Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Crazy !

I have a lot of stuff to post about....I have been majorly majorly busy the past two weeks with Visualyse and work for my course - this week being the most mad ! I shall make some posts over the Easter holidays I suspect ! Visualyse is tomorrow ! Ahhhhhhh ! That came round crazily fast - scary stuff !

Monday, 22 March 2010


Things are really coming together for Visualyse now ! I’m getting excited, but there’s still quite a lot to do and it’s a week on Wednesday !!!  Today we had a meeting with all the artists who want to exhibit work to work out where the work will be shown in the space and also how it will be displayed. Although not all the people who originally were interested turned up there was quite a few new faces which made up for it and most importantly we have a brilliant and definite variety of different works to exhibit on the night ! Tomorrow we have quite an important 2nd meeting with Matt – who will basically tell us if we can exhibit things in a certain way and if we can’t how we will get around it ! I’m quite worried about this meeting as I’m sure there will be things which we can’t do which we have planned to – however I’m hoping there will be ways around this ! It’s all coming together now which I’m so glad about – I just hope people turn up on the night now ! So if you haven’t already, invite all your friends and spread the word using our face book events page (click here to be taken to it !) =) ! I hate trying to promote things, however it has to be done in order for people to here about the event !

Apart from organising Visualyse I have all my work to finish and finalise before finishing for Easter ! Assessment isn’t until after Easter, however because I’m going home I really need to finish everything as I can’t just go into the studio or the print-making workshops ! This means I have just under two weeks left ! I’m trying to get things together with my prints at the moment. Things seem to be working out well and I think I’m getting somewhere with them however I can’t seem to get things straight ! It’s a pretty big problem at the moment which I need to overcome – especially if I want to display a “final” print ! I’ll produce another post in the near future to evaluate and discuss these prints in more detail ! Printing aside, I also need to figure out what I am doing with my boxes which are displaying the found object sculptures. I have also started putting together a few pages out of my sketchbook which I need to start working on as well(see the post below this!) So alot to get done in these next two weeks as well as sorting out Visualyse for next Wednesday ! Hectic times !

Sketchbook Drawings



These are a few pages out of my “visual” sketchbook. I decided to produce some drawings of the sculptures I had made. I’m pretty happy with what I have produced – the newsprint is a really nice background for drawing onto – especially these muted, more subtle coloured pieces of newsprint. I was a bit weary of ripping them out my sketchbook at first, however I think they can be made into something more thank just a sketchbook page if worked into and developed more. The drawings need to be repositioned in order for them to work as a series I think. Therefore I will crop them out and position them in a more interesting composition. I can also experiment with the backgrounds of what they will be positioned on – possibly sections of the surrounding pages which have been cut out, some prints which I have produced, maybe even some objects them selves.



This is the kind of thing I’m thinking of. Obviously it wont be as precise as it wont be made up on Photoshop. I’m still not sure what to do though – it may work quite nicely if I develop it properly and work into the drawings more. I might produce another drawing to replace the one on the left as it’s not as noticeable as the other two drawings.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Soft Ground Etching

I decided to produce another etching plate to print and use as a bottom layer to go underneath my woodcut prints. For this plate I wanted to use some of the found objects to imprint into a soft ground – as this is a lot more direct than drawing from the objects or trying to replicate certain textures found on them (e.g. rust !). Obviously I had to use objects which would be OK going through the press so most of the objects I used were mainly string, laces, fishing rope etc. However I didn’t mind this too much as some really interesting patterns and shapes are created when they are placed on top of each other.




I can’t remember if this was before I had put it in the acid. I think it may be after I had put it in the acid for 5 minutes before stopping out any parts – to see which areas were going to suffer the most biting into from the acid so I knew which areas would be best to stop out. You can see on the close up images above the areas of silver – this is were the ground hasn’t been so strong so the acid has bitten through it. If I was to leave these areas without stopping them out the acid would bite further into the plate and when printed these areas would be very dark. I decided to stop out some of these areas and then put it back into the acid for 15 minutes. Once I had got the plate out of the acid and dried it I looked at the plate to see where the acid had bitten into deeper and then decided what parts to stop out before putting it in the acid again. There are parts which I would like pretty dark and parts which I don’t really want too dark. I don’t really want the background too dark so I decided to stop out some areas surrounding the imprints from the objects which were already bitten into quite strongly. I wanted some of the imprints from the objects to be dark and some to be lighter – really I didn’t mind which were and which were not just as long as there is an even distribution between dark and light imprints from the objects in the resulting prints from the plate. Below are some pictures of the plate with areas I stopped out.


