Monthly Archives: November 2010

Magic Pills

Now you can get a pair of Magic Pill Earrings! Need I say more?

These earrings are really made from medical capsules. They come in several different colours, waterproof  and have been cleaned. The capsules are also hollow, so you could put a little something inside them. You can puschase them from The Drugstore:

I love these quirky earrings and want to take this into my own jewellery. Transforming normal objects into high fashion. The capsules probably cost nothing as well so you would be getting a big profit!

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Christmas Spirit

Today in our lecture we discussed how we buy christmas presents, what can attract us to buy and how children are becoming increasingsly picky and fashion conscious.

So how do girls shop?: Girls shop with consideration, we shop for a long time, pleasurable, relaxing and look for the new trends. I find shopping quite theraputic, even if it is just browsing through shops. Girls usually shop in small groups but personally I like to shop alone. You can spend longer looking at things and not feeling bad if the other is bored, and you can listen to music so you are in your own little world.

How do guys shop then?: Guys… well as quickly as possible and all in one go. They just go into a shop and come out five minutes later with their item as they don’t like spending time to try on garments as it will probably take hours of time. Even I agree with the guys way of shopping sometimes, I hate spending ages.

How do you get customers to buy more: How do you design a shop which will make customers stay longer? Put a restaurant in it? Music? Make it bigger? Well first of all I think you would have to plan your store layout, ambience and attractive visual merchandising displays. Never put things right at the door like clothes and baskets as it will cause the customer to turn around to pick it up and may just make them spot another store thus leave. Try position most attractive and popular items in the right of the store as customers (in UK and Australia) always tend to turn right when entering shops. Must be due to us sitting on the right in a car. For instance, the clothes shop Zara positions their products on the right and have their checkouts on the left as they are the last things we go to – to pay. NEVER situate the woman’s wear at the back of the store, behind men’s wear as more women shop compared to men. Men like to sit down whilst women are in the changing room. In front of the chair maybe place small gadgets or interesting books as the man may pick it up and have a look at it to pass the time. People who touch things are most likely to buy it, if the unfold it or open it, the chances are they will. Also simple common sense factors such as: don’t play loud, inappropriate or poor quality music as it may ruin a customer’s shopping experience; dirty bathrooms, they should always be lovely and clean whether for public use or not as it can be a huge turn off.

How many times have you forgotten the milk but instead come out with a bunch of other stuff? I have. This is the power of the layout of a shop. They specifically place the milk counter at the back of the store because they want you to look at the whole store, thus probably buy something else. Food shops place fruit, veg and flowers at the door to make the store look fresh to lure customers in. Also they are eye catching. They may bake bread and the smell will make its way out of the store, thus alert passer by’s taste buds.

Are you influenced by advertising?: We are being exposed to advertising like never before: on the television; on the internet; when you pass shops; in magazines. However the majority of adverts are aimed towards children. Products like cereal and toys have been advertised since before our grandparents were small. These ads may hook children and trap their parents into an endless loop into buying more and more products.

We watched a Panorama program called the ‘Tweens’. It is about children being lured in by designer brands through advertising and how important it is for them. Please click the link below for information about the Tweens.

Meet the Tweens

I find it hard to think if I was influenced by trends and the newest labels. I think I may have had it different to others as I lived in Brunei where designer brands were not really the ‘thing’. Nobody had them. But I do feel the pressure from other people now, how the sight of a designer label instantly makes you look expensive and rich. But I am not like that at all. I have no designer labels except for my glasses: FCUK. I just don’t see the point in looking like a spoilt brat rich kid. I like looking down to earth.

It is a shame that children are being captured by an identity. (skater, goth, etc). As they are so young and should be living in ease. However when children get the clothes they asked for their self esteem increases, this must be due to the fact of fitting in. As one of the children in the program, Adele, was telling the viewers that if she had a friend who did not wear designer brands she would still be her friend but not hang out with her often. This is because she will get bullied, and thus spread the bullying to Adele as she is her friend.

Now designer brands are getting so popular and trendy that there are now dolls who are fashion focussed and the new ‘thing’: BRATZ. Parents are getting concerned that they are too sexy and giving a bad message to their kids with their skimpy skirts and make-up. I agree in having dolls to play with, like when I was 7 I had good old Barbie dolls but not with slutty clothes on. However, dolls can give the impression that a small being thin is the ‘in thing’. If Barbie was a real person she would have 39 inch chest, 19 inch hip, and 33 inch hips, she would be a size 4 and her body fat would be so low that she would not be able to menstrate. The BRATZ dolls are just the same. Is this the message we want for our children?

