Thursday, 27 May 2010

Bag o' Nerves

Not any pictures yet (ran out of time) but today we finally hoisted the big art work on to the wall, it's been two days happening, as our poor tutor has been everywhere, helping everybody... and I physically couldn't do this bit on my own.

After lots of careful measuring, re measuring, pre-drilling and more, the pieces were STILL in the wrong place... finally late morning we got the artwork screwed to the backing board, now, all we had left to do was lift two boards, 8ft x 4ft, which were batttened across the backs upright, and hang 'em on the hooks...

Sounds easy peasy doesn't it?  At one point I had three technicians and two tutors, plus two course colleagues, all holding, lifting, etc and finally we got it in place.

I think I might have forgotten to breathe for a short while, whilst the piece was put in place, but it's finally there, and oh my, I cannot express the relief I felt.  Thing is, if this piece were to fall, break, etc, it is my ONLY thing for the exhibition (apart from the design board), so talk about all my eggs in one basket!

I had to fight back the tears once we were able to let go - partly from pure and simple relief, and to finally see it upright on a wall (this is the first time I have ever actually seen it in that position!) - it was a tiny bit emotional!

All I have to do now is tidy it up (lots of handprints, and marks to clean off), then mark up the glass elements for fixing, and its done. 

Pictures soon!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Oh the frustration....

This week I have been fusing/slumping the glass elements of the piece.  First one came out fine.  Second one, using a different mould, just a slight bit not worked, so I went back to the first mould.  And it did this:

(excuse the dodgy photograph).

Fine you might think, that bubble is cool!  Well, yeah it is, I love it, but unless I can reproduce that eight times, I can't use it.  And it won't be good for engraving on.

My son said "can't you do them all like that?" to which I replied "not a chance".

Seems I was wrong.  I put another two in last night, one new mould, the other one a used twice before.

And yup, I have more bubbles.  This is not good, and I am stumped as to what's happening.  Something on the glass that I haven't cleaned? Moisture on the glass where I have tried to clean?  Or, something is happening to the mould as it's being re-used?  The previously used mould has blown a bigger bubble than the first time mould.  But that could just be coincidence.

Not sure what is causing it, but I need to resolve it, and fast!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

What a Marathon!

Blimey, it's been a hectic few days.  Apart from setting up, and tweaking, and re-tweaking (and re-tweaking) my new website (link on the left), I have still been in to Uni to start work on my board/frame.

Matt (the technician, and now my hero) has cut out the boards for me, but I have to sand, by hand, all of the edges for a good fit and finish.  I never realised how hard MDF was to sand....

Having spent about 3 hours doing this on Thursday and Friday (when I really should be doing portfolio and presentation work), I had a sudden panic when I realised that my big template said one measurement, and my drawing/plans said another.  And yes, everything had been cut to the smaller measurement.

Oh boy, did I feel just  a wee bit ill.  Okay, so there's still a bit more time to do this last bit, but it would mean getting new boards delivered, re-cut, sanded before I was back to where I am.  The frame still needs to be constructed, battened and strengthened, and painted, finished and the tiles actually put on to it!

Panic over though, having rushed back down to my workspace, the original template IS the right size, so major disaster averted. For now.

Just got to get through Monday's presentation, and submit everything required and I can get back to the final piece.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Glass Panel Tests and Improvisation

Waiting on wood today for making frame/backboard, so I worked on the presentation for a little while.

Then I figured it might be a good chance to photograph the first glass panel test I did a couple of weeks back (on top of the ceramic tiles are going to be sections of glass that I wanted to echo the pattern of the main body of the work.  So I did a bit of test carving into the plaster, and slumped the glass on to it,

I made a few more moulds yesterday, this time in ceramic, which will be re-usable, as, quite often, the plaster mould (even with flint added) doesn't survive more than a couple of firings. Certainly not eight!

So, these panels are going to fixed to the board with special stand-off fixings, so they're just flat - will holes in, but this first one didn't.  How to photograph it then?  I needed to get light at the back to show the pattern, but didn't have any of my home-made (well, that means brother-made) stands, so I used glue clamps but they're not very pretty.

Then the light bulb moment happened!  I have lots and lots (and lots) of big, thick, chunky ceramic tiles - with channels cut out!

So, I improvised, and used one as a stand.  I can use this technique to make special 'feet' for other glass panel work.   And I think this photo might make it on to the main website.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

The Man from KHCTSC - he say yes!

I had to go to the school (KHCTSC) yesterday evening to present my design ideas to the properties sub committee.

I was a wee bit nervous.  I've invested a lot of time and energy, and emotion into this project (never mind the financial cost invested!), but ultimately, no matter how much I like the work, no matter how much my friends at Uni like the work, it doesn't matter unless the end client likes it.

And in this case, it wasn't as though the end client came to me, or asked for proposals for the commission, and in that case had guidelines.  The idea was generated on my side only, with really, the only discussion so far being that they didn't necessarily want something formal and straight forward - I really did have a free rein on the piece from concept through to materials, size, finish.

So, off to school I went, saw one of my old teachers from back when I was there as a pupil.  He doesn't seem to have aged one bit!

Oh I digress.  Did they like it?  Yes!!! They absolutely did.  A resounding yes certainly from the school head, and as far as I could tell, the whole committee.  In fact, the head teacher was positively enthusiastic about the piece, liking the story behind it, the way the ideas were developed - feels it could be used as an educational tool, which adds even more dimension to the piece. 

I can't tell you how I felt when I came away last night.  I was overwhelmed actually by their reaction, and really, it validates everything that I have done.

So, what am I wittering on about?  Here's a Photoshop mock-up of what the final piece might look like in place:

The area is a stair way, at the half way platform, and it is quite a large piece, about 140cm square when finished.

I am a happy bunny today.