Critical Evaluation

Assessment, river project, UNIT 2

First Project Proposal 

Updated Project Proposal

Above are the two versions of my Project Proposal- the first I wrote at the beginning of the course, the second in April 2018. Even in the 6 months or so between them you can see how I found a direction, and a project to focus my time and energy on. Although I have done projects outside of my main project that focus on my personal issues as well as wider social issues (i.e. the Fat Bodies Drawing Workshop I ran as Post Grad Ambassador for Camberwell, the BPD and Me Zine, and the exhibition I set up that it was part of, Mental, and other pieces on my blog) I am interested to reflect on the direction my work has taken.

I originally thought my river project was the least personal, and most frivolous, of my project ideas- but it has turned out to be one of the most personal projects I have done, and the largest project I have ever undertaken. I think at first I thought it was just going to be something fun to explore different processes with, and give myself an excuse to use all the workshops and facilities I hadn’t got to use yet; but I realized that I am happiest when I am physically making and that the act of making is a kind of therapy for myself. I also realized that I wanted to make art more accessible, and that my explorations of these different materials could be used to make my work more interactive and accessible. This was a real turning point- as I discovered that my practical work did actually link with my theoretical research after all, and that they could feed off of and inspire each other very naturally, rather than being separate and distinct paths.

My first proposal was convoluted, uncertain, and vague, with the second one having much more of a clear path and direction, which I definitely needed- but first I needed to find that direction, which the first 6 months of the course did for me. I never drafted up another one after that, although I feel you can see my ideas forming and taking shape throughout the posts on my blog- the explorations of materials, the analysis of these materials and ideas, and the research paper all slowly revealed themselves over time and I think you can see this on the blog.

Throughout the last two years I have developed not only as an artist, with all these new processes and techniques I have learnt under my belt, but also as an activist, and as a person. I have become much more confident in myself and my own abilities, to the point where I am no longer held back my anxiety when giving presentations and talking as part of a group (at this point it’s a miracle to get me to shut up!) I managed to get the job as the Post Grad Ambassador for Camberwell the second time I applied- all because even within that first year my confidence had already swelled- and through that role I have used the position to host events (such as the Fat Bodies Drawing Workshop) based on social and personal issues I care about, and have written about these topics for their blog. I also set up my own society focussed on helping students like myself with mental health issues, because I realized one of my passions is helping others, and being an activist for disabled and neurodivergent people. I really attribute a lot of this personal growth and development to this course- being surrounded by such inspiring and supportive individuals who all genuinely care about each others work and lifting each other up really brought me out of my shell, and has made me the outspoken and confident person I have become.

Going forwards I plan on setting up a network for disabled and neurodivergent creatives alongside fellow neurodivergent and disabled artists I have met through my society, as we are underrepresented in the creative industries, and it can feel very isolating- I hope the network will provide a social outlet, as well as being a place we can share resources, tips, connections, and skills through a website and workshops/meetings/ect. I have also been looking at community engagement and school engagement based jobs in art galleries and creative institutions, as I feel I could make a difference to people’s lives through art within these roles. I think that this MA and all of the extra curricular stuff I have been doing will help me to get one of these roles, and I am hopeful for the future. I still want to make art, regardless of what I end up doing; I have been emailing foundries, print making studios, and ceramic studios around London asking for work experience/trainee opportunities/internships and I am hoping that at least one of them will allow me the opportunity to do so, given my experience with so many materials and mediums. I have also been looking at artist awards and residencies I want to apply for, so that I can get some funding and space to make new works.

On top of this I have also started dabbling in more digital art such as making short videos (Like the I Can’t Help the Way I feel, My Fat Body film) and also using 3D programs such as Meshmixer and Blender, as they are free and open source. I will need to eventually save up for a better PC for this, but right now my laptop is good enough. I also have the tools to do linocut and woodcut prints, and a scanner/printer so I can still make print based work, and I have a few small zines planned that I want to make. I bought too much clay in ceramics, so I am considering making smaller scale sculptures and jewelry- there is a ceramics studio in Peckham near to where I work that offers an affordable monthly subscription, so I could potentially fire and glaze anything I make there. They have put me on their waiting list for a training opportunity which would allow me free access to the studios and free reign on their glazes in return for 7 hours of work a week, where I would be trained in how to run a ceramics studio as I work.

