Tag Archives: odd

Collaborative Alien Project: Who Are We?

Got my little butt into gear and finally plucked up the courage to ask Grant Herron (a fellow Jewellery student) about possibly collaborating as I heard he was into Film props. He was well up for it surprisingly so we went ahead and got started a couple of weeks later.

We decided to take our own interpretation on a Sci-Fi Film ‘Alien’ by Ridley Scott. Both of us thought we should create some kind of arm piece. Grant, being more experienced in electronics, designed the upper arm which consisted of small LEDs, a small rotating satellite dish and hinged parts. This is what I also wanted to learn from him. For me, well I went all out making a silicone corset forearm piece (as I’d never really played with the material before but was very keen to), a prosthetic glove with ribbed tubes and long hinged creepy fingers, all made from latex of course.

As we were both passionate about film, we discussed perhaps making a short film which would be able to present our piece on the body, moving and electronics in operation. For that we would need a storyboard:

My buddy filling in the storyboard

Here are photos from the making of our pieces:

Grant’s upper arm piece in the making. The circular piece with small tubes protruding from (right of picture) is the joint so I can allow movement like bending my elbow.

 

 

 

The satellite Grant made. Also some LED lights you were able to turn off and on.

This sequence of photographs is me attaching my prosthetic latex glove using Pros Aide glue. You can only really glue prosthetics in stages to make sure you have glued it on properly.

Still loose flapping bits of latex.

After repeatedly applying the glue all the latex should be attached to the skin with no loose parts.

Here is the whole of my lower arm piece put on. The fingers are divided into 3 and there are 2 hinged joints on each finger so they can move. The finger tips are square copper wire soldered together and I have created clear latex windows on each so light can pass through.

Below this you can see tubes extending down from the knuckles which are made from latex and copper wire and lastly the piece on the forearm is made from silicone.

The Silicone Piece

I had to create a mould in plaster to cast the silicone in. It is very weird and squishy to touch which I thought went well with the nature of this project.

The Facial Prosthetics

Just experimenting where it looks best. I thought it would look good to exaggerate the cheekbone.

Samples of prosthetics. They kind of look like slugs to me.

Attached only using the prosthetic glue. You can still see that the edges have not been blended with the skin but that comes next.

The beginning of the blending process… but you can see that later!

Here is me and Grant and a few other helpers on the set just setting and cleaning it up.

Day time

Night time

My 20th time trying to put in contacts

Final Make-up

Midnight on the set. So so cold! Kept my dressing gown on as long as possible!

Just altering a wee bit

Final arm in the dark

Movie making in process

One of the Stop Motion pictures

Final scene

Such a good experience. Think we’ll be collaborating again for our final year as I think it is good practice for the future. You can learn a lot from each other and take things a step further. For me, I want to go into Prosthetics as I see it diminishing due to Computer Aided Graphics (CGI). Yes it can be extremely useful for big things but with it, you lose that sense of actually holding and feeling the object as it is all done on computer. Some makers use it because they are just being lazy and it saves time, but some actually use it for good purpose. For instance, in The Matrix when Neo dodges the bullets, that is a good example of well-used CGI.

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Lynx Excite Angel Advert

Wow, Lynx has gone all out with this new Excite Angel Advert played out at Victoria Station, London, where people can actually interact with Lnyx Angels through a Digital Video Billboard.

Angels fall straight from heaven in the digital video board as soon as you set foot inside the ‘Look Up’ marker box on the floor. Next, they begin to virtually interact with whoever entered the box – causing some quite surprised reactions.

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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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Research Project: Lauren Kalman

For this research project, we were asked to research allocated jewellery designers in-depth and create a piece inspired by their work and philosophies. I was given the multi-media and goldsmith artist Lauren Kalman.

Kalman was born in Cleveland Heights, and currently lives and teaches in Providence, Rhode Island. Her mother was a commercial photographer and her father, an industrial designer. Her parents are present in her work – as her objects for the body imply to ergonomics and industrial design.

Her Hard Wear series focuses on the struggle between the unrefined body and the desire for perfection. She believes gold symbolises beauty, purity and immortality because it is an expensive and valuable material. People have been wearing jewellery made of gold to emphasise these qualities and improve their desire for perfection. However, in contrast, Kalman makes the body look UNdesirable through applying gold to the body, highlighting disease and imperfections.