Thus, in this lecture I learnt that the price of fashion can hit hard, it can cause parents to work constantly to keep the kids closets full of designer labels and avoid bankruptcy and how to design a shop to increase their sales.

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Summer of Love: The Psychedelic, Music and LSD

I love a good bit of colour, nature, music, festivals, a relaxed ambience and a quirky sense of mismatched style – this is why I am very keen on the Hippie Era.

The Hippie Era began in 1966 in San Francisco. It was a response to Lynsey Johnson’s presidency, between the years 1963 to 1968, where she brought domestic progress but also growth of the war in Vietnam. The bombing and violence caused the youth of America to flee to San Francisco to escape from the violence and political system. They did not move to rebuild or even change society they just wanted to escape from it all. Become part of a whole different world of love, peace, and flower power. And with a little help from drugs like LSD, the job became a lot easier.

Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) is originated from an ergot fungus, discovered in 1968 by a Swiss chemist Dr Albert Hofman and his colleague Dr W. A. Kroll. Five years later, Hofman somehow accidently took some LSD and this was the first time anybody had had an acid trip.

LSD captured a number of scientists’ attention and began experimenting with the drug to help treat illnesses such as schizophrenia, sexual disorders and criminal rehabilitation.

LSD is colourless, tasteless and odourless. It usually comes soaked in blotters and squares or sheets of paper decorated with quirky designs (strawberries sunflowers, rockets). The drug effect is described as a ‘trip’ as it can last up to 8 to12 hours. It alters and expands consciousness and with a high dose it can completely wipe out the outside world with a new colourful one. You become more aware of things (visual, auditory, sensory and emotional) normally unnoticed in the real world. Intricate details on surfaces, richness of sounds, vibrancy of colour and the thoughts in your mind become distorted and exaggerated. Things can overlap and merge until you can actually see sounds and smell colours as if you have synaesthesia. However, it is not always all good. People can sometimes experience a ‘bad trip’ where the high can turn frightening and traumatic. It can be caused by the environment you are in, the mood you are in and the overwhelming feeling of the drug’s power. LSD is actually not at all addictive. It is not physically addictive and not a drug you want to do immediately again. However it can be psychologically addictive like if someone wants to escape reality.

To fathom Hell or soar angelic, just take a pinch of psychedelic.” – Humprey Osmond

LSD is a mind-altering drug which can cause ‘psychedelic’ effects. ‘Psychedelic’ usually means ‘generating hallucinations’ and relates to distortions of perception. The first time it was used was in a letter written to Aldous Huxley (1956) from the British Psychiatrist Humphrey Osmand, who was experimenting with the drug to find a cure for mental illnesses like schizophrenia. Osmand first spelt the word ‘psychodelic’ but later changed it to ‘psychedelic’ to get rid of the ‘psycho’ connotations it possessed. Two of the main artists who convey psychedelia and their influence of LSD are Andy Warhol and Yayoi Kusama.

Andy Warhol

Banana, 1966.

This piece by Andy Warhol was the cover for the 1967 Velvet Underground’s album. I think it is visually intriguing and ambiguous as it is simply an ordinary yellow banana. However at the top of the banana there are printed instructions for viewers ‘peel slowly and see’, which revealed a flesh coloured banana inside. I believe this immediately stirred art critiques as well as the general public due to it’s dirty sexual connotations. What a dirty genius.

Marilyn Monroe, 1962.

Warhol created many paintings of Marilyn Monroe after her suicide in 1962. He used a photograph from her film, Niagara. He wanted to mass produce this painting by using the technique called silk screen, involving enlarging and transferring a photo on to silk. Warhol admired Marilyn Monroe as a star and was fascinated by her beauty. He portrayed Monroe as not only gorgeous, but dark and mysterious.

Yayoi Kusama

Psychedelic art tries to imitate, introduce, inspire, and convey the effects of the psychedelic experience. It tries to portray a true reflection of the fantasy world whilst experiencing an acid trip. However it is never easy to capture the drug journey in either words or images.

“Like hallucination or dissociative phenomena… But don’t you see? – The visual stuff was just the décor with LSD… The whole thing was… the experience… this certain indescribable feeling” – Tom Wolfe

It was under the Hippie’s two concert venues in San Francisco, the Fillmore and the Avalon Ballroom, where the psychedelic poster art was born. The posters were designed by numerous major artists, the famous five nicknamed: Wes Wilson, Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin, Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse.

