Thursday November 17, 2016
Today was the first day we were introduced to the mould making process, and it was great! We were first separated into two groups and our group went downstairs to the casting workshop first. There, we were shown how to make a mould of a cylinder out of plaster. To be honest, I was really confused on how the shape would end up hollow, so that was a little confusing. We added a little bit of wallpaper to the cylinder to make a little pattern which was really cool. Our group focused on getting a perfect mould, and we did! Knock on wood that the rest of the project will be perfect too. I wore my nice, brand new shoes today because I forgot we were casting, so I know from now on to wear old things to this workshop. Anyways, after lunch we came back up to the "designy" room and had a series of activities with Georgia. To be perfectly honest I really didn't like any of them because they seemed forced, and I work best when I can do my own personal research. Also I was not a fan of group dynamics and got really irritated several times. Anyways I still participated and stuff because I do see how these kinds of activities help us, I just didn't like it.
Monday November 21, 2016
Today, nothing really happened. We were with Kathleen, which was great. We had a slip casting demo and thats where I finally figured out that to make the object from the mould hollow YOU POUR OUT THE SLIP! How crazy! I really made everything in my head more complicated! Basically after having made your mould and let it dry, you pour slip into it and fill it consistently to the top. Then you wait 10-20 minutes, depending on how thick you want your object, how thin the slip is and how wet your mould is (if it has been used before). Then you pour out the slip into a plastic bowl and put the slip back into the machine that makes/recycles it, and you let your mould do the drying out upside down, and at an angle. I was baffled by this and thought it was so clever! So yeah, that was the highlight of the day! After lunch, we came back into the room and talked some more about process, blah blah blah, and then did some design work. I finally agreed on a design for my bowl that would at the same time have a more ergonomic feel to it, and let you hold your spoon more easily. We are casting on Thursday, and I can't wait!
Tuesday November 22, 2016
Today I was not here in the morning when Tom took the class out to see a museum since I was at the doctor's. I will go visit it by myself later this week. Anyways I came in this afternoon and it was not helpful at all. I thought we were going to do some kind of activity but it turns out it was independent work, and some kind of UCAS help afternoon. I decided to look at the moulds and draw them so that I would have an idea of what I could cast later this week. It turns out that to make a bowl, you just need a one part mould. You pour some slip into it, let it dry, pour it back out and then pull the mould out. Who knew!!??
Thursday November 24, 2016
Today was by far the best day I have ever had. It was so much fun I am seriously considering focusing more on ceramics next year at Goldsmiths. First of all, the fact that we were trusted with the materials was great. Whenever I used to do pottery in at my old school, they would always make us feel like we were little kids and that we didn't know anything about art. I talked a few times with kathleen and she really liked my sketchbook pages, which is always a good thing. Today I also made a prototype of my final bowl. I tried a few times but the bowl was too dry for me to pinch it so it ended up breaking literally everywhere. What a waste of time! But I now know that I need to take out the bowl from the mould wayyyy early so that I can morph it and pinch it. I also accidentally made the bottom concave when I took my prototype out, and honestly I am seriously considering keeping that shape in my final soup bowl. It just makes it look so modern. After doing a few trials, I ended up with my final prototype, which is kind of bumpy and lumpy everywhere but I know what I am going to do in the future. I will come in tomorrow to get an extra day alone in the workshop so I won't be stressed on Monday.
Friday November 25, 2016
Today was the most satisfying day ever. Apart from eating the best soup, I made a really nice final model. I came into the workshop around 11:30-ish and started working right off the bat. Like an idiot, I wore my nice nikes again because I forgot, and ended up getting a drop of slip right on the toe section. I'll just wait until it dries and then scrape it off so I don't get it deep into the mesh. Anyways that has nothing to do with anything. So, I made two bowls out of the moulds that were available, and poured slip at the same time into both like an idiot again. I didn't think of the fact that I would have to take them out and pinch them one after the other, so one was going to be the right dryness and the other will sit another 5-10 minutes, therefore being too dry to pinch. Anyways, I tried to work quickly and got the first one really well pinched. It didn't crack or anything. Since I kept the ledge on it, I turned it upside down and pushed a little on the base to make it concave (or convex depending on which angle you look at it). As it was drying, I tried to pull the other one out but the ledge broke, so I ended up with a nice smooth bowl with no edge. I decided it could be another version of the design and just went with it. I pinched it the way I wanted it and made the bottom concave. I then went for lunch and let them dry and came back to sand them down. I spent quite a bit of time sanding them and they look really nice and smooth! Off to the kiln! See you monday!
