I’ve been neglecting this blog for a while now in regards to my own work and project development. My instagram account is where I mostly show my progress, possibly because I don’t feel quick copper samples and coil pots at varying stages are ‘blog-worthy’ and tend to use this as a platform for my final pieces and contextual research. However as part of my professional practice studies I am expected to post weekly updates to showcase my work and growth as a designer to an online audience. As I’ve left it a little late, rather than posting several weeks worth of posts in one go, I’ll do one big summary article of where I am so far.
This is my first project at university where I have been able to set my own brief, and I decided to focus on growth. I originally focused on the forest floor, just because woodlands are my favourite environment and where I feel most inspired. I looked at fungi and lichen, and experimented with ways to mimic these textures and patterns with metal and clay. In metal, I used the dome punches one way on scrap pieces of copper (having annealed them), and then again the other way with smaller punches – which I think resulted in appearing more barnacle-like than like lichen.
In my second week in metal I looked at creating a gradient effect through drilling different sized holes into copper. I did this as I was contemplating incorporating metal leaves into my final design and using this effect around the edges to give them a more delicate, decaying aesthetic. I also used the giant roller thing (must learn the names of workshop machinery!!) to look at ways I could make leaves appear slightly more three dimensional. I finally had a go at enameling using the torches, and though I didn’t apply heat long enough I quite liked the grainy surface pattern as it looked quite organic and lichen-like in appearance! In ceramics I continued to experiment with surface textures and created little samples.
I found myself struggling to develop my work further in ceramics so instead of looking at fungi and lichen I decided to look back to my visual folder and found myself inspired by these carnivorous pitcher plants I came across at the garden centre over the summer. I designed a specific shape/design and continued to modify this until I had a series of ideas to choose from. This meant by week 3 I was ready to start coiling! In metal I was introduced to formfolding.
I continued to work in my sketchbook to help me produce more refined designs for my ceramic work. While I liked the pattern of my enamel samples from week 2, I felt the colours weren’t vibrant enough so I decided to use my metal workshop session enamelling using the kiln instead – the flux was definitely contaminated judging by the results, but I still gained experience and can see the colours better! By this point I had a vague idea of my final design, so I also tried hot forging for the first time. I continued to build my coil pots in ceramics.
In metal I planished my copper rods, filed them and soldered them together. The copper turned into a variety of colours which apparently was the flux, but felt like glass so I questioned whether there was enamel powder on the surface I torched the pieces on. I left the rainbow spoon-to-be In the pickle overnight to get rid of the colours and again, continued building in ceramics.