Material Flash Project
Today we had out first workshop of the new year, pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone; something which we all probably needed after a long summer!
Our workshop technician and jeweller Jane Gowans took a material flash project which involved each student being given 2 materials, all unusual and not normally associated (in our minds this morning anyway) as jewellery. These ranged from rubber gloves, to blue foam, to polystyrene balls, cardboard and sponges. I was given rubber discs and post-it notes, something which I was rather dubious about! We were then given 45mins on each material to make 30 samples and then another 45 to combine them. Working with the post-its was something which I found really hard! I’m not sure if it was the bright colours (colour phoebe!) or the lack of rigidity they had, being used to tough metals but it was definitely a challenge ito the rubber discs which I was able to create some really interesting shapes with! I enjoyed working with the structor of the rubber far more than the post-its, although definitely got to much of a kick out of burning and singing them!
We were later partnered up and given an hour to brainstorm and sketch ideas based on the 4 materials we had grouped together. Adding what materials my partner Shannon had, we were looking at blue foam, cable ties, rubber disks and post-its. We very quickly ascertained that neither of us had enjoyed working with the blue foam or post it’s so those were quickly dropped.
Shannon had made really interesting shapes with the cable ties and our sketches immediately pointed to something quite big and very much a feature piece. We decided we wanted to take one of the shapes she had created and turn it into a big statement piece, focusing on chest plates and back pieces. The more we drew we realised it looked a bit like a tattoo design and chose to focus our piece on the back. We then moved onto making our final pieces (2) and with our samples and sketched began making a back piece and an abstract ring.
I think we both felt like we had been pushed out of our comfort zone in the materials we were given however it was really good to get the chance to bounce ideas off somebody else. I know I would never have thought of making the same shapes Shannon made with the cable ties. The ring we created was a bit of a last minute thing because we focused so much time on the back piece. It was made with rubber discs and building up layers with the glue gun. I really liked the shape of it even though I wasn’t 100% happy with the finish.
I was much happier with the neckpiece, I really liked relationship between the rubber which appeared almost like leather and the harsh sharp cable ties which Shannon managed to make into beautiful shapes!
I think this workshop taught me not to be afraid of materials, and to push them as far as you can because some people made really interesting things by melting materials and deconstructing them. I think our piece turned out a bit more catwalky but I’m still proud of it. I think it allowed me to see the potential in things rather than just seeing them as junk. And as our tutor said at the end, “even if we didn’t enjoy the day, it’s like a one night stand. We never have to see it again”.