VESSEL Thursday 15th November
I've Started the new project in Part 2 of the course.
Batch production/moulds/slip casting for ceramics...this is all new to me and i'm looking forward to a different challenge.
We set out images of contemporary and traditional products...
...then we took 3 images from the layout and wrote about their function, features and materials they are made from.
Toolkit collection of apron, craft knives, waterspray, mixing bowl, tootbrushes and newspaper for Kings Cross workshop.
In the afternoon we headed down to the ceramic workshop in Archway to practice some mould making...i found this very enjoyable. We all given a piece of material ...i recieved two pieces of coal and had to come up with a Vessel design to contain them.
VESSEL Monday 19th November
After a busy research weekend on workflow I did some drawing activities at archway. I used a cylinder geometric shape to help inspire some ideas...
...i did four drawings and decided to use copper, leather, metal wire or string as a potential material to contain or decorate the vessel im workig on.
In the afternoon Kathleen gave us a Slipcasting demonstration - very interesting.
VESSEL Tuesday 20th November
The whole class met at Kings Cross with Tom and Georgia. We were given another demonstration on how we mix our ceramic slip, pour it out of the mould and how long drying requires (this is around 15 mins max).
I would start by pouring the slip from the machine into the mixing bowl...pour from there into the moulds...some moulds were sealed with gaffer tape...after 2 minutes i would pour it back into the mixing bowl at a 45 degree angle...slowly turn the plate moulds to prevent any settling drips...then they would harden and dry for 15 mins on a bench. Following this i slowly managed to remove every piece i made (plates, bowls and mavericks) ...i then assembled them and etched into them to create these unusual looking art pieces, I used the influences of Lucie Rie for her beautiful modernist bowls and vessels. We then put them on a trolley after being smoothed and trimmed...they then could harden before going into the kiln to be fired. I made three casts and took a number of photographs showing my progress.
Here are for photos...
VESSEL Thursday 22nd November
I went to Kings Cross with my class to complete our vessel production process.
I had a little difficulty completing a couple of pieces...i learnt that i didnt let them dry for long enough and made some mistakes with my etching trimming. However this was a useful process for me and i can learn from my mistakes for next time.
I managed to make one final piece before firing...a cylinder shape with an organic feel.
So after the weekend the whole lot will be ready for firing...im looking forward to seeing the outcome of my four pieces and hope that they come out intact! I will be back in on Monday 26th to collect them.
VESSEL Friday 23rd November
Today i completed my initial research that i started at the beginning of the project showing the four artists and designers i had chosen.
They are Phil Cuttance, Hella Jongerius, Rachel Whiteread and Dame Lucie Rie.
These four great designers and their work were my inspiration for the vessel project.
VESSEL Monday 26th November
Over at Kings Cross we finally get to see the results of our ceramic firing! It was so exciting and i was pleased to see that all four of my pieces survived in one piece.
I brought in to college a sturdy cardboard box and bubble wrap...i then wrapped up and transported my four vessels plus another students three back to Archway..very carefully!
Back at Archway after examining the ceramic vessels we moved onto the next stage...ideas were being drawn up to add seperate materials onto our art. Previously i had chosen copper wire, string and leather...
...this new media will give my pieces a new angle and simple decoration - even a function. I decided to create a candle holder.
In the metal workshop i began twisting the copper rods on random tubes placed in a bench grinder -i successfully got the results i wanted for my first vessel.
VESSEL Tuesday 27th November
Today I'm developing several collage pieces using photographs from my latest outcomes. What I have produced here shows all the possible practicalities and functions that could benefit society and people who enjoy displaying candles and storing coal.
In these collage designs I’m showing how a lump of coal can be placed and held on top of an architectural vessel (it resembles a coal factory with a chimney) I got the image from Pinterest showing a stone being supported on a ceramic cup that has been handmade and warped.
There is an example of a small garden tea light candle cover being suspended on a metal plate or base. This would be perfect for displaying on your garden wall or table in the evening.
I designed a vessel that at first could have covered up a lump of coal however I changed it to be a candle holder and decided to use copper wire twisted around the vessel holding two lumps of coal in place for display, to create awareness for climate change and create a function (candle).
