Friday, July 30, 2010

Studio theory: The Virtual and the Handmade - 1

Oliver Smith is our new lecturer for what I call object theory, now on Fridays. After Oliver overcame some technical difficulties he handed out a reading "THE THING" by Martin Heidigger (1971) not to be confused with
"THE THING: from another world (1951)". The former is to be read and commented on (50 words) for next week with 3 interesting word definitions. hmmmmm I have now read this reading and I do not think much of it. so my just over 50 words is

At the start of the article I had the feeling that it would be a dense but thought provoking exploration into and about the object and distance. The following 5 pages changed my perception of the writer and my expectations of the content. What seems to be desperate, romantic and religious preaching replaces the expected logical and well rounded argument on the ‘thing’. I don’t believe that his theory would be water tight if applied to another thing (like a knife) rather than the vessel. I think he truly loses it when the fourfold start to be mentioned.

This semesters theme is 'The Virtual and the Handmade'. Oliver's slideshow started with a tapestry of Lia Cook's
from the exhibition "Transformations and the language of craft".
Traces:Intent (2002) to show an example of work that starts from the everyday (family snaps) gets morphed by new technology (computers) and back to the handmade as a tapestry.
The next slide was a woodcut image of a medieval "silversmithing' workshop reminding us of the roots and tradition of craft and how things were made..everyone in the workshop knew how to make an object from start to finish..including the tools. Next a book was used to punctuate our lecturer's took quite a time to grab the title "On divers arts: the foremost medieval treatise on painting, glassmaking, and metal work" by Theophilus (a Jeweller monk). Getting ever closer to the present day we briefly looked at Bernard leach, Josiah Wedgewood, Tappio Wirkkala, Henry Ford, Dale Chihuly and Gilbert Riedelbach.
The rest of the lesson was an introduction to various CAD rapid prototyping techniques.
Such as CNC, block milling, FDM, SLA, SLS, Objet printing and vacuum casting.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Apples & Mythology

This is for Katie Ann..
Apples (Malus Domestica) a fruit that has been mixed up in many stories and in turn symbolises: Immortality, eternal youth, desire, knowledge, trickery, forbidden knowledge....

A blog by 'Apple harvester' with a section on mythology
wiki apple  actually quite was a general  term for any fruit that wasn't a berry..compares the root of the word..comes very close to evil (Malum)
the annotated Snow white from Surlalune "23. Apple: The apple was sacred to Aphrodite and represented knowledge, especially sexual knowledge, fertility and love. IR"
The isle of Avalon (think King Arthur) is linked with apples..another word link.
Idun a Norse goddess:custodian of the golden apples of youth here 
Idun, Arthur Rackam. 1910.

Blowing with Katie Ann

Thanks to Sydney buses and the rain it took my an hour and a half to get to uni...the timetable says it should take 34 mins. So in the end I was late to turn on the glory hole (10am) and late for the start of the blowing session (11am) any how we got there in the end. I made 3 tumblers with rose gold sprinkles while Katie Ann worked on perfecting her optic mould tumbler. Our Studio theory class is now definitely on Fridays not Thursdays.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Glass class

Our Wednesday lessons have now been explained. In the morning it is the glass extension, a blowing class taught by Andrew. There are 3 in the class but those wishing to learn more blowing skills but who aren't in the class (me, cause I took the Print media elective) can join in but don't have to do the project. So blowing in the morning. In the afternoon we have Kirstie who is our teacher for our main glass component which is a self directed project in any technique.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


At last the Ravens are in the kiln for the second time. I'm tired (very tired). I feel as though I have been re attaching bird bits, mixing plaster and scrubbing for eternity.
The elective I have taken this semester is  the intermediate Print Media class. The structure of the classes sounds good...A practice based project to work on with mini workshops in various techniques being run throughout the semester. Screen printing, etching, CMYK, soft ground? etc Proposal due next week...

Monday, July 26, 2010


So, I was being hopeful and a tad ambitious to get both Ravens, invested and steamed and in the kiln today. It took most of the morning to set them up with sprues and supports..the glass components are heavy as you can imagine. Beaks, legs and tails fell off at varying times. All up we got one raven invested. I'm going to miss my first theory class tomorrow (Sorry Danie) in hope to get moving on this..and getting to college early..thanks Deb for the lift.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

2 birds in a pie

Today was the big day, the day my ravens came out of the kiln. Kate and I were also loading the furnace..that's how we got the time at uni. 
Everything was going well..looks as though the glass has done it's thing

Look at those layers!

Until my wooden scalpel went through the plaster where it shouldn't be able to...a a cavity???
So I have ended up with  quite a weird situation

We think (Kate and I) that the top temp heat wasn't held long enough so when it was really hot it trickled down to the bottom of the mould (the head) and then the temperature started to fall  and it thickened up and filled the legs, base and reservoir instead.
So instead of a fun last weekend before going back to college (good bye Neil Gaimen and the Graphic Novel festival) I get to..redo the missing bits in feet (cause they are easier than the head), MADLY make moulds on Monday, melt wax and get them in on mOnday night ( aprocess that took me two days last time)..wait for a week (change the kiln program) and hope that the Exhibition Curator will let me set up a day late (though before the opening)  PHEW!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fabric shopping

We had a positive if rather late appointment with Dougie's specialist..I was then asked to occupy my self whilst Dougie spoke at an inquiry. I have been getting itchy fingers to sew recently and after all these sewing blogs I have been reading, I feel inspired. This year also is my year of not buying clothes so I hiked myself of to 2 conveniently located shops 'Tessuti' and 'The Fabric Store'. I was hoping to buy a pattern V1174 which I have seen made up by Sewaholic here. The patetrn is not in Australia I may have to be brave and draft the pattern myself.

