Make Your Mark: The Final Curation.

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The curation of my space this year has efficently been developed from my first year exhibition. The space is more relaxed, with a larger amount of space than my first year experience. The curation features a pyramid effect, with it in mind to draw in people’s attention at a focal point. It also features a checkerboard effect, with black on white on black, which aesthetically created a 3D rising effect.

Overall, I am proud and pleased with my efforts, hard-work and development over the duration of second year. I look forward to welcoming friends and family to the opening night on the 17th June, where I hope to proudly showcase my work to people.

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Subject: Artist Statement.

Artist Statement

As a designer-maker for my second year, I decided to focus my directive on the process of designing coinage and medals.

Initially, I explored the origins of coinage, medals and historical relevance to individual pieces. In past history, it appears that most designed coinage was related to heads of state and monarchy. These designs were a way in which authority could advertise themselves on their power. I extended my research to visiting the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, South Wales. Not only did it display a huge expanse of medals and coinage throughout history, but also it demonstrated the full process of minting a coin from beginning to end.

Originally my first design was on the theme of time, navigation and constellations for BAMS (British Artist Medal Society). My second design was for my field module on Art & The Conscious Mind.

From my research for studio work I decided to design my body of work on a theme from ancient Greek mythology. My interest originated within mythology because it allows the freedom to imagine and create individual responses to iconic Greek myths and legends.

I chose to design three coins, one being Medusa the Gorgon, Gaia Mother Earth, Charon the Ferryman. I chose these three individual icons as my main designs because they are recognizable storylines that most people are aware