Monday, April 5, 2010

Clone create construct

Lene has set us some questions to help focus our 'clone' blowing project.

What [are you intending to make]
How [are you going to achieve this..methods etc]
When [time line]
[inspiration, other artists and relation to previous work]

'As like two peas ?'  Is on first glance a giant scale pea pod. The pod is green, silky and pliant to touch. The pod protects and molds it's self around the peas cradled inside. On opening the pod, you find the peas are made of clear blown glass. On closer inspection you can see what is probably the likeness of a young human foetus on each pea.

Blowing:The peas are blown glass sphere's. I would like the walls and mouth area to be of a similar thickness. Lene has demoed a method that sets up the mouth to be thinner. This entails making a few gathers (double dipping), a quick shaping and making a slight jackline BEFORE blowing a bubble. It does seem to work, one that I tried the other day has a thinner area near the mouth.
A sculpture punty is used as the area where the punty mark would be needs to be smooth.

Cold working:
The sculpture punty is ground off using the 80 grade diamond wheel. The area is then ground and polished using the linisher with belts 100, 400, 600, cork belt and then on the padded wheel with cerium. I may use pumice if i think it needs it.
The image of the foetus I need to experiment with. I imagine that it will be cold-worked somehow. Engraved..flexible drive or wheel i'm not sure. Maybe heightened with some glass paint and fired.
Fire polish:
This will probably be needed to soften the rough diamond bit marking on the glass and to fire paint if used.
Other skills (sewing, pattern making, dyeing etc)
I had thought that the pod would be constructed from fabric to best suggest the texture and colour of a pea pod. I will make the pattern (toile) with calico to get the pea pod shape. When the peas are finished I will have to fit/change the pattern to suit the peas. Before trialling this I imagine a different fabric (in texture) on the inside and outside. A stiffener of some sort will be required between the two layers to hold the shape. I may have to dye the fabric to the colour I want as pea green does not seem to be too popular at the moment. I would like the viewer to be able to close and open the pea pod so perhaps an invisible zipper or enclosed strip magnets may work..more experimentation!
Originally I had thought that the peas could be connected by plastic tubing, though this may prove to be messy in practice and visually...perhaps I could make some plug like connectors using green polymer clay that could be sealed on?

Clone construct create time line
Week / Class    -----------Date
Glass Practical
R & D
1 / 4th March
Brief given

2/ 11th March
First ideas presented to class
First practice of spheres

3/ 18th March

Sphere practice

4/ 25th March

Sphere practice and punty coldworking

5/ 1st April

Sphere practice and punty coldworking

Write up initial proposal
Sourcing fabric
Sketching and photographing peas
6/ 15th April
 continue looking for other artists
Sphere practice and punty coldworking
More foetus images
7/ 19th April

Sphere practice and punty coldworking
Finalize foetus image
8/ 29th April

Sphere practice and punty coldworking
Trial engraving methods.
Start calico toile and looking for method of closure
9/ 6th May
Work on Artist statement and presentation
Sphere practice and punty coldworking
Trial engraving methods.

10/ 13th May

Sphere practice and punty cold working
Decide on engraving method, trial fire polishing
Finalize pattern shape and construction methods
11/ 20th May

Blow sphere’s, coldwork fire polish
Finalize fabric choice
12/ 27th May
Think about plinth
Blow sphere’s, coldwork, fire polish
Dye fabric if need be
13/ 3rd June
Final write up and presentation work up
Blow sphere’s, coldwork, fire polish

14/ 10th June
Study Vac
Choose the best turned out peas
Make final pod
15/ 14th June
Examination week
Installation and marking

Cloning is a hotly debated topic in today's society, which causes strong, definite, vociferous opinions in it's protagonists. The subject of cloning, both attracts and repels my sensibilites. I am attracted by the human intelligence and creativity that has brought the research so far, the posibilities and potential that dwells within that scientific research. I am also attracted by organic 'natural' methods of plant asexual reproduction. The part that repels are the equal possibilities and potential for human kind to abuse the knowledge. Looking at the uncaring way humans treat each other should make us question..are we ready? 

I would like my work to convey the polarities of the topic by deliberately mixing and contrasting; materials used (soft/hard, opaque/clear) , vegetable/animal imagery, nature/scientific symbology that act as metaphors for the opposing views that surround and muddy the argument on cloning.

more musings after the jump

Other Artists: 

'Flora: The botanical experience' is  a current  exhibition 'Inspired by the ongoing debate and focus on climate, nature, gene technology and cloning, or on the interplay and respect between nature and man...' showing now at the Glassmuseet Ebeltoft in Ebeltoft, Denmark.

Four artists appeal to me,

Stacey Neff, I particulary like her 'Moon pods' (2002) but the only image I can find is part of a loop and i can't save it. I like the blending of plant and animal forms, slightly unconfortable but beautiful.  If you want ...Go to her website and look under "pods'.


Colin Rennie, another artist who 'Sounds' fascinating but images are limited. These bell jars are frosted on the outside with a highly polished 'lense'. The frosting and the lense distort in different extreeme's the 'specimens inside.

and Angela Jarman. Jarman is an artist that keeps cropping up in my inspiration and similar intrests. Her work show the absolute beauty of microscopic organic life but twists reality to show a darker vision. 'Scape III'

Brooklyn artist Jill Reynolds' recent exhibition 'Matter' explores themes of replication and the human genome.

Replicate and Gnomon

I am more interested in some of the work that is described in the article, but as yet images are hard to find.

Musings (Lene unless you are really bored you probably don't need to read this) 
Aha..mmmm um

The title of the project, 'clone' eventually triggered something in my subconscious for as I was doodling and dozing late one evening an image arrived perfectly formed. That is the idea I am working with as first sketched here. So now I have to ask my self..why did that pop up? What does it mean to me? What could it mean to others?

When I think about the image in my head and if I could realise it perfectly..I would want the viewer to be intrigued enough to come close to the object, to touch it, to want to know what is inside. I hope the bright green and tactility of the pod will do this, I also hope that the outside will convey a sense of humour and fun. On the act of opening I hope what is inside will be surprising and thought provoking, not as lighthearted as before. I hope the contrasting materials used (soft/hard, opaque/clear) , vegetable/animal imagery, nature/scientific symbology will offer metaphors for the opposing views held on this confusing topic.

I find the debate on cloning (humans experimenting with cellular cloning not just selective breeding) to be very polarised. I see that nature has been using cloning (asexual reproduction) as a method of reproduction in plants and single celled animals. Humans have managed to clone animals but not particularly well and with what purpose in mind? What is the real debate? or are there too many debates? The subject of human consciousness, and when it is created then becomes part of this discussion...  
Is cloning a good idea or not?...I don't know. I can see good and bad in the process..the two opposing teams Religion and Science are so polarised and extreme I find it hard to join either viewpoint. I find religious groups who oppose it a 'tad' narrow minded and the arguments seem to stem (scuse the pun) not from respect for life but the way it diminishes the power of 'God' (whom I don't believe in)....but sometimes I find science for science sake a little scary. Will it make a society all ready careless of it's nature and fellow human beings even more so? (thinks of Bladerunner and a myriad of other science fiction stories)


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