Friday, 28 October 2011

Quick Update...

This week has been very hectic. I have finally sorted myself out enought to actually do some proper work and I have been into the forge twice this week. Not that impressive you say, but for me it was exceedingly hard to find the courage to go back in and face everyone.
Anyway, I have started to work towards what I hope will be an interesting idea. I have a few different things that I want to try out, but obviously I need to manage my time better than the previous two years. I want to have produced work that I am actually proud of for my show.

Today I had a tutorial with my blacksmithing tutor and it went surprisingly well. I don't know if this makes me feel better or worse. I explained that I hadn't been in the best of work modes of the past few weeks, but showed him what I have been working on - a series of drawings describing the pattern of a music excerpt from the 'Portuguese Love Theme' from the film 'Love Actually'.
The problem I have now is that he did not like the 'base' of the peice. He said, quite correctly, that the base should be part of the design and that I should not sacrifice the natural aesthetic because I think it would stand safely on a long flat platform which could be bolted into the ground.
Yes that is exactly right, but it doesn't really help me to figure out if I want the peice to be free-standing, perhaps with a tri-legged end termination? Or I could (if I follow the designs which incorporate strings or wires) have one of the wires acting as a support. I'm still not sure about the stringed aspect of the design. I want to make interactive peices, but I don't know if I have enough time to experiment and figure out the different tensions I would need. There are so many variables that I would need a lot of help which might not be available to me.

There are now so many things to consider I don't know where to start. I feel a bit more pressured and scared because he is backing me on my work and I can't let him down. I can't let myself down.
I do feel slightly better now, but I still like to know exactly what I'm going to make - either sampling or starting a finished design - when I go into the forge I need to know exactly what I'm doing because if I don't I flounder and hate to waste material.

Things to do before Monday:

  • Follow three of the design ideas and work on bases and top terminations. Find images of things that work for you visually

  • Chase up tutor about book

  • Start intro for dissertation

  • Fill in beginning of business plan and get information pack from the bank

  • Fill out 'life' form

  • Update learning journal and start a technical journal if necessary

  • Make at least one useful model of a design idea

  • Go to library and get research books or order in from other locations?

  • Ask for help with making toolbox

Next tutorial is on Tuesday at 9.30am

Hopefully start to add some drawings to this blog as soon as I have something worth showing.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Exiting Week 1...

This week hasn't been as productive as I had planned. After years of managing a back condition (relatively unnoticed by most) I had to go and see a specialist after I couldn't walk for two days. The result is that I'm on pain medication which I can only take at night, I have to get physiotherapy, and if that doesn't work I have to get another hospital appointment and possibly think about surgery...not exactly the 'new start' I was hoping for in my third year.
However I'm trying not to let that get me down. On the plus side I can finally justify getting a new pair of trainners and joinning the gym!
It has made me think about my future though. Is blacksmithing so important to me that I have neglected to take care of myself? Is it wise to continue something which could cause further permanent damage?
Well to be honest I have no idea. I have been having huge doubts about whether I want to have my own blacksmithing business. I don't think I have the right kind of business skills and I don't think I would enjoy it. I want to do metal work, but maybe having my own business isn't the best idea for me. I think I should consider this latest set back in my health as a wake up call, and maybe it's in my best interest not to pusue a full-time blacksmithing career.
I know that I want to create things (oh so many things...) but I also know that I love doing other things which don't have much in common with blacksmithing. I know that I would very much like to teach blacksmithing at some point, and this would mean that the physical strain would be lessened.
Certainly some thoughts to consider, and with my business plan looming it's good to finally put these issues into the open. Once there I can sort throught them with a clearer head.

As for the design module...I have not done any work towards this because of said back issue. I didn't even want to get out of bed this morning and had a minor break down and changed my tutorial time to Monday to give me a chance to sort out my ideas and try to get motivated again.
Looking back at my previous work has been hard. Nothing is finished the way I want it to be. The things that excited me before the summer have been forgotten. I can't feel the same sort of passion for what I was doing then. I hope that this depression is just a side effect, after all how could I have been writing such an enthusiastic design proposal and just a few short months later feel absolutely nothing about the same design?
No, it's not me I'm positive I will be motivated again.
I went through the motions today, but have come out with some positive thinking and a change in attitude.
What am I interested in?
What imagery do I keep looking at?
Well there is a huge range of different things I look at. A lot of fantasy concept work. I love the free flowing, elegant lines, simple forms and curves. I look at the curves I was drawing at the end of last year and I can imagine the music that would accompany them. There is a hand movement that describes what I can hear/see-I know it sounds crazy...I know, but it's a shape that I can begin to think about. What does it remind me of? Is there an artist or designer who's work can compare to what I can envisage?
I want whatever it is I make to have an influence on it's environment and be position in space so that you can interact with it. I want to be able to run my hand along the surface.
I still very much want to make something 'fun'. I would love to look at a sclptural, garden peice which you can touch or hit so that it rings.
Hanging bells, like buds on a tree?
Water glasses, held by elegant forged stands. When it rains they are filled and can be played?

These are some of the things I was thinking about today. I went to the library and tried to find images of something that would inspire me. I didn't know where to start as the imagery I used last year was of violins and cello's and harps. I need to look back at the basics. What is it about the curves that I find so appealing? Is there anything in nature that referances this interest? Are there objects which I can look at all day without becoming uninterested?

John Medwedeff-I actually looked at some of his work at the very start of the first year and came across some of his work in a book I was reading. He has the same linear, elagent forms that I have been looking at, so I will try to research some more of his work and find my own images of things which relate to it. What were his influences? Are they relevant?
I still want this work to be linked in with music. Is this possible and practicle?

Things to do today

  • Read through books and select research imagery

  • Start hard copy of learning journal

  • Business plan homework

  • Dissertation proposal

  • Answer questions as best as you can and prepare for tutorial!

I think that's quite enough to be getting on with.

Strong research = Strong design

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Exiting week 0...

So I arrived back in Hereford on Saturday 1st October and started work as a student ambassador on Monday. So far I've helped out every day/evening and today had my project introduction. I also have to re-write my dissertation proposal and refine the ideas. It should link in to what I'm looking at in the design project so that it can inform my work.
Things to do before Monday

  • Dissertation research and redefined proposal approx.800-1000 words

  • Statement of intent/initial research for design project

  • Book any tutorials for dissertation help

  • Check bank

  • Buy new sketchbooks

  • Join Gym

  • Pack/get rid of useless work and tidy for new acadamic year

  • Fix toolbox

  • Email blacksmiths (Shona Johnson & Christopher Jeal)

  • Ask about lockers/storage space at Holme Lacey

  • Back up work on external hard drive (buy new hard drive...)

I need to try and think of topics I could use as dissertation material and then discuss them with the tutors. I think looking at actual dissertations might help me to understand the different ways they can be layed out, and after a dissapointing end to last year I need to get my ideas straight and get all the help I can.