Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hot shop with Lene

Today, something wonderful happened...something went click and I think I managed to make a sphere that I am happy with..again I have to wait until I see the pieces next week.

Object theory: Liberation from Representational Imagery

The presentation only went over by 5 minutes...amazing! It's over...I can now think about something last!
The other two presentations were interesting as well.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kiln glass with Kirstie Rea - 8

More texture and depth

This mornings class started off by making some slab moulds for carving into. We made two so we could try out the difference between 'wet' and 'dry' plaster.

I have to wait till tuesday to see the results.

We also had a look at 2 glass artists who predominantly use kiln formed glass.
Lisa Cahill ( Who Deb was using in our presentation the next day) and

Jessica Loughlin at Bullseye (who's work I wrote an essay about last year)

Also Kirstie is keen for us to be able to go to the 3 openings in Canberra tomorrow... So I thinkw e may be able to swing changing our class next week..which would be awesome. I've known about Holly;s opening since Feb and before our classes were set..yay!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Virgina woolf portrait -3

3rd application of paint dry and before kiln

Out of the Kiln

After engraving back 'highlight areas'

Monday, April 26, 2010

Artist of the Day: Etsuko Ishigawa

So mesmerising...Etsuko Ishigawa says about her work
"My “glass pyrographs” are made by drawing hot molten glass, which is one way to capture and eternalize the immediacy of a moment, while my hanging and floating installations are about ever-changing states of mind."

Traces of the Molten State from Etsuko Ichikawa on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

YouTube - bullseyeglassco's Channel

YouTube - bullseyeglassco's Channel

I hate my SMEG oven

Not only have half the symbols rubbed off, the thermostat seems to be off in it's own planet. Yesterday I opened the oven door after 10 minutes to find the blackened outside and sloppy inside of a simple sponge cake. I have been ecouraged to try again (by someone who wants cake), so this time at 30 deg C less, opening the door, twiddling knobs, turning the temp down to 50! we have a possibly edible cake though not the light fluffy sponge I usually make. So much for a bit of time out from homework...I feel more frustrated now than when I began....though after looking through all the google images of burnt cakes I feel a tad better

Friday, April 23, 2010

A vampire day

For some reason I couldn't bear the light, so I stayed in dark room all day...emerging under the cover of darkness at about do vampires cope with the computer screen? It's very bright.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Review day

Andrew is taking the day out from his paternity leave to do our review interviews. That's dedication.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

NSW - Ausglass meeting

For tonights entertainment Poli had organised Andrew Lavery to present on next years Ausglass conference. Still in the stage  of getting presenters to commit but looking good. Kate Baker recent winner of the gold award at Emerge, gave us a presentation on her artistic journey. Poli also made a great pasta (I think we can feed the whole glass studio on it for a week) and salads. Thanks Poli. I also met some great people..including Alice from about that!

Artist of the Day: Ethan Stern

Ethan Stern's website or blog 'Diamond Life'.




Virgina woolf portrait -2

The first firing schedule I did was low and the bullseye frit was still raised, Kirstie said I would be able to put it in for a full fuse..which resulted in a smooth finish. To continue on with my mish mash of techniques I applied some of the reusches black over the top in a more drawing style...those are the lines you can see and used Joseph's polish schedule.

 Not sure what is next...I need to study the tonal areas of the photo

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Blowing with Stevie

Now I have gone through the competency test for staying after hours I can blow with Stevie every third Tuesday evening. Deb, Kate and I are sharing her! Because of the limited space in the annealer Stevie skipped on a pruntied platter and stuck to making maquettes for a conceptual piece. I of course made 'peas'. Having access to Stevie's expertise like this is fantastic as she did two demo's and then walked me through the second one.


We (second years) are now deemed compentent, to be in the Glass studio beyond 5pm to 8.30 pm. Marcus took us round the entire studio quizzing us in groups on all the machinery and rules. I learned that I do a few things in the wrong order, how to use a few things I didn't know..and a bit of a refresher on things I did know, whilst being able to answer some questions competently.

After hours last! M-T till 8.30.

Pittsburg Glass Centre

wow..go check out the summer programme at pittsburg.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Happy birthday Dad

Dad made my day by wondering how I found a card so specific! (you would think after years of hand made cards he would figure it out)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Happy birthday Dougie

Finally I have finished a project I have been working on since last year (it was meant to be a christmas present). An illustrated 'Ode to a Lemon' by Pablo Neruda. Either I would stuff up the watercolour or stuff up the writing..very frustrating. The cufflinks are found beach glass from La Parouse, polished and engraved with stirling silver.