If I could have done anything differently I might have tried to come in more often- there were a few weeks and even months here and there where I struggled to get myself in to make work- however looking back on it I can see that these dips corresponded with dips in my mental health, which is something that isn’t always in my control, so I have no regrets. I committed myself fully to this course, and I hope that comes across in my blog, and in the work that I have produced. I only wish I could have afforded to work less hours so that I would not have always been so tired and would have been more productive, but such is the life of a working class artist. I tried my best to overcome my low mood, and for the most part persevered, and although I wish I had more time to spend in some of the workshops I think I have used my time fairly well, and this shows in the body of work I have made.

Overall this course has not only taught me more about the art world and all o the mediums I have learnt to utilize, it has taught me more about myself as person, and what I am passionate about and enjoy doing, which is incredibly value. I joined this MA so unsure of myself, my abilities, and my art, and now I feel like I really know myself and what I am capable of, and it is so so much more than I imagined. I just want to say how grateful I am to Jonathan and to my classmates for encouraging me to be my most authentic self, which is something I never thought was possible.


Work in the Final Show

Assessment, Exhibitions, Photographs, river project, UNIT 2, Videos


(I took this photo before I swapped out the keyboard and mouse for the cleaner ones)

Overall I am surprisingly really happy with how my installation turned out- the room is a really good, well lit space, with large windows, and it looks much better since I painted it, and swept and mopped it. I am also really pleased I was able to make the table top for free from scrap wood, as that saved me a lot of money, and I think it looks much better than the Ikea table tops do anyway. I decided to keep the trestle legs I got from the BA student black, as I liked the contrast (and also I’m lazy and painting over black paint with white would have been a nightmare) and I think it helps to break up all the white in the room. I had to ask my classmates to tell me the river Thames I painted into the table top looked fine, because otherwise I never would have stopped trying to touch it up and make it “perfect”. Considering I didn’t use masking tape or anything except the pencil outline and paint I think it came out well, and is fairly recognizable for what it is, without any need for labels or a more literal representation.

In terms of curating the objects for the exhibition I feel that I have chosen the right amount, and the right selection of materials- I was not able to get the aluminum pieces to a high enough standard, so they have been omitted, the other lot of glass wax pieces I made came out much less transparent and much milkier looking (due to the touch of blue wax I added to offset the yellowing that had happened from the glass wax being overheated) so I left those out and put in the first lot I made, which are much clearer and more transparent. I also left out the herculite casts as they were not up to standard, and are also still fairly fragile compared to the other materials, and I left out the iPad 3D prints, as the Einscan ones were of much higher quality.

In terms of the digital work on screen I am very happy with how it looks- I have chosen one of the larger bones that has a particularly interesting form for the audience to play with, and I feel that Meshmixer was a good choice of programme for the audience to use, as it is fairly simple programme to mess around on- hopefully people will use it and enjoy playing around! I made a 2 minute video, which is on one of my earlier posts, which shows how to move around the 3D model, how to zoom in and out, and some of the basic tools they can use on Meshmixer, in case anyone gets stuck, and this is on the Mac desktop, titled “How to Use”.

I have discussed this previously, but I chose the five bones that I did as the jaw bone pieces proved difficult to cast in some of the methods, so much so that I could not get a good cast of them in the herculite, or glass wax, so I decided not to include them at all. Also they are a bit less ambiguous than the other bones, so I felt it best to leave them out, as I like the ambiguity of the shapes of the other bones. Also I left out the brick, despite having cast it in herculite, glass wax, bronze, and aluminum, as I felt it looks odd to have 5 bones and then the brick by itself. This is a shame, as the casts of it are quite beautiful, but it would have stood out too much, so it was necessary.

when I think back I thought I would have recreated the rope, brick, plastic bottle, and driftwood in different materials like I did originally with the vacuum forming, for the final show. Unfortunately the rope and bottle became unusable after the vacuum forming, and the driftwood turned out to be quite complex to cast, so I never ended up doing it. The bones became my focal point quite by accident, as I found myself drawn to the shapes and textures of them when I first started experimenting with the macro lens back in the first term. I don’t regret this, because I feel like I have made a strong body of work, that I am very proud of.




Selected Showcase Pitch

Assessment, river project, UNIT 2, Videos

Unknown Landscapes from Kat Outten on Vimeo.

Projecting onto 3D Bones TEST from Kat Outten on Vimeo.

