Plaster Room 03/12/18

Weekly Summaries, Work in Progress

Today I got the third and final rose ran up, then attached to the cup with the rest using hot knives and wax. Then I painted a layer of shellac over everything, to help the grog to stick to it, and once it was dry I covered it all in first coat grog.

Once that had set we put the plastic cylinder over it all, and I layered scrim (netted fabric) and plaster along the bottom, to seal the cylinder to the board, and around the middle of the cylinder for stability. As soon as this was set I spent the rest of the afternoon mixing and pouring second coat grog, to fill the entire cylinder to make the mould ready for the kiln.

Really proud of my progress today! Got loads done, and worked hard to get the mould ready for the kiln. It doesn’t look like I’ll have a chance to pour before the break, but at least when I get back it will be all ready to go.

Tutorial with Jonathan 22/11/18

Tutorials, Weekly Summaries
  • We spoke about how my river project has taken up most of my time, and that I enjoyed having a structure in place from having deadlines for the metal pour, certain days of the foundry being open, and the deadline for the summer show to work towards- I felt much more stable having a rhythm to work like this
  • Enjoying the process of making, as well as the stability provided; learning to use power tools like an angle grinder was particularly empowering!
  • I have definitely developed my skills in sculpting whilst working with the wax, as well as learning how to make hot rubber moulds, how to make plaster moulds for the kiln, how to use various tools as mentioned, how to work with metal (which was entirely new to me) and how to apply a patina to metal. I am a much more confident sculptor as a result
  • Why do I record the processes via photography and video?
    – to aid my memory- as a result of my mental illness my short term memory is very poor, so recording the process is a helpful reminder, and I can always go back and refresh my memory if I need to
    – part of my desire to share the processes with others- I feel that when seeing final pieces of work, such as my sculptures, it can be very difficult to envision all of the work that has gone into each piece- by documenting my process so thoroughly it demystifies the artistic process and makes it more accessible for those who haven’t done anything similar before
  • Discussed that I am a little sad that my video game project has largely been on hold due to the demanding nature of the river project, and the fact that I need other people with certain skills- i.e. an illustrator and someone with experience in games design- to help actually make the game
  • I do feel, however, that my knowledge and understanding of the topic has grown over the past year- the #MeToo movement has provided lots of content online for me to read, watch, and engage with, and there have been a lot of stories in the media that have brought rape culture to the front of social consciousness in the past year, which I have been taking in and adding to my bibliography post over time
  • Do I need to put a structure in place for the video game project? Perhaps I should set aside one day or a few hours a week dedicated to research and working on the dialogue options/characters?
  • Should I set a deadline for myself to find collaborators for this project, in order to get it moving?
  • Holding multiple projects at once- what is this like?
    – I find it useful to have lots on as it helps me to manage my mental illness, although I recognise that on days like today it can be difficult to manage as I can easily burn myself out if I am not careful with balancing everything properly
    – Cross polination- I often find solutions to problems, or new ideas for a project whilst working on something else- it wakes my brain up and refreshes it a bit, which can help stop me stagnating on just one project
  • I prefer to see the artists’ process as opposed to just the final work- I much prefer studio visits over gallery visits as I like to uncover the thoughts, experiments, and failures behind the finished works- how can I incorporate this into my own practice? Perhaps by projecting my process videos in the gallery space alongside the finished work? Or could I find ways to represent the processes- i.e. using my hot rubber moulds to make casts in Jesmonite (a stronger version of plaster) but leaving the casts as they come out of the moulds, instead of removing excess material and working the details back in as I did with the waxes?
  • Emma Gradin- PHD at Chelsea, could talk to her in the new year, discuss my work, ideas, and presentation of the work in the gallery space- she deals with curating exhibitions, particularly without words, and she is interested in the artists studio and processes

22/11/2018 Online Group Tutorial

Tutorials, Weekly Summaries

Not feeling too well today, so I have joined the online tutorial group rather than going to class this morning.


