Foundation Week 17

January 16th-18th

I had a pretty set plan on Monday as I felt time was ticking for the uni IMG_6727.JPGinterviews my first one being UAL 8th February and my online portfolio for Edinburgh was even earlier 31st January. I set about designing alteration for a Wedding dress which I bought for £1.50 which I felt well bad even changing. I looked back at my beginning research into distressing techniques as I wanted the dress to go under the wooden torso I had made to connect back to ‘Midsummers night Dream’. I had to made it look fae like so I chopped the hem up so it would look like the character had run through a forest and torn it. I also had to dye the dress to look muddy and worn. These two techniques are right up my alley, Id done a lot of distressing samples for A2 and I like getting dirty and messing around with dyes. This particular dye needed to be added to hot water and left in a giant pot for ages. I hung the dress off a pipe after also sand papering the bottom half, the dye was supposed to ek up the dress and create an ombre affect. This didn’t happen as the dress was synthetic so I had to keep going into the textiles class to add water further up the dress so the dye would move up more. The colour was also interesting more like pooh brown instead of mud brown.


I didn’t leave the dress like this don’t worry, I sprayed the dye going up the dress more and added blacks and greens which made it look how it was intendedIMG_6791.JPG to in the beginning. My tutor didn’t like the ready made dress, even after I explained my reasons on how it was ‘Ordinary to Extraordinary’ and I hadn’t finished the design as a whole along side how the wood was going to match up. Instead I moved on with the wood on its own on a torso from Fine art, I did a few sketches on how id make a two piece set and at this point I was so sort for time I just went with it. I wanted to create a skirt using weaved fabrics, the whole point was every part had to be made including the structure. My friend has an all consuming love of carboard so I used her method of ripping and putting it into glue. I made a waistband doing this, it was difficult in the beginning as its nowhere near as strong as when its sets, so it kept falling off the waist. I aslo had to thread through fishing wire so it fell apart four times but I stuck with it and the IMG_6798.JPGnext day it was rock hard. I just tyed the fishing wire and even intervals on a wire frame I had made and forced some one else to wire cut as I have zero hand strength. I found felting in the textiles store cupboard along with a few other fabrics which I then weaved though the wire and then down through its self.

I’m not going to lie I didn’t really like this idea and when showing the developments compared to the finished product at my interviews I preferred where I was going working on the dress. I created a modifications page in my portfolio of what I’d do differently and it pretty much excluded this bit. I’m not blaming anyone but myself, my initial Idea of the dress wasn’t great but this was worse, I should of found the time to think of something even better.

At home I was developing ideas for the pound tees I planed to upcycle, I wanted to keep with the theme of wearable products, and yer I don’t really consider my other work daily clothes. My new challenge was up make two t-shirts into an IMG_0072.JPGExtraordinary piece, my first idea was distressing and what did you know it turned out really really bad. Fraying was out the question due to the fabric I tried distressing fabric then weaving them NOPE. Its ugly and I couldn’t be bothered continuing and layering up fabric because it would of taken an age. Instead I ignored it for a few days and went into my default and started adding pleats. I really do like this technique and its slightly different than what my A2 exam piece was which you can see here.

IMG_6866  Its a little annoying to make such large pleats and I definitely have thumbs of steel after pricking then a thousand times but its worth it for the large fill. Its a pretty basic technique but effective, to make it more interesting I wanted to cover the final product in a material like melted silicon or even yogurt so it would look solid but melting. It would be a one cover after id taken pictures with out it on, so I wouldn’t worry about using yogurt and it going bad. I think its a little weird how I want to covering ALL my art with yogurt now but I think the secret behind Art foundation is to just make you a weirder person. Unless of course you dunk things in yogurt too.




Foundation Week 14

December 12th – 14th

Things are slowing down again thanks to UCAS I spent all on Monday locked in the MAC suite finishing my personal statement. I finally chose Costume but kept the overall theme open. I talked more about my varying experiences and how they were all helpful, I did hone into my theatre work and my work experience in my local theatre. This was around the that I actually sent it off I don’t know when exactly but it was before December. I don’t know if was worth stressing as much as I did as a lot of the university’s didn’t seem to be very interested in it and foundation helped a lot having that definitely made them more interested. But its all part of a chain with out it I might not have even been looked at for an interview, I just wished I didn’t beat myself up over it so much.

Tuesday was more relaxed we had been given the new project of ‘Ordinary to Extraordinary’ and this is when I felt the pressure to do better. A lot of my work were just initial ideas never finished and never refined, which I needed for my portfolio.IMG_6812.JPG I also hadn’t made any drawings of worth so I started a realism mixed medium piece drawn from my inlayed beach wood with gold. Everything from now on had to be towards my portfolio and specially wanting to work with more fabrics to be suitable for a costume degree. I started as I normally do a create a bullet point list of basic criteria and ideas that I connect to ‘Ordinary to Extraordinary’ like valuing products, altering them eg distressing, pleating embellishments etc. Getting a base of what I want to look into and further develop, I was determined to get development work done and a range of sketch book ideas. Normally Id work with the first sketches and develop my new making skills so now I wanted to develop design work.