The Pitch:

I want to expand my practice further into the digital and into installation work, and this piece will offer me the chance to try it out. I would like to move the moveable wall in the space to create a smaller, darker area for the installation, so that I can project my video onto a wall. I want to hang 4 of my large scale 3D prints from the ceiling, so that some of the projection falls onto the surfaces of the 3D prints. The video is made of clips of the bones that are the main focus of my primary project, shot with a macro lens close up, and the 3D prints are of the bones, but 363% larger. These are both explorations of the same objects utilising digital technology to render them unfamiliar.
I am aware that the exhibition is up all summer, and that you might have reservations about the projection, but I live less than 10 minutes walk from the uni, and also work nearby and I would happily leave contact details in case the projector goes wrong. The projector could be left on loop, and I have no holidays planned so I hope this won’t prevent you from choosing my work, as I would appreciate the chance to explore this new avenue in my work.


So I really want to take an older piece of digital work of mine, the Unknown Landscapes video, and project it onto the giant 3D printed bones I have made- I originally hoped to make a new video piece using my 3D scans and Blender, but my 3D scans weren’t loading on Blender at all, and I need to figure out why.

I think I need to push my digital skills further in the coming months, as when I finish the MA I am going to struggle to find workshops like we have at uni. I have already been looking at print making studios, ceramic studios, and foundries in London and asking for work experience/internships/trainee opportunities so that I can access certain facilities, but it may be some time before I find something like that or can afford to pay out for access to those facilities. Due to this I want to play around with digital work a little more, as it is more accessible- Meshmixer and Blender are free, and there is other free open source software I can try too- all I need to do is download them on my laptop and get myself a bigger desk so that I have a bit more space to work with. I know it will take time and practice, but at least I can still make work some how whilst I save up and look for affordable studio spaces and workshops. This work is an attempt to step into that, and give it a try.

Weekly blog 24/06/19 – 28/06/19

river project, UNIT 2, Weekly Summaries, Weekly To Do Lists, Work in Progress

Monday 24/06/19

  • I also picked up one of the big 3D printed bones, shown in the video below
  • The ceramic bones have been fired with the glaze on and I am really happy with how they turned out! The textures are really highlighted by the glaze, and they have that new ceramic sheen which is really satisfying to look at and to handle

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  • Worked on the aluminium pieces- the dremels are all busted, so I tried using a different tool, but the aluminium was so soft that it clogged up the bit
  • Ended up using a saw, files, and sandpaper to work on them by hand instead- 3 of them just need to be worked into with the engraving tool, and the other 2 still need some work with the hand tools

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Tuesday 25/06/19

  • Spent most of today painting and sorting out my space for the show- I just need to sweep and mop the floor and get the table and stools in and it is basically ready to go
  • got my table top cut in the wood workshop, and painted it with the first coat of white
  • grabbed the black trestle legs left behind by the BA students for my table

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  • Picked up another of my large 3D prints- this one looks a lot smoother that the first one, but the technicians were not sure if it was due to using a different 3D printer, or the file type
  • Sent two more giant bones to print
  • Also discussed my Selected Showcase idea with Jonathan, and tested out projecting the video onto the 2 big 3D prints- I really like how it looks but it comes with a set of challenges I will discuss on a separate post

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Friday 28/06/19

  • Spent the last two days very ill, but got back in today, and did some more work on my 3D prints, as the foundry and metal workshop were both shut

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Weekly Blog 17/06/19 – 21/06/19

river project, UNIT 2, Weekly Summaries, Work in Progress

Monday 17/06/19

  • spent most the day working the BA degree show private view, so I didn’t have much time to do work
  • I did pick up my 3D printed bones, and worked on them a little though

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Tuesday 18/06/19

  • Two of the 3D prints I collected yesterday need to be sent to print again, as the supports are where a lot of the detail was supposed to be, and as I remove the support I am also removing the detail, so I will send these to print again this week, and choose somewhere different for the supports to go- as shown in the photos below
  • to make the 3D printed bones look “finished” I have been using pliers, sandpaper, and files to get rid of the supports, and the marks left behind on the bones, although I haven’t been able to completely remove these traces, so I suppose it is just part of the nature of the material
  • the 3D prints are very light, much like the real bones, but feel pretty solid

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  • the photo below shows the iPad 3D scan and print next to the Einscan 3D scan and print- the quality is vastly different, as you can see- the Einscan actually has the textural surface of the bone, and is much less pixelated looking than the much rougher iPad scan

side by side of the iPad scan and Einscan

Thursday 20/06/19

  • I decided to try and work on the aluminum pieces today, but as I clamped one of them in the vice it cracked, and Lindsey had to help me seal the crack with aluminum filler and epoxy resin
  • This will need to be sanded down once the resin filler has dried

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  • my ceramic bones have been biscuit fired, below is what they looked like once they had been fired, before I glazed them



