Category Archives: Objects

Luminous Jellyfish

Another very experimental project, following from my Anemone Project, working with fluorescent pigments and ultra-violet light.

Again, my inspiration came from my diving background. In particular, remembering hopping off the boat to go snorkeling and as soon as I got comfortable in the water I saw, what looked like, 8 or so blueish parallel sticks standing vertically underwater. Was very odd. However, as I tried to figure out why they were standing so vertical I noticed there was some kind of clear plastic thing floating above it. I instantly realised that, from the plastic bags’ square shape, it was a Box Jellyfish. Only one of the most poisonous and deadly creatures in the world! As I hurriedly finned to the boat, I shouted “There’s a bloomin’ great big Box Jellyfish in here don’t get in!”

And knowing my dad, he thought it would be good to catch it in our cool box and bring it back to our local Yacht Club to show the kids why stinger/wet suits were so important. My dad actually got stung by one of these bad boys around the ankle.

Anyway, I love seeing how jellyfish move in the water and the different colours they come in. They tend to have luminous tendrils and things that can actually blink to both ward of predators and attract prey. I wanted to investigate ways in which to make colour glow so invested in a UV light bulb which worked wonders! By the way, if you are looking for a UV bulb do NOT get a UV Saving Lamp 75W ES that looks like this:

They might be cheap but they definitely don’t give off UV light just purple light. Just a rip off.

Get one of these Blacklight, ultra violet lamp, low energy BC/B22 Bayonet Fitting High UV light intensity 20W:

These are more expensive, at £9.50 a pop, but are worth the money.

Here are my final pieces. I want to develop this project and make hovering jewellery pieces that look like they are floating with the tide around the body. However, I was really tight with time so made them interior hanging objects.

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Mary Donald: Latex and Plastics

Mary Donald studied at San Diego State University, where she focussed on Metalsmithing & Jewellery Design. She uses various materials such as wood, rubber, plastics, latex, fibre, metal and unusual found objects to make her unconventional jewellery pieces.

Rubber & Mixed Plastics:

Donald skillfully uses latex and monofilament to create these unique organic pieces.

I love the translucent fleshy colours of these pieces and the alien-like forms – they remind me a little of calamari or embryos. The contrast between the dark singed edges and the pale latex is effective because it makes the pieces stand out more on the wearer.

The piece above is made of mixed plastics, oxidised silver and brass. I particularly like the way Donald has spaced out the shapes to give sense of serenity. A variation of techniques have been used to join the translucent shapes together including drilling, riveting etc.

These two pieces are beautiful and elegant.

Donald has created this piece using orange peel and thread. What makes this piece interesting for me is both the texture and the variation of fold made by the shrivelling peel. The dotty white surface contrasting with the smoother outer orange surface are appealing in creating a highly distinctive and interesting piece.

I am really inspired by Donald’s jewellery because she can somehow unite unusual objects together and make it ‘work’. Her method in disguising the materials and making them look unique and ‘of value’ is what I find truly impressive.

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What Images Mean

Assignment 2

For this next assignment, we were asked to find out what images mean to different people. The purpose of experimenting with images and objects I think is to try and consider how you could use this as a research method and to understand the concept of polysemy.

First I shall explain what polysemy means: with many significations or from Greek polusēmos having many meanings.

For the first part of this assignment we were advised to read Roland Barthes‘s essay ‘The Rhetoric of Image’ (essay taken from the book on right) which explores the relationship between images and text. He uses a Panzani advert, as an example, to demonstrate how from just one image can open a whole variety of underlying messages. I found this essay very tricky to read as Barthes first wrote the piece in academic French then translated it into English, but the main key points I think were conveyed well. Such as:

  • Images in advertising are purposely made to be easily understood so that the public can quickly grasp what the advertisement is trying to sell/say.
  • He sees two linguistic messages conveyed from the Panzani advertisement: the labels and captions on the produce create a denoted message. There was also a connoted message implied by the word ‘Panzani’ illustrating a cultural ethnicity, in this case, of Italianicity.
  • He then sees another underlying meaning, a symbolic message. For example, the half-open string bag portrays a come-back to the market meaning; tomatoes and peppers imply a feeling of Italianicity; the gathering of objects and vegetables signify a culinary service; the arrangement of the scene is similar to that of a still-life.
  • The third message is the literal message, the actual individual items in the image (a packet of pasta represents a packet of pasta), thus this is a message without a code.

After reading the essay and feeling confused I selected three random photographs using the website Stock.xchng and began the experiment. The pictures I chose are below, not in any specific order.