The final collage shows how an organic candle holder can be fixed in place on the wall for the interior of your home.
VESSEL Wednesday 28th November
Back in the Archway metal workshop today...i really am enjoying my time here, learning about all the machines and their functions.
Today i began work on creating a candle holder that will attach to a wall. Under the supervision of the metal workshop technician Gareth , i hammered a sheet of scrap metal using a vice tool to hold it steady. The resulting cylinder was then attatched to a metal bowl at its base (this will collect molten wax from the candle)...its all being held together by a metal brackett that attaches to the wall. This was assembled and held together using a spot welder machine.
VESSEL Thursday 29th November
Here are the final results for my Vessels and candle holders.
I used the flash on the Cannon camera of mine because it was getting dark around 16:30 making the photo quality poor and blurry. I lit four candles outside the workshop as there is a fire hazard risk in the classroom.
I consider my ceramic pieces would be a beautiful and eco friendly product for use at home, in a restaurant, bar or at work.
Candles represent romance and relaxation and i have hopefully made them decorative as well.
Phil Cuttance with his incredible candle holders that have strong faceted texture and appearance were an great influence that i drew from...hopefully this shows in the results.
On the other page in my workbook and A2 sheets I made a collage demonstrating how these candle holders and vessels could become useful whether it’s in the bathroom or dining room, on the wall in your home, in the garden outside or at a bar or restaurant.
I also used a photograph (see work flow research) that i took at' Vertigo 42' bar in London’s Tower 42 (formally Natwest)..it again shows the possibility of one of my vessels being used to decorate or create ambient lighting in there.
Late afternoon we were given our new project in Part2, 'Child'.
A group exercise that followed involved five students being given a random toy. It was a scientific drawing robot toy...it had pens attatched to to its legs and draws colourful circles by battery power. My impression of this toy was quite negative...
...when i looked closer i saw that the batteries were not included; the cheap retail price of £10 made me question its durability and the patterns of drawing it creates are all the same /very repetitive.
After this crit we sat down and began to do the next exercise which involved initial ideas for Child Project . Using three minute time bursts we had to come up with different toy design drawing for ten different children...we then had to do a drawing for one child, again in 3 mins.
Some of the criteria included suspending, geometric, enormous, small scale and Collapseible toy.
CHILD Friday 30th November
I was absent today as i had an appointment with A Models , a architectual and engineering model making in Kings Cross London. It was amazing to meet the Director Christian, who showed me around the workshops and offices...
..very inspiring and showed me the potential of Model Making as a career.
I sadly missed out on the CSM BA Production Design Open Day Tour, including a visit to the Museum of Childhood.
After lunch with Christian i managed a visit to Hamleys in the West End. I found this very distracting and way too busy...i couldnt process this chaos very well so i decided to do my research at home.
CHILD Monday 3rd December
After a long weekend of research into childrens toys and playground equipment i have come up with a initial idea of a 'sensory Playground Garden'. This is based on the research into how children with special needs can feel plants and surfaces and become involved interactive play when in these enviroments...
...some sensory gardens rely on the sense of smell from the planting and location e.g. Imperial Park and Sensory Gardens in SW6...but i wanted to take it further. My design will have textures, safe play equipment that can disassembled and removed, LED lighting, 'fun house' mirrors, sand pit, climbing frame and moving playground furniture that can be for indoors or outdoors.
CHILD Tuesday 4th December
This morning i sourced my materials for my playground project..i have found the well known 4D Modelshop in Whitechapel, E1 which will have all the materials i'll nedd for this design. It seems expensive but i won't need a huge amount as its only a week long project.
I'm falling behind schedule slightly so i will head over to 4D tomorrow morning.
The rest of the day was spent on firming up my research, initial ideas and design development.
CHILD Thursday 6th December
Today was a bit of a disappointment as i couldn't show my model, sheets and book work.
I'm working hard on it all and it will definitely be ready for the assessment.
WILDLIFE Monday 7th January
After the Christmas break we began the day with our VESSEL presentation. We displayed our A2 sheets, the final pieces and work/research books ready for other students to give us feedback.