Both Tessuti and The fabric store are having sales at the moment.
So from the top..
remnant Cotton print from Tessuit
remnant drapey blend print from Tessuti
light Cotton from the Fabric Store
embroidered blend from the fabric store
Viscose /cotton blend from the fabric store..(I bought this ivory to dye for a sculpture project (green) and was impressed with the result so I bought some more to dye..maybe a cherry or indigo for a dress) great fabric to sew with and only $20m less with the 30% sale presently.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Artist of the day: Kendal Murray

I have been meaning to put up some of Kendal Murray's work since I went to Coffs a few weeks ago and saw a solo exhibition. The 'compact' scenes capture your interest in their miniature presence but then you look into the mirror and see the tableau afresh.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Artist of the Day: Helen Musselwhite

I think I have mentioned Helen's work before, but here is a new pic, I love the Bell adds so much. "Beauties Cottage"

Utility - Untold / Sydney Design Festival 31st July - 15th August

'Untold' exhibition opens 4th August at SCA, part of 'Sydney Design' the Ravens will be there (in one piece hopefully) and some other great stuff so come along!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Woollahra small sculpture prize

Kate told me about the Woollahra small sculpture prize and I think I'll enter Huginn and Muninn in it.

Utility - Untold

I've just realised I haven't explained why I'm casting crystal ravens..well:

Every year the 'object' studio's at uni (glass, ceramics and jewellery) run an exhibition called Utility, each year it has a theme and this year's is Untold. I entered a submission and got in...and now of course I have to make it.

So here is my submission that I entered in May:

200 word description of the proposed work, including its conceptual basis and its relevance to this year’s theme.

Two life size ravens stand in conversation; their body language portrays intelligence and friendship. One is quite life like, the details of feathers, beak and claw can be discerned in the cast black crystal. In contrast the other, cast in opaque clear only suggests such corvid features.

In Norse mythology, Odin the God of war and poetry gave the power of speech to a pair of ravens, and he called them Huginn (Thought) and Muninn (Memory). It is told that each morning Odin sends them to fly over the land and before the day is over the pair report back to Odin telling him all they have seen, making him wise in the news of his land. Odin’s ravens are strong identifiers of who Odin is in Norse poetry and imagery yet the ravens are only referred to once in the epic poems. Considering the Raven’s daily task there seems to be a wealth of untold tales waiting to be heard.

I have depicted the ravens, “Thought” and “Memory” as though they were considering an event, something they had seen, something as yet untold.
“Thought” is shown in a more realistic manner (black in colour with finer detail), linking the act of thinking to be a conscious process while “Memory’s” more abstract features are portrayed in a misty colourless crystal evoking the ephemeral subconscious qualities of remembrance.

and I included some sketches and models


Congratulations to all the finalists of this years Ranamok prize, especially Poli, Take and Wayne from SCA.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

At last the Kiln!

At last, after days..nay weeks of effort (and not just me either..thank you Kate) Huginn and Muninn are in Kiln 10..they will be ready next Wednesday..though I will have to wait until Friday to unload them...
In the kiln

for those of you who are interested I have made a step by step 'tutorial' of this

Monday, July 12, 2010

Muninn almost a raven

Muninn went through some dramatic changes today, got chopped into pieces, lost a fair bit of weight and gained some legs. Dougie's massive abscess also burst... mmm.

Any how back to polishing raven 2.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Smart Bird!

Smart enough to work out the pedestrian crossing and get a car to crack the nut for it

Friday, July 9, 2010

Pre investing Huginn

This is Huginn's brief time as a tropical bird with a fancy topknot..which was taken away as I realised I would have to put a base on the feet..I had hoped not to..but now seems too risky.

Final set up pre plastering.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


He can't stand up on his own - the wax is too soft. Hopefully in glass with the three points to rest on (feet and tail) the skewers won't be for Muninn.

A nice pair of legs..if I do say so myself!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The universe says "just go with it"

So I say.."OK, I see no point in resisting..."
you know the kind of day that doesn't in any way turn out as you planned and has surprises good and ..not so good.

I: didn't get anything done on my untold project (Ravens),walked unexpectedly for about three hours, went to Coffs regional gallery and saw a fantastic exhibition, chatted with total strangers, missed lunch and dinner, stumbled across a growers market and bought home made jam and tea, got lost, have a grumpy cold tired sore boyfriend with a flat tyre, walked around suburbia and found a craft shop in the back of someone's garage and bought lots of old ribbon.

Kendal Murray was the artist being exhibited at Coffs regional gallery...liked it!