I asked different people to look at the images and tell a brief story linking all three together. Next I wrote down the key information from each story told, which were all completely different. When I had summarised all of them I selected one to be my target story. The task was to add a fourth image so that everyone I showed the images to would come up with the same target story.  The fourth image is below.

The initial story was from Kirstie, aged 23, female, studies Physiotherapy and born in Brunei Darrusalam. Her story went something like this: A couple owned a fruit and veg stall, whilst on the stall their kids are looked after by their grandma, she takes them to play ground to go on swings, this is where they find stray cat, they take it home.

The result was really surprising! 4 out of the 5 people told a similar story from the four images, without me even putting them in the correct order! Each of the 4 stories ended with kids taking the cat home. However I was determined for the last girl to follow suit. It was pretty simple, I just added one word for each image (fruit stall – couple, swings – children, cat on grass – stray, cat in bed – home). I then asked her how I could have made the target story more obvious. Her answer was possibly to have a cat with a collar on, the cat playing with children inside or the cat sleeping on someone’s lap. I also noticed in both stories that there was no suggestion the cat was a stray, her reason behind this was because she loves cats and does not want to imagine them stray and abandoned. This is interesting as now I think people’s taste can have a huge effect on image meaning.

Now from reading the essay and through experimenting with images, I have found that my understanding of polysemy has grown. That, indeed, an image can have multiple layers of meanings but can also have an affect and become misunderstood by different people, perhaps due to their cultural background, bringing up, schooling and, in Pierre Bordieu’s book I read, it could even be down to social class. So polysemy in jewellery can create problems as you may percieve your own piece in such a way but others may see it in a totally different light. Maybe you did this purposely to keep the public questioning about your piece but sometimes it is important to fix the meaning of your work (Lighting, colours used, composition etc), or else your work could be reviewed in an art newspaper for everybody to see besides the fact that what is being said about your piece may be complete nonsense.

However, the essay as a whole raises the question ‘how does this relate to my discipline’ – jewellery? Well I think it relates to me as an individual. How do I come across to other people? How do others percieve me? How can I present my work in such a way to attract clients? Because if I place my piece on, let’s say, some sand, it may detract from the true meaning of my piece. I think this plays a big role in my discipline because if a client wants to interview me and I come in with a frown on my face of shabby clothes, it will turn the client off straight away. Appearance, enthusiasm and confidence in your own work is essential in luring customers in.

Are You What You Wear/Buy/Sit/ On/Sleep In/Talk To?

For this assignment we were asked to team up with a student from a different discipline who we did not know well and swap photos and contact details with one another. We were NOT allowed to discuss the photos with them. We then had to analyse them asking questions to ourselves like ‘What do they like? What are their favourite colours? Who are their influences? etc’. For my partner, I received three photos of her bedroom.

Analysis and Deduction

From looking at her pictures, I can say that perhaps she likes animal print (blanket), knitting and craft (needles on her desk and probably craft box beneath them), fashion (posters of fashion above her desk), handbags (hanging on the back of door), clothes, and tattoos (Ed Hardy book on top of her stack of books on her desk). This suggests she likes patterns, enjoys making things herself especially using fabric (and also supported by the fact she does textiles), likes to keep up with the latest trends and fashion (especially supported by the Gucci hand bags), and takes an interest in tattoo designs. There is a Cream book on her desk which probably implies she likes the band? There is an abundance of pink and black in her room, possibly colours she likes?

Her influences could be from her friends as there is a picture of her and her friend, both looking alike. They look like they take pride in their appearance and takes care of themselves. She perhaps is significantly influenced by ‘what’s hot now’ (magazines, tv, fashion) due to the amount of fashion pictures above her desk. My partner looks like an extrovert, supported by the crown symbols on her duvet which emphasises the idea that she likes feeling like a princess? Thinks highly of herself? There is alcohol next to her window suggesting she likes going out, socialising and having fun and, in addition, there is fruit suggesting she likes to keep healthy and look after herself.

She possesses a laptop, a variety of creams, hair products, alcohol, shoes, hand bags, clock, Ed Hardy book and a paisley print scarf, thus, looks like she is middle class. Everything looks new, well looked after, organised and tidy, backed up by the boxes and containers to keep everything sorted and neat and the calendar. Everything looks like a similar style but bought from different shops.

My partner has customised her space by placing nic-nacs and objects in containers: organisation and tidiness is obviously crucial to her, the space is uncluttered possibly suggesting she feels stressed when surrounded by mess. Her room is well-lit, maybe due to the needle-work and her discipline, her space is also comfortable – a sign of high conscientiousness.


After analysing the photos, we contacted each other and discussed our findings. I was pretty accurate apart from she did not like the colours pink and black and no she did not like the band ‘Cream’ at all. I got everything else right – how she takes pride in her appearance, she likes to look after herself, she loves tattoos, fashion and craft.