Kalman applies jewellery to the strangest of places, such as the inside corner of the eye, the inner ear and nostril. I believe through placing objects in these awkward places reveals hidden areas of the body. In addition, these jewels cause restriction and sometimes reactions. For instance, blocking one nostril through inserting jewellery makes it more difficult to breathe and the sprouting shape of the object must hurt and graze the nostril when you put it in. The Gold Duct piece, when place, causes you to cry because the gold is just about touching the eye itself and restricting you to blink, thus, drying the eye out.

Are these grillz as cool as pimped up rapper Flava Flav here? Or just gross? As you watch Kalman insert these gold veneers into her mouth, the effect is both intriguing yet repulsive as the veneers cause saliva to drip from her mouth. Imperfections begin to show. Thus, in the ‘Hard Wear’ series, Kalman is conveying the idea that beautiful and valuable materials such as gold and pearls can reveal undesirable qualities and imperfections on the body through distortion.

Blooms, Efflorescence, and Other Dermatological Embellishments 2009


In this series, pins are temporarily pierced into the skin to mimic infectious diseases. However, this temporary nature echoes the temporary visibility of diseases she portrays such as syphilis, warts, herpes, etc, which in time disappears from the skin’s surface, but sadly still lingers within the body. Her inspirations come from common images off the internet and medical resources, this is the reason for the compositions and close-up nature of Kalman’s images – trying to imitate photographs of medical infections.

I believe Kalman is emphasising that until the material of the infection is altered, grotesque becomes immediately beautiful. Even the colour of the embellishments, arrangement and monetary value convey these contrast because they are made of valuable materials, dotted evenly and balanced beautifully yet in the back of you mind you have got to remind yourself these are spots and disease. You may think a blistering rash is disgusting to look at, for example, but as soon as the glistening sores are replaced with lustrous pearls does it transform the appearance completely.

So yeah, from Kalman’s work I decided to take a similar approach but different theme and look at what food does to prevent certain diseases. In particular, I have focused on foods which actually look like the organ they help to protect.

For instance, a sliced carrot looks like the human eye and helps with the function of the eyes, improves vision and prevents infections such as cataracts.

Tomatoes have four chambers and is red just like the heart has four chambers. They can help with blood flow and prevent heart diseases such as coronary heart disease which is the narrowing of arteries.

But what I have taken interest in is the brain. Walnuts have gnarled folds just like the brain and are high in Omega 3 fatty acids which help with the development of the brain, thus, may assist in preventing dementia and brain aging.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia which includes the loss of memory. It leads to the development of protein ‘plaques’ and ‘tangles’ in the brain, resulting in the death of brain cells. So far Scientists are not absolutely sure of what causes Alzheimer’s disease. It could be age, inheritance or genetic factors. No

one is sure.

I took inspiration from Alzheimer’s cells and tried developing veiny shapes and alien-like forms to convey inner body organs and cells. I liked the idea of something growing out of the body like roots of a tree, spindly wrapping tendrils to emphasise a feeling of growth and never letting go. Like Alzheimer’s, it worsens over time and once you have it, you have got it for time.

The cells under a micro-scope were beautiful to look at, yet transmitted a nasty disease. I carried out samples using resin, experimenting with different colours similar to that of Alzheimer’s cells. The colours, to me, looked ultraviolet, like they glowed. Thus, I sampled using bits of UV acrylic and bright pigments to achieve colours I was happy with to give the idea of nuclei and cell-like qualities.

Sensation in this project was important to me. The first thought that came into my head of a nasty growth was something sticky, fleshy, and when touched would remain on your hands as if it was trying to pass onto someone else. Trying to grow and spread. I immediately thought LATEX. It possessed these rubbery-like qualities which would be perfect for what I wanted to achieve. I experimented with colours but preferred the clear stuff as it seemed more cell-like to me.

I attached the resin bits to the latex and created vein-like patterns by cutting holes into the rubber. I experimented with burning to achieve dark crisp sticky edges. The reason why I darkened the latex was because it would create more of a contrast on the skin, but yet retained that transparent quality. The natural latex was too similar to the colour of the skin, it would not be seen in the photographs and would reflect light too much, thus my decision. In addition, the melted latex would stick and feel more repulsive when attached to the skin, when taken off it would leave oil residue on the skin which emphasises the idea of dormant disease.


This is my final piece. I am pleased with the sensation and idea of my piece, however, the colour is not fully to my liking. I tried to find a way to make  the latex UV but the paint was expensive. Hopefully my piece conveys an impression of growth and spreading through the appearance of it placed on the body.

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Addicted to Video Games

I watched a really interesting documentary about video game addiction. Why is it so addictive? What could possibly strive someone to play for hours? How much is too much?