Between 1966 and 1971, they designed posters to advertise concert groups like the Grateful Dead, the Charlatans, the 13th Floor Elevators, the Doors, the Velvet Underground, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Pink Floyd, and many others.








(Left: Wes Wilson; Right: Victor Moscoso)

(Rick Griffin)

(Alton Kelley)

(Stanley Mouse)

Rain’ by The Beatles (1966) was the first psychedelic track as it captures the vibrant lucidity of an LSD experience. The heaviness and sonic presence of the track can appear to those under the drug’s influence. It explores LSD-influenced feelings of detatchment of the real world.

“Can you hear me, that when it rains and shines/ It’s just a state of mind?/Can you hear me? Can you hear me?”

John Lennon:When I’m in the middle of a dream/ Stay in bed, float upstream… Please don’t wake me… I’m only sleeping’. Written in a time when Lennon was tripping daily and his sense of self had virtually melted away.

A day in the Life’ by The Beatles was first banned from the BBC due to it’s drug references “I’d love to turn you on” which suggests the use of psychedelic drugs. “Found my way upstairs and had a smoke/ somebody spoke and I went into a dream” these lyrics also allegedy refer to drug use, smoking marijuana and going into a high.





To fathom Hell or soar angelic, just take a pinch of psychedelic.” – Humprey Osmond


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Assignment 3: Looking up, Looking Down


Today we have been busy advancing our understanding from Assignment 2 by looking at different journals, web sites and magazines. Initially we had to understand the difference between journals and magazines: “Journals” have been read by peers to approve it before being published so it will have a lengthy list of contributors, “Magazines” are unlikely to have any valid facts and will usually have just one ‘editor’.

Examples of journals are:

Jewellery: Goldsmith’s Review, Craft Arts International Review, American Craft, Metal Smith

Design: Cabinet, Dmi Review, CoDesign, Leonardo, New Design

Websites Useful for Jewellery

Klimt O2: Excellent for discovering new jewellers from around the world, getting involved in debates, and receiving information about contemporary jewellery.

Mike Press Blog: A place to exchange ideas and thoughts with other fellow designers and gives recent design news.

Goldsmiths Hall:

New Designers: Offers designers a chance for getting recognition with big companies and organisations by exhibiting work.

Gallerie Marzee: Displays current exhibitions and events of modern jewellery in the Galerie Marzee, one of the largest galleries in the Netherlands.

Websites Useful for Development News

The Gaurdian: Can read the latest news on various topics (science, business, law etc)

BBC News: Get the latest news and watch it live, can also see other topics (health, politics etc)

National Geographic: Inspires people to take care of the world. Displays excellent photographs on various subjects. It’s interests include geography, wildlife, science etc.

New Scientist: Great site which involves recent scientific discovery and its industrial, commercial and social consequences in a wide variety of topics. Includes fascinating facts, news, features and stories.

Wired: Recent technology news, articles and blogs. For people who want to know the next upcoming technology. Includes fascinating content and photographs.

We also used the library search engine Cross Search to find books and abstracts associated to our topic brainstormed in the previous assignment. I am looking up the psychology of Sesame Street.

Harvard Referencing Bibliography

Evans, M. A. (2009) ‘Letter names and alphabet book reading by senior kindergartners: An eye movement study’, Child Development, vol. 80, iss. 6, pp. 1824-1841.

This study explored the eye movements of twenty 5-year-old children as they read an alphabet book. It was aimed to discover how the letters, words, and pictures in the book were attracting the eye and if printed alphabet interested the children. Results indicated that the print were unsuccessful for getting the kids attention, it took longer to understand them than the pictures. In addition, children who knew the letters began looking around the featured letter – looking at the whole word and its first letter etc. Therefore shows alphabetic books may help not only with letter recognition but word recognition.

Heine, A (2010) ‘What the eyes already know: using eye movement measurement to tap into children’s implicit numerical magnitude representations’, Infant and child development, vol. 19, iss. 2, pp. 175-186.

In this article, Heine uses primary school children’s eye movement measurement to examine the growth of basic knowledge about numerical size. The experiment consisted of 2 similar versions of a number estimation task, however one was limited to behavioural measures, and the other to eye-movement.

Linebarger, D. L. (2005) ‘Infants’ and toddlers’ television viewing and language outcomes’, American behavioural scientist, vol. 48, iss. 5, pp. 624.

