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window to other worlds

April 20, 2015 by Cherry Hall  

15 little books have wanted to be made to go along with the mosaic window........hopefully I will be on the sewing machines soon at College.

Pic of the Week: Lucy & Layla Swinhoe, University of Derby (plus 'Tip of the Week' and other news..)

April 17, 2015 by AA2A Info   Comments (0)

Pic of the Week: Derby Uni's AA2A Student Reps Lucy & Layla Swinhoe's image 'Everyman Film Stills (Frozen Warnings) No. 37'

You can see more of Lucy & Layla's work on their Dotbiz page

Tip of the Week from AA2A artists to students (as featured in our self-employment talks): "Try to keep the momentum going when you graduate - make use of contacts you make (like AA2A artists)!" AA2A artist 2013-14, University of Sunderland

Other news: For those of you drawing to the end of a scheme we hope you have a great last few weeks and we hope you'll stay in touch! A great way to do this is through our AA2A 'Engage' membership.  This is an active membership group of previous AA2A artists who want to keep in touch with AA2A institutions and are prepared to act as role models for students.  We hope this will provide them with insights into professional life as an artist and into the creative communities that exist outside universities and colleges. In return we'll give you free continued access Dotbiz (previously £15 year for ex-artists). We'll be posting and sending you more details of how to join very soon. In the meantime we hope you enjoy the rest of your scheme.

Best wishes,

The AA2A Team (Wendy, Georgia & Jo)

AA2A Self-employed Talk at Derby Uni.

April 15, 2015 by Sally Hall   Comments (0)

We had a talk by Wendy Mason from AA2A today which was really helpful and an eye opener to the real world of self-employment after graduating. I hadn't thought much about this as a possibility until today and think it's definately worth considering. It does sound like a lot of tax returns but the freedom of being your own boss and the working hours must make it all worth it.

Thanks Wendy!

Things I have been getting on with.

April 15, 2015 by Lee McDonald   Comments (0)

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Here are some links to some 3d Prototypes I have been working on. They demonstrate a 360 degree of a 3D drawing animation of some sculptures. I intend to 3D print them and place motors inside of them. They will have the ability to join together and be assembled in various ways with the aim to cause different reactions. I would like them to bounce and gain a momentum that defies gravity in some erratic way.



I have considered Brownian motion and Renaissance-Era Geometry When building and desighning the sculptures.


This in particular "Perspectiva Corporum Regularium (Perspective of regular solids), created in 1568 by German goldsmith and printmaker Wenzel Jamnitzer (1508–1585)"


Pic of the Week: Melissa Nicholls, Dudley College (plus 'Tip of the Week' and other news..)

April 10, 2015 by AA2A Info   Comments (0)

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Pic of the Week: Dudley College's AA2A artist Melissa Nicholls' image from her Dotbiz album 'AA2A Tests'.

You can see more of Melissa's work on her Dotbiz page.

Tip of the Week from AA2A artists to students (as featured in our self-employment talks): 'Trust your own judgement.' Louise Plant, AA2A 2013-14 University of Derby.

Other News: A quick reminder that you can continue using Dotbiz as a current artist until September 2015.  We'll email you nearer the time to remind you (and there is an option for coninued free access by becoming one of our 'Engage artists').  If you haven't posted anything yet, it's not too late and this is a great time to start.  It's not only so students can see your work but can be a valuable record of what you've done on the scheme, also some artists use this in applications for future opportunities. We have two online 'Dotbiz' tutorials to help you: 'Getting started' and 'Uploading  images and blogging'. It's not too late to be Pic of the Week!

All the best,

The AA2A Team (Wendy, Georgia & Jo)

PS Don't forget please send us any press releases or flyers if you're exhibiting and you can also publicise events and exhibitions on the Dotbiz Ehibitions page.

Concept designs

April 1, 2015 by Ian Kirkpatrick   Comments (0)

Over the last several days I’ve been working to create the concept design and folding pattern for my Reincarnations sculpture, funded by York Art Gallery & part of my AA2A+ residency at York College.  As mentioned in a previous post, the work is a response to the York Art Gallery’s studio ceramics collection – and is called “Reincarnations” as a reflection upon the gallery’s recent renovations & upcoming re-opening this summer.

I chose the subject of an insect transforming from a pupae into an imago (the final stage of metamorphosis) as the shape of my piece.  The artwork will initially be packaged into a cocoon-like box (recycled from the boxes used to store the ceramics at York Art Gallery) – then will open to reveal the wings, torso, head and limbs of the insect inside.  These will variously be made of cardboard and ceramics – and can be assembled together to create the final sculptural form.

I still have a long way to go before this vision will be fully realized, but I did finish the concept sketch – please see here for an image– then I designed the folded “net” and assembled it together into a small maquette (please see here , here , and here for some photos).

The finished maquette was largely a success – though there are many small issues I need to fix.  The most challenging aspect of this project is trying to create a design that allows both ceramic and cardboard to connect and reinforce one another; difficulties such as weight and the unpredictable shrinkage of clay in the kiln are things I will have to sort out still.  Also, there will be some vacuum-moulded plastics for the head area, wings, and possibly the “abdomen” area of the insect – another experimental element I have yet to master.  Stay tuned for further developments.  In the meanwhile, please see the following pics of the maquette (note the “head” area is empty in this version but the real one will have a vacu-formed plastic bubble containing a ceramic temple-like structure, in allusion to ceramicist Ian Godfrey – one of the artists well represented in the York Art Gallery pottery collection).

Pic of the Week: Kirsty E Smith, Sheffield College (plus 'Tip of the Week' and other news..)