Monday November 28, 2016
Today was kind of all over the place. I had finished all my bowls when I came in on Friday so I just made a cute little square mug in the morning for my mom or whatever. I thought I could give it to someone as a christmas present. When I was done I talked to Kathleen a little and she suggested that I make another bowl and try something different. By that time it was half an hour to lunch so I said I would do it after lunch. TO MY SURPRISE..... There was literally no more slip left when we came back to lunch. None. So I decided to just keep the bowls I had made as my final ones. I will now focus on my Design sheets and my sketchbook. I think I want to incorporate little pieces of metal and cork in my final bowls.
Tuesday November 29, 2016
Today was not very productive, until the end. In the morning, we did not much.... just a little bit of drawing and planning for my A2 sheets. I picked up the stuff that I had made earlier that week from the shelves. They are finally fired wohoo! And they look awesome. Now I just need to figure out if I want to paint anything on them. I'm thinking a "dipped look" like it's been dropped halfway into a big bucket of paint. Obviously I wouldn't make it like that but I feel like it would be cool. I'm also thinking about having a few colours on each... kind of like a thin gay flag around but I don't want it to look tacky. I am also thinking of making them pastel colours bowls cause who wouldn't want that!! Anyways I'm going to think about that some more tomorrow and tonight while I babysit. I need to buy some spray that makes it glossy. In the afternoon, we walked over to covent Garden to a gallery called Aram galeries. It was the most beautiful thing ever! I loved seeing all the chairs and everything but I didn't think the joints exhibit was that clarifying for me... we'll see later.
Thursday December 1, 2016
Today we picked up our object that we had made during the past week from the kiln. My whole shoebox is filled with little ceramics things that are quite cute. After that, we came back and the kids from the BA Product Design came to talk to us. In all honesty, they did not sound very enthusiastic about the course. They all had smiles on but they literally just said it was hard and there were a lot of constraints, not only with materials but with ideas. There might be a little gap between the student review tables and what they said. Anyways after that, we did a little activity where we looked at the objects we had just made and we drew them in different views and perspectives. But this next part was even better. We looked at our objects and had to make ten different versions adding the material we had given. If anyone is reading this, please make sure the next generation of foundation student in 3DDA do this because it was more helpful than all the guest lectures we had combined. There was one batch of 5 different ideas where we made different versions using wood, and one batch of 5 where we were given a word like "useful" and had to add a piece that fulfilled that word using other kinds of materials. I think those 20 minutes were very useful and I will definitely use that technique in the future! Then the head of product Design came to talk to us in the afternoon too.
Monday December 5, 2016
Today was super interesting. We started off by having a morning lecture with the head of the BA Ceramics Programme. At least I think he is. Anyways he was great, and even if I am really not interested in coming to CSM for a full bachelors, he had a lot of good insight into the reasons behind why they make the programme the way they make it. I also had a chat with him and Kathleen about Goldsmiths and their Design programme. I honestly fell in love with Goldsmiths the second I landed on their website, and I've never changed my mind about it. The only thing is I do recognise the importance of listening to others and their opinions about courses because it does make a difference. Nevertheless, I think the way I think and work fits best into the course Goldsmiths offers more than the BA Ceramics and BA Product Design here at CSM. Before you fail me because I am favouring another course over yours, let me quickly explain the one factor that makes an enormous, immense and ginormous difference for me. The fact that you can flip your entire idea around and start in a new direction instantly. Goldsmiths offers a Bachelor of Arts in DESIGN, which means that ceramics, textiles, graphic, industrial, product ect. all fall under that umbrella. That means that I can specialise in ceramics if I want to or just flip flop around to different types of Design while still fullfilling the brief. Obviously they aren't going to say "do whatever you want and have fun" but it does allow a lot more flexibility than what CSM does. If I were dead set on becoming a ceramist, I would have jumped straight into the BA Ceramics at CSM. But since I'm still young and need to move constantly, Goldsmiths is a better option. Ok now, back on track to the reflection for today!