  • discussing the Yayoi Kusama exhibition and sharing photos
  • the relationship to Kusama’s paintings and Janet’s work- both paint flat, so the works have no “right way” up, but Janet said:
    it reveals itself in dialogue as it goes and tells its story back to me
    so I begin to understand it as such which corresponds to a particular orientation decided on in my final phase
    I re orientate to stay objective in the process, keep a fresh eye
    my eyes and mind easily become complacent so I keep sending myself off centre – all a remaking
  • Paola– she feels she has been spending a lot of time developing her 3D skills, but needs to spend more time experimenting to find her own style. She is currently making a visual response to a sound piece made by her friend.
    – the sound piece reminds me of a lab, or the inside of a spaceship lost in space- I can hear what sounds like static, fluids pouring and bubbling, an ambient background sound, and other noises I am finding hard to decipher, a definite sci fi vibe
    – the test pieces she has made on Blender are very abstract and beautiful, I much prefer the abstract imagery to the imagery that represents water/liquids being poured/splashed as the abstract images are less obvious, and are so fluid it is hard to believe they have been created digitally
    – inspired by the work of Nate Boyce
    – I like how layered and abstract some of the examples she has shown are, it suits the sound well, and whilst I appreciate what the others are saying about making imagery that opposes the sound, I think the imagery she has shown so far works well with it and I would personally stick to that
    – originally Paola was making an ocean on Blender, as that is what the sound inspired her to make, but she felt it was too obvious and decided to move away from that
  • Robin– I can definitely hear a repeated rhythm, it seems to change slightly, but follows the same pattern, it sounds like stones in a rolling can to me, or coins in a washing machine
    – the second piece sounds very similar but has less of a rhythm to my ears, the animation seems to match up with the sound well, and still manages to be abstract, despite it seemingly representing the sounds visually
    – I would be careful that this is what you are going for- do you want viewers to associate the sounds and their production with the visuals you have made?
    – Jonathan asked if how the sounds are made is important- I said I don’t think so, but the visuals make me focus on that, because I assume that the visuals are showing me what is making the sounds
    – it feels quite purposeful to me due to the repetition
    – I hope you continue exploring the relationship between the visuals and sound elements- I would be interested to experience further experiments- it seems like you have a lot of ideas to play with!
  • Anfal– using your paintings as a form of journaling, combining Arabic script with bold colours and imagery, very striking
    – the imagery would look beautiful translated onto textiles- it reminds me of the bold African patterns on fabrics, like you would see in Peckham
    – you could try the method where you paint onto paper and then heat transfer it onto fabric- LCF at Shepherds Bush has these facilities
    – alternatively screen-printing could be a good method to use- you can layer imagery really easily
    – “Kat your suggestion of screen printing is a good idea and adds a forced layering beyond the digital that can always feel like it can be undone” – Jonathan

Practical Work To Do List

river project, Weekly Summaries, Work in Progress
  • Buy saucepan for glass wax
  • Use existing moulds to make glass wax casts
  • Use existing moulds to make jesmonite casts (plaster casts didn’t work)
  • Finish bronzes and aluminium casts
  • Go back to riverbank and find plastic bottle (and other things?)
  • Cast bottle in foundry (?)
  • Use existing moulds to use eco resin? – Speak to Jonathan in 3D
  • Find 3D scanning/printing place and look into costs

I would like to get as much of this done by January as pos, so I can start casting my objects in Ceramics in the 2nd term

Week 6 Summary

Weekly Summaries

Things I have achieved:

  • Further testing with the macro lens, including some filming using light and angles
  • further testing with vacuum forming, and a decision on what I would like to put into the exhibition from this
  • made one final piece out of a possible 4 for the exihibition

To do list:

  • Catch up with the last two weeks lectures
  • make the last 3 vacuum form pieces for the exhibition
  • compile the videos into one video and upload to Vimeo (then link to it on this blog)

This week has been incredibly bad, and I wish I had managed to get more finished pieces done, so I definitely need to kick myself into gear in the coming week

Week 4 Summary

Weekly Summaries

Another hard week, but I have continued with my research for the video game- I have finished reading and making notes on the relevant chapter of Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates, and have been reading more articles related to the topic. I have also found more games I need to play as references (Lifeline, Loved, and Depression Quest).

As far as physical making is concerned, this week I finished cleaning all of the river finds, and have made three white vacuum form casts- one of the brick I found, and two of the piece of rope. Unfortunately the casts are not as detailed as I hoped, as the vacuum form machine seems to be suffering from a lack of suction. The technician Gina is working on getting it fixed, so I should be able to make more soon. I chose the white plastic as I am interested in how the colour and materials affect the perceptions of objects- I wanted to take these old, dirty objects and see how making white copies in plastic would look and how this would change an audience’s opinion of each object. I am interested in colour theory, but especially in black and white, as they are often used to symbolise different meanings, and are used in the art world in gallery spaces. Gina has given me two references to look up for this topic, Inside the White Cube; The Ideology of the Gallery Space by Brian O’doherty, and the chapter on white in the classic novel Moby Dick. This week I had my first one to one tutorial with Jonathan, which I will write a post about shortly.

