Day one brief (with Matt) was to make a scale model of an object, paring down the design detail to the bare minimum to capture the essence of the object, using materials of our choice. Examples shared were Julian Opie (http://www.julianopie.com/#/artwork/sculpture/2004/2496) and Hunter Gatherer (http://huntergatherer.net/project/money-mark-cover/) – both convey objects eg car, cassette player perfectly and simply.
I chose to create my wallet – Matt suggested it might be challenging to capture and we looked at solid cardboard objects as a possible way forward eg Frank Gehry chairs – see http://www.design-museum.de/en/collection/100-masterpieces/detailseiten/wiggle-side-chair-frank-o-gehry.html. It was a really interesting process for me as it was counter intuitive – I would normally hold a strategic overview and try to capture the whole, but for this exercise I had to investigate detail and look carefully at construction, which meant building the wallet up bit by bit from the inside out. Choosing the critical design elements to keep in ie the zip tag (bit of fun) and the buckle detail felt easier. I was extremely pleased with the end result – my cardboard wallet was a very good representation of the real thing.
At Matt’s encouragement I then tried an object in wood – a simple, old school kodak camera. Again choosing the design details to keep was fairly straightforward but I found that translating this detail into the wood was challenging – I was tired and did question whether I should be using the machines (note to self for future projects – use machines in the morning!). I did metaphorically and literally cut corners and the end result had a lot to be desired – as my attention to details was severely lacking. Bit of a rush job but good learning and more practice in the wood working workshop. If I were to do it again, I would make sure I had much more time, plan better and pay more attention to the whole process. This would need to include proper practice runs with the various machines to make sure the cuts and shaping were accurate, symmetrical etc. As can be seen from the photo below, I didn’t even get around to removing the glue properly!
Day Two was the opposite experience to Day One – imaginative, expansive – the brief being to make a brush (or brushes) using any materials we wanted or could lay our hands on. I approached this with a mixture of planning/thinking and intuitive response to materials available. One brush in particular was planned and I wanted to capture the juxtaposition between natural and manmade materials – using either twigs or beads on copper wire inserted into surgical transparent tubing. Forming the bristles, these were inserted into a wooden block. I was drawn to the colour of some of the beads (green, turquoise) so much that I then wanted to reflect these scheme on the wooden block itself, picking out the woodgrain. In hindsight, I think this was a mistake as the staining looked rushed and in not intricate enough. I’m glad I used the colour but if I did it again I would execute the paint edition more carefully and in a more considered manner.
The other brushes were quick grabs of materials to see what happened. Pictures are here. I enjoyed drawing them and also tried them out as paint brushes. Some interesting effects – in sketch book.
On Day Three, we made ‘new objects’ out of unrelated original objects, taking inspiration from creatives such as http://www.ateliernl.com/polders. I absolutely loved this work – but more because it responded deeply to the land and the working of land and the descriptors about the designers inspiration really resonated with me. Here is an extract from the about page of their website:
“Nadine’s work is a fusion of the natural, the technical and the emotional world. She finds in nature’s functions, and solutions an endless wealth of ideas. Translating her inspiration into versatile and feasible designs, she is able to produce objects that fascinate both the mind and the soul.
Observation, thought and realization are the key features of Lonny’s design process.Everyday things that most people take for granted. Details that go unnoticed. These are the sources of her inspiration. The desire to awake consciousness for underestimated values and experiences guides her to create objects capable to carry people away, into her world.”
I was really challenged by this session, finding it difficult to connect to the brief and wanting to create beautiful rather than functional objects – easy for me to sit and do nothing. Somehow I couldn’t see the point of the exercise. However, ultimately I made what turned out to be a very pleasing table – ideal for a buddhist tea ceremony – simple, effective – using strawberry crate clips, mdf and a dinner plate – nothing needed to be broken, nothing needed to be fixed. Quite by chance really.
I can see how the concept of ‘mixed object objects’ can be taken further to create unique pieces – I like the simplicity and quirkiness of http://tazpollardceramics.wordpress.com/current-work/