Been up and down to London several times over the last 3 weeks. Spent 3 days pounding the streets until my feet hurt, seeing what’s new in jewellery and fashion. Went to Dover Street Market, Spitalfield Market and Brick Lane ( for the first time ever!!) Checked out Libertys and of course went to all the usual places Lesley Craze, Contemporary Applied Arts and Electrum who are celebrating their 40th Birthday this year. Also soaked up loads of Art, 13 rooms of Miro at the Tate Modern which was a pretty magical afternoon and I have never really been that crazy about his work. And they have done it again!! Dirt at The Wellcome Collection, amazing exhibition could have spent all day in there. I also treated myself to a couple of bits and pieces……..some colourful plastic stuff from Habitat and some fab rings from Flow Gallery.
My final fav Textiles graduate Lorri Smyth fantastic use of scrap oriented strand board (OSB) and plywood to make surface pattern, wall pieces and furniture. She has a fantastic blog which takes you through her inspiration, sampling and the whole process of making her Degree Collection.
I just love the colour palette she uses and I have always had a soft spot for OSB as I love the texture of it.
Merlin Planterose jeweller and silversmith her work is based on the isolation and nature of The Highlands where she is from. The main feature of her Degree Collection are raised silver vessels formed by “found” tools such as rocks and made on location in the Highlands. The idea behind this is to create a piece that reflects the harsh rugged nature of its surroundings. She also made a beautiful delicate range of jewellery using simple rounded forms, some with hidden compartments in them and handmade chain.
The way that she uses stones to form and texture the silver creates a beautiful, subtle surface texture and literally turns silver into stone.
Had a great couple of weeks doing a mini project with the Level 2 the brief was to design a Medal. We covered several types of modelling, wax and milliput to make the masters. Some basic casting techniques, cuttlefish casting with lead free pewter and the delft casting system which I have wanted to try for a while. Its actually a really good system for small workshops to produce one off castings. I videoed the processes and will be posting the results once I have edited them.
The final Medals where to be produced by Sand Casting in Bronze with the expert help of Roddy Mathieson who is not only a Technician at DJCAD but an Artist and Sculptor and runs The Mobile Foundry, we poured the Bronze on Thursday 18 kilos of it!! I was pretty nervous as I helped Roddy with the pour.
The slide show below was the process of making the moulds and casting them.
This is the video of the pour :) captured on my video camera by one of the second years Lucie Hunter.
Exhibition at Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh until 20th March.
My favourite works in the exhibition are Fiona Byrne-Suttons simple and textural bowls. She digs up the clay from Clackmannanshire and Glasgow and then impresses her vessels with plantlife. They look like they have been hewn straight out of the ground.
And I love Jenny Popes work, collections of porcelain objects based on the wide variety of different shapes and structures of bone in nature. As someone who loves collections and Museums they really appeal to me.
I spent a fantastic day at the Symposium that Craft Scotland organised in conjunction with the exhibition. It was a very interesting day with key note speakers from craft and science backgrounds. Of particular interest to me was Dr Max Coleman from The Royal Botanic Gardens talking about the way people react to craft, express opinions and ask questions, that craft can bring people into debates and was “a way to engage people with the core work the gardens do through a more approachable medium”
We also had a number of break out sessions where issues to do with craft, biodiversity and sustainability where discussed and we got to go round the exhibition with the makers and ask questions about the work.