Video Game Addiction

Have you ever even heard of this addiction? Ever thought it was real? Recently I have seen a very interesting Panorama documentary ‘Addicted to Games?’ which investigated youngsters obsessive playing of games, described as an addiction. There was one specific story which stood out the most where 3-month-old baby starved to death whilst their parents are obsessively raising a virtual child online. Last September after a long 12-hour online period the parents returned home to find their daughter dead: http: Korean Girl Starved Online

Symptoms of game addiction are:

  • Feeling irritable, angry and restless when you are not playing video games.
  • Obsessively thinking about video/PC games and playing them whilst doing something else.
  • Spending more and more time playing video games but at the same time feeling extreme guilt.
  • You would rather play games than spend times hanging out with friends.
  • Lying about how long you play video games.

You can even experience physical symptoms like:

  • Migraines – due to the intense concentration needed to play video games one may get painful headaches.
  • Sleep Disorders – may be caused by one thinking about the game constantly thus finding it difficult to sleep, also may be because your brain is being overstimulated.
  • Sore Back – As you play video games one will tend to sit for hours on end in the same position. This is the most common symptom within game users.
  • Eating Problems – One may simply forget to eat because they are so zoned in on the game, they may not want to eat because they don’t want to waste time.
  • Carpel Tunnel Syndrome – caused when the main nerve between the forearm and hand is squeezed or pressed, thus the wrist may become swollen and sore.

We spend over 3 billion pounds on gaming, World of Warcraft has sold more than 12 million worldwide and is the most successful game ever made. Players say that they can begin to substitute the real world with the game world in which they play, thus can have a derogatory effect on your life as it can cause you to lose friends due to the isolation.

“This game is a disease”

–   Leo, 20, Panorama Documentary

Robbie Cooper is a video artist who is interested in facial expressions children make whilst playing video games and watching television. The difference between children watching television to the children playing video games is video games pull you in so much quicker. There was one child who actually did not blink at all because he was so engrossed in the game, thus, caused the loss of his blink reflexes. Personally, Cooper’s outcome is quite disturbing as it conveys how gaming has become such a powerful form of entertainment and how immersed people can get – even to the point of forgetting to blink.

Overall, I think game addiction is so addictive simply due to their design. Whilst playing computer games I feel a great sense of achievement when I gain a point or a ‘new life’, and it is these small wins that keep me hooked to the game. Makes me think ‘I can get further’. Casino gambling acquires a similar tactic, small wins of money keeps them playing. This simple idea of new lives can keep me playing video games for hours without even realising. I am grateful that my parents did not allow me to have a Playstation or else I would probably never see them, thus, believe parents should become more aware of this addiction and consider the effects when buying computer games for their child.





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Talk to Your Jewellery

I have read recently that there is a new device which can actually imprint your voice into a piece of wire. I really like the idea that you can use your own voice to create a piece of jewellery and the way it becomes very personal. In addition, I beliebe it can be a very romantic present for your lover, slyly conveying your emotions to her/him in a piece of jewellery. But in my opinion, the end product does not impress. Just pieces of bent wire, perhaps develop the shapes created into more interesting pieces? Using the line? Increasing the scale?

 

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Wearable Food: Reality and Non-Reality

Sung Yeon Ju was  born in Seoul, Korea 1986 and graduated from Hong IK University in 2010. She has created a beautiful series called ‘Wearable Food’ in which she has produced numerous garments made from food then photographing them.

Starting from top left and along the dress are made of: chives; Lotus root; shrimp; aubergine; red cabbage; leeks; BUBBLEGUM; banana; tomatoes. AMAZING!!!!

In her statement she claims that “Photography has a power to make us believe”, suggesting that a picture, no matter how manipulated it is, we will still think it is real. For example, air-brushed photographs of celebrities make us believe they have no cellulite or wrinkles, however this is never the case. So Yeon Ju’s assertion here is that as time passes – food rots and changes colour and shrivels. But through taking a photograph at the particular moment when the food is fresh, it makes us accept that the dress is unchangeable. But in reality, what really happens? The food on the dress decays therefore does not retain their photographed state – it is not real that food stays fresh forever like in the photo. However, looking at the photograph we feel happiness that this short-lived circumstance could remain.

I love this idea of reality vs non-reality as it makes me think differently of perfect photographs of famous celebs. It cannot be real that you always look perfect. These designs also remind me of Lady Gaga’s meat dress she wore which made you GAG more than craving.

Another artist I would suggest to look at is a guy called Ted Sebarese, he has amazing photography, design and sculpture.

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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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