P3180269  P3180272 P3180270 P3180271 P3180273 

You can get so carried away stopping out ! Originally I was just going to stop out parts that the acid had bitten into quite strongly already,  however I then also stopped out some imprints from the objects to get an even distribution of tones between them. After stopping out the areas I wanted to I then put the plate back into the acid for a further 10 minutes. After this the areas exposed to the acid on the plate were bitten into pretty deeply so I decided to leave it there. I then washed the ground off the plate and produced some prints – shown below.



I’m pretty impressed with how the first print turned out. I could probably work into areas of the plate more to make it more interesting, however I’m pretty happy with this as it is !   I decided to produce a colour print as well just to see how the plate printed in colour. Unfortunately I put too much Vaseline in the colour ink and when taking the ink off the plate a lot of it also came out of the bitten into areas as well. This resulted in the print not being as good as it could be. There are some areas not printed as strong as others, with a lot it not printed very strongly. However I’m quite glad this happened now and not when I was trying to produce a more final print as I now know not to use as much Vaseline ! For some reason I quite like this print though, just the accidental marks seem to make it quite interesting

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          P3180279 P3180281

Next week I am going to spend solely print-making, experimenting with chine-collé and different layers using the different wood cuts and etching plates I have produced. I also want to experiment with colour. In preparation for these prints I produced some wood-cut prints on Friday onto the same tissue paper I used last time I experimented with chine-collé. I made similar prints with the wood-cuts to the last ones I made however I also tried etching onto the tissue paper – which produced quite a nice result ! Hopefully next week I should get some quite nice prints done, especially with the large pile of prints I have on tissue paper ready to chine-collé.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Cantina Exhibition


I forgot how close this exhibition was when I signed up to be part of it ! Anyway I decided to work more on my Yellow Pages sculpture and make some others to go with it ! Mainly because I have nothing else I could actually show and I do really like this piece of work.

Yesterday I dedicated my time to making more sculptures and this went down pretty well as I ended up producing 4 other ones ! 2 medium sized and 2 small – the small ones constructed from using half a yellow page instead of the full ones. To begin with I had no idea how I would display the sculpture (or even if I would produce any more to go with it !) however I thought of the idea of suspending them from above. My flat mates mentioned that the original sculpture I produced would be good as a light and this is what sparked the idea of hanging the sculpture / producing more to be suspended with it.

Although I produced 4 more sculptures yesterday I only hung them all today. Yesterday I played around a bit with hanging the ones I produced in the morning – this was interesting ! Before yesterday I had no clue of how I could actually hang them – I knew I wanted to use fishing wire but how this was going to be attached I had no idea ! Anyway I decided to stitch through the top of the sculptures and this seemed to work pretty well !


Thankfully and to my surprise they were still there hanging this morning! Hanging the few up I produced yesterday morning allowed me to get an idea of how many would look good together and also what size they should be ! The one on the left obviously needed more adding to it – however I liked the size of it and this is what sparked me to produce two sculptures using half a yellow page rather than a full one ! I thought 5 would be a good number – partly because I had no time to make any more but I think 5 is not too many / not to little !


I really think the sculptures look best when viewed from underneath / down low. In the cantina I am expecting to be able to hand them higher up so the tops of sculptures aren’t as visible. Although I don’t mind the sculptures not being completely round– I think they would look better when hung higher.

After deciding to produce two smaller sculptures I came in today and experimented hanging them in different positions


This is before I worked more onto the top left sculpture – seeing them all together definitely confirmed it needed some more pages – it looked too odd ! At first I wanted to work more onto the others as well so there wasn't such a flat top however I like the random wavy shapes each one has at the top and I think if I was to work more onto them they would become too spherical and uninteresting.


I do like it better with more pages added, however I did like the size differences before adding the pages ! It may just be the composition though – because in this picture it is slightly altered ! I think I will move the one currently furthest left – back over to were it was before I added to it.

