Tag Archives: sculpture

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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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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Sea Anemone Project

My family are all scuba divers. I love being under the water it’s such a magical place! Feel like a mermaid. It’s brilliant. When I’m under I usually tend to touch things. It’s tempting when there’s colourful little feathery crawlies and wobbly jellies. Once, I got so into it I actually rubbed my face against a sea anemone and it ended up stinging me all over! Ouch. Yes – tip for today: maybe don’t touch things when you haven’t got a clue what it is. Following on from that, I based this project on sea anemones.

They are amazing underwater jellies that possess long wobbly tentacles which wave with the tide. Their colours are vibrant and can usually in groups competing for light just like land plants would do. I really wanted to capture this sense of cluster growth and bright colour, in addition to their strange jelly quality. Here are some of my sketches illustrating their bulbous forms, colour and alien-like features. Be prepared, some of them can be a bit… well, a bit suggestive in shape.

The last picture was my first sample in which I created 3-dimensional crevasses and little hints of colour. I was very pleased with the result as allowed me to think of all kinds of shapes –  the possibilities seemed endless! I even got excited about colour as you will see in my more developed samples below.

Once I got the hang of creating colourful alien-like forms. I tried envisioning pieces on the body. I took inspiration from the designers Lucy Mcrae & Bart Hess and Mi-Mi Moscow. They are both collaborative designers who make creative pieces adorned uniquely on the human form. I like adorning the body in unusual ways because I like morphication and changing the normal shape of the body. Almost like transforming people into underwater creatures themselves. This was my idea.

I wanted to emphasise growth and re-creating the human form. My final outcomes are a mix between final photographs and pieces, aimed to capture unfamiliar shapes and strange alterations to the body.

For my first solution I attached anemone tentacles to the ends of fingers – changing the length and proportion of the fingers to the rest of the body.

Next I created a simple ring with which protrude rather suggestive tentacles. I liked the contrast of the smooth reflective metal to the rubbery matt texture of the latex. The benefits of this ring is you can put on your jacket without worrying about the tentacles breaking off as they are extremely flexible.

Finally I transformed the shape of the back into a kind of extending dorsal fin. Little anemone branches sprout from the surface down the spine as if they were spreading. Long roots stretch across the back to stress this idea of hosting and the ‘taking-over’ of the body.

Next I’ll be looking at making luminescent creatures and incorporating bits of wire to make them look more intricate and delicate. Thanks for checking out some of my work!

http://www.BodyMod.org/flash/mymods.swf

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Creative Paper: Li-Chu Wu

Li-Chu Wu was born in Taipei, Taiwan. She trained in Jewellery Design at Fu Jen Catholic University and graduated in 2006, followed by completing an MA in Jewellery, Silversmithing and Related Products at Birmingham City University in 2009.

Her sculptural jewellery looks nature inspired portrayed by their bulbous organic shapes. I enjoy looking at the lines made by the multiple layers of coloured paper. Wu’s method of placing bold vibrant colours next to one another is effective in making the pieces striking and particularly attractive in appearance. Their value increases when combining the paper with precious materials such as silver, emphasising that these pieces are truly special.

Wu’s intention is to  convey the values of the materials itself. Some of these pieces are small enough to wear and others possibly intended to be displayed as a unique sculpture because I personally could take time observing these pieces individually. The amount of effort put into making each piece in unmeasurable, Wu must take pleasure in “the making” part of design (the repetitive cutting, placing and gluing) because why else would she use these exact processes in every work. I aspire to this and feel similar in when creating my works, the whole repetitive processes such as weaving, beading, soldering I find is very therapeutic and take great enjoyment in doing it.

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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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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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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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Rebecca Barton and Kate MccGwire

Rebecca Barton is a jeweller born in Alton, Illinois in 1985. She focusses mainly on plants in her work to symbolically illustrate a state of being. I love looking at her jewellery. Barton really emphasises the true beauty and vulnerability of nature through intricate details and detailed portrayals.  I like her use of colour as it creates visual interest and stands out on the wearer.

“deals with a plant that has been uprooted and is therefore vulnerable,” she says. “However, the emotion of the flytrap is one of seduction in order to attract and allure prey; prey that it will use for nourishment and strength.”

(Trapped Neckpiece)

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Kate MccGwire is a little different to Barton. MccGwire was born in Norwich, 1964, the majority of her work is sculpture. She gathers materials from various sources over a period of months, even years. I look in awe at her pieces. She works great with feathers and layer them till they produce lovely flowing, sensuous forms. The viewers’ eye is drawn into the work through the use of continuous rhythmic shapes and the use of unusual material which some observers may find a little disturbing.

as  illustr

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First Year Jewellery Block

We were allowed to choose 2 two week blocks at the end of First Year. I chose Jewellery as my first block.

We were told to go out and look at form, line etc, working in our sketchbooks. Initially I drew architecture and statues but didn’t find inspiration. So I looked outside windows and saw ivy growing on walls. Thus took nature as my inspiration. I created little 3D paper models and stuck them in my sketchbook.

(small dried flowers)


(under part of pine cone)


(Small paper models inspired from drawings)

My drawings of the pine cone reminded me of bird beaks, thus made me immediately think of making a bird nest. I used ivy (as I’d been drawing it previously) and began wrapping it into a bowl/nest shape. I wanted to incorperate a contrast of materials as it creates visual interest. Using wire, I wrapped it round parts of the vines of the nest, it was a nice contrast of textural wood against a shiny surface which captures your eye. The paper beak models were then placed into the centre of the nest as if they were little chicks tweeting for food.

 

 

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Vessel Project

Yay! Just been spending four weeks on my vessel project. The brief was to create a vessel out of metal using at least one texture. We had to make at least 10 metal samples by the end of the first week.  My vessel relates to the vessels inside your body. Blood vessels. I actually bought a heart from the butcher to dissect, photograph and sketch from. Very interesting… I’m terribly squeemish as well! I focussed on the textures and shapes. There is a type of vessel in the heart called the mitral valve, it is a dual-flap which controls the flow of blood in and out of the heart. There are tiny branch-like tendons attached to the flap. I took sketches of this valve and developed them as I liked the delicate and intricate lines the tendons possessed.

 

 

 

I then thought of how the heart is surrounded and protected by a rib cage and lungs. The lungs have intricate tree-like bronchioles that look delicate and fragile. I wanted to convey this idea of ‘protection’ and ‘fragility’ in my piece.

 

 

So for my final piece I wanted to enclose the heart in some kind of cage. A lung cage. I saw pierced four flaps of copper – took ages! Oxidised the flaps and sprayed clear laquer. For the heart pendant I fly pressed a small heart, hammered it to create more texture, oxidised it, rubbed red acrylic paint into it and sprayed clear laquer to make it all shiny.


There is one hinged flap which makes it easier to take out the pendant inside. The cords are red and blue for a reason – because in biology books and pictures for organs etc they colour code  the vein and artery so you don’t get confused. The veins are coded blue and the arteries – red.

(Above picture: with the flap hinged close – protected)

I also like the shadows the cage produce, creating more visual impact.

I really enjoyed this project, it let us experiment on different materials and techniques. We learnt how to hinge, score, oxidise and much more through a series of work shop tutorials. I am pleased with my final piece as it makes viewers aware that our hearts are important to us. We need to keep it healthy and ‘protect’ it from bad foods and substances. If we didn’t no blood would be pumped throughout our body’s thus the cells would get no oxygen and we’d die.

 

 

 

 

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