Unfortunatley I was not able to participate fully in the assessment but showed my progress in my workbooks. We were joined by some outside critics who joined in for talks.
At 12:45 we were all told to make our way down to The Chelsea Physic Garden Musuem in Chelsea. I took the northen line from Archway to Embankmen, then changed train to Sloane Square. From there we walked towards Chelsea Embankment and arrived around 13:50.
I have brought along my Canon camera to photograph the gardens ..this will help with inspiration and ideas for our latest project. The Garden is closed until Jan 26th but us Foundation students were given special access and opportunity to visit.
I found so many beautiful and amazing plants to photograph...there are so many species of plant tree, and flower.
Some of my favourites are the nigella sativa ranunculaceae with its black caraway seeds and purple flowers; the pinus canariensis from the Canary Islands and the opuntia ficus indica cactus with its spikey leaves. I love the size and color of these organic plants..some are strong and some delicate natural forms...
...I hope to discover a way of utilizing the plant shapes and forms to possibly make a vessel, a plant pot or greenhouse. Or i may make something very decorative for the garden centre to add color and attract attention.
I was drawn towards the woven fence with its amazing texture.
As i continued to walk around i noticed a lot of bamboo structures that were covered with bubblewrap..these were protective constructions that were put around the plants. I believe that there could be a huge potential to making this functional covering more attractive and fun for each particluar species of flower or plant.
At around 14:35 we all went for a welcome presentation by the staff and people who look after the centre. They explained to us a little about the history of the gardens and gave us some basic general knowledge about the trees, plants and flowers.
They said sometimes british politicians and celebrities visit anonymously.
They explained that its alot warmer in the south east of our country and that the Thames is beneficial to keeping the Garden temperature warmer too...it's also at sea level.
Afterwards I went back out into the gardens to look for some more inspiration and ideas...I felt so relaxed there as i was gathering my ideas.
It's a wonderful place to visit and is a stress free area even during the winter months.
WILDLIFE Tuesday 8th January
Today we were more practical and worked with Tom on Sustainibility. I needed to think about my project in terms of eco friendly materials that are long lasting and wont harm the enviroment.
Some ideas that inspired me are -
Reclaiming and reusing items (i could source my basic materials from Charity shops and Recycling centers)
Less is more (lighter more compact, but strong)
Geography (getting local supplies, not using a vehicle, walking and exercise, reducing our carbon footprint)
Using material that grows naturally (wood, reeds, paper -as in the Oxfam Fairtrade bird house-)
Cost (keeping it affordable and so, plentiful)
Awareness against the risk of toxicitity (a object containing health risk chemicals, eg weedkiller, slug pellets)
Using biodegradable materials and leaving nothing behind.
Birds that come and settle in gardens are valuable. They keep slug population down, they spread seeds in there faeces (germination), they breed when happy in their enviroment.
What caught my eye at the Physic Garden was a pyramid shaped Cold Frame...these are used to keep plants safe against weather if they are not suited to a green house.
Also i was interested in the shape of a woven bee hive (i believe it was!)..i loved the way the wicker was woven into a cone shape with a small opening at the top.
I loved the use of everyday objects as plant holders eg. teapots at the Gardens and a toilet bowl at the end of Chester Rd!
They made us think of alternative ways to keep vunerable plants warm without using bubble wrap/plastic and tape...glass would be a good insulator.
WILDLIFE Wednesday 9th January
Today i went to the Open Day for my prospective Modelling BA course at University of Hertfordshire. We travelled up by train and really love the look of the campus..all teaching and living is in one place.
Unfortunatley we couldnt see inside the Arts and Crafts building where the course is based.
I returned home late afternoon to begin my research on influencial designer and artists that i can connect to my research from the Psychic Garden..
High end designer Philippe Starck is a favourite of mine. He famously made the Juicy salif juicer...i like his exagerated designing techniques and architectural shapes.
At the cheaper end of the market, Ikea is all about working towards sustainibilty. 71% of all there products are recyclable or made from recycled products..it is design that is affordable for the whole of the population, rich or poor.
