31 January 2006

Using my lenses in the site-specific project

Lenses, cut, mirrored and enamelled with parts of the ampersand. I know what I am doing now -- it has all come together. I will 'take a line for a walk' across 4 windows and within the meandering band will be a stream of lenses - part pattern, part graphics, suggestive of writing and also representing the River Fleet which flows more or less beneath the building.

30 January 2006

Paper installation

It sort of worked. Here we have hoisted the structure to the roof of the gym (after it had collapsed under its own weight once). Not quite as invisaged in the model, but I hope Aviva (whose design it was) wasn't disappointed. We all had a good laugh and all took home useful rolls of wallpaper to draw on. I'll use mine for my life class and also to map out the Saffron House installation piece.

29 January 2006

I have bought a kiln

Yes! It just somehow happened without my having planned to buy one. This belonged to Shirley Palmer and is in immaculate condition. A trusted source, and a fair price which included various kiln bits and moulds. I am looking forward to playing. Mind you, I haven't really thought this through. Where is it going to go; what about a source of water - special sink, mess area, etc. etc. Is it big enough? Never mind. Get the equipment and then solve the logistics. Now I can really start learning.

26 January 2006

Screen printing

An excellent day with Kirsty Brookes who was generous in sharing her time and knowledge. I played about with my ampersand theme and felt I moved forward. Not least because Kirsty suggested a solution to a fixtures & fittings problem that had been bugging me. Interesting to get a glimpse on a new technique - will try it again. I think this must be the first time I have been whole-heartedly positive on a kiln day. Awfully good on useful little snippets of information. Shame they can't all be like this. Made me wonder if I'd made the right decision about doing this course instead of the Central St Martins one -- it was more expensive, but I'm sure quality learning, like today, and without the irritating assessment constraints.

24 January 2006

Pure - voting

Top left is the one we chose to make next Monday - a nice simple concept and one we felt we could accomplish. Mine is the one with the spheres and spirals, which the group (rightly) felt might not be constructable in the time. As I quite emphatically did not want mine to be chosen, that was fine. Diplomatically, or coincidentally, each of us got 1 vote from another person. I thought they were all imaginative, and would like to know how people would have varied their designs without a time or finance constraint. Obviously both these exist in the real world, and it is useful to be reminded of that.

21 January 2006

Lettering day

I am just back from a Glass Engraver's Guild day on italic lettering with John Nash. Extremely invigorating and eye-opening. I begin to know what to look for in letterforms. We did exercises (like this one) all day and very relaxing and good fun it was too. I think one-day events are well worth doing as there is a lot of motivation in the room and people come to get and give ideas. So far, this blog has talked quite little about engraving -- I'm treading water at the moment. I was getting on better when I was less well informed. Lost my innocence now and not replaced it with expertise.

18 January 2006

My first V&A-inspired

lead-dead; handled handles; mother-of-Vita; n'est-ce pas une pipe; shelltered
I layed out a little trail of installations for Stephen when he came back from Canada, playing with ideas inspired by Sue Lawty's work in the textile gallery at the V&A. Here are 5 of them. The idea is to 'fuse' glass with mudlarked objects. I think I might experiment with taking one of these further forward in the workshop tomorrow.

17 January 2006

Pure project -- maquette

My model of the gym - to scale (2cm=1m) . I've adapted my first idea in fact because it wasn't viable within the time scale -- i.e. in 3 hours 7 of us have to assemble it in the gym, photograph it and take it down. I don't think anything will prove viable, actually. But perhaps that's the point. Maybe we're meant to learn that our site-specific project won't work without tight time management. So lots of compromise on interpreting the brief. Result is that my reading of 'pure' is 'plain' or 'simple'. As opposed to: absolute; genuine; unalloyed; spotless; disinterested; chaste; utter; in tune; clear ... etc. etc

16 January 2006

Inspired by

Sue Lawty; wrought iron pots c. 1700; Dobson wallpaper; art-nouveau grille
I went to the V&A on Sunday and got inspired by these things in the collection. I thought I might do something for the Adult Learner's exhibition. I've left it a bit late, as it has to be finished by 17 February. I don't think I've got time -- but I'll have a go at the design anyway.

12 January 2006

Pure -- paper installation project

This is the gym at WAES. We've to make a paper installation filling the whole of the gym imagining it is for a paper manufacturer who wants it to express the word 'pure'. Today we looked at books and talked about it. For the next 2 weeks, we'll be making maquettes. Then, select the best one and make it life-size in the gym. I'll be surprised if we actually manage it in the time, but I've got my idea. Just for once I am going to stick with the first idea, because I really want to get on with the design for my site-specific project which I am really looking forward to doing.

09 January 2006

First day of the Spring Term

Tube strike: arrived late at Morley College. Set up drills. Power failure. Got started on some polishing samples -- experimenting with shades of grey. Good idea. Prob did only an hour's worth of actual work.

So to WAES for (allegedly) an 'exciting largescale 3D project'. Tutor didn't arrive (all of us managed to navigate the closed tube stations). We discussed the exhibition venue for a bit. Went home.

Total day - left house 9.30; arrived back 5.30. Total travelling time: 3hrs. Achieved: a few little squares of differently shaded white engraving. Such productivity!

07 January 2006

London Glassblowing

I went to see Peter Layton today with a view to collaborating on a number of writing projects to tie in with his 30th anniversary year. He gave me this book as a 'thank you' for spending the bulk of Sunday (probably) writing something for him. I'm happy to do this and I think we both felt we were going to get on well together. But, hey, a £40 book which I can get half price as his publisher is the same as mine isn't a quid pro quo. It's curious -- and I think fairly general -- that one craftsperson forgets to value what another craftsperson does appropriately. You can get wobbly writing just as you can get wobbly glass. I'm not complaining; just musing. After all, what I want from Peter is some way of being able to come and blow glass in his studio without it costing an arm and a leg. And that wouldn't be a quid pro quo for this particular project either. But the door might be opening a crack -- this is pretty much the only place in London where I could get to practise blowing. And if I'm pleased with my wobbly goblets then I should understand why non-writers are proud of their writing. Anyone can write, can't they?

06 January 2006

Jelly and fans

A blog 'fan' -- yes, I do have some -- liked my jelly glass entry and told me about a San Francisco artist called Liz Hickok who depicts her city in jelly. I've borrowed one of her pix and it should link to her site where there are more.

05 January 2006

Found the pictures

The exhibition pix that got stuck in the camera have been found (see Wasted Day). Here's my exhibition table from last term. Next term begins on Monday 9th and I am not ready for it. Had intended to do lots of designing, but the Festive Season as well as seeing Stephen in as the Master of the Art Workers Guild for the year has zapped all glass creative energy and channelled it elsewhere.