Reflection Unit 5

I have taken some time to look back over the blog posts and work I have done since starting unit 5. I have managed to research artists and experiment with lots of materials that I had been introduced to on the roundabouts during units 1 to 4.

We had begun unit 4 with the brief. Inspired by.. Taking inspiration from something at the V&A museum and I had found a print from an engraving by Paul Birkenhultz (1561-1639)who was a designer and engraver in the early 1600’s. The print was simply titled Design for a pendant. It was the intricate details that made me decide on the piece. I wanted to see what the piece would look like enlarged and so I started to make some of the pieces in wire and begun with the Rabbit. Reflecting on the wire sculpture of the rabbit I have remembered how quickly it begun to take shape. Compared to the bird sculptures it was easy in comparison and it appears much simpler to look at and photograph.

The first bird that I sculpted with the wire took a bit longer than the rabbit and I used a lot more wire choosing to weave the wire to create the Form and spot welding less frequently. The beak and the Talons were the most difficult to get right.

Because the Paul Berkenhultz design had symmetrical birds I had to make another one. During this time I had also begun to make a commission piece from wire that involved using copper wire as well as the wire I was using on the birds and because of the change in style while making the wire commission piece I begun to change the way I sculptured the bird. The end result of the bird became fatter and heavier than the first as I kept adding more wire and wasn’t happy with its less than symmetrical appearance to the other bird.

Its head and beak were completely different although it did still look like a bird of prey. I think if I was to have another go at making the Symmetrical birds or other sculptures I will concentrate on one structure at a time or do a little at a time on each piece so that my style doesn’t change.

At home in my spare time I concentrated on what I could do with photo shop after being inspired by  Jamie Holmans merged photographs. I also did some drawings and photo shopped them to add colour then moved onto a large scale drawing of the pendent in college. I am still getting to grips with Illustrator and Photoshop. I find it difficult as the process is slightly different on a mac than on the pc. I have come across other apps that are helpful and a little easier to use.

As I was moving on with my project I had to not only experiment with more materials but also with scale so I visited the making rooms to experiment with some laser cutting and etching.

This also involved work on their computers using Inkscape.  wp-image-860479531jpg.jpg

I need to decide how I would like to present the pieces as finished pieces of work but I don’t know how yet. I am thinking of making a Regal coloured velvet covered boards and displaying them like that but I am not sure yet. I might come up with something else.

Not all the laser cut work went to plan.  When I tried to laser etch into a mirror it resulted in a broken mirror and laser etched vinyl backing. I didn’t want the time I spent on it to go to waste. I experimented with embossing powders which resulted in a distressed textured metal like piece that I was quite happy with. I need to design a way for the piece to be displayed. It needs something on the back to cover the broken mirror and make it safe.

I then moved onto changing the composition of the design using all the elements and rearranging them on a lino so that it could be carved into and printed but after I put the composition together I didn’t want to carve into it. I had hoped to get the most out of it as I could.

I wanted to do a screen print as I had missed out on that when I had been doing the roundabouts and Mandy helped me to adjust the image contrast to be sent for the screen. I also hoped to take some photographs of the shadows it made on the wall in the studio before cutting into it and producing prints. Unfortunately nothing has come of this Lino and composition as yet and as we are moving onto our FMP soon it is doubtful I will get the chance which is disappointing.

As I couldn’t cut into the Lino I decided to do another one but just taking part of the design for the lino. I chose to do the top half of the design for a pendent. When I had made a Lino during units 1 to 4 I had wanted to set it in Plaster so I didn’t want to miss out on doing this again so after I finished printing I moved straight onto casting in plaster.

The ink hadn’t quite washed off so the finished piece had revealed a Purple print on the plaster and it was a happy accident. I tried to recreate it with another cast and added a wash of colours to the lino before casting again. I really didn’t like the results. 20170208_164819

I decided to experiment further and covered the plaster casting in Graphite powder and buffed with some cloth.

It turned out so much better than I expected it to. I really like how the colour that had been used before is just showing through.

Getting back to my larger piece I moved on with the other elements the Crescent moon and the sun.

I had intended on making the Crescent moon out of aluminium cans but that hadn’t gone to plan and it proved to be more difficult than I thought it would. The cans wouldn’t mould how I needed them to and I wasn’t happy with the way it was going. I then decided to make the Moon from wire and cover it in silver card using the Heat gun. The face however was a mask covered in aluminium triangles from the cans and heat glued together. Some of the aluminium pieces have a tendency to move from the face and need to be stuck back down again which is annoying but otherwise I am happy with the end result.  The sun is not completed. Each part of the sun needs to be made and put in the kiln and assembled together after. so far i have sculpted the face in clay.

I think I achieved what I set out to achieve when I started the Unit 5 Brief. I wanted to play with scale. Taking a design that is supposed to be small and making it Big even though it is not a large finished piece. I had hoped to put a narrative together but that isn’t actually communicated through the art work so on that point I failed and the narrative lives in my head.  I experimented with tools and Materials and even made a potential Commission piece at the same time and although my work wasn’t picked I followed the brief that we were given. I am quite proud of my achievements. I believe I have grown in confidence and problem solved my way to some great pieces of work and when I haven’t been happy with something I have done my best to turn things around until I am happy with the end result.


After half term my aim is to finish everything that needs to be finished ready for assessment. If we have time.  I would like to put more photo’s together for my portfolio and find ways to present the work that I have done and that needs presenting. I also need to go through my photographs that I have taken over the last few months that show any photography skill and decide which ones would look good in my portfolio.

The sun still need the rays to be done and then the pieces to be fired and assembled and the moon still needs to be hung. If there is time I would like to finish what I set out to do with the composition lino and add a screen print to my body of work.

