Lately I have been thinking about the way that I work, I spend a lot time (and this isn’t in relation to my course work) learning how to do certain techniques or experimenting with various materials, which is perhaps why at times this blog has the nature of a very random and incomplete feel. I have a lot of in progress pieces of various natures which might seem as though I can’t complete projects, but I can and do.
I like to have a lot of pieces on the go for a few reasons, one being the fact that I am currently studying my Bachelor of Arts (art) I spend 13 weeks on 2 topics, theory and practical or practical and practical/research. So every 13 weeks the studies I am doing are changing, though a lot of my projects spill over into other pieces that I am working on, with each new lot of stuff I am learning there is also the background noise of my learning, I may see another artists process pictures on the internet, it may be in metal, I don’t have metal working tools but I still like the way they have done a certain piece. And I will try and do something similar in what I do have or with different tools.. Or out of a completely different material..
For a long time I have been interested in treasure boxes, cases, trinkets which open to hold things, secret compartments.. and you get the idea. Last year I purchased 60ish empty Altoids tins from a lovely lady in the US for the cost of the postage. That was a great bargain! A few of them have been sent to other people to make things with, and others as I posted have been made with polymer clay over them and are partially or waiting to be painted, just covering these in polymer clay took me to a lot of websites where there are various people using varying techniques to cover the tins. While they make nice tins the sites only really gave me visual input, there was no way of finding what I was looking for.. That being a number of things which I have picked up from other sources, how to get a good circle or ways of creating intricate cuts with minimal tools.
None of this laser cutting stuff. What is the point of learning how to do something like that if all I have is a craft knife.. I could have used a hole cutter on the normal drill but I didn’t want a hole in t he centre piece (the purchase of a fret saw in the next few days will be the solution to this issue and at a small cost) And trust me that a craft knife takes a long time with less desirable issues like if the knife decides to go astray you are left with cuts into the main part of the tin that you wanted to keep.
There is so much to try that pieces I am working on seem very random. It comes down to the fact that to make things the best I can I need to learn how to work with the variety of mediums and tools that I have on hand, and then translate those experiments into other materials. As I said before I like containers, vessels, trinket boxes.. but making them is something that I am just beginning to get into. There is one area where I think I come to a standstill, I don’t want items to be hard to open, not lie flat, and have completely detachable lids. That’s how things get lost. Then there is also the closure of the item, if things aren’t secured, then they will fall out, get lost.
Another part of boxes and containers is locking mechanisms. Then there are also other things like creating casts of sculptures and producing replicas to use and make other things with.. So much I want to try so that I know how to fabricate my own original pieces in small numbers to use on multiples of projects or random items..
What is the point of this post? Learn techniques, knowing how to use tools and medium in a variety of ways and learning to replicate traditional processes with what you have on hand is a great thing to learn. This applies to everything from embroidery, sewing, working with metal, wood, various clays.. Imagine if you wanted to make something that was sewn, all you had on hand was some tin cans and old telephone wiring.. And then there is research, do you know how something is made? Aren’t you curious about how someone made something? I have a habit if I see something someone else has made I like to make my own version, it is a way of storing along with my notes from it the information for a later date, while this may sound strange when I decide to make something I don’t have the problem of going, I don’t know how to do this, I can’t finish it, or it wont work. Sure sometimes something wont work or wont turn out the way I would like but that’s where notes of previous experiments come in handy. I didn’t have hinges a while back when I went to make the house on stilts, so I grabbed some wire and made some after doing a quick on-line search for something similar. When the first one didn’t work I tried again and it turned out perfect, adding much character and uniqueness to the piece.
So, as of today I am adding a new section to my blog where I will do my best to keep details about how certain projects were created, what materials and techniques I have used, any tools and will try to post images.. These will be under a catagory called ‘Notes’ these are not designed as a tutorial and only way to do things it is simply my way, I hope that people will use thier common sense and use the correct safety gear and if you don’t then you are silly and I hope you learnt your lesson. I will be sure to post something to that effect at the top of the posts because I am sure not everyone will read this one.