To Do:

  • Read the two references given by Gina
  • Continue making vacuum form pieces once the machine is repaired
  • Play the video games and take screenshots for my Pinterest board
  • Create a bibliography post for the articles/videos/ect that I have used as research for my video game project
  • Upload photos from mudlarking and cleaning my finds
  • Upload photos and video of the vacuum forming
  • Make a post about my tutorial with Jonathan

Week 3 Summary

Weekly Summaries

This Week

Week 3 was a bit tough for me, i have been very unwell, physically and mentally, and subsequently I was unable to attend Tuesday’s workshop. I did, however, attend the lecture on Wednesday by Maiko Tsutsmi, and the topic was deeply relevant to one of my projects.

“practice as research” is a big part of the continuation of my “In The River” project, as I want to explore the materiality of the objects found along the riverbank, and question how rendering the objects in different materials affects the perceptions of these objects. Can these objects that would otherwise be considered rubbish become something beautiful, valuable, or interesting to viewers when moulded or cast in other materials? Do these objects need a function, or can they merely exist without purpose? These are all questions I have been considering since the lecture on Wednesday. I am a very hands on person, and enjoy exploring the physicality of objects, and I feel that the answers to these questions can be revealed through the act of making, then examining what I have made, and reflecting upon it, which is what I intend to do. I have cleaned the objects I have found so far, ready to start experimenting with next week. Also I booked an appointment with Rebecca upstairs in the Foundry to discuss my ideas, and she was very receptive and keen to help me get started- I will book another appointment with her next week to show her the newly cleaned objects and hopefully start making.

This week I have also worked on creating a Pinterest board for artist/designer references, which I have linked in an earlier post. This is to aid my research, and to create a database of artists and designers for myself and my classmates, should they wish to use it, which can then be used to develop a broader knowledge and context for our own practices. I will update this board regularly with artists and designers websites, articles relating to art, and current, upcoming, and past exhibitions.

Also this week I have continued to collect articles for my video game project, and have finished reading and making notes on the relevant chapters from the book “Everyday Sexism” by Laura Bates. I need to create a bibliographic post here linking all of the articles I have read, and I need to develop my notes into a properly written piece, in preparation for applying for funding for this project in the new year. Once I have secured funding I hope to find an illustrator and games designer to collaborate with to make this project a reality.

Going forwards

  • Next week I would like to take some of my larger pieces to the 3D and Plastics Workshop and potentially make vacuum form moulds with them
  • I need to make another appointment with Rebecca and bring along the smaller objects to show her
  • 1-1 tutorial with Jonathan on Wednesday at 12pm
  • Lecture on Wednesday at 2pm
  • Update this blog with photos from the riverbank, and photos of the cleaning process
  • Rewrite my proposal according to Jonathan’s guidelines

Week 2 Summary

Weekly Summaries

This is my first weekly summary post, as the first week was largely uneventful. This week my main aims have been to get back into the habit of properly researching, and to begin exploring my chosen topics.

Questions from Jonathan Kearney’s Lecture:

  • What have I done so far?
  • What have I discovered so far?
  • What will change because of what I have discovered?
  • What will I do next?

What have I done so far?

  • Attended the group tutorial on Tuesday morning
  • Caught up with both this and last weeks lectures via Youtube and made notes
  • Been to a Plastics Workshop Induction
  • Been mudlarking along the South Bank of the river Thames, between the Southbank Centre and Blackfriars Bridge (I still need to clean my finds, ready for documentation)
  • Started to read and make notes on “Everyday Sexism” by Laura Bates, in relation to my “Perfect Victim” project

What have I discovered so far?

  • That litter along the Thames varies, depending on the time of day, and more broadly to the week and even time of the year
  • That sexism is a deeply nuanced topic, that varies depending on a woman’s status as cis, trans, or non-binary but female presenting, and also varies based on the woman’s race, although age is less of a factor
  • I didn’t realise we had a vacuum form machine available, and this has given me the idea to vacuum form some of my beach finds next week, once the objects have all been thoroughly cleaned
  • Action research, and the differences between method and methodology

What will change because of what I have discovered?

  •  I need to change my approach to researching sexism, by reaching out to women whose experiences differ from my own- i.e. trans women, lesbians, and women of colour
  • I want to change the way I interact with the objects I find, as when I began the project I gave myself limits on how i would utilise the objects, and as such the project felt one dimensional and lacking substance
  • I hope to up my game in terms of how I study, and progress from a BA level to MA level, so that I can develop as an artist and as a person

What will I do next?
My plan for the coming week:

  • Clean the objects I have found
  • Begin documenting those objects
  • Potentially take some of the objects into the Plastics Workshop for vacuum forming
  • Continue my reading and analysis of “Everyday Sexism”
  • Attend both the group tutorial and lecture
  • Create a bibliography post for each project
  • Listen to the recording of the talk from Friday, as I was unable to attend
  • Revisit my proposal using Jonathan’s 7 headings as a guide

Despite having a few bad days I feel like I have accomplished a significant amount this week, and I feel positive moving forwards.