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Second Mould / Virgin Mary

December 17, 2014 by Silvia Champion   Comments (0)

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Took out the stone from it's mould today and the plaster opened beautifully. Will see what the latex has picked up and the soap cast looks like. I brought in two more objects today that I got from people I interviewed about how they feel about their current home. They feel very precious to me as they are all lent to me and mean somthing to their owners in their home.

The first one is a tricky one; a Newseeland bird inside a frame; both frame and bird are made of thin metal sheets. After a chat with the Joe we decided that a press mould is probably best because I don't want to take the bird apart and make each part individually as I 'd never get it to look like the same after welding it together again. I need to try it out and see what happens. Another member of staff from the ceramics department entered the conversation and she wondered about using soft play dough that children use as it might pick up more details and is easier to press an object into it.

The second object is a plaster Mary and will be a more simple two part mould. I've started with that one today and the three layers of latex are drying now. I made the mistake of shaking the container with the latex and as a result got lots of air bubbles. I went ahead anyway an see it as a test mould. I was only there in the morning today and it was really worth while.

The interesting thing is that every object is a different shape and made of a different material therefor offers a different challenge. I want the moulds to look good but I also need to keep in mind that it is not the most important thing to make a perfect object. It's what they mean and the soap as a casting material matters as it is an every day material, one most people can associate with.

Over Xmas holidays I'll try out the bird mould.

Meeting the AA2A Group

December 15, 2014 by Tina Dempsey   Comments (0)

Glad to say I've now met and chatted to all the AA2A group, David Armes, Jamie Barnes, Bonnie Craig and Benedict Rutherford, and I am happy to report that they are a lovely bunch!

I'll be posting details of their developments over the coming months.

Have a great Chritmas and see you in the New Year!


First Mould / Stone

December 9, 2014 by Silvia Champion   Comments (0)

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When I got to the workshop at College today it was really busy, in a good way. My latex layers where dry and a put on two layers of Poproc which dried very fast. I could take out the small stone easily from inside the latex mould after cutting in half the Poproc layers. See images http://aa2a.biz/pg/photos/album/23622/starting-with-making-rubber-moulds-objects-from-peoples-homes The bigger mould I left till next time as it is still quite damp. I met the interior design teacher and the jewellry teacher who where helping students. Also, the first student approached me today asking what I was doing which was nice and we had a little chat. She also told me about her latest project. I also chatted to some students who were fund raising and sold sweets and neclaces made by students. They looked lovely and I'm thinking of buying on next time I'm there. 

I have decided to just make the moulds at the College and do the soap casting in my studio. This way I don't have to carry soap and soap objects back and forwards.  Storage is an issue too as I haven't got anywhere wher I can leave stuff. Joe is very kindly trying to free a trolley that I can use to store a limited amount of things. I'm now ordering some latex with thickener and Pop Rox so I can get on with making more moulds next week. Also, need to collect a couple of objects from people I interviewed in about their homes. Will be interesting what they are. 

Pic of the Week: Ian Kirkpatrick, York College (plus 'Tip of the Week' and other news)

December 9, 2014 by AA2A Info   Comments (0)

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Pic of the Week: York College's 'AA2A Plus' artist Ian Kirkpatrick's sculpture 'Tetramorph', made with card & PVC

You can see more of Ian's work on his Dotbiz page

Tip of the Week from AA2A artists to students (as featured in our self-employment talks): 'Find a network of artists/designers you can talk to, be active on social media & keep showing people your work!' Alex Brady, AA2A artist at De Montfort University (2013-14)

Introducing 'AA2A Plus': Our Pic of the Week is from one of  our 'AA2A Plus' artists working with York Art Gallery's Collection of Modern Ceramics and York College. This exciting pilot scheme gives two of York's artists 5 days paid work through York Museums Trust. You can find out more about the pilot on our website and follow the progress of both 'AA2A Plus' artists Ian Kirkpatrick and Karen Thompson on their Dotbiz pages.

Best wishes,

AA2A Team (Wendy, Georgia & Jo)

York Art Gallery’s Ceramic Collections, First Visit

December 9, 2014 by Karen Thompson   Comments (0)

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At the end of last month I managed to spend a couple of hours in York Art Gallery's 'top secret' ceramic store warehouse. It was quite a bombardment of the senses as I took in a diverse range of studio ceramics. I'm trying to focus in on one object that will inspire a new body of work. I'm unsure at the moment what direction that work will take but I have an inkling that it might be focusing on surface decoration as this is an area of investigation I am keen to revisit soon. My initial visit didn’t manage to come up with any conclusive object which I could respond to, although there were a few items which caught my eye and I have been pondering since. 

Amongst these objects was a fascinating Masons pot, this was made by John and Christopher Potter in between WW1 &WW2 in Staffordshire (Wedgwood), it’s a large earthenware vase of a flattened disc shape with a tall foot. It’s decorated around the shoulder with a landscape and Gothic castle, painted in colours over the glaze. The waist has a band of inscription painted in black which reads… I was painted by Alfred Powell for Omar Ramsden & Anne his wife of St. Dunstan’s London S.W.  A.S  MCMXXVIII. The underside is decorated with an underwater scene of fish in blue, green and silver. The tall foot is decorated with panels of floral decoration in gilt, red, green and blue. 

