Tag Archives: rubber

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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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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Stylish Eco-Designers: Campana, Yoshioka, Liddle and Miller

Throughout my summer holidays I have been pondering about what I could focus my jewellery upon for my 3rd year of Jewellery. Who do I want to be? How can I create an identity for myself?

I have been looking at some local designers from Orkney (Sheila Fleet, Ortak, etc) to get a better understanding of who their identities are. I can particularly remember talking to Sheila Fleet and her mentioning to look at local materials and which one’s prices are falling. This subject of price remained with me. I want my jewellery to be affordable and as eco-friendly as possible. So to spark my imagination I looked up some Eco-designs just to see how far you really can go with being green.

Fernando and Humberto Campana are brilliant Eco-Designers who love making use of off-cuts like carpet, plastic and rubber which would normally go into landfill. Look how they transform rubbish into crazy new art!

It’s like a celebration of normal everyday materials which would never be appreciated otherwise! Abandoned scraps are re-born. In addition, there would be little energy put into making these chairs which supports the idea of eco-friendliness.

Tokujin Yoshioka, from Japan, is another designer who creates chairs entirely out of paper. Amazing! The structural strength derives purely from the cortena folds of the paper itself.

These chairs can even be flat-packed as they open up just like traditional Chinese lanterns. Yoshioka has created the seat by simply sitting on the cortena-folded paper and sculpting the form around him – the paper gets squashed and crumples until it settles into a quite strong seat for the sitter. The materials are very lightweight making it easier for the movement of furniture and is completely recyclable.

Richard Liddle transforms your everyday high-density polyethylene (HDPE) milk bottle into an RD4S chair. A chair with an expression of new born waste. Liddle makes these chairs by melting and extruding the flake form recyclate (milk bottles) and wraps the ribbons of plastic around moulds of chairs. The outcome is a lightweight and strong chair that is unique and is a fraction of the energy that would be used in everyday chairs.

Corrugated cardboard is the recyclable material which Giles Miller is famous for using. He cuts strips of cardboard using a CNC machine (a computer numerical control machine) and the beautiful floral shapes are made by using a fret saw (used by Jewellers to achieve tight curves etc). He creates two shades and inserts them into one another’s gaps with the corrugations aligned in opposite directions to achieve contrasting textures. Through Miller’s use of cheap and ordinary materials he has excelled and given cardboard new life!

Who knew how much creativity can spark from boring in-expensive materials. They have been given new life and have been saved from being tipped into landfill. I hope to bring this idea of recycling into some of my work. Perhaps asking Tescos what their biggest waste product is and then using it to my advantage.

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