Virginia Woolf portrait

I tried the first step of Judith Shaechter's "How to..' starting off of course with not quite the right stuff... to be found here I learned something interesting though..I shall start again tomorrow with the right paint. Deb and I went to the glass supply place in (um).
Float glass (profile sandblasted) with Bullseye fine frit mixed with natural binder...smouged around the glass before firing

After firing

The Art of Memory - 6

Ruiz. R. "The photographic unconcious"/ Poeticsof cinema (trans. Brian Holmes), Dis oir, 1995. pp57-66.

hmmmm, the main thing I get from this is the idea of archetypal components that suggest to us an archetypal concept.  In Ruiz's argument, the archetypal components; a square, Cathedral (though this should make it a city), old trees, benches and a few people equals 'PROVINCIAL SQUARE'.

Humans, assess situations quickly. It's a survival trait. We grab onto what we think are the focal 'threats' and react quickly to the situation. In our rapid assessment we may  'assume' the wrong idea, or miss other key factors because we haven't taken the time to fully apprehend the situation. Our ability to correctly or more successfully 'assess' comes with experience. Ruiz takes this human trait and explores how it comes into effect with photography and film.

It is interesting to see that though we usually have the time now to safely asses our environment we generally pay just as little attention to the non archetypal objects (unless our purpose is to observe). Does this trait reinforce and alter our memories of one similar moment to another..blending the similar archetypal components. Can we remember the differences of one provincial sqaure to another, once we have labelled both 'Provincial square'?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Blowing with kate

I tried my first bowl of the year...not sure how successful really, need to go over the methods again. Attempted two 3 sphere's 2 made it to the lear...not sure they would pass quality control at MaCleans though.

Kate made one of her lapis spotty tumblers, and a prunty vase (that cracked right at the end)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My inner bird

A glorious day! One of those Autumn days made special because on one hand it feels like summer but on the other the other hand there are clues that it is actually April. A cooler wind buffets your face and makes a further mess out of your hair while pulling the leaves off the trees. The leaves of the Plain are no longer vibrant green but a warm yellow, glinting briefly as the sun prickles through them.

After getting yet more official form filling and signing done I walked over to 'the Commons' a foody place I had heard about from Lee Tran Lam's 'The unbearable lightness of being hungry' blog to check how unaccessible they were. The only entrance is unfortunately comprised of 4 steps, so my significant otter (yes that is a typo but I quite like it) will not be trying the menu. I had a great coffee..the one that reminds you that this IS coffee you are drinking unlike many milky capuccino's and Avocado on toast (with Tabasco). The Avocado was a bit too lemony for me, but I enjoyed it nonetheless in the pretty plant filled courtyard.

Back home I am working on sculpting a Raven. As I have been building up the form it has gone from a Budgie to a small Kookaburra, to a nondescript unless I have another look at my photo's it could very well morph into a different species again. When I finish this bird is going to have many 'Inner' selves. I have been asked what I was"um wax?" That could be a hint about dinner.....

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Vogue 8184 again, again

Vogue 8184. Changes are, full band across the top of the bodice with three deep tucks. Again as I used a light weight fabric (from the stash) I fully self lined the dress, making the lining longer than the top layer, the top skirt has a 3mm pin tuck. No boning. Straps are two strands of satin cord. Goes well with boots (even my scuffed ones) as well as 'pretty' shoes.

Well I did make this before uni started but haven't got around to taking a pic is still slighty unfinished. On the inside I haven't hand stitched the lining to the zip and the two hems. I have been planning to add bias binding as a finish. I have white and sky blue...can't figure out which to use and what for the top layer white for the longer? any suggestions?


Untold is this year's theme for the Object studios' annual exhibition Utility. A few things have been going through my head but when Patrick in third year mentioned in his presentation Odin's ravens Thought and Memory.. I immediatley thought of their Norse names Huginn and Muninn...and so a seed was planted. I now have a vision of two cast glass ravens. One less detailed than the other..more a memory of a raven (that will be Muninn)and probably in clear and Thought (huginn) will be black with more defined detail. I would like to capture the intelligence and boldness of these birds. They way they stalk around and turn thier heads in consideration.
So two ravens standing together in different with it's beak open. Now the tricky part will be making the moulds! and the waxes!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Clone create construct

Lene has set us some questions to help focus our 'clone' blowing project.