WILDLIFE Thursday 10th January
Today was spent on drawing activities with kathleen...they are 3 mins per sketch.
I drew a number of different design ideas (shelves, cold frames, garden decorations eg windmills, wind spinner mobiles and faceted birdhouses) based on movement, suspension, elevated, hanging products, sheet and cast materials. See workbook.
I began looking into birdhouse designs at Kings Cross and found a number of interesting designs.
WILDLIFE Monday 14th January
After a weekend of research and drawing my designs i began using the workshops. I went to the woodworks to get advice from the Technicians on what materials i could use to assemble a prototype model of my birdhouse design...
..they told me to build it using a lighter wood material known as Balsa, as its a wood that can be assembled easily and quickly (my time window was very short so this worked very well for me).
I worked solely from quick rough sketches...i didnt have measurements at this stage. I did the refining by eye because its my preferred method of working when building models.
WILDLIFE Tuesday 15th January
I carried on with birdhouse development and more drawing designs.
I started looking into deconstructivism from Zaha Hadids famous Porthouse Building in Antwerp, the Shirokane House in Tokyo and 52/54 Lime Street Scapel Building in London.
Since architecture is my forte and influences my design the most i decided to incorporate it into my product design project. Im taking these multi facetted inspirations and hoping to transform the usual cube or spherical design for birdhouses you see everywhere.
I looked into the birds of the UK and what the different species would need to settle and flourish in a birdhouse. I have designed my small enclosed box with Blue Tits and Marsh Tits in mind...they generally roost in February or March.
WILDLIFE Wednesday 16th January
After my Mentoring session with Natalie at Holborn, i went over to Kings Cross for self directed study in the Library.
Most important task today was the completion of my prototype balsa wood bird houses...
...after a number of errors and failed attempts due to the wood chipping and splitting apart (the knife causes it to chip), i successfully made two geometric, multi facetted, small size bird houses for my wildlife birds.
As a little bonus i found some veneer wood in the artshop at Kings Cross and i applied it as a second layer over the Balsa...this gave the bird house strength and a more natural looking colour. This will blend in perfectly with the natural outside enviroment.
This took me 6-7 hours for a positive outcome.
I manage to complete two A2 sheets for the Crit tomorrow.
Unfortunatley i got so caught up with the practical making side that i didnt manage to get my book work completed in time for the presentation...
..hopefully i will have enough to show tomorrow.
Here are some photos of progress on my design as it's being assembled.
Firstly I used 3mm thick balsa but decided to work with 1mm as it was easier to construct although it can break instantly. You can see in these pictures that i have completed seven faceted sides. I'm still figuring out how the final outcome will look... however when completed a 3d geometry net plan will give people an idea on the birdhouse shape and apperance.
The other images are showing the first 3d outcome with the second layer of Veneer wood being applied. The outcomes took more than 8 hours of a period of three days to complete, the results were very good. Balsa wood costs around £2 or £3 and Veneer £2.60 a sheet.
WILDLIFE Thursday 17th January
After setting up the tables for the presentations I filled out my sheet with descriptions of my finished products, After displaying our work i went to look at the other students work...i was impressed by the skilled designs and innovative ideas. My favourite piece was the 'Recycled non-recyclable cup vessel' by fellow student Salma Mert.
I recieved some very good feedback on my work ...i wasn't totally happy as i hadn't been able to complete all the project in time. However it will be done by project deadline.
Wendy Bowan and Steve Davies from the CPG came and joined us for our Presentation/Crit for Wildlife project..it was interesting to get a different perspective. They looked around all our work and chatted to a number of students.
It was very useful to have them come in and i felt prepared to answer any questions they had...i feel my confidence is building and it will all help with my upcoming interviews.
Later in the afternoon we were introduced to our new project...Utility.
My Client for the Utility project is Catarina Rio a fellow student from Portugal in Product Design and Ceramics.
Here are a few pictures of Catarina with her family and friends which she selected for me to use for an idea towards a product which i later decided would be a picture frame structure.
My Client for the Utility project is Catarina Rio, a fellow student from Portugal specialising in Product Design and Ceramics.