This study examined the effects of watching television on the development of vocabulary and language among children, over a two year duration from ages 6 to 30 months old. Using hierachical linear modelling techniques and growth charts allowed researchers to observe the relationship between television viewing and the child’s vocabulary knowledge and expressive language. The results showed that children viewing television increased their language skills rapidly. Certain programs like Dora the Explorer, Blues Clues and Arthur resulted in greater vocabulary knowledge and higher expressive language scores, however Teletubbies resulted in fewer vocabulary words and smaller expressive language scores. Sesame Street’s results related to fewer vocabulary words but more expressive language. The reasons for the differences are discussed in the book. In conclusion, the exposure of television to children can have great impact for their vocabulary knowledge and language skills.

Minton, J. H. (1975) ‘The impact of Sesame Street on Readiness’, Sociology of Education, vol. 48, iss. 2, pp. 141-151.

This book deals with the first season of Sesame Street, investigating if the show affects the readiness of kindergarten children. Results suggest children from advantaged homes scored higher on the alphabet subtest. However, the test concluded there were no differences between subgroups. Proved that Sesame Street is a great teacher for letter recognition on kindergarten children, nevertheless the results were not consistent.

Reynolds, G. D., Richards, J. E.(2005) ‘Familiarization, Attention, and Recognition Memory in Infancy: An Event- Related Potential and Cortical Source Localization Study’, Developmental Psychology, vol. 41, iss. 1, pp. 598-615.

This book examines the response of familiarisation, recognition and attention in infants ranging from 4 ½ to 7 ½ months old. The children were either familiarised with 2 stimuli that were used in later tests or shown 2 stimuli which were not used later. The children are shown an episode of Sesame Street to draw out attention or inattention and shown familiar stimuli and novel stimuli. The researchers compared the two groups of children’s responses.

Rice, M. L. (1990) ‘Words from “Sesame Street”: Learning vocabulary while viewing’, Development psychology, vol. 26, iss. 3, pp. 421-428.

Rice discusses that the children’s programme ‘Sesame Street’ is well suited for vocabulary development of preschoolers. Five 1-week diaries about the television programme were collected from the children; 1 group were ages 3 to 5 and the other 5 to 7. The group of children aged 3 to 5 benefited more from the programme than the group aged 5 to 7. The outcome indicates that the subject matters and set-up of “Sesame Street” are positively apt for the growth of preschoolers’ vocabulary.

Richards, J. E. (1997) ‘Effects of attention on infants preference fro briefly exposed visual stimuli in paired-comparison recognition-memory paradigm’, Development psychology, vol. 33, iss. 1, pp. 22.

This book explores the effect of attention in babies 3 to 6 month old and their event-related-potentials throughout the recognition of short presented visual stimuli. They were shown the movie Sesame Street that brought forth phases of attention and disinterest. One visual stimuli was familiar to the infants and came up frequently throughout the movie, a second was familiar but came up less frequently, and a series of 14 stimuli were also played less frequently. Results showed that attention helps the brain respond during children’s recognition memory and show that changes in development of recognition memory are very similar to the changes in attention.

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Extreme Beauty: Razor Sharp Teeth

There are various reasons for teeth chiselling in each culture. It could to do with religious beliefs or cultural standard of beauty. It normally takes place around puberty, when a boy’s voice deepens and a girl becomes fertile. The practice is celebrated through holding a feast, music and ceremonial dress.

The two canine teeth and incisors between them are scraped down to be the same length. The actual process takes a short five to ten minutes. The six teeth filed are believed to represent the ‘Sad Ripu’, undesirable qualities that can linger in one’s life. In addition, sharpened teeth keep the spirits happy and bring balance to a female’s life.

Tooth chiselling has in fact been banned by the Indonesian government; however the Mentawai tribe have refused to stop the practice, along with their ceremonial dress.

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Line in Wire

Our second project is to design and make a jewellery body piece using wire. The natural feature of wire is the LINE. To get inspiration I went out and drew silhouettes – scaffolding on buildings, telephone posts and cables etc. I then walked past a playground and immediately got drawn to the monkey bars and climbing frames: full of LINE. I sat and drew looking at the shapes and patterns the lines created.









I then developed my sketches by stretching, fattening, bending, repeating and sharpening the shapes and so on. I also placed my design ideas onto drawings of figures to find out the scale.










We then spent a week to create designs on the computer programs Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. I had never used Illustrator before so it was very exciting! There is so many different tools compared to the familiar program Photoshop. You can copy and rotate objects to create wheels and alter lines in your design so easily which would take so much longer by hand. Definitely going to use this program in future designs.