April 1, 2015 by Georgia Rodger   Comments (0)

Pic of the Week:  Sheffield College's AA2A artist Kirsty E Smith's work in progress from her Dotbiz album 'It's coming together'.

Tip of the Week from AA2A artists to students (as featured in our self-employment talks): 'Make applications in as many areas of interest as possible and keep your options open.' Tony Stallard, Chelmsford College.

Other news: It's the beginning of the end for this years' artists on their AA2A projects around the country.  Most host institutions finish the scheme sometime in April (although some artists offer extensions). This means artists are showing off their new work, experiments and research in blogs and albums on this site and also some artists will be exhibiting so the exhibitions listings should be buzzing with activity too!

Best wishes,

The AA2A Team (Wendy, Georgia & Jo)

Pic of the Week: Anji Main, Anglia Ruskin University (plus 'Tip of the Week' and other news..)

March 27, 2015 by AA2A Info   Comments (0)

Pic of the Week: Anglia Ruskin University's AA2A artist Anji Main's image 'Shapeshifter' from her Dotbiz album 'Paintings'

Tip of the Week from AA2A artists to students (as featured in our self-employment talks): 'Don't expect the opportunities to come to you, if you want to be an artist you have to be persistent.' AA2A artist 2013-14, Coventry University

Other news: our series of presentations promoting self-employment as a career and lifestyle option are going really well. This is included for host institutions who signed up for our 'deluxe' package. Wendy Mason, AA2A's National Director, has been travelling the country showing students what it looks and feels like to be self-employed and why it might work for them.

We've had some excellent feedback so far:

  • “Brilliant insight into self-employment and how easy it is to start up. Gave me confidence that there is a lot of help out there for anything to do with working for yourself.”
  • “Excellent, knowledgeable, informative, inspiring.”
  • “Thank you! This presentation was really useful for someone who had only dabbled with the thought of it, but didn’t know much about it, or how to go about being self-employed. This was really, really informative and useful. I feel like I could be self-employed now. It's not as scary as it was before.”

The next presentations will be at York, Derby and Wolverhampton.

Best wishes,

The AA2A Team (Wendy, Georgia & Jo)


It's coming together!

March 26, 2015 by Kirsty E Smith   Comments (0)


Accompanying photos for this blog post can be found here http://aa2a.biz/pg/photos/album/25038/its-coming-together

Back in the studio at Sheffield College (Hillsborough Campus) and this time I had a sheet of Polypropylene to cut my truncated cone form from. 

Once cut I covered it in some industrial felt; this is simply because I like to avoid hard edges. I then applied the metallic fabric to the sheet and used staples to hold the cone shape while I checked how it looked. 

I had already decided on the desired angle of the resin rose head (see the linked photo album for my Heath Robinson approach of propping the rose head up on sellotape and Copydex bottle to get the desired angle). Then I bent the copper support pipe and drilled a hole in the base layer of MDF and acrylic mirror and set the support pipe into the hole. The rose head stalk simply slipped over the support pipe and then I had a play with the metallic covered truncated cone piece and looked at it from lots of angles. I had already decided that the base needed to be elevated and I had come to the conclusion that spheres would be right. I work fairly slowly and thinking about form often happens when I am driving. I had been thinking about this for a week or so and had already sourced some polystyrene balls from a Poundshop. In the photo they are just temporarily in position as I was still just playing and getting the feel of the being.

By the end of the day in the studio I was fairly sure that I would like to see these balls covered in some sort of flocked surface. I think that this may be green fake grass form a modelling shop. 

It is a bit of a pity that my job is taking up so much of my time so I have not been able to get into the studio as much as I would have liked and it does seem especially sad as I am now really quite excited about this piece. Ahh the pain and the pleasure of the creative process….

Taking a playful approach

March 25, 2015 by Kirsty E Smith   Comments (0)

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Accompanying images for this blog post are here http://aa2a.biz/pg/photos/album/24687/thinking-about-form-ii

Having been to the Rag Market in Birmingham and sourced my metallic pan scrubber fabric and also having cast the watering can rose head in clear acrylic resin I finally got to the stage of testing out my ideas of how the form of my small sculpture (www.frillipmoolog.co.uk 'being') would would work. 

I often work with fairy roughly sketched ideas and then like to test out proportions and composition simply by physically handling and playing with the elements (This is obviously only possible with smaller pieces though!) 

I enjoyed observing the optical effects while moving the ridged resin cast over the mirror which was reflecting the metallic fabric. I definitely take a playful approach to my work. 

Reminding myself of schooldays maths I calculated the size of circle that I would need to cut out in order to make the truncated come form. I first cut it in newspaper and tested it and was pleased that my maths seemed to have resulted in a circle which would wrap around to form a cone the size that I had planned on. Next I used the newspaper template to cut the shape from greyboard but I quickly discovered that Greyboard was too stiff to work with as when I formed it into the truncated cone form it quickly distorted and cracked. I suddenly realised that I needed to use Polypropylene sheet instead. Joe, the technician, told me about a local supplier www.hindleys.com 

I then went on to wrap the cone form in the gold fabric; to the outside observer this would appear to be a very rough and ready approach but it works for me. I like to spend time seeing how the arrangement makes me feel and I quickly decided that I really didn’t like the placement of the rose head in the centre of the cone so I tried offsetting it; I tried this keeping the stalk still ‘growing’ vertically  and I also tried it at an angle. It was definite in my mind that the angled version was best; is seems more animated and has more life to it.

So a day of realisation about inappropriateness of a material (the greyboard) but also a day of good decision making.