This was my second self portrait sculpture made over a few months in 2021- this one of my torso and upper thighs standing up, but still missing the arms and legs. I definitely became more confident with sculpting during this process, as you can tell by the detailed pubic hair, stretch marks, and nipples visible in the photos before glazing. The shapes are definitely more refined and less rough than the first self portrait sculpture I made, and I was really happy with the overall shape and sculpt. Unfortunately because I went for a thicker, opaque glaze that is made for dipping a lot of this detail was lost in the glaze firing, as the glaze obscured and covered up a lot of those details. I hoped that spraying the glaze (rather than dipping) would prevent this, but as you can see that didn’t work. The glaze also came out patchy on the shoulder area and inner thigh area, although you can’t really tell from the photos here.
I think if I wanted to attempt something so detailed in the future some solutions could be using a thinner, transparent brush on glaze, or just sculpting it on a much larger scale, which is something I would like to try once I get a bit more confident. Despite all the hiccups I can see how much I’ve improved already since my first self portrait, and I’m excited to keep practicing and trying new things!
I’ve made myself a little DIY monoprint set up for my room consisting of a sheet of perspex and a roller and ink from a home linocut kit. The above photos show the set up and the process for the series I made about 2 months ago (I was going to wait until I had scans to upload but I decided to just upload the photos from my phone as I want to document what I’m doing regardless). I knew I wanted to write, but with monoprinting your prints come out reversed and I am rubbish at writing backwards, so I wrote out each thing on tracing paper first which I then flipped and placed on top of the sheet of paper I was printing onto, so that I could trace the backwards writing- meaning the prints were the right way.
The series consists of 13 prints- 3 are the names of the 3 antidepressants I have taken (one of which I am currently taking), and then 10 of the side effects I have experienced from these medications.
I made this as I have just recently switched antidepressants and am now on the third kind I have tried since I first started taking them aged 17, and I wanted to bring attention to some of the side effects that particularly effect me. Some of these side effects I didn’t even realise I was experiencing because of my medication- for instance the increased sensitivity to sunlight one- I used to tan really well and it took a lot of exposure to the sun for me to burn, but over the years this has changed and I now burn very easily and become easily fatigued if I spend too long in the sun. I also get dehydrated faster when it’s hot and it was only last summer that I read somewhere that it is a common side effect of long term antidepressant use. I think it’s really important to discuss relying on medication to be able to function; there is a lot of stigma still particularly towards those who take medication for mental health issues, a lot of misinformation, and a lot of jargon.
I was stuck on what to do next with this series of prints, so I put them aside for over a month to figure out where I wanted to go with it, and then saw a few days ago that Babeworld3000 are doing bi monthly zoom call crits and a reading group, so I figured joining the crit would be a good way to get feedback on this work. They gave me some really good stuff to work with and I enjoyed being able to feedback to others- it was something I really missed from uni!
I’m going to add the notes that the peeps who run Babeworld3000 made during the call once they email them out, but here are the things I jotted down just after my turn:
Make it into a zine- educational (one of the people who runs Babeworld3000 also took part in the exhibition I was in with WANK Collective last year and really liked the zines I displayed- she suggested making these into a zine and others agreed)
liked that it’s in my own language, more accessible, feels more real, honest
Printing onto the side effects leaflets?
Side effects bingo- everyone who has also taken these kinds of meds really connected with it and we joked about creating a “side effects bingo” which could be something fun on it’s own or as part of a zine
liked the medium
side effects bunting
add notes from Babeworld3000 once they are emailed out
consider how to turn the prints into a zine- do I want to monoprint the whole zine, is this feasible? Or do I want to scan them in and create the zine digitally?
decide what else could go in the zine/what I want on the front and back covers, what size, is it going to be stapled, hand stitched, or just folded?
Take better photos or scan the prints in for portfolio
EDIT: CRIT NOTES FROM BABEWORLD3000:
Monoprint series for feedback
How to show? Maybe zines
Your past zines could be shared with a zine made from these new prints in sort of a library.
All these perspectives on your own experience shows how multifaceted you are
The prints are extremely relatable with the whole group raising hands or saying “same”
The bingo sheet at the back of the zine is an extension of this – like Instagram bingos where we can share parts of ourselves in a humorous and relatable way
The zine format is accessible and flips the whole doctors pamphlet thing on its head
print on the list of side effects but using an accessible code of language – colloquial and loaded language.
A colleague from the cinema asked me to print a two layer t-shirt and one layer jumper for him at the Print Space- he supplied me with the designs and clothing, and I prepped the designs, printed them onto film, prepped the screens, mixed the inks, then did the printing, as shown in the photos above!
I’m running a drop in zine making workshop for young people as part of my artist residency at The Playground next week, so I bought some newspapers last week to make an example zine to show at the workshop. This is the result so far! These collages will be made into the zine (hopefully).