After the morning lecture, we obviously had lunch (sorry Kathleen I was a little late) and then came into the workshops to work on our project. I was outside the casting workshop, sanding and spray painting and I think I got frostbite. I couldn't feel my toes, but that only comes second to Design doesn't it? Anyways I got a lot done this afternoon. I started by sanding down my three bowls. I forgot to dip them in water first, like an idiot, so I swallowed a kilo of little particles. I'll never do that again! Then I wanted to add a dab of colour to the bowls because I wanted them to be simple but at the same time joyful and playful. I settled on one being green/blue, one being yellow/orange and one being purple/pink. I think that it really makes them pop! I had bought some cork and a glossy varnish for my bowls this weekend at Paperchase. So, I tried to varnish the three bowls before I put the cork on because it would be too complicated... The problem is the clay soaked in all the varnish, so it just turned it a weird light skin colour instead of keeping it white and glossy. What an idiot I am! But weirdly, I really, really liked how it turned out since only the colours I had added at the bottom became glossy. So imagine an earthtone bowl that's matt, with a glossy colourful inside. We'll see what happens tomorrow. I should add on the cork and the metal piece! I'm kind of pumped for that, cause I think it will look super cool. Also I broke my phone today, great.
Tuesday December 6, 2016
Today I focused on adding the extra materials. I had brought in cork yesterday, which I now despise, and continued to work with it today. I basically did that the entire day, and also fixed one of my broken bowls on the side. I tried to fix it with the poly-whatever-it's-called thing and that did not work at all. So then I tried putting some glue on it with a glue-gun, which worked. However, it was really, really messy and looked terrible. I tried to cut the excess with an exactoknife, but then that took off the glue in between the broken pieces, so it just popped off again. I was so mad after that I took a break for lunch. Then I came back and with Pablo's fabulous superglue, I glued the two pieces together. Then with the poly-whatever-it's-called thing, I made it seamless and it looks sick now, you can't see anything. I waited for it to dry, and then sanded it to the thickness of my bowl. You really, really cannot see the seam, I am not kidding. So that was a successful, long afternoon. We then had a mini crit with Tom, which was nice because I hadn't talked my idea through with the whole class, only with my friends and family. After that I went home and finished off some details. First I painted the bowls a grey-ish/beige-ish light colour because I did not like the whiteness of the bowl. That way, the colours pop more and it will distinguish my bowls from other people's white ceramics during the final crit. So now my bowls look SICK! I also made the coloured flashy paint inside look a little bit more clean by basically painting over a good portion of it. Instead of being an unfinished circle, its now a sharp small moon-like dab of colour, which really pops out and makes it fun. Finally, I braided three separate braids from some string I found in the classroom, and then braided those braids again together to make a nice, intricate base from one of my bowls. I then wrapped that at the bottom of it and glued it down, so now it has a knitted base. I also added a bit of yarn around one of my broken bowls to make it seem intentional (but shhhhhh it was a mistake). In total, I ended up with integrating 4 different materials, and making a series of soup bowls that are very different to each other, but also tie into a nice whole. Cool!
Thursday December 8, 2016
Today was our one day coat hook project. I had previously went to the second hand store next to the CSM campus in Archway and found a box of CD's which I thought had really, really nice colours. I decided to use that as my material, but I did bring along an extra fork, knife, spoon and wine glass just in case something went wrong. We started off the day with a nice little lecture that basically covered everything we were going to do that day. Then we literally just dove into the making part.
I started off by drawing out a few ideas, but I really didn't know what a CD was made out of, or how it would behave when I was cutting it. So I decided to improvise and go to the workshop. There, I asked one of the workshop workers people if I was allowed to use the band saw to cut my CDs. He suggested that we try cutting it by hand to see what it was made out of, because he didn't know either. So we broke one CD in half and I was honestly in awe. A CD is basically two sheets of plastic stuck together, one transparent and one opaque. The transparent one has some kind of ink on it so later when I put UHU glue on it, it turned it pink instead of purple. Anyways the colours were insanely beautiful! It was this kind of blue/purple holographic shinny material. The only problem is that these CD's were quite flimsy so it was hard for me to find a simple design that looked appealing, valorised the CD's qualities but at the same time held up a very heavy winter coat.