I also need to be prepared for my interview For the Degree.





Crescent moon and Sunburst.

I decided to experiment with some other materials for the large scale pendant pieces so I made a start on my moon with Aluminium cans carefully cutting the bottoms tops and sides as they are very sharp. I then took some florists wire to hold the together and attempted to turn the bottoms and tops of the cans into a crescent moon shape.

I took a paper face mask and covered it in cut pieces of the can.

I made a crescent moon shape out of wire to help me shape the can ends but they were to resilient to shaping and I didn’t like how they looked so I scrapped that idea and decided to use a silver backed paper and covered the wire frame using a glue gun. To fix the mask to the Moon I had to stick the same paper to the inside of the mask and leaving half of it to over lap and stick to the moon. I then used the same effect as I used to cover the moon in the silver backed card to frame around the face. Unfortunately as I was doing this one of the Blue eyes fell in to the mask and although I did try to fix it back in it didn’t look right again so I pushed the other eye in to match.Although I did like the Face when it was a mask to have the blue eyes I didn’t think I needed them to complete the Moon as the reflection from the silver backed paper was enough to add an expression that I liked. In some lights it appears to have his eyes shut or winking.

I have to decide now how I want to display the piece it doesn’t sit or lie down well and I like the shadow it leaves on the wall so I think I would prefer to hang it.

I have been researching renowned sculptors and taking influence from Takashi Murakami


I like how he shows character in his pieces and I have tried to achieve that with my moon character and I hope to do the same with the sunburst.

Moving on I need to make my Sun to finish all the elements in the pendant.

I am deliberating the best way to achieve this. I am thinking about creating the shape from wire and then covering in multiple fabric’s with varied colour, pattern and texture or possibly making it in clay.

I decided I would like to make the Sunburst from clay and sculpt an androgynous face in to it much like what you would see on a tarot card or in Alchemy.

I have chosen to use Terracotta clay

as its a warm orange colour anyway which is perfect for a sun. As the clay was all over my hands I kept forgetting to take pictures of development in between. The kiln is not very big so I am doing the face first and then the rays from the sun will be put in the kiln separately and attached afterwards. This is my sun face so far.

laser etched vinyl update


I decided to experiment with embossing powder on the laser etched vinyl to bring out the design and make it more visible

I used gold and silver to begin with. First I applied the ink from an inkpad using a paintbrush to the barely visible etched vinyl before sprinkling on the Embossing powder and tapping it off. The embossing powder sticks to the clear ink. I then used a heat gun to heat up the embossing powder.

As I begun to see the results the effect begun to look like distressed metal and I really liked it so I decided I wanted to mix the colours so that the effect could look more naturally distressed. I mixed the gold and silver with copper and sparkle black and kept changing the areas I worked on and the mixture variants.

The pieces are very metallic and distressed looking, the hints of copper and black through the gold and silver add to the aesthetics and the design looks and feels textured. I defiantly had the end result I had hoped for. I am really pleased with it.


Moving forward I would like to find a way to present it but as yet haven’t decided how best to do that. I need to finish my Aluminium version of the Crescent moon and my Commission piece.


Adding contrast to an image.

I needed to add contrast to an image for a screen print. I asked Mandy in the Mac room if she could help me. The image was taken from some photographs of a black and white lino and the lighting and position I took it wasn’t very good as a shadow was behind it and the white was quite yellow because it was on a clear lino.


I uploaded the image to Photoshop and Mandy told me to go to select-colour range and deleted the white which made the white whiter. Then concentrated on making the black darker. This was the result.



Laser etched Vinyl.

I had attempted to etch into some mirrors with a laser cutter but unfortunately my idea didn’t work out and I was left with 4 broken mirrors with etched shiny white vinyl on the back. I am experimenting with ways to save the work and have attempted to make the design more visible with granite powder. It has worked slightly but I hope to experiment with embossing powder and see if that will draw out the design further making it more visible and distressed like my original idea.


Casting the Lino in plaster

I decided after I had been using the Lino to make prints that I would like to cast it in plaster. I rolled out a piece of clay to put the lino on as I have put a few holes in the lino when I was carving it. I built up the sides using stiff metallic boards and fixed them in place with the clay. I put some very cold water in a bowl then added the plaster powder until it was ready for me to mix with my hand. As the consistency resembled thick batter it was ready to put over the Lino and left to dry. When it is dry I may build it up with clay as suggested by Bill. I have never done that before so it sounds interesting and I wouldn’t mind giving it a try. I may cast another one and paint it. I wouldn’t mind attempting to paint it like the digital photo shopped version.

Digital Photoshop image. 2017-22-1-14-13-23-pics-art

This is the plaster casting as it turned out. The ink I had been using on the Lino when printing had transferred to the Plaster and I really like it. I am going to experiment more by adding the ink to the lino on purpose before adding the plaster to see if I can get a similar effect like the Picture above.



Lino printing


I took the top of the ‘Design for a pendant’ image which shows the sun and moon slightly larger and carved it out of lino. I didn’t change the composition in this one. I have shown a picture of the Lino after it has been inked as the before picture isn’t clear.


I experimented with a few colours on white paper and mixed them as I went along so that I had less cleaning up to do in-between. I want to try this as a repetitive print like on wallpaper or curtains. I would also like to see it on fabric or wood so will experiment further in the week.

I thought I would look into British Printmakers and I came across Angie Lewin who works in Linocut, wood engraving, Lithography, and screen printing. Angie’s designs appear to be of wild flowers and grasses. Angie studied BA (Hons) Fine Art Printmaking at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, followed by a year’s postgraduate printmaking at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts.