Saturday, 16 June 2012

Exit Interviews and good news...

So over the past two days I, along with the rest of my year, have been meeting with people from the creative industries. Basically gallery owners, members of the crafts council etc, who offer advice or possible work placements.
I saw five different creative persons and every single one of the interviews went really well! I think these chats are really good for finding out how other makers promote their work, how gallery owners choose work, and how to make it the business world.
So far I have one confirmed commission and a few other 'maybes' so I'm really happy!
I also had some rather good news sprung upon me on the last interview, as the lady I was chatting with pointed out that I had won an award which had been placed on the wall above my artist statement!! It's a really great honour that I was picked, and I am so happy that my hard work has paid off!
Thanks to all who helped me get through this degree and to everyone involved in the show!

Degree Show Set Up!

So it's been a long time coming, but the degree show has finally been set up!
It's an amazing feeling to know that I've actually finished my degree because if I'm honest, there were a few times where I thought about giving up...
However, thanks to a number of people, I stuck it out and have made it to the end!
Thank you to everyone who has helped me over the past three years.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

The three rivets from hell...

Okay, so sometimes when you are making something, you make a mistake with what you think is a very insignificant detail, which is what I thought a week ago...oh how wrong I was.
I had a few weeks where my back was playing up, which means I have to work a lot slower and not do anything too strenuous in case it gets so bad I have to stop working for a few days to recover. Anyway, I ended up rushing one day to finish the top section which I thought would be quick and then connect the top section with the middle bar, and the middle bar to the base. Simple.
Well not so simple because I made the mistake of riveting three wee rivets on the top section when I was suppose to do them last, after connecting everything else.
Due to where they were placed, it ment that the bar did not sit flush with the middle bar, so did not line up correctly. I had to then move that whole section up, then reshape, then move the section next to it and finally reshape what was a very nice little detail on the end termination of the bar (the bit on the left which holds the edge of the music score). Then I had to re-position the 'ledge' so everything lined up...
It's taken three full days to sort the top out so that the music is held and is supported enough on the left page. It's still not the way I would have liked, as it does lean a lot to the right, however it is done and looks good enough.
Somehow I still have my old bosses voice in my head saying 'Just enough isn't good enough'...but I think I've done what I could do with the time I left myself.
Some pictures will follow, so watch this space!

The worth of a jig...

So, sometimes it's worth taking the time out and creating a jig for the work you're doing, even if it's just a one-off. The general rule of thumb is that if you're going to be making more than two of a component, then you should make a jig so that it's easier and quicker to repeat...however, when you're working on something a little challenging to forge then think about how much time you will save later on if you take the hour (or however long it takes) and make the jig. I decided against making a jig for the base section of my music stand which I realise now was a mistake.
Even if the jig you make doesn't look great, and has a few kinks and bends it doesn't matter because when you bend your metal for the first time, it's going to want to take on a smooth, flowing shape.
Below are a few shots of what I ended up stayed like this for at least a week as I tried to get the right shape with the gas torch. I think a lot of people were looking for clamps and grips that week...
I had to weld a long length of bar onto a plate, then hold it on the workbench so I could then clamp my work to it to keep it straight while working on the curves with the gas torch.
As you can see, this was a lot of trouble, and even if the jig had taken a few days to make, it would have made the making so much easier and quicker. However, you can see the shape beginning to take form and I love this particular design because I managed to incorporate the visual pattern of the time signature of my music taken from the movement of my hand while conducting the piece!
It's not very noticeable, in fact I don't think anyone has seen it for themselves, but it's the wee details that I've managed to add which I think make the piece for me. As Richard Seymour said in his talk on how we feel beauty, it's the personal details attached to something which can make it beautiful. In this case, what you might see is a piece of curved bar, but when I explain where it's from, then you may have a new appreciation of that curved bar. Just a thought.
Have a good day!