The above collage is a poem called “What Happens Next?”
This collage is called “Jacob Memes Mogg, or We Won’t Take This Lying Down”
This one is called “Cheeky Homophobia”
And finally the “Nigel Farage Poem” (not the most creative title but it does what it says on the tin!)
I think given the current political climate this is an apt piece of work, and the zine will possibly called “Dangerous Men” or something along those lines, because although these men are often the subject of memes and jokes they are in fact very dangerous men. I’m actually really pleased with these so far, it was my first chance to be properly creative in a few weeks and I knocked these out in a couple of hours! Life is stressful after uni, but it’s moments of creativity like this that make it worth it.
Second week of my internship at 3rd Rail Print Space and I have been given a project to work on, which is super exciting!
I’ve been tasked with creating a set of pigment sample swatches on fabric to make into a book of swatches for clients, and also to scan and digitize these for the website.
What I’ve done so far:
Made a file of 10cm × 10cm squares, each with a 3cm border of blank space around them on Photoshop, which I then printed onto film
Coated and exposed a 48 silkscreen for fabric with the 6 square design
Mixed half of the pigments up with transparent fabric binder, ready to be printed with and made note of which ones I had and hadn’t mixed yet
Ratio of 6g of pigment to 100g of binder
Printed 6 of these colours onto the fabric (pinned and ironed out first)
Ran those 6 through the baker machine
I think one of them (fluoro orange) will need to be done again as it has a mark, but I am happy with the other five. I am concerned that the other fluoro colours aren’t as bright as I think they should be, but I followed the ratios correctly, and they match the booklet from the company, so I’ll check with my manager when I’m back in on Thursday. This is an ongoing project that I’ll be working on whenever it’s quiet during the 9-5 of my internship, until I have all 19 colours printed, scanned, edited and uploaded online as well as physically to do be made into a swatch book. This is a really good way for me to learn all the stages of the process, so I’m really pleased to have been given this to do!
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
my ceramic bones have been biscuit fired, below is what they looked like once they had been fired, before I glazed them
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
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
Some images of the process, and some interesting test images.
The final video- made using my phones camera, and Gabby’s phone camera, a 35mm projector, various materials, and edited with Premier Pro. The spoken part of the video is me reading out the poem I wrote “An Ode to My Vagina”, which I printed and displayed in the Human Manifesto exhibition at CSM, ran by ArtsFems and the LGBTQ Society.
Another video, this time of various clips recorded and edited- I wanted to show more of my process and may revisit these clips at a later date and reuse them.
Despite feeling really unwell today I made it in and managed to make some work I am happy with, so I’m counting this as a win.
This video is of the Digital Media Technician Adamina demonstrating how to use the 3D scanning software and piece of kit for an iPad. This is one of the more basic 3D scanning techniques available, and as you can see the scan hasn’t picked up the details of the bone, only the rough shapes.
The next step for me is to install a free programme called MeshMixer and cut off the pen, as it came up in the scan, and seal up the piece. Then it will be ready to be 3D printed on Monday next week.
These photos show the set up in the studio, including white backdrop, plinth, and lighting set up. We suspended the bone from nylon wire so that we could scan the whole object, and used a pen and blueback underneath it for stability- we needed it to be still for the scanning to work.
download MeshMixer and clean up the scan for printing
meet with Adamina next Monday (I have booked an appointment with her) and send the scan to print
hopefully next week we will also experiment with photogrammetry, which she mentions in the video. This process is a bit more lengthy and complicated- I will have to borrow a camera and lens from uni, and photograph the object multiple times from multiple angles, and then upload these photos to a specialist programme that stitches everything together to create a 3D model. This will take a fair bit of time, and I might still need to work into the objects on the software to clean them up before we can send them to the 3D printer
I decided to make silicone casts of the bones, to explore a different material and its potential for my project- and luckily someone else in the foundry also wanted to work with silicone too, so Lindsay mixed up the last bit of silicone she had for us both to use. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough to cast the brick or jaw pieces, so I may revisit this material once she has more in stock. The photos above show the process- weighing and mixing the two parts of the silicone, then pouring it into my moulds, the same as when I used the wax and plaster, as well as photos of the silicone bones de-moulded.
The above video shows clips of all the bones, and demonstrates the qualities of the silicone- as you can see it is a very tactile material that I have had a lot of fun playing with! There is something very surreal about squashing a pink bone in your hands, and being able to fold it then watch it spring back when you let go, and I am very happy with the results of this experiment.
When I get the chance to present these to the class the main feedback I want is whether or not to cut off the excess silicone- the bronze and aluminium casts don’t have the “feet”, but the plaster and glass wax pieces do, so this is something I need to consider when deciding what to present and how in the final exhibition.