2 great 10 hour days at Plymouth College of Art, speaking with tutors and students, activating id cards, scanning sketchbooks, printing on silk, coffee, learning how to make vectors, watching laser cutting, time lapsing everything, paying extortionate Council Car Park charges, coffee and arranging to do it all again.
Over the last couple of days, I've been trying different ways of transferring the contours of a cardboard eggtray into a clay body, using standard white clay slip. Initially I tried dipping the tray into the slip and then (separately) pouring the slip over the cardboard surface (see previous post - images pending), and then I made a one-piece plaster mould as a test to see how much of the surface detail of the cardboard would transfer to the plaster. I poured in some slip, which I left to set over the weekend. The results of today's demoulding are documented below. Immediately as I began to take the mould apart, the clay, still damp (though now solid), started to reveal obvious cracks before pulling apart entirely. This was seemingly because I had waited too long before demoulding, causing the clay to dry-out and shrink in the mould. Initially this felt like a failure, until I started to look at the fragments and saw that they had something about them that made them potentially much more interesting than the coherent structure that I had conceived. These muddy forms seemed to reveal something of their terrain, of the earth from which the material was dug. Though these were formed from a commercially processed clay, they recalled my experience of digging clay directly from the ground and I am beginning to imagine some kind of coalesence of these two processes.
As reps we have recently been asked to review the AA2A graduate pack, a document of useful advice and links for final year students.
I found the practical advice to be the most useful, in particular information on becoming self employed and that of the AA2A scheme itself being a viable residency opportunity for a newly graduated artist. It also covers networks that aren’t mentioned in university such as Axis and a-n, which I will be signing up for as a result of reading the pack.
I found it good that it highlights the response of different AA2A artists to the content on each page, showing that the tips and advice provided are in use by these artists and are important to help you with a career in the arts.
Overall it is a very useful document that I will be sharing with my coursemates. Our university already has an educational license for it but I think it is important that its availability is made more visible to those on my course.
I had a great day today, Candice at Derby University gave me an induction to their photographic studio. She not only taught me how to operate the lights (once she'd covered all the obligatory H&S stuff) but she also told me more about how my camera works in 5 minutes than I've managed to glean from several hours of reading the manual!
We set Pale Vessel up on a product table with a couple of lights, and then I played about with the various settings - I'll load one of the pictures up to the sculptures album on here so you can see the difference from the photos I took inside in just daylight.
I've got some studio time booked on Monday, I may even get some decent pictures of some of the prints I've been making.
I spent an enjoyable afternoon chatting to Jayne (who's chairperson of the Wirksworth Festival this year!) and reading the latest issue of Sculpture.
Pic of the Week: from Chloe Hamill our AA2A Graduate Link and previous AA2A Student Rep at Manchester Met University.
You can see more of Chloe's work and find out more about what she's been up to since graduating last year at http:/
Tip of the Week: ‘If you feel certain about the direction you want your art career to take, stay focused and start on it now.’ Shannon Donovan, Hereford College of Arts (2012-2013) http:/
Other news: We're accepting applications from new institutions wanting to host an AA2A scheme and will confirm our new College list in May. If you've any suggestions or contacts at institutions who might be interested in hosting the AA2A scheme then please drop us a line.