Here are a few pictures of Catarina with her family and friends. She selected them for me to use on an idea towards a product which i later decided would be a picture frame structure.
We started the Client project by interviewing each other. I explained that I was born in London, moved to Mallorca when i was three and then moved back to South West England when i was six. We moved back to London last summer. I told her that i like travelling around the world, meeting new people, getting inspired by Architecture and being creative in Art and 3D model design.
I explained that my processing is a bit slower than some people...I'm shy and cant always partcipate in social activities. Sometimes i become unsettled and need to fidget with a stress ball or move my fingers around. I told her i draw and sketch alot on different occasions.
I interviewed her afterwards and began taking notes.
Catarina explained that she lives with her Aunt and Uncle and two cousins in London. It takes 45 minutes by tube to get to Archway and always needs a least three bags of work to carry to University.
She's been part of a Drama society for 4 years, also enjoys walking Yoga and volunteering in Portugal. She has set up her first junior business.
She's a member of the Christian union and is learning to speak five different languages ...that's very impressive. She likes drawing, sunshine, the seaside, Fashion and Photography. After that we exchanged phone numbers and began sending pictures that identifies us.
Catarina sent me pictures of her experiences skiing, cycling in London and travelling. I sent photos of me travelling to beautiful world destinations like Cuba and Egypt. Also my candles and architectural building designs... and me with my family and friends.
After a few days I asked her what could be done to improve the challenges she faces in her life? She told me her bedroom is small and that she finds it hard to store her materials and work. She also loves keeping in touch with her relatives and misses them all the time.
At first she suggested a multipurpose bag..this is ok but I carried on with more ideas. I believed that she would love a picture frame structure that housed all her family photos! It would be a perfectly functional and decorative product...this will not be an ordinary picture frame and maybe will feature LED lights, be an unusual shape eg, half round and half triangle etc.
She responded with great enthusiasm! I will try out some initial ideas and continue design development work on it.
UTILITY Monday 21st January
Firstly i got my portfolio checked by Georgia ready for my first interview at Bournmouth University, Weds 23rd Jan.
After this we were given presentations by selected students of the progress they are making for Utility projects ...i wasnt chosen but had already had researched 'House of Cards' by Charles and Ray Eames (see research for details) ready to use if chosen.
I began my Initial Drawing Designs (see book work) and working on my idea development.
Using my 'House of Cards' inspiration i cut up some small rectangular cards and experimented with assembling, glueing and folding.
Next stage was small Balsa wood rectangles interlocking with each other. As shown in the diagram sequence they would lift off, slide and fit into themselves randomly.
What is different to the four sided slotting mechanism in 'House of Cards' design is that my version only has two ways to interlock - Landscape and Portrait, slanted or horizontal.
I then began working on a prototype made out of Balsa Wood ...i used random photographic images in place of Catrinas family, cut out of magazines.
UTILITY Tuesday 22nd January
Design development session for the project and workshop.
My finished Prototype.
I am pleased with the results and feedback has been positive...the main praise was for the free standing but stable and flexible structure. Catrina wanted something that could be moveable and adjustable, not hammered into a wall.
It can be moved around at will to show the photos at different angles.
Shown here are technical drawings of my final design.
Here is how the photograph and acrylic glass sheet will fit into the frame.
Here is how the frames interlock.
Here is how the acrylic glass slides in and out using the moveable end of the frame as a handle.
Here are photos of my progress in the workshop. I worked a Mitre Saw that cuts wood at 45 degree angles with the help of one of the Technicians
UTILITY Wednesday 23rd January
Self directed study day.
I took the train down to my interview for BA Modelling at Bournmouth Uni. This went very well and i was impressed by the college facilities...looks like a great modelling course. Disappointed with the crammed work stations and the location of the college from the town however.
UTILITY Thursday 24th January
This morning i spent an hour or so finishing off my Picture Frame. It's going very well and i cant wait to show Catrina the results.
At about 2pm we started our Crit...i participated by showing most of my work however i didnt finish my A2 sheets in time and couldn't bring them in.
Collage design development page demonstating step-by-step how to operate.