What [are you intending to make]
How [are you going to achieve this..methods etc]
When [time line]
[inspiration, other artists and relation to previous work]

'As like two peas ?'  Is on first glance a giant scale pea pod. The pod is green, silky and pliant to touch. The pod protects and molds it's self around the peas cradled inside. On opening the pod, you find the peas are made of clear blown glass. On closer inspection you can see what is probably the likeness of a young human foetus on each pea.

Blowing:The peas are blown glass sphere's. I would like the walls and mouth area to be of a similar thickness. Lene has demoed a method that sets up the mouth to be thinner. This entails making a few gathers (double dipping), a quick shaping and making a slight jackline BEFORE blowing a bubble. It does seem to work, one that I tried the other day has a thinner area near the mouth.
A sculpture punty is used as the area where the punty mark would be needs to be smooth.

Cold working:
The sculpture punty is ground off using the 80 grade diamond wheel. The area is then ground and polished using the linisher with belts 100, 400, 600, cork belt and then on the padded wheel with cerium. I may use pumice if i think it needs it.
The image of the foetus I need to experiment with. I imagine that it will be cold-worked somehow. Engraved..flexible drive or wheel i'm not sure. Maybe heightened with some glass paint and fired.
Fire polish:
This will probably be needed to soften the rough diamond bit marking on the glass and to fire paint if used.
Other skills (sewing, pattern making, dyeing etc)
I had thought that the pod would be constructed from fabric to best suggest the texture and colour of a pea pod. I will make the pattern (toile) with calico to get the pea pod shape. When the peas are finished I will have to fit/change the pattern to suit the peas. Before trialling this I imagine a different fabric (in texture) on the inside and outside. A stiffener of some sort will be required between the two layers to hold the shape. I may have to dye the fabric to the colour I want as pea green does not seem to be too popular at the moment. I would like the viewer to be able to close and open the pea pod so perhaps an invisible zipper or enclosed strip magnets may work..more experimentation!
Originally I had thought that the peas could be connected by plastic tubing, though this may prove to be messy in practice and visually...perhaps I could make some plug like connectors using green polymer clay that could be sealed on?

Clone construct create time line
Week / Class    -----------Date
Glass Practical
R & D
1 / 4th March
Brief given

2/ 11th March
First ideas presented to class
First practice of spheres

3/ 18th March

Sphere practice

4/ 25th March

Sphere practice and punty coldworking

5/ 1st April

Sphere practice and punty coldworking

Write up initial proposal
Sourcing fabric
Sketching and photographing peas
6/ 15th April
 continue looking for other artists
Sphere practice and punty coldworking
More foetus images
7/ 19th April

Sphere practice and punty coldworking
Finalize foetus image
8/ 29th April

Sphere practice and punty coldworking
Trial engraving methods.
Start calico toile and looking for method of closure
9/ 6th May
Work on Artist statement and presentation
Sphere practice and punty coldworking
Trial engraving methods.

10/ 13th May

Sphere practice and punty cold working
Decide on engraving method, trial fire polishing
Finalize pattern shape and construction methods
11/ 20th May

Blow sphere’s, coldwork fire polish
Finalize fabric choice
12/ 27th May
Think about plinth
Blow sphere’s, coldwork, fire polish
Dye fabric if need be
13/ 3rd June
Final write up and presentation work up
Blow sphere’s, coldwork, fire polish

14/ 10th June
Study Vac
Choose the best turned out peas
Make final pod
15/ 14th June
Examination week
Installation and marking

Cloning is a hotly debated topic in today's society, which causes strong, definite, vociferous opinions in it's protagonists. The subject of cloning, both attracts and repels my sensibilites. I am attracted by the human intelligence and creativity that has brought the research so far, the posibilities and potential that dwells within that scientific research. I am also attracted by organic 'natural' methods of plant asexual reproduction. The part that repels are the equal possibilities and potential for human kind to abuse the knowledge. Looking at the uncaring way humans treat each other should make us question..are we ready? 

I would like my work to convey the polarities of the topic by deliberately mixing and contrasting; materials used (soft/hard, opaque/clear) , vegetable/animal imagery, nature/scientific symbology that act as metaphors for the opposing views that surround and muddy the argument on cloning.

more musings after the jump

Other Artists: 

'Flora: The botanical experience' is  a current  exhibition 'Inspired by the ongoing debate and focus on climate, nature, gene technology and cloning, or on the interplay and respect between nature and man...' showing now at the Glassmuseet Ebeltoft in Ebeltoft, Denmark.