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Leonardo Da Vinci: The Perfect Human Body

After watching a short documentary called ‘The Beauty of Diagrams: Vitruvian Man’ presented by Professor Marcus du Sautoy, I have discovered that the aim of the Vitruvian Man diagram by Leonardo Da Vinci was not just a beautiful drawing but it was to show through science and art the perfection of the human body.

Da Vinci came from a small Tuscan village who constantly travelled like most artists. He worked in many places such as Florence, Mulan and Venice. It is hard to define what he was exactly. Was he an artist? Musician? Botanist? Anatomist? Engineer? Architect? Turns out he was all of these things. He painted the iconic Mona Lisa, designed military hardware and was the first artist to cut open a human body, dissect and draw human organs and bones. He possessed a strong thirst for knowledge: feet, skulls, and hands, hearts, and lungs, muscles, and sinews, buildings, bridges, and machines. He obsessively dissected, drew and examined like no other artist had done before. For him science and art were one. His aim for dissecting and drawing the body obsessively was to find the perfect geometric proportions that ruled the natural world – and God’s greatest creations was man himself.

Da Vinci: ‘Man is the model of the world’


There are so many meanings to the Vitruvian Man diagram. Yes it is about the body and human anatomy but as you look in depth you can see mathematics and geometry. It is in fact a solution to an early arch itectural problem. The problem, about buildings and mans’ proportions. Other artists in the past tried but failed. Da Vinci’s diagram is one which conveys that man is the ideal geometric model for architecture.

Da Vinci’s inspirations came from the classical works on architecture by the Roman writer Vitruvius. Vitruvius said ‘For any building to be beautiful it must have perfect symmetry and proportions like those found in nature’, thus, resulted in Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man.

The task laid down by Vitruvius was to position a man on his back with arms stretched out and have his fingers and toes touch the circle’s circumference pinpointed on the mans naval and also to plac e the same man inside a square. When observing the Vitruvian Man you can see lines situated on certain places the body. These lines represent the different proportions that the body possess. For example: four fingers make up a palm, six palms make up the distance from the top of the finger to the elbow, then four times the distance from finger to elbow makes up the height of the man. The diagram indicates the proportions of the human body and its link to architecture.

But what does the circle and square mean? They were seen as perfect shapes in nature in the Renaissance. They were also important to Vitruvius. He thought temples were the perfect buildings as they were a close link to God. A square formed the floor and the circle – the dome.

At last, the final layer – movement – captured in Da Vinci’s diagram by the man’s unique double pose. Martin Kemp and graphic designer Steve Maher collaborated and took the task in exploring movement to create an animation. The idea was based upon Da Vinci’s drawings as he sketches sequences poses and a single drawing captures the feeling of movement. He analysed movement like animators would do to understand how beings move. However, Da Vinci did not have the tools to create movement out of his drawings, thus created series of them.

There is a sculpture of the Vitruvian Man in London’s Belgrave Square which captures the diagrams 3D potential. This proves how iconic Da Vinci’s drawing has become. For me, it is not as effective as Da Vinci’s diagram – it looks like there are two men merged together rather than the one man in motion. However it is striking to the eye through its large scale.

I personally can’t think of any other diagram which has had so much publicity and success. The Vitruvian Man has been given a lot of iconic treatment. His drawings are very popular with today’s artists, thus, I think will truly remain an iconic and remembered piece of art for many years to come.

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World War 1: Remembrance and Posters

Remembrance Day

Seeing how November is a month of Remembrance (November 11th) we talked about what Remembrance was and how long it would last. Subsequently we discussed posters in relation to World War 1 (WWI).

So the first question I think is what exactly is Remembrance Day? Well on the second Sunday of November at 11am men, women, and children around Britain hold a two-minute silence. This time is dedicated to remember those millions of people who died in the WWI.

I then thought well why the poppy? This is because it was a unique plant that grew plentifully on the battlefield where WWI took place. It flourished due to the chalk soils which became rich in lime from the intensive bombardment. A few weeks after the war the battlefields thrived with the colour blood-red, not just from poppies but from blood which had been spilt from the dead.

In 1915 the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’, John McCrae, was published and became one of the best known poems of WWI.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

War Posters

We were shown two series of posters from WWI. The first were posters from Germany and Russia and the second from Britain. We compared the two series of posters asking questions to ourselves such as: Which ones are better designed/illustrated? Which ones communicate the message better?






















In my opinion, the British posters were better. They were simple, encouraged men toenlist and convince women to stay home and work. However, even though German posters were more religious based, mystical and more aesthetically pleasing, they lacked the true message: that it was important for men to fight for their country.

