27 June 2007

Can't complain

It's true there's a funny atmosphere in the college, but I have had plenty of attention this week. Here are the glass tutor and the technician helping me with my exhibition pieces. The large plate we are spinning out at the top was looking really smashing - but smash is what it did. It's cracked inthe glory-hole. You just have to not mind and start again. But the logistics of this idea are looking impractical. Make a mould for each pate de verre bowl; 4 out of 5 of those coming out successful; and so far 1 out of 5 of the bowls picked up on a bubble have been successful, and even that one is 'on the way' rather than securely arrived. But I still think I will get there. It's a learning process.
And earlier in the week I had a really helpful tutorial with the ceramics artist-in-residence who was absolutely on my wavelength and was very encouraging about allowing intuition and serendipity to play their part. Something about why I like a level of design ambiguity could be my Research Question.

25 June 2007

Empty hotshop

Hoping to blow today. No annealing oven available; furnace needing recharging; benches all pushed into a corner. Trying again tomorrow, but it's like a morgue at the college.

24 June 2007

Simon Carroll

I went to Simon Carroll's gallery talk about his approach to ceramics - which was inspirational even if it didn't make me understand what his pots are all about any better. It made sense that he'd been taught by Walter Keeler. Though I'd say his work isn't 'designed' in the same way. More the result of personal feelings for form and small obsessions with detail. Which set me thinking about a tutorial I had last week -- The visiting ceramicist felt my daubs on this bowl were 'unresolved'. We had a discussion on the role of chance when you are 'painting' with glass or with glazes. Haven't yet decided what I think. Probably because I don't actually know enough to have confidence that I am controlling the 'chance'.

17 June 2007

RCA Final Show

Call me old fashioned, but I did expect to be wowed by artistic and design talent, and I wasn't. Sad, somehow, that everyone feels under pressure to produce some quirky 'range'. What are art schools doing to students? Picked out here (permission to photograph given) some really quirky wineglasses -- which interested me, obviously, but I can't say I like them; a pair of anniversary rings and drinking glasses -- very beautifully made; and some exquisite bowls that looked like mother-of-pearl - but they're made of cling film. Of course one marvelled, but cling film? How robust can that be?

15 June 2007

Fire alarm bowl

Finally I get some one-to-one help from the ever-in-demand glass supervisor, and what happens? The fire alarm goes off before we have finished making the piece. Still, there's an effect here that's worth pursuing and I am promised more time another day. Can't do these solo.

I am trying to 'paint' in glass. Possibly there's a 'research question' here (don't really care for all the MA jargon) about the role of accident in craft. Or what sort of marks you make with glass that's different from actual paint. Or the role of being completely free with your medium. But I have plenty of time to think about my Final Project.

14 June 2007

The Little Book of Why Glass

Apparently I'd answered the question about why I had chosen glass, 'More comprehensively than I could ever have imagined,' part of the written feedback about the Exploratory Project that I received only today. 5 weeks after handing in. It's too long really. Still, very gratifying to get 82% for this unit (which included the Game of Glass). No feedback yet on the Case Study. It doesn't hold you up, but you lose interest when it takes as long as this to get a reaction. And wonder why on earth you put so much effort into it.

13 June 2007

Empty corridors and building works

It's pretty dismal at the college this week. The BAs have finished, tutors are going on study leave and builders are in to change workshops. I was the only one in the hotshop and next week there'll be no access. I may have to think again about what I am going to do over the summer.

07 June 2007

BA Show

Just 4 of the graduating BA final show pieces. It's good to see their work together, though I did wonder why they had almost all of them produced a series of the same idea, rather than a show of variety. They said it was because the last thing they worked on seemed to be the peak of what they could achieve at that time. Shame we couldn't also see the work the first and second years put out for their assessment. There should be a mechanism whereby the glass department is invited to view everyone's work. Otherwise you just see them struggling with parts of a piece, but never see the whole thing finished.