It shows the size 10x13cm and how lightweight it is. It is easily taken apart and moved.
It can be made in three different sizes such as A5...A4 and A, the unused pieces stored away.
WILDLIFE Friday 25th January
A visualisation of a Blue Tit and Great Tit landing and emerging from the Birdhouses. This also represents the scale and there are other collages of possible future designs.
Unfortunately I made an bird enterance hole around 38mm wide and i later found out that a Blue Tit needs a hole about 25mm wide that's 13mm to big. Also a Great Tit needs a hole about 28mm wide. In future developments I will take that into account and use the sizes recommended by the (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) or RSPB.
Two technical drawings and a collage of a possible location in the Chelsea Physic Garden.
UNIT 7 Lecture Thursday 31st January
Today we got shown our Unit 7 brief.
I loved the way we can play around with the Theme...it looks like we can be experimental this time and play around with the brief on our own terms?
Its going to be alot of wide ranging research...looking at everything from creativity to politics...i do struggle with research but will just go for it!
Im excited about the prospect of getting started but am still finalising my Utility.
CHILD Monday 4th February
My intention is to create a series of unique buckets that are moulded with different designs...these buckets will be used to make amazing sand sculptures.
Ive decided to ditch my playground design as a whole (its too big and too architectural for product design)...im focusing in on an item in the playground, a bucket used in the sandpit area. I have happy memories of sandcastling with my grandfather and wanted something different on a failproof theme!
So i did a series of different moulded buckets and then decided upon the best one for my project. I enjoyed experimenting with cone designs, circular moulds and even a really unusual face mask design...i wanted to create something really different so that the resulting sand castle would be something extraordinary.
I liked the idea of playing around with shapes so that run of the mill castle building isnt the only option...with my unique bucket designs children (or adults!) can cheaply create sand sculptures that are truly amazing.
In my workbook (rough sketch page) I began by drawning various 'Sand Sculpture Buckets' ideas. I think that cubes, geometric towers, facetted diamond shapes and circular domes could be really successfully used for playground or seaside play.
The idea is to encourage children to realise all the different sandcastles they could make using architecture as an influence and learning about architects like Zaha Hadid at early age. A playground could have a series of my 'Sand Buckets' in there sand pit area...bright colours would make them really appealing (maybe use patterns) and shiny plastic would make them tactile.
CHILD Tuesday 5th February
Today i worked on my Vacumn Forming to make my 'Sand Sculpture Buckets' for the Child Project.
I really enjoyed experimenting with a series of five shapes including regular circular, cone shapes and a facial mould shape...I tried using four different colours and high intensity plastic sheets.
I did plan to buy builders sand and photograph the resulting sand castles...unfortunatley i ran out of time. Im sure they could work and attempt to do this experiment later on my favourite beach!
A worry that surfaced was were too flimsy and would be unable to hold the sand without cracking or splitting...maybe i needed to create thicker density of plastic as this was only 0.2 mm thick plastic??????
Unfortunatley i ran out of time to continue with my experimenting and i was unable to get help from the technicians to learn about thicker plastic (ie what is used for everyday sandcastle buckets).
I pleased with the initial idea and the resulting colours and shapes ...but am disappointed that they couldn't be tested on the beach with children in Weston-Super-Mare.
CHELSEA PHYSIC GARDEN Exhibition Thursday 7th February
Today was one of the best days of the course for me as i'm back at Chelsea Physic Garden with my Bird houses on display.
Yesterday i took my prototypesover to (CPG) ready to be displayed in the Exhibition...i'm so proud to be involved and can't wait for the feedback from fellow students and visitors.
Aat 2pm and found the room full of visitors already busy observing all our work. I was already explaining to a few people that architectural model design was always a big part of my life, Zaha Hadid with her faceted buildings and the Shirokane House in Tokyo Japan with it's lanted walls and unique apperance. I also explained that birds are a very important part of the ecosystem controling the insect population, Birds also deserve best architectural house designs as well as humans.
I was fasinated by the work completed outside in the garden by the ASD students, some were at a 1/1 scale and others as 3d representations.