Her analysis of me was pretty much spot on! She said I was well-travelled, influenced by my sister and brought back objects from all over the world. She has not revealed anything new about me, I already knew I love colour and pattern and that my home is comfortable.


From this experiment, I learnt that my personality and home ambience can easily be conveyed simply through looking at pictures from my past. On the other hand, looking at my partners life, apart from feeling like an intruder, I felt very different to her. Different in personality, lifestyle and culture because in my room there are objects and trinkets from all over the world and in my partners room there were none. In the end, this saddens me because sometimes I wish I had just grown up in one place so that I would feel properly settled and feel like I properly fitted in. But in a different context, I feel fine that somebody has analysed my pictures because it would maybe give them an altered perception of life or they may just gain something from it. Who knows.


What do they like? Animal print (duvet), hand bags, knitting (craft, needles on her desk), fashion (from the posters above her desk), Ed Hardy tattoo box on desk
Who are their favourite bands or TV Stars? Cream
Favourite authors?
Favourite Colours? Pink, black
There is a picture of her and her friend, they both look like they take pride in their appearance, take care of themselves. Looks like she keeps up with the present trends due to the amount of pictures above her desk and the Gucci hand bags hanging on her door. Looks like an extravert due to the crowns on her duvet maybe thinking she’s a princess? (sorry!) Also the picture on her bedside table she’s with her friend, looks like they’re at a party or club thus likes to socialise and have fun.
What do they own? Laptop, creams, hair products, alcohol, shoes, hand bags, clock, Ed Hardy book, Cream book, paisley print scarf hanging on wall.
Are they middle class? MIDDLE
Is everything new? Looks new, well looked after, organised, tidy.
Is there a mix of styles or does everything look like it was bought at the same time or from the same shop? Everything looks the same but bought from different shops.
How have they customised the space around them? Everything’s in containers, a calendar with a pencil under it, organisation and tidiness is obviously crucial to her, the space is uncluttered, well lit, comfortable and her books are organised a sign of high concientiousness.
How have they made their own? Yes, I think she likes pattern.


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Extra/Ordinary Objects

Japanese Skin Beauty Secret

This may look like a normal skin beauty product but as we look closer it is in fact quite literally… well bird shit. Nightingale Droppings are  made from the droppings of the nightingale songbird, which is dried, ground into an almost odourless powder and mixed to create a smooth paste, which is then massaged onto the face. This facial paste results in a pale and soft complexion, leaving the skin feel silky smooth exfoliated.

You should apply the mask roughly twice a week to get the best results and can be left up to 20 minutes. The droppings are commonly used for geisha girls to achieve their desirable white skin and to even whiten their kimonos.

Your Lover Will Fall For You

Both women and men wear perfume everyday, but the next big thing is going to be Skunk Perfume. No not to smoke. Some men even admit that the smell is somewhat arousing. And do NOT worry, no skunk buts have been milked to extract the smell. It was intitially used for disguising hunters smell so deer couldn’t detect them. Skunk is now sold for personal use in the USA.

Are You A Germaphobe?

Are you obsessed with being clean? Afraid of catching germs? Worry not! Now you can purchase these new phone condoms! Scientists have found flesh-eating bacteria lsing in the mouth piece of a New York pay phone. If you are worried about catching disease from a phone, these clean, disposable telephone condoms may solve your problem.

Smoke Out Your Baby

Meet Smokey Sue. Watch her smoke for herself and her baby. Over time, as she puffs away at her cigarette, the smoke will pass through into her placenta (water in the jar below), which carries her baby. The more she lights up the more filth gets passed into her placenta. This is a very blunt but excellent model to demonstrate exactly what would happen if you were inhaling during pregnancy. When I look at a pregnant woman holding a cigarette, I feel angry towards her, angry that she is smoking her baby. Your baby gets absolutely EVERYTHING from you. Inhaling smoke can pass on 4,000 chemicals to your unborn baby – one of them being carbon monoxide. This makes oxygen supply for the baby very low, thus their little hearts would have to pump faster to stay alive. Smoking can lead to tragic consequences for your baby – they are more likely to be born premature, underweight, or even dead.

Weigh Your Eyelids

People who suffer from logophthalmos have difficulty closing their eyes properly due to partial facial paralysis. Dryness, irritation or, in extreme cases, total blindness can result from logophthalmos. MedDev Corporation have come up with these fantastic metallic eyelid weights which allow the eyelid to fall naturally whenever the eye mucles relax. They are anchored to the eyelid with hypoallergenic tape. I believe this design is successful as it is a very safe procedure – no medication or side effects.




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