Friday 21/06/19

  • glazed my bones today- the photos below show the glazing process, and the bones once the glaze had dried and was ready to be fired again

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  • to glaze the ceramic bones I had to first mix the glaze very thoroughly, then using the metal tool shown in the photo I had to clamp each bone and dip it into the glaze, shaking it gently to make sure the coating was even, then working the glaze into the textures of the bones with my finger and a brush
  • I then had to remove the glaze with a damp sponge anywhere that the surface of each bone touched the worktop- if you don’t do this, when the ceramic pieces are fired the glaze melts and sticks to the bottom of the kiln, which means the pieces will probably be destroyed when you try to remove them
  • I have circled the places I removed the glaze in red in the photos below to demonstrate

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Weekly blog- 10/06/19 – 14/06/19

Assessment, river project, UNIT 2, Weekly Summaries, Weekly To Do Lists, Work in Progress


  • Upload last weeks weekly blog
  • create short videos of the 3D scanning process and upload with notes
  • work on Symposium video
  • continue working in Ceramics on the clay bones
  • finish 3D scans with Einscan, edit them on Meshmixer, and send as many as pos to print this week

Monday 10/06/19

  • came in for the afternoon and completed another clay bone in the Ceramics Studio, with another almost finished. I also pressed some clay into 3 of the gel flex moulds before I left, so they should be firm enough for me to pull out of the moulds a little easier in the morning
  • I found that working with the clay when it is harder is closer to working with the wax like I am used to so it was a little easier, although I am going to need to pick up the pace if I want to make them all in both the lighter colour clay, and the terracotta. I wanted to make doubles of each too which means more work. I’ve actually lost one of the original bones, and the pieces of jaw have been difficult to cast well, so that means I have 5 bones to display. This still means that I’ll need to make 20 ceramic bones though if I stick to my original plan of 2 of each in both types of clay, which is a daunting task. I think I might end up only making one of each, and if they break in the exhibition then they break, but I’ll have to see what progress I can make this week.
  • I also went to learning zone, to make some process videos, and work on finishing some of the draft posts saved on my blog, and so far I have finished and published 4, plus this post which I will publish at the end of the week

Tuesday 11/06/19

  • Finished 2 more ceramic bones, and have another 2 half done (one of them is frustrating me so I started another one and kept going back and forth between the two)
  • I now have some bones and a few small things made out of the Earthenware Scarva drying on the drying racks, which I intend to fire when Tas next lights the kilns. I may experiment with glazes on the other objects, to see if I want to glaze the ceramic bones or not.
  • Also sent three of the Einscan 3D bones to print, they should be ready for me to pick up tomorrow
  • Jonathan showed me some tricks on Meshmixer with one of my scans, so hopefully I’ll be able to finish it on my own
  • Picked up the iPad scan 3D print that I sent to print last week, and it looks good- low poly and only the shape, but good as a test


  • Screenshots of the 3D printing software, Cura, below. You can set the size of the objects here (which I kept the same as the scans, meaning they will be the same size aprox as the real bones) and you can also tell the programme to automatically build supports for your objects which will print with it. We arranged them so that the supports will be touching, to save space and the filament.

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Thursday 13/06/19

  • Was unable to attend the group session due to illness, so instead I added some more bits to a few drafted posts, including this one, and finished another post. I also had a play around on Meshmixer with the more difficult bone (the 3 I sent to print only needed minimal fixes). I have managed to sort it out a bit, but I think I will need Jonathan’s assistance to get it ready to print. (Screenshots below)
  • this same bone is also proving to be tricky to sculpt, due to how big the inner gap is- it is very easy to squash in the soft clay, and prone to falling apart

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Friday 14/06/19

  • Finished the clay bones I was working on- I now have 1 of each of the main five, and a spare of one of them which are on the drying rack
  • Spent all day working on those, they should be ready to fire next week

3D scanning with Einscan

river project, UNIT 2, Videos, Weekly Summaries, Work in Progress

I mentioned this new 3D scanning available in the 3D workshop briefly in my weekly summary post, but I thought I should probably do a separate post for it, as it is a really exciting piece of kit that I have learnt to use.