After we had all broken up for lunch, I met with Kathleen who told me to throw everything I had done in the morning away and start over. I understand the need for bluntness when time is restricted to I did exactly that. We brainstormed on how to use what I had brought in, and finally chose the old knife for its rustic qualities. I really wanted to keep the blade because of a few reasons. The first being that It was part of the knife and without it, it would just be an old piece of wood. The second was that I liked the aggressive qualities about it. I think that no one in the class did something with such an abrasive material. The last reason, and the most technical one was that it was a very, very strong piece of steel from Japan, which according to the guy from the metal shop, would be very hard to cut. Anyways I took Kathleen's advice and went into the workshops with an hour left. I really, really liked the end product and honestly think it was much better than what I would have obtained with the CDs. I ended up splitting the old wood accidentally when I put in the copper plated rod at the bottom. So I just decided to weather down an old piece of copper and wrap it at the bottom, which I thought looked really cool. The workshop guy and I also figured out how to drill a hole in the steel blade, which looked badass. I also wanted to work with weathered, old copper because it brought out the rustic qualities of the brass already in the knife. I am quite proud of what I accomplished today.
Child / Small Change / Utility Project
Thursday January 5, 2017
Today was our first day back in class. It was a lot of fun to be back, but it was quite challenging to get back into the groove. I spent my two wonderful weeks in Oman and in Dubai. We got to go diving with enormous turtles an hour off the shores of muscat. I was so excited to tan, but the sun disagreed with me and heavy fog engulfed Dubai every morning. So I sat and researched instead. For christmas, we had about two dozen oysters that I had to shuck myself of course! After that my father told me to throw the shells away when we were done eating and that gave me an idea; why don't I do something with oyster shells? Instead of throwing them out I put all of them in a plastic bag and left them outside in hopes of cleaning them later. The next morning, the bag was filled with little tiny flies and we ended up throwing the whole thing away. Now that I'm back in London, I was to see if restaurants could give me their leftover oyster shells and I can do something with that. I was thinking of making a coaster out of them. I'll put a picture of what I wrote down in the plane.
Anyways, today was a little challenging but it wasn't too bad. I think that i am used to thinking quickly and coming up with a range of ideas. For the three objects, I got an apple, dominoes and a cutlery set. I came up with four different ideas that I was quite proud of since it was just the first day back. For next class, we have to develop three of them and pitch them to the others. We also have our 1-100 crit, which I am very excited about because Kathleen liked my project. I just need to finish now a few A2 sheets and refresh my vocabulary and everything is all good! I'm excited to be back!!
Monday January 9, 2017
Today was quite an adventure, to say the least! I had been hearing rumours that there would be a strike, but I just kind of hoped it wouldn't happen, until I got a message from tfl saying the whole zone one would be closed. Since I assumed that every single person in London would take the buses, I decided to walk to school. I ended up spending two hours today just walking to and from school... How charming!
Anyways, during those two hours (and obviously during class too) I thought a lot about my upcoming project called child. We had to develop three ideas today from the twelve we drew up in class on thursday, and then we had to formally present it to the class. I really enjoyed seeing everyone else's ideas because there were some very, very clever ones and it kind of inspired me in a way.
The first part of today was our final 1-100 crit. I really was not happy with it. We had spent three weeks on this project, and I think I really pushed myself and worked with many materials that were not easy. I got some terrible, incomprehensible and illegible feedback on it from a peer, so that went well. I would have loved to get a little comment from Kathleen but my project wasn't picked out or mentioned in any way during the crit. I'm not mad about that because I understand that I am better at some other things and bad at others and sometimes things don't really work out! Anyways that's alright I think I pushed myself so that's good. After lunch, we came back and presented the ideas I briefly mentioned above. After presenting to the class, Kathleen thought I should go with the cutlery route, which I was quite please about because that was my favorite, and by far the most "out of the box" one if you can say that. I have decided, during my two hours under the pouring rain, that I will go to archway tomorrow instead of King's Cross and get my model done instead of going to King's Cross and having no access to the workshop. I have never done that but I think it works well with the timing and hopefully Tom will understand.
Tuesday January 10, 2017
Today was a little bit different. I didn't end up going to King's Cross for class because I knew that it was only going to be a "design" day since there were no access to the workshops. Since I was already done with my designs, I decided to go to Archway to work during the day so that I could use the wood and plastics workshop.
I achieved so much today, it was crazy! I started by going over to Poundland to buy some legos and some crayons that I needed to create my cutlery set. It cost me approximately 3 pounds, which was quite reasonable. Then I popped over to the workshop and started building my cutlery set. I took some discarded pieces of wood and cut them into thick-ish rectangles. I made four for safety purposes. If anything went wrong, I would have an extra one. I then rounded off the ends of the rectangles to make them safe and ergonomic. It looked really cool! I then glued on the lego pieces to one end on each of the four wooden rectangles, and I cut the cutlery to have only the head of the fork, knife and spoon that I attached individually to another lego. I did the same with the crayons. And that was it!
My friend and I tested the cutlery set afterwards and we noticed that you could pick up things easily with the fork and spoon but you couldn't put too much pressure on it or the two legos would disconnect. I think it has to do with the surface area of the legos. The more dots are connected, the stronger the connection will be. I think if I were to take this idea forward, I would definitely fix that.
Thursday January 12, 2017
Today was our final presentation (crit) day. The head of the product design department came in to see our work so I really put a lot of effort into my A2 sheets. I don't need to impress anyone because I am not applying to the Product Design course but I do like to get quite a bit of feedback on my work. I think that I really need to work on my A2 sheets. Tamzin told me last time that she liked my crosshatching style a lot, so I think that in the future, I will stick to that.
After having made my final model, I took pictures of it and made a page with everything, that I then printed out. I cut them out and glued the hands down. I then drew and cross hatched the extra bits to make it look cool. I added a few drawings this morning as well since I didn't finish them last night.
I wasn't too pleased during the crit because I didn't get to present, and I was super ready. But I guess that's the way it goes... I did ask Kathleen for feedback and I got some student feedback too. I also saw that everyone was drawing with the crayons at the table, and I really liked that, so I am just making a mental note on here for future projects. Anyways it was a successful day, and I was very proud of the work I put out in such a small amount of time!
Monday January 16, 2017
Today was a little bit of a weird day. We were supposed to make an A2 sheet with what we do on the weekends and what we like to do in general. Then we had to share it with our partner that we were assigned. I had Karan who's really nice. We ended up asking each other questions on top of our sheets to try to find an issue that we could fix using product design.
On my side, it was more about traveling to and from the gym in Shoreditch. For him it was about having a wallet that he could really quickly pull out and use his Oyster card, but also have a secret place for his SD card that he always looses but also be on his phone. This is going to be tricky but with Kathleen's idea development session, I came up with quite a bit of ideas. I was thinking of a way to attach and detach the wallet as he pleases from the phone. Maybe magnets? I don't know yet because that might break up the signals and mess up his phone. I also was to keep it really simple, just the bare minimum. I asked him what cards he used the most and he said his ID, his Oyster card, his credit card and maybe a few loyalty cards but those can be found in the company's database so he doesn't really need them. He likes black, so the colour is pretty straight forward and he likes his phone cases not too bulky so if I do attach the wallet to the phone, I have to make sure it doesn't obstruct his grip. I am going to do some more idea development tomorrow.
As for the small change project. I had bought some old magazines at a vintage shop that I am going to use, and I figured coasters would be the best way to keep the simplicity of them but also put forth the beautiful retro graphics. I also thought that coasters are a non-intrusive way into people's homes. That sounds weird I know but you don't want to make something so prominent and permanent in someone's home.
Tuesday January 17, 2017
Today was a very useful day... Since I made about 42 round disks yesterday, and I started gluing some old comics on them, I ended up finishing all of them today. I used PVA glue (which turns out is just wood adhesive) and that's it! I have never gotten as much feedback as I did today that's for sure; from the students and the tutors. I kind of feel weird though because it's such a simple idea, I feel like I'm missing something. In all honesty it's just a piece of old comic book stuck on some MDF but there is something about the coasters that really pops. I also think that it attracts all age groups, weather young or old, it is simple and pleasing to the eye.
I also went to our small change marketing meeting today. I wasn't sure if I wanted to be part of it when Kathleen announced the idea, but I just kind of shut up and went for it. I'm kind of on and off about group work; sometimes I like it sometimes I don't. For this one though, I am really excited about the fact that all of the people in that group have volunteered. They really want to make something cool, and so do I!
Thursday January 19, 2017
I was in the workshop all day today doing two projects at once. It was very, very hectic but I managed to do so much in an afternoon it was crazy. I started off by doing the utility project since it is due early next week. I need to make a wallet that is thin, that can hold up to three or four cards, that holds an SD card safely and that attaches to a phone.
I started by using wood and trying to see where the card would be placed. The wallet had to be comfortable to hold when holding a phone and it had to be small enough to not block the camera. The wood was too thick to work, so I opted for card. I didn't like the look of the card though, so I looked around the workshop and found some random calico! I basically made two wallet sized rectangles and wrapped it in calico. I then went and bought some cheap ribbon and glued it to the wallet so that you just had to pull on it to make the cards come out. I also made a separate tiny pocket to fit the SD card in and used the same ribbon mechanism to take it out. I then glued the two pieces together and tada! it wasn't hard to make per say, but it was difficult to figure out the mechanisms in it. There were also a lot of constraints that I needed to adhere to, and that was challenging.
The second half of the day, I focused on my coasters. The night before, I had made some cardboard tags and painted them retro colours, but I really didn't like how cheap they looked. So, I decided to cut out little squares of plywood that I would make new tags out of. I will paint these this weekend. I also cut out a bunch of circles yesterday from the last magazine, and since I am taking the bulk-selling road, I am trying to make as many coasters as I can. So I set out to find some spare MDF, which was very hard to find by the way. I ended up cutting out 14 extra circles and sanded those down. I cleaned them and stuck the magazines on. In total, I made 52 coasters, which is quite a lot in a few days. I was told to sell them for 2,50-3,00 pounds but really don't think that people would pay upwards of 8 pounds for some coasters. I settled on 1,50 pounds, which would equal to approximately 80 pounds. That's good enough for me!
Monday January 23, 2017
Today was the utility crit, and it was also one of the most embarrassing days ever. No one from our class showed up. No joke, there was maybe 10 of us in total. I had finished everything model-wise last week. So today, I just had to cut some pictures and glue them onto my sheet.
I had drawn my technical sheets over the weekend, so that was already done. I also dd my research and printed those off to glue today.
In the afternoon, the BA tutor for product design came to see our crit and participate. We had set up everything and since our class didn't show up, we had so much space to ourselves. I had the chance to present, and got really good feedback. The BA tutor really liked my sheets , which was great because I really wanted to step up my game. I think I finally found my own style.
Tuesday January 24, 2017
Today, the class was focused on finishing up out Small `change project. I think I was very good the past two weeks on timing. I think the fact that I did a lot in the first week made it easier for me to manage my time in the following week, and it made those following weeks much more relaxed. I really focused on making every single little detail perfect. Even though I went for quantity, the quality was still very much present.
So today, I just had to glue a few last coasters and slather all of them in PVA to make them look perfect and tada!! I was completely finished. Now I just have to think about the packaging and make it tomorrow. I already cut a million little plywood squares and painted them a vintage red, blue and yellow. Tomorrow I will buy some ribbon (I'm thinking satin red) and glue gun one end to the coaster and the other end to the little plywood tag. I also want the tags to have the dates of the magazines on them so people know what they are buying, and it makes them look more authentic and vintage.
Thursday January 26, 2017
Today was the final small change fair. I came in early since I was part of the marketing team that organised literally everything. On that note, I actually could only attend one of the three meetings we had because of babysitting and previous engagements. However, I was always there on the group chat to voice my unfiltered opinions.
Anyways I came in at 9:30 to set up the tables, which took about an hour, but went very smoothly. We had Mabel directing everyone around the space and telling us where to put the tables. It was leg day yesterday at the gym so my arms were fine but I couldn't feel my legs at the end. I was a little annoyed at the guard's comments about us carrying the tables. They were a little sexist and unwanted. Anyways whatever, It's his problem.
After setting up the tables, we had a meeting and set up our display downstairs. I cut some papers for the last minute people (including me) to fill out. I then went downstairs to set up my space and help others out. From 11:30 to 15:00, we stood in the artic weather and sold our products. Apart from the cold, it was the coolest (literally) day in the world. I interacted with students, and with members of the public. I sold about thirty of my coasters and made £70, which was great. What was even better was that I could keep the rest of my coaster and give them as presents to my family when I go to France in February. Overall, very successful day. I got frost bite everywhere but it was worth it.