Thus, British War posters were more successful due to being straight to the point and perhaps through the visual language portrayed through them.

Closer Look at Posters

Lord Kitchener Wants You, After Alfred Leete 1914.

The line ‘Your country needs you’ was the most famous and iconic of phrases in the British Army Campaign. It is a portrayal of Lord Kitchener ordering men to enlist in the war. Being a member of the military, Kitchener was appointed the task to enlist a large army to fight Germany. I believe this poster was so successful due to the demanding finger pointing and the words ‘YOU Join Your Country’s Army!”. It involves the viewer and makes them feel like Kitchener is talking to YOU individually. Its bold red lettering, in addition, is striking to the eye and can be seen from afar. The result: More than 3,000,000 men volunteering to go to war in the first two years. Success.

Uncle Sam I want You J. M. Flagg’s 1917.

This poster was based on the original Kitchener poster. Uncle Sam is actually a fictional character. It is one of the most popular personifications of the United States.

It is a shame though because nowadays you can see people in all kinds of adverts doing the ‘finger pointing’. The idea is becoming de-valued and unimportant.

(Daddy what did you do in the Great War? Savile Lumely 1915)

The scene here is the daughter is reading a history book about war and the son is playing with his toy soldiers. The daughter asks her father: ‘Daddy what did you do in the Great War?’ The father is looking at the viewer. What does this suggest to you? What is the expression on his face? Is he directing the question at you? To me it looks like he did not actually take part in the war. He did not enlist because he should not even be in the house looking after the children – that is the woman’s role. Thus, he did not do his job for his country. Maybe the father thought that only the poor working class people should fight. I believe this is NOT the case. That is unfair. This reminds me of a previous lecture where the woman takes the domestic interior role (doing the dishes, looking after the children) whilst the husband takes on the exterior role (work). But in this poster that is not the case. It is WRONG. He should be at war.

A very important message is emphasised through visual language here: that it is not just the working classes who go to war, it is everyone including the rich.

In conclusion, posters were important in the 19th century to encourage men to enlist and women to take on the men’s role of working the land.


Extreme Beauty: Small Feet Are Sexy

In the 13th century foot-binding was a common tradition among Chinese women. Young girls aged from 4 to 7, while bones were still flexible, began their two year foot-binding process that bent, twisted and compressed the feet.

The desired size was 3 inches or less, the toes, excusing the big toe, were bent beneath the front pad of the foot. Meanwhile, the front of the foot was pulled back to touch the heel, folding the whole foot in half. In the course of the process, there needed continual changing of binding cloths and cleaning of the foot, in case the flesh started to decay.

When foot-binding became at its most popular, women and their families and husbands took great pride in their small feet and achieving the perfect ‘Lotus Shape’. Walking was difficult and caused bending of the knees slightly and swaying to walk properly. This swaying walk became known as the Lotus Gait and men considered it as sexually arousing. Weight put on the folded toes would be excruciatingly painful. However, the heel, which lined up with the axis of the leg bone, could hold the body’s weight quite comfortably. Thus, the Chinese designed shoes which lifted the toes off the ground and kept all the body’s weight on the heel. Walking was still possible but awkward.

The shoes were made from highly expensive silk and velvet, consisting of elaborate designs with flower and Taoist symbols of happiness and prosperity. What a joke.

Below shows just how this process of foot-binding can have a great effect on your life. Never to walk properly again.

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Anton Cepka

Ok so I here a violin being played downstairs and it is making me feel like wanting to take it up again. But to distract my sorrows I have been reading about a very interesting jeweller relating to my present project which I will explain in a future post.

Anton Cepka (1936) is a representative of Slovak jewellery design and graduated from Secondary Schools of Arts & Crafts, Bratislava and from the Academy of Arts & Crafts in Prague.

In 1990, the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava is where Cepka established the metal & jewellery studio. That year, he became a co-founding member and the chairman of the Association of Jewellery Designers AURA. He worked as an associate professor at the Academy for 6 years.

“I have always employed my special artistic language, the geometric constuction, that is never-ending inspiration for me. I have always worked in silver. I believe that silver is a material I know very intimately and I have learnt to work with. By working with silver, I demonstrate my respect for it. It is the material that can return what I put into it”

Cepka’s jewellery is complex in construction, I believe his work is absolutely for displaying and looking at the different stuctures of each piece. You can tell that Cepka clearly enjoys making his pieces, especially with silver, they are expressly made.

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