When I display them in the cantina I also think I will try and display them overlapping each other more as hopefully with the higher elevation I will be able to play around with the heights them and this will allow some to be above / below each other etc – rather than more or less just next to each other horizontally. (Quite hard to describe ! ) Now I also need to come up with a name for my installation piece, and possibly a piece of text to go with them ! I don’t want people to think their just pretty little sculptures made for the sake of it. The whole idea comes from disregarding everyday objects for what they are and simply taking them for granted, not looking at them twice. I do have an explanation for this piece of work in my head – it’s just getting it out and writing it down that's the hard part !

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Boxes !

It was a bit silly missing my wood workshop induction ! However I did feel pretty ill and it was probably a good idea I didn’t use any dangerous machinery that day ! Anyway it didn’t seem to matter too much that I missed it as when I went down to Alan to ask about how to create these boxes for my sculptures he was very helpful and showed me everything I needed to do ! I didn’t realise how complicated it would be to make some boxes however ! When coming up with measurements / sizes for the different pieces of wood I needed I had to take into consideration the thickness of the wood etc ! This was a really good exercise  though and I’m glad Alan didn’t just quickly work it out for me as I feel now I could make frames / boxes with no trouble at all and I’m sure I will need to further on in my course / practice ! After I had decided how big I wanted each box and how I was going to put it together I then cut out all the pieces of wood using the band saw. I then constructed the boxes using wood glue / pins as they were only pretty small so didn’t need anything more substantial !

Now that I have made them I’m unsure what I want to do with them. I will decorate them in some way I’m just unsure on how to. They cannot be too heavily decorated as this will distract the eye from the sculptures themselves. One of the main reasons for presenting the found object sculptures in this way is to give them more significance as an actual piece of art – so they can be admired for the things that they are. Normally the objects would be just dismissed and not given a second glance. Although I have altered the objects and combined them with others to give them more visual appeal, I still think they need to be displayed in a more enhanced way to give them more presence and importance as things of beauty in their own right.

This is the problem when working in different ways. I don’t like my work to be separate. I like to combine the different ways in which I have been working. In the past this has seemed to produce some good results, however I’m unsure if combining the print pieces with the sculptures will be successful. I don’t want to try too hard to combine them just for the sake of thinking I have to, to have a final result for this project. I understand that there will always be many outcomes to a project – it’s just usually aspects from each different area I have worked in normally interweave / combine to produce a more rounded and broad end result. I don’t like how separate the printmaking work I have been producing is so different from the sculptural things I have been working on and even the drawings in my sketchbook for that matter !

I do worry too much about things like this – and things in general for that matter ! I think it would be a good idea to take everything down off my studio wall (the stuff I put up at the start for inspiration) and then start putting up the work I have been producing so I can really look at it and see were I can go from there. I know you learn new processes and techniques all the time but I don’t think I will learn anything too drastically new now that will make me want to combine that also into my work so hopefully it should now be easier to develop on what I have been doing. Rather than thinking I can develop on it then all of a sudden learn a whole new technique / process to complicate things more ! See below for the boxes I made – this was just after they were made, hence the glue around the edges!



I think I will probably end up making another sculpture just to make the series a 5 rather than a 4 ! 


As I mentioned previously I was going to produce some prints using the woodcut prints I made on tissue paper last week using the process of chine colle. On Monday Arthur gave me a mini demonstration on how exactly to work in this way. I first inked up my etching plate and prepared some fresh paper. I then positioned the etching plate on the press (facing upwards). Using photo-mount I then sprayed one of the woodcut prints I had made (on the back) and positioned it onto the plate with the sticky side facing upwards. The paper was then placed over the top and put through the press. Arthur assisted me a lot with my first print which is why it is so straight ! However my second print I produced alone (which is why its not straight at all ! ) This is something which I think takes practice – even though it’s such a simple thing ! Below are the two prints I have produced so far using this technique.




When I produced my first print I was pretty impressed with the results. Arthur seemed really keen on the print as well. I just wasn’t sure about the colour ! This is why on my second print I wanted to try something a bit less subtle – something a bit more strong ! I mixed a rusty brown / orange colour and made my second print with this colour. The colours work better in the second print (in my opinion) – It’s just a shame that I never got it straight ! I think it must have been when I was placing the paper over the plate / woodcut print that things got a bit messed up. The colours of both prints in the second one are pretty similar but it is this worn / weathered look I really like and it’s hard to get two different colours that are not similar when trying to achieve this kind of look.