YORYM:2001.424 – Large Earthenware Masons Vase


An iconic piece of Thomas Toft slipware also caught my eye, although there have already been many modern interpretations on his work including the late Bernard Leach. However I can’t resist the folk art feel and absolutely love his plates. He is well known for the plate with King Charles II, maybe I could respond with a comment on the current debate over Richard III bones

Thomas Toft Slipware, York Museums Trust Collection

YORYM:2001.8293 – Thomas Toft, Slipware


Thomas Toft, Charles II plate              

Thomas Toft charger & Bernard Leach charger – not in York Museums Trust’s collections.


There was also some lovely William De Morgan lustreware. I would love to explore lusterware a little as I think I may be a magpie, anything that’s shiny! I also love his repetitive designs….

William De Morgan Lustreware

YORAG:1952:626.a &c – William De Morgan Lustreware


I still have lots to ponder from my first visit to the stores and a stash of photos to take in. I can’t wait to get into the stores again to have another look around. There were masses of goodies boxed away; I’d love to get unearthing some of those treasures….

Is it just me ?

December 8, 2014 by Adrian Baynes   Comments (0)

So there I was storming away, making some sculptural work as a change from drawing. It was Friday afternoon & then out of the blue I suddenly felt it was all a waste of time. What`s the point in making more stuff ? No one is going to see it, its destined for under the bed ( actually for accuracy`s sake I better come clean & say I have drawers full of sheets & duvet covers under the bed, I keep all my artwork in a big plan chest, I think it is double elephant size. I wonder where that comes from ? Anyway from now on please accept "under the bed" as a metaphore for unseen & unloved ). I think I am still struggling with the fact that all my life I`ve earned a living from making drawings as a designer, whereas this artwork is done for reasons that I don`t fully understand.

So anyway I packed up, went to the library & read the up to date arts magazines. First thing that came to mind is I`m glad I don`t make big work. Where do you put this stuff ? Second was what drives people to make it all ? I`m deeply suspicious of my motivation for making art, but that`s for another day.

Then I went home .....

Mould Making / Re-familiarising

December 8, 2014 by Silvia Champion   Comments (0)

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Very satisfying morning at Sheffield College today. I've started making latex moulds for the first object that has been lent to me as something with a special meaning to a home. At the moment it is about re-familiarising myself with a process and trying out different methods. It has been a while since I've made moulds.  Their technician Joe has kindly helped me to get started. This process also made me think of all those artists who have their things made for them by professionals who do it perfectly. My moulds won't be perfect. Does that matter? We can't be perfect in all the processes we use. I use all sorts of different materials and processes in my work as each project asks for a different langauge. That is sometimes difficult. 

I always make an effort to meet people at the College. It's early days yet as it has only been my third visit there. I am wondereing if I could place my OSB one man 'home' in the College somewhere and engage students and staff with my work  that is very relevant to what I'm doing there. It would also help me to become more visible and possibly start a dialogue.

Another thing I wondered was if the architecture department would be interested in 'a little bit of Austria'. It is the project where everything I'm doing at the College originated from and would give my work there some background. It would offer students an opportunity to work with a real project, real plans, a real house.

I'll find out about those things.


Pic of the Week: Sophie McIntosh, Teesside University (plus 'Tip of the Week' and other news)

December 4, 2014 by AA2A Info   Comments (0)

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Pic of the Week: Teesside University's AA2A artist Sophie McIntosh's image from her Dotbiz album 'Back to school'.

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

Tip of the Week from AA2A artists to students (as featured in our self-employment talks): 'Keep up your practice but you must also look out for other opportunities and research what other artist are doing.' Lee McDonald, AA2A artist at Plymouth University (2013-14)

Other news: We're pleased to announce voting for the favourite artists of 2014-15 is open!  This is a great way for us to raise the profile of the scheme, involve students and get more exposure for this website.  On every artist's profile there is a link to 'vote for this artist'. 

There's a student vote (for students at participating AA2A colleges) and a public vote too - for your peers, lecturers, college staff, students from non-AA2A colleges and any other fans!

Here's a link to go directly to the AA2A Voting Page

The winning artists of the public vote and the student vote will both be promoted on our websites, facebook and twitter pages and may have the opportunity to have their project featured in London at the AA2A Briefing Day. Click here to see previous Featured Artists

Dont' forget if you have any trouble using the site, our Dotbiz training guides are here to help (or just drop us a line!).

Best wishes,

AA2A Team (Wendy, Georgia & Jo)

On folding information

December 3, 2014 by Joanna Brinton   Comments (0)

I proposed a publication for the show. A small space for the participants to put forward their references. A place for found images, their own work, quotes or texts or doodles. But this paper thing became a victim of marketing and property. Logo's were thrown at it, texts were rewritten with readers in mind. Explanations were demanded of the participants, the artists, how were these things they had put forward relevant and if not why? Could they contextualise them, please.

The same questions were not asked of the work on show in the gallery. No-one suggested labels, or explanatory text, the artists' histories were not pasted on the walls, somehow context was not required. The logos were present but small and discreet, if printed to scale they would have merited less room than a single lowercase letter on the page.

But this is to be expected, we are accustomed to paper explanations, that something given away is not the artwork, it is an addition, ephemera. Its purpose is to tell us more, to help us; if it doesn't we find it problematic. It is also a static holder of information, a web page we understand as an object that will grow, be edited, have information adjusted, revised and added, on paper we desire a final product.

This was not a final product, it was a starting point for a conversation that could unfold, in the room and on the page. An invitation to find links, raise questions and develop a dialog between the artists on the AA2A scheme and the University. Reprinted and reworked the publication evolved to incorporate these conversations, one a formal discussion between the Stage 1 BA students and the artists, the second a scrawled jumbled of notes on the wall, the third my own comment on the process of making this unwieldy thing in this unknown place.


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