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The Einscan is a piece of kit and accompanying software for 3D scanning, which Jonathan (tutor) mentioned was now available for use in the 3D workshop during our one to one tutorial. You start by setting up the software and kit, by calibrating it- you put the calibration stand onto the turntable, and follow the instructions on the software- rotating the removable board as shown on screen so that the dots align. You rotate the board three times, and in-between each one the turntable rotates it 360 degrees to calibrate the camera. Jonathan (technician) explained that the scanner builds the 3D model by sending out beams of light across the object- the way the light bends around the object is then captured and is used to build the model. Once it was calibrated we used a glue gun to attach the bone to a clear plastic rod embedded in a small piece of wood, much like when I 3D scanned with the iPad and with the photogrammetry- the rod acting as a support. Most of the bones had to be scanned twice, with the bone moved into a different position and glued before being scanned the second time. Jonathan then showed me how to match the two scans up on the software to produce the finished model. (he showed me this on Thursday last week, which is why I ended up with the mutant bone scan, as I didn’t know how to match the two scans up).

I still have one more bone to scan, and possibly one to redo, but I have made really quick progress with this and I’m really happy with how the scans are coming out! As you can see from the video, the details and texture are being picked up much better than they were with the iPad, although not quite as well as the photogrammetry- however this has a much higher success rate and is much faster, so I think the prints I get from these scans will probably be the final ones I put in the show, which is very exciting! I really want to play with these scans on blender- maybe animating them in some way, and I would also like to play around with scale if I have time- printing them as small as possible, and as large as possible. If I have time for these experiments, and if they go well, I am considering applying for the Selected Showcase at our end of year show- I envision displaying a short animation of the digital 3D models, or perhaps a few still images, alongside some huge and tiny 3D prints of the bones.

To Do: 
– Scan the last bone
– clean the scans up on Meshmixer
– send the scans to print


Experimenting with Meshmixer 05/06/19

UNIT 2, Videos, Work in Progress

Meshmixer Sped up Test from Kat Outten on Vimeo.

After my first attempt editing an iPad scan of my bone didn’t go so well (you could see where I dragged the mesh, and this was visible on the 3D print) I was a bit hesitant to try again. This video was originally a 5 and half min screen cap of some playing around with another bone scan, to get a feel for the tools and how the programme works, which I sped up to 2 mins. You can see me trying different tools and playing with softening the shape, which I didn’t end up keeping.

screen cap bone 2 ipad.JPG

This screenshot shows the bone before any editing was done- the raw scan.

I feel a little more confident to use Meshmixer now, and I plan on cleaning the rest of the iPad bone scans up, just to see how the shapes have turned out.

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Weekly blog 03/06/19 – 07/06/19

Photographs, river project, UNIT 2, Videos, Weekly Summaries, Work in Progress

Monday 03/06/19

  • Took moulds from foundry down to Ceramics studio and started testing them out
  • The clay is much softer than anticipated- I am used to more solid materials such as the wax, so de-moulding has proven more difficult- the clay loses shape as soon as you try to pull it out of the moulds
  • I found leaving the clay in the moulds to dry a little helped, but not much
  • I only managed to get one clay bone finished; I had to do a lot more work to it than I was used to doing with the wax to get it to look right, using the real bone for reference

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  • I also popped into the 3D workshop to chat about the new scanner with the technician, Jonathan, and ended up doing a scan of one of my bones then and there

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Tuesday 04/06/19

  • I booked out the photography studio last week for this morning, to photograph all my sculptures so far, with the help of Richard, the technician
  • Ended up coming back after lunch and staying there til 3.30ish, as some pieces proved trickier to photograph

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  • I took 360 pics of all the pieces except for the two brick casts and the bronze casts, and I plan to animate them into little gifs for my website
  • I learnt a lot about how to light different shapes and materials, which I hope I can try to mimic at home with a flexible desk lamp, fabric, and a white table or sheet- Richard definitely taught me that you don’t always need the fancy equipment available at uni
  • Didn’t get time to go to ceramics again, as planned, so I went to the 3D workshop to do more 3D scans instead
  • I ended up with a few fixable scans, and one mutant scan- I scanned it twice at two different angles, but the software stitched it together wrong, giving me a mutant bone


Wednesday 05/06/19

  • Made progress on remaking my Symposium video (I lost the entire thing because the programme I was using crashed)
  • Had to go to work in the evening

Thursday 06/06/19

  • Morning group tutorial- we discussed show details and I am happy with the space I have been allocated
  • Edited one of the iPad bone scans and sent it to print
  • Made some more progress on remaking the symposium video

Friday 07/06/19

  • Visited Jonathan in 3D and scanned the bones that went wrong on Tuesday- he showed me how to do multiple scans and match them up to get a better 3D model
  • I have one bone left to scan- I just need to do that and clean up the scans on MeshMixer and they will be ready to 3D print