Another major part of any project is the research, it can come from anywhere and include anything that you think is inspiring to your work. It would be a poster with an interesting design, a pre-existing product or a photo you’ve taken years ago, it all helps. Parmenides wrote ‘ Nothing comes from nothing’ which I always keep in mind when starting over or getting stuck.




By Saturday I ended up in A&E after falling with a Grolsh glass at work, its IMG_6503.JPGsafe to say it was the beginning of the end of me working there. I really like the customers but other aspects of the job made it really not worth it. But I’m not going to go on, everyone knows its rubbish working for minimum wage and for the companies who pay that much. I’m just glad I was in a position where I could walk away from a place that didn’t seam to care that I was haemorrhaging everywhere. Ok so I am being a little dramatic, about the bleeding any way, after getting glass dug out my hand it all turned out fine and it meant I could drop my shifts around Christmas and New Years.




Foundation Week 13

December 5th-6th

We only had a day and a half in the studio this week, so my tutor dedicated it to a resin and throwing clay pottery work shops. First day was to create models for the red stuff, which I’ll never learn the name of, that’s then used to cast the resin. My theme was burning village …. IMG_0062.JPGI really don’t know why I picked in I must have been in a mood. I used good old plaster which I shaped when it was drying and then used scraping utensils after to create straight sides. Some how this took a full day, but a lot of our time was spent talking about the work shops and UCAS as it was the first week of December everyone was getting a little worried that no one had sent off their university applications.

In the end my model was pretty bad and so was my resin, it came out pretty short as there wasn’t that much resin and I’d given up with it. IMG_0239.jpgIts only a test and hopefully the last time I use it. There’s an art to using resin and mixing the catalyst, which I don’t imagine I’m any good at after being rubbish at any science practical’s. Luckily for me only the technician is allowed to mix the stuff so it was pretty much watch me do this and put this gas mask on. I didn’t end up doing the clay throwing which was the bit that I thought was interesting but the good thing with foundation is you can go back to the technician later if you’re ever free. It wasn’t a particularly interesting week but there not always and I was pretty happy with a five day weekend.

Foundation Week 16

January 9th-11th

Thanks to my hand being in a bandage I only went in for the last day avvv (2).jpgbefore Christmas which I can honestly say was not the most productive day of my life.  I spent Christmas holidays eating my body weight in chocolate and gravy, I bloody love good gravy. After a few weeks I got some mobility back so I was back to work starting making alterations to a jumper for ‘Ordinary to Extraordinary’. The main problem was the major gash was on the underside of my hand below my little finger so I couldn’t draw with out putting pressure down on the paper stitches. So I started making before I had finalised the designs, I was pretty happy with what I was doing to do with the back. It looked very  similar to that of Nick Cave’s work, which I didn’t know of at the time but I’d not complaining I’m a big fan of his now.

When I was back in the studio and talking through my designs with my tutor, she liked one which I’m initially dismissed for how hard it would be to make. I know now I shouldn’t have admitted this, foundation is all about pushing, pushing your skills and ability to interpret. In my case it was both I had to look at, with limited resources I had to think out the box at how to create it. The good thing with art is it can all be a ‘representation’ so it never has to be accurate to anything even your design, unless your doing something like hyper realism but the hint is in the name for that one. A lot of a project is sitting around thinking and planning, which is why I like having a Reflection Diary, I thought they were pretty daft in the beginning but I’m pretty into it now. It helps me put down what I’m thinking at the time and so I know where I’ll be going the next day and what not to do in the future, there’s been plenty of that recorded.

I decided against my designs initial material of bark, I didn’t have IMG_0082.JPGthe time or wanting to find some molting beach trees. I instead went for a wooden pallet, I’m really big or reusing materials too, and I hacked the thing to pieces. My main aim was to chisel shards off so it would loosely resemble bark, some did some didn’t I took in all how and worked wire around it to form a torso on my mannequin. The wire was used as it was inspired off my research but It was a bloody pain in the arse to fix, all the weight had to be evenly disubuted and the shoulders reinforced so it wouldn’t fall IMG_6722 (2).JPGapart. It was more effort than it was worth and there was not way I could form a full dress without it falling apart. I had to improvise and change the design again, this normally happens I change the design while making and finding errors instead of having a solid plan first. It normally works out fine in the end as was the case with this, after being lost for a long time I decided to look into ‘Midsummers Nights dream’ for inspiration for the torso became more of an accessory.


On Wednesday we had a workshop in glazing where the panda foot I made in clay which looks more like a welly was finally getting its glaze doneIMG_0217.jpg. In the process of moving it into the room I may have bumped into a door fame and broke the claw that’s on the right off. Ill fix it using this Japanese method where its stuck together with this gold material and I’m sure it’ll look even better than before. We only had three glazes at the time available and again its a workshop so no ones complaining, the colours were white black and grey. I lucked out with designing a panda foot and they were at least similar colours, someone had a lizard foot, but the colours went really well with it, so you’ve got to keep experimenting.

Foundation Week 12- Hepworth

November 27-29

I spent most of Monday and the weekend before freaking out over my personal statement where everything I wrote I deleted and spent more time googling how to write a good one that actually trying to write it. The UCAS fair further confused me with what I wanted to do, after being dead set on architecture since forever and waking up one day just not wanting to do that any more, I’d not been sure on any courses since. At this point I had an I idea that I want to do Costume after looking at NTU’s open day for the course and really liking it, but I felt pressure into doing architecture or product design after specialising in 3D. I still really like the other two courses but their just not ‘arty’ enough for me, and I know you can do a lot with both but only if I got into a good course. I was stuck at what to write in my statement as I didn’t know what course to do which is why I ended up being two months behind schedule with sending it off.

Having a warring battle inside happily led to my new design, a combination of inlaying and plaster. I just spent two days making the moulds and waiting around for the drying time, plaster dries well within ten minutes but it can depend on time. For the wax I had to put down plastic bags so they could peal off when the wax dried and so it wouldn’t leak out of the sides. It took a lot longer waiting for the wax to dry than the plaster as they was so much of it. I plan on putting either clear plastic or glass tubes on one side to connect to the other. Or I would use thickish metal wire, either way if it looks bad I can reheat the wax and start again.


Wednesday we headed off to the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield near Leeds. It was just a 3D class trip which meant we had to ride in colleges mini bus. It may not seem to bad a thing but its got colleges name written across the thing and lets just say our college doesn’t have the best reputation. It got considerably less embarrassing the further out we got, another reason I like traveling around people don’t know things and places that you take for granted its completely new so their only idea about a place can be explain through you. .

The Hepworth was great and really good for primary research a lot of galleries only have a few sculptures and instillations while this gallery is dedicated to them. Its also really diverse and they had a competition on for ‘The Hepworth prize for sculpture’ where the visitors could also vote. It included work from Phyllida Barlow, David Medulla, Steven Claydon, Helen Marten. I voted for Barlow as I’m obsessed with anything installation, Its also one of the most memorable pieces from that day. Id definitely recommended the Hepworth it exhibits modern art no paintings that are hundreds a years old, which I think will interest a visitor who has a more casual view of art, its definitely interesting to anyone. I’d say give time for an hour and a half visit, we stayed around two and a half which was way too long so we played cards in the café.


We didn’t have much time left after so my tutor drove like a maniac to Leeds Sculpture Park. There isn’t that much to say about the park, the main sculptures had just been taken down, which left the inside small gallery and a few permanent sculptures in the garden. Currently their exhibiting some really amazing sculptures from people like Tony Cragg, see here for more info.

We had an hour to look around which was just enough to see the work in the near grounds. The park has a lot more to offer than just the parts we saw as it has very large grounds so there’s a number of trails to walk and sculptures dotted around through out. Just a quick warning near the conservatory is private land, I put one foot into it and someone literally popped out of the bushes to shout and shoo me away. The signs aren’t great which Is how I ended up there so just double check that there aren’t any around. The conservatory its self was one of the best parts for me ( even after getting escorted there by the shouting bloke) , it wasn’t the time of year for anything to be in bloom but the building its self is worth a look at.



Foundation Week 11

November 21-23rd

Still working on Richard Serra I picked the ideas that concentrated on Inlay, I’d seen an image on Pinterest of Kintsugi . I wanted to recreate it using wood after finding some spare beach wood, I started with filling the holes with PVA and gold, but as wood is porous it started to soak in the glue. Leaving it to dry I went of to using my favourite casting technique plaster, where I pushed the wood into clay and form a small wall around it and poured in plaster. This created plaster replicates of the wood which I inlayed I made a few so as a collective I could say they were symmetrical



The main problem with the wood inlay is because wood is natural its not a symmetric form so I missed verb ‘of Symmetry’. To develop the idea I IMG_6397.JPGstarted sketching ideas for MDF carved into using geometric shapes to give me the symmetry.

The Wednesday was spent in Manchester at UCAS ‘Design your futures’ fair where all the design courses in the UK have stalls where you can talk to the universities. In all honesty it just confused me more as I saw a lot of courses that I would like to do at degree level.

Social things.

Much like stranger things weird things have happened. As expected in the mean time from doing my course there’s been a lot of other things happening. Whether you like it or not the people on your course can really effect your time on it. Fortunately doing art we all have something in common and so far I haven’t had a class that I didn’t enjoy being in. For foundation there’s so many of us in a small building we all get to know each other pretty well and so far we all get on. I’ve met some like minded weirdos where our eccentricities are accepted rather than shunned, you can always count on art students to be a little ‘out there’.

So in the mean time there’s been a birthday.


An awkward group photo _MG_0163.jpg

Christmas markets


Bonfire night




And too may to count trips to pub and memes coming out of our ears.


The people we know shape us more than we think and I’m glad to know these cretins



Foundation Week 10

We were given another new brief and at this point I was a little frustrated with the amount of briefs, time I had and the amount of ideas that I had. Foundations great for creating ideas and expanding your thinking of materials, but I felt like I was in a losing battle against time. This project was luckily a lot longer than the others before it, as we were given a few weeks and not just days. The new brief was based on a verb list by Richard Serra, we were randomly given verbs, mine were ‘To inlay’ and ‘Of symmetry’. I spent the first day sketching and researching Serra, this is around the time where I started to use my own reflection journal. A reflection journal is I some what strange consept to me where you write what ideas you’ve had and what you’ve done that day. Its also really good for evaluation of your work, it took a few months but I can see the benifits of having one even just for remembering what I’ve done that day. The one before had set headings which I didn’t like and the space was way to short to write within. I really like having something at hand which is small and easy to write ideas that I’ve suddenly thought of.

I came up with around 15 different initial ideas for this project which is more than what I could have finished. I learnt after this project to pick one or two ideas that stand out and then develop them further or my final pieces wont be finished to a high standard. The pieces below are quick experiments that I tested and that I connect to the verbs.



Top left is cardboard inlayed with a symmetrical pattern by blue glue gun. Next to it are tiles of clay that after the kiln can be inlayed where the indents are placed. The row below on the left in rolled card with inlayed tracing paper, the card creates its own symmetrical pattern within. The pictures on the right are of melted wax, I had a few problems with this one as the moulds of the plastic cup would melt if I got the flame too near, and I did. It was also hard to get the same amount of wax to go into each pot, so I decided to cut one in half so I knew that it would be symmetrical then. Also there was no wax crayons in the beginning I had to make do with pastels that nearly gassed everyone else out when I melted them and I’m to afraid to google if there’s any long term effects. Eventually I went to the shop to get crayons which melted easier.

The last plaster piece was the worst by far, if it worked then I would be able to see through the plaster where the slides are. However I idiotically super glued the slides down so I broke the plaster when trying to remove the mould. With the plaster I had left over I filled a square mould and inlayed it as a last ditch attempt of creating a piece using plaster. I quite like it but I’ve been in love with plaster since the Rachel Whiteread brief so I don’t know if its that that’s influencing me.



UAL week 8 – ‘Body Extension’

When I got back to class on Monday we were still doing the brief of ‘Body Extension’. I normally circle around the idea of lights and shadow when I think of instillations, I’d like to focus on this for FMP (Final major project) . After researching ‘Body Extension’ and sketching ideas I settled on an idea, which are normally developed in the making process. I knew I wanted to extend something to do with sight to connect to light ( I like the rhyme). So it made picking my materials easier, I needed something to hold the model to the head, so I reused noise reducers. I used video tape and slides as they easily let light pass through. So I only had to create the metal frame from medium wire for the frame and thin wire to hold it together along with the slides.


We had to finish these models by Tuesday to be able to photograph them in the studio. I’ve not had much experience in a controlled setting for photography as mine is site based, so it was interesting to see the light set up and backgrounds.



UAL week 7- ‘Animals’

The first week of exploratory, and I was ill for the first day which is typical. When I did the awkward first enter of the room everyone had already nabbed the best seats next to the plug sockets and radiators ( which are rarely on).I was in a group with one of them for exploratory and with a free space of his table I shuffled along. The brief we were given was on Endangered animals and it included a workshop in clay. I got to pick my animal as I was already behind I didn’t have time to research fully some of the strange animals my tutor had found for us. I naturally picked the panda. I drafted the elements I wanted to include off a panda, the foot, teeth and claws, creating this monster of a ceramics design.



IMG_0102 (2).jpg
Finished with glaze.

The ceramics was a day or two, another quick brief to introduce us to clay which I’d only used once or twice before. On the second day I quickly finished off making my sculpture leaving time to start on a new brief of ‘Body Extension’. Its pretty much what it sounds like, we had to make models connecting to the body and extending it some how. There was a picture of the artist Rebecca horn of a woman with long nails reaching from one end of the room to another in the Tate gallery last time we went.

Image result for rebecca horn fingers