Four artists appeal to me,

Stacey Neff, I particulary like her 'Moon pods' (2002) but the only image I can find is part of a loop and i can't save it. I like the blending of plant and animal forms, slightly unconfortable but beautiful.  If you want ...Go to her website and look under "pods'.


Colin Rennie, another artist who 'Sounds' fascinating but images are limited. These bell jars are frosted on the outside with a highly polished 'lense'. The frosting and the lense distort in different extreeme's the 'specimens inside.

and Angela Jarman. Jarman is an artist that keeps cropping up in my inspiration and similar intrests. Her work show the absolute beauty of microscopic organic life but twists reality to show a darker vision. 'Scape III'

Brooklyn artist Jill Reynolds' recent exhibition 'Matter' explores themes of replication and the human genome.

Replicate and Gnomon

I am more interested in some of the work that is described in the article, but as yet images are hard to find.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

peas up close on Easter (Chocolate) Sunday

An indulgent lazy start with strawberries dipped in chocloate and pastries for brunch, followed by finishing 'Dragon Haven' by Robin Hobb.

More research on Hugin and Munin (reading the Younger Edda - Gylfaginning / Snorri Sturluson at the Guternberg project)

and some close up pea photos's and drawings.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Object theory - 5

Body, Materiality and Process: 

Reading: Howard Risatti 'Hand and body in relation to craft' in Risatti, H. A theory of craft: function and aesthetic expression, University of North Carolina Press, USA, 2007, pp108-115.

Whilst you can't really have any one of the three without the other for the sake of definition the class brain stormed (or a light drizzled) the specifics of the three.

limits of resources strength and skill
body imposes form and shape
work with material using process
material determines handling
maker<-> user
design for use

qualities of the material
availability (cost supply)
influence on product
sentimental attachment
cultural / tradition

model macquette

Clare introduced us to Clement Greenberg a modernist art critic writing in the 40's - 70's when modernism was mainstream. He has influenced (however unwittingly) the way craft is thought of written about today.

Before we carry on with that though Clare gives us a quick trajectory of modernist painting starting with

Claude Monet and his Haystacks (morning snow effect and thaw sunset)

Thanks to the invention of the Camera artists were not so needed to portray realism, these are considered to be the first steps away from the representational creating feelings and impressions, capturing the moment and the feeling of really being there! The availability of Paint in tubes assisted painting outdoors.

Post impressionism
Paul Cezanne and his 'Still life with apples & oranges' (1899)

Painting of everyday objects, different perspectives..see how the apples seem to be about to tumble toward you. Change of convention by using contrasting colours to create shadow rather than black.

Pablo Picasso's 'Woman playing mandolin' (1909)

More flattening of perspective, capturing and portraying more than one viewpoint / all surfaces at once. Fractured space.

Eduard Munch 'The scream' (1893)

Painting portrays pure emotion. Gestural lines and movement with paint. Image articulates emotion and feeling through the use of colour, line and form and warped perspective.

Wassily Kandinsky. Black Strokes I. 1913. Oil on canvas. 129.4 x 131.1 cm. The Solomon R. Guggebheim Museum, New York, NY, USA

Music is the ultimate form of abstraction. Exploring colour, movement and form. brush strokes and mark amking led to the question of "What is painting?"
The moderninst definition being: 'Marks made in paint on a surface' This style was thought of as a 'truer' painting. Nothing is looking like something else (paint made to look like a person (or pipe)). This is paint, you can see how it was applied, the raw elements express the artist.

Kasimir Malevich 'Black square' (1929) the ultimate truthful painting..a definite move away from the past.

 Abstract expressionism
Mark Rothko no 12 (1951)
This is all about colour, saturation, soft edges, gestural. Expressing the inner nature of the artist, playing with paint in its pure form. 'essence of materials.
Clement thought that modern art needed to have a specialist audience (who was learned and sophisticated anough to sppreciate it), and that one should look at a work in isolation.
Then we had a quick recap on the concept of 'Truth to materials'.
Part of the modernist movement that had it's beginings in the arts and crafts movement. Decoration was subservient to form.

Sussex Rush-Seated Chairs. Page from the Morris and Co. catalogue. The Rossetti chair is at top left, the Sussex chairs the next three in the top row, and the roundseat chair possibly designed by F. M. Brown at bottom left. Thank you to the Victorian Web for the picture and credits.

"Simple objects speak for themselves" "Materials should determine the form" pure form..bring out the nature of the material

Mies van Der Rohe: Barcelona Pavillion (1929)