Monday, 2 July 2012

Guest Book from the Artisan Exhibition

A friend from the course was asked to make a guest book for the exhibition, so people could write comments in there.  Take a look at her blog to see how she made it.
One of my laser cut samples was used as one of the pages which was really nice, but look what someone has written on it!!!!

The laser cutter is a really quick way of making designs and scaling ideas up or down in so many different material.  This pattern was used as a stencil for the following bowls that were exhibited in the Artisan Exhibition.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Artist Statement

I love the process of spinning vessels; taking a flat sheet of metal and forming it into an axially symmetrical shape that has a smooth surface. These forms are then pierced, etched, layered and peeled.  
My first series are double skinned pieces use contrasting metal.  I pierce a pattern of shape drawn from a study of microscopic cell formation.  My second series is a more recent study, whereby I have been manipulating the surface of the metal, to experiment balance within my work.  I am amazed when unexpected things happen to something I initially have great control over.
These vessels are decorative non functional pieces that can sit alone or in a group to stimulate thought, conversation and curiosity.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Development of my vessels

This is another of my spun vessels, where I have pierced the cell pattern, on just over half of the vessel.  This has affected it's balance slightly.  Although the piece is small, I really like it!!!!
At first I wasn't overly keen on the part pierced pattern, that I have manipulated and pushed out, as it was moving me away from, the perfect finish I had been looking for.  However leaving this piece along with a few similar ones and returning back to these, has made me really appreciate the unusual qualities that I haven't seen before.  This sample offers me a lot more scope for development!!!!

For the exhibition I have now chose to have 2 ranges of work, one showing the perfect pieces and the other showing the exploration of balance within the vessels.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Chien-Wei Chang Masterclass and Exhibition Set Up

In March DMU metal students had the fantastic opportunity to have a masterclass with Chien-Wei Chang a silversmith ( During the day we made a gilding metal vessel, that pushed our skills and learnt me a lot.  Although the vessel wasn't highly finished it responded well to the work I had been doing, adding texture and surface pattern to metal.

Another opportunity some students were given was to visit Chien at New Walk Museum, Leicester, to help him set up his solo show.  This was a fantastic opportunity where I learnt the process of setting up an exhibition, from painting plinths to arranging work on the shelves.  During this time I was able to get to know Chien better, so I took the opportunity to ask him a few questions regarding the set up, to help me think about our exhibition in April.
Why is the exhibition space white? White allows for a plain background, it is less distracting and makes the objects stand out.  White suggests purity, it offers reflections to be cast.  A proper gallery feel should be white, like a diary room.  The collection is about creativity and the work within jars is almost like a labatory.  The fenced areas around the installations, breakdown the area and show something being kept in an area.  
The way in which things are displayed to to focus more on the concept rather than the making.
There is one grey plinth what is that for?  The one grey plinth is like a change, it makes people think, it is a breakdown in the room and will sit on it’s own.
What role do the fastenings play in your work?  Fastenings are ways of getting in and out of somewhere/something.  It plays with the idea of the British society in comparison to the Taiwan society.
Are the objects all found?  The objects are either found or made.  The pieces all relate to him, some have a symbolic meaning, they have a visual language, that reference to politics, as Chien feels as if he is forever being questioned about his identity.
Are there reasons why some pieces will be hung and others sit on the shelf? Some work as installations so they require areas to be hung alongside pieces that sit on a surface.  The hung vessels relate to a washing line where things get put out to dry - squeeze the liquid out.  What is inside the object is more important than the object.  The use of glass is transparency.  
There is a large vessel, with money from different countries in it.  This vessel will be part filled with water, in Taiwan this sybolises fortune.  Money reflects the competition between nature.
There is one silver bamboo vessel in the exhibition, this has a really strong meaning behind.  It looks different because it has a high quality finish.  Serious message about Chien, he uses his background to sell work, which he believes it is something he has to do, but it abuses his heritage.
Why are you having installation areas?  This area will have some of his large scale pieces in like ladels and containers.  It allows him to relate his work directly back to the nature where he gets his inspiration from. 
After seeing his exhibition I can fully understand why he has displayed things the way he has.  The white plinths and background allow you to remain focused on his work, to question it and to think what Chien is trying to visually convey.  
The exhibition space is quite big, which at first I thought would make his work look lost, but it has the opposite effect.  Instead it allows you to clearly view each piece seperately. The flow of the exhibition was lovely, with each piece being placed precisely on the shelf. 
After helping Chien I have become much more aware of the amount of work that goes into setting an exhibition up and the fact that it isn’t a quick and easy thing to do!!!

Chiens work below.



This was my first attempt at spinning.  I really enjoy this process as it allows me to create accurate hemisphere shapes that I can then work into with either piercing or etching.

My University work has developed from bone and muscle structure, to the cell formations.  I have became really interested in the different patterns and shapes that are found.  I love piercing patterns into the metal, where I then manipulate them which can sometimes have an unexpected effect on the balance of the piece.