I had another tutorial yesterday and I was speaking to Arthur about the prints. He was much more enthusiastic about the first print. He said how he liked the way the blue-ish grey colour in the first print was visible over the top of the woodcut print. I do like this as well – I’m just a bit unsure of the blue tone – maybe if it was more grey it would appeal to me more.  In the second print because the colours are too similar you cannot really see the etching print over the woodcut print (only in the white areas). I think if I produce more prints in this way I will take this factor into consideration ! Another thing I will take into consideration is the colour of paper – I have always just thought of printing on white – but using the tan coloured paper due to Arthurs input really opened my eyes to how much the colour of paper can make such a difference to a print !

During my tutorial we spoke of were I was going to go from here. Each week I seem to learn more techniques and processes and even though each time I write on this blog I say its time to take a step back and look at everything I think now it really is ! I mentioned to Arthur how at the beginning of the project I wanted to do more sculptural things and how although I have really enjoyed learning the different print processes I’m unsure if this was the way I would of gone. I spoke again about the idea of making boxes for the sculptures I made from some of the objects I found – and he said I should go and do this before thinking about were to go next – also because the workshop is starting to get a lot busier with assessments coming up etc ! The only problem is – I want to bring both the sculptures / photographs / drawings / prints together. Arthur did mention about decorating the boxes but I just don’t know how I’d go about this at the moment ! I’m going to write a new post about this anyway. I made the boxes yesterday and I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out / the fact I actually made them all in a day without having been in the workshop at all before yesterday !

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Bringing everything together

I feel like I haven’t stopped ! I have been organising “VISUALYSE” - a collective art night for everyone at DoJ  along with a girl from time based art (Sylvia) which has involved a lot of input lately – it’s been very stressful but I think the night should be worth it as its looking like it will be pretty awesome ! Artists / designers from the college shall be displaying work on the night as well as there being a great line up of music (DJ’s and acoustics - all students at DoJ). There were also be VJ’s who will be generating experimental visuals to accompany the music, as well as a chill out tent featuring films from DoJ artists and large boards for live art to be produced on the night ! Check out the link to the events page – VISUALYSE !

So along with trying to bring everything together and finalise things for Visualyse I also need to bring all my different techniques and ideas together so I can create some interesting works ! I had another tutorial today which went pretty well and got some ideas rolling. I plan to produce some woodcut prints tomorrow on some Japanese tissue paper which I will then chine colle onto my existing etching prints. I plan to build up layers using the large etching prints as a basis through collage, drawing and reprinting over them. Once I have produced some of these works I will then look at how I can incorporate the sculptures produced from found objects into them. I tried placing some of the sculptures I have created, directly onto the large etching print just to see how it looked – and it seemed to work pretty well ! Another possibility is to create frames / boxes to display the sculptures in with prints covering the boxes – or even making paper boxes / frames using the prints to display the sculptures in ! I shall post some pics up once I start making the collage / print pieces !

Monday, 1 March 2010

Secret Location !

I was taken around a secret abandoned building today ! I can’t say were it was ……as I’ve been told not to haha ! But it was amazing ! It’s so perfect for my project ! There is so much I can collect and photograph within it ! I’m planning on going on a big scavenger hunt there soon and collecting lots of stuff that I can use to make more sculptures !  There was also lots of nice textures and patterns I found there along with interesting objects that I wouldn't be able to move but could photograph ! Below are just a few pictures I took today at the secret building !





I found just even walking around this building so inspiring. There was so much there that related to my project ! Firstly the building itself is something that was found by one of my friends…and then all of the found and hidden beauty that’s just been abandoned and left ! The lighting in there was amazing – especially on such a nice day like today. Because some lights were not working natural light from other rooms poured into the hallways and some rooms were more brightly lit than others depending on the dirtiness of the windows – with the more dirty windows causing  more subtle and diffused lighting. I think my next visit there will be even more beneficial – I will be able to collect discarded objects which I can use in new sculptures and get some nice photo’s using my tripod. Hopefully I can get back there tomorrow but we shall see !

Found Object Sculptures

These are some of the small sculptures I made using found objects I have collected. I need to collect some more objects I think as it’s started to get to the point were I don’t know what I could make using the objects remaining on my desk ! I really enjoyed creating these…..that process of selecting different random objects to put together and making them work with each other. In a normal situation the objects used in conjunction with each other in the sculptures I have created wouldn't be seen together. I think this is what makes them interesting !




Some close ups………