where the gaps in the market are that your ideas can fit into
  • What sells and how these products are beneficial for their purpose
  • Seeing what its like to be a selling and advertising your work as a maker past graduating
  • Gaining an insight of where and who your target market could be

As well as these key points and many more Tent London was really useful and I took loads of pictures and artists leaflets to pin on my blog as well as my sketchbooks to use as a template when beginning second year. Ironically not knowing that one of my live brief options for second year was to design advertise and make a functioning light I was able to come across and speak to a Manchester Product Design Graduate by the name of Houda Kaddouh and her light pieces entitled Helico.

helico picture one helico picture 2 helico picture three

The simplicity of the designs yet the attention to detail is quite admirable. taking away as an influence this example I will try to make the shape and material process of my lamp as simple as possible but also to the best quality and maybe introduce a way of making the lamp adjustable in the sense of adding patterns or designs to the buyer’s discretion. This kind of way of thinking is what I hope will come across throughout the lamp brief process from the initial designs to the final completed piece.

Houda Kaddouh work and contact details can be found at :-

Summer project update

With the summer project completed I am hopeful that I have done what is requested from the brief. Through the images selected I have tried to find pieces or series of objects that cover the three areas being:-

Contemporary Art

Contemporary Craft

Contemporary Design

Thinking through these images my work seems to be moving in the direction of craft rather than art or design. My reasoning for this is that all my work is aimed at having a purpose as art has a meaning rather than a purpose is my understanding. As an example Banksy doesn’t consider himself an artist but rather an entrance point to his way of thinking which to my belief would make him more of a Fine artist but unconventional to many artists in the history of art from the beginning till now. And I don’t believe my work is of a design nature, As in my work I try to make the object have a purpose but maybe hide a meaning into the process that makes it stand out. So craft is something that is made by hand or by hand with the use of a machine of some sort but design is planning the look and possible problems of a piece but once it has been made is it a design or a crafted piece this is the area I don’t fully understand but in time and with research I will be more understanding of.

Overall as my degree course progresses i hope to continue analyzing this as well as the methods of gaining better insight and control over the materials being used and just what it is I am trying to achieve and how will I do this. Taking this into account ive attempted to answer all the questions asked to think about and during group discussion relay these ideas and see what everyone else thinks