Pestle and Mortar are my new objects and I coated them in serveral thin coats of latex. They are now drying. Relatexed the little wooden bowl as the latex was too thin and lumpy. Need to use more thin coats and make sure they are properly dry before recoating. The Virgin Mary latex mould worked fine but the modroc mould on top crumbled when I took off latex where it stuck to; defenitely need vaselin as a barrier. I modroced it afresh and left it to dry.
Stone casted in soap looks great and it picked up the surface texture of the stone beautifully. Was a very satisfying precedure and wanted to keep casting the same stone in soap over and over again.
Tried a press mould of the thin metal bird frame and the first atempt is not bad. The clay stuck to the soap and that was not planned but after cleaning it off as well as could It actually looked quite good and gives it more definition. Will try again using vaselin as a barrier between soap and clay as well as trying it with a think latex layer before casting in soap. For images see http:/
Virgin Mary rubber mould was dry so modroced it and left it to harden. Looking forward to seeing the outcome tomorrow.
My new object is a little square wooden bowl, that I thought will be straight forward but isn't straight forward at all. I also used different latex today which didn't dry as easily as the other one and slipped down the smooth wooden surface too much . When I added hardener it got hardened really fast, so put in too much aargh. Will try again tomorrow.
So it`s the day before the art college closes for Christmas. My nude plastercast isn`t really dry enough to move. Do I (A) leave it until the New Year or (B) open it up because I can`t wait ? Do I open my Christmas present early ? Of course it`s option (B). I eagerly lift the giant metre square plasterwork. As it starts to crack do I lay it back down & add some more scrim ? Nah let`s go for it. And so I watch my dreams crumble in front of me.....
Oh well Happy New Year, anybody got a spare bag of plaster ?
I wanted to further a piece I had shown as part of a collection of small works, a pocket-sized contraption that consisted of an Altoids tin, some Plasticine and a set of someone else’s keys.
These items formed a portable impressioning device. The tin was modified with a nick in its side to accommodate a keyring then stuffed with modeling clay. The keys were borrowed from an unsuspecting relative.
The keys were related to ideas of possession and opportunity. I had been thinking about openers in Lisbon, making work about objects, situations and encounters that could act as beginnings and those which shut things down.
I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to try casting at Plymouth University, at its core is one material taking on the form of another, or registering its shape in some way.
An impression of sorts I thought.
Well it worked, to a certain degree.
Unused ink jet photo paper accepts all the colours I used. Rinsing needs to be gentle. Black ink is transient and wants to slide off the surface, but will dry and adhere if the lifting and flattening process is fast enough and without rinsing. I used degreaser as the surfactant, spacing the colours with it when I worked monochrome.
Once out of the ink trough, the water puddles on the surface of the paper and gives another oppportunity for the application of more ink.
Largest sizes worked to A2. Will try A1 and A0 on Monday
See uploaded images.
So there I was, stark naked, lying on the sand. I think I may be becoming an artist. Who else would decide to sandcast themself, hidden in the ceramics storeroom, out of CCTV camera sight ? I`ve plastercast the mould, but it`s too heavy to lift on my own, so the grim imprint will have to be revealed next week. And yes it was very cold & yes I travelled home leaving a little trail of grains as I went.
Anyway Happy Christmas AA2A ers everywhere, I hope Santa brings you all those lovely art products you`ve asked for. I`ve been really good, except for the nudity bit oh and don`t mention the fish ......
Pic of the Week: Sheffield Hallam University's AA2A Student Rep Josephine Gomersall's image from her album 'Paper art installation'
You can see more of Josephine's work on her Dotbiz profile
Tip of the Week from AA2A artists to students (as featured in our self-employment talks):
'Don't be scared to approach artists on the AA2A scheme!' Yorgos Papadopoulos, AA2A artist at the University of Sunderland (2013-14)
Other news: Student newsletter out now and available on the website.
Look out for our New Year's e-card which should hit your inboxes when you're back from your Christmas break!
AA2A Team (Wendy, Georgia & Jo)
I had a great first meeting with Roger Bateman at the end of October where I learnt about his research on the Green to Gold project (using a flax PLA composite fabric that when heated, creates structured forms). It was a great introduction to the material and I got to see some examples of it's uses, most notably in the biodegradable cabinet. I came away with several examples of the basic hopsack weave cloth to run some printing tests on. The fabric is a very thick material, thicker even than the usual upholstery weight fabric I use in my own work. It is woven with a very thick thread that, when woven into the hopsack design, has a very defined woven structure. My first impression was that this could cause issues when trying to pattern the fabric so for the first tests I decided to stick to some very large, simple patterns. I chose my Thorns print, a two colour design with a large geometric pattern.
Here are the first printing tests, I knew I had a lot of thick fibres to work with so I made sure I made enough passes to drive the ink into the material.
The PLA version of the fabric darkens in colour when heated so I wanted to make sure I chose some colours that would stand out. I chose black to show the dark end of the scale and then chose a bright blue with a slightly opaque white base. Choosing these two colours also means I can test the transparency vs slightly opaque inks.
I also printed a completely opaque version of the print in white and green. These opaque inks are very different in their make up and tend to sit on the surface of the fabric more so they don't have as soft a handle.
These first print tests are to take to the Composites Evolution factory so that we can see how the pattern reacts once heated and pressed.
I've been thinking a little about my first visit to the ceramic stores at the end of November. I was really drawn to the Thomas Toft piece that they have there which I mentioned in my last blog post and this got me researching some of his and his contemporaries other work, a lot of it I am already familiar with. I particularly love slipware chargers, I seem to be heavily drawn to the charger form at the moment... it's like a ceramic blank canvas waiting to be tackled with various decorative techniques. With this in mind when I had my second visit to the York Art Gallery's ceramic Stores on Monday I was keen to unearth a selection of chargers and plates. I was interested to find out if they had any majolica or Delftware plates. I was in for a treat as I dug around in the mass of plate boxes and pulled out some of these inspiring chargers...
YORYM:2000.2674 - Delftware charger, King William III on Horseback
YORYM:2000.2672 - Delftware Charger, Queen Anne holding Royal regalia
I've uploaded a bunch more images to the York Art Gallery album. I've also just searched google for 'English Delftware Chargers', this interesting quote has come up on Wikipedia...
Blue-dash chargers, usually between about 25 and 35 cm in diameter with abstract, floral, religious, patriotic or topographical motifs, were produced in quantity by London and Bristol potters until the early 18th century. As they were kept for decoration on walls, dressers and side-tables, many have survived and they are well represented in museum collections.
One of the most popular decorations on the blue-dash charger was a representation of Adam and Eve with the serpent in the Garden of Eden, produced from the 1630s to the 1730s. "The challenge of rendering the anatomy of Adam and Eve was inescapable, and as the subject became more and more freely repeated by painters of less and less competence, most of the anatomy gave trouble, particularly Adam's abdominal muscles, which eventually became grotesque and could not be wholly covered by his fig-leaf." In later examples, "the images had declined to the level of coloured graffiti; Adam and Eve were cave dwellers, the Tree had become a mere cipher and only the serpent and the fruit proved simple enough to survive debasement."
Funnily enough it's the naive style I seem to be drawn to in these chargers, I'm becoming more and more inspired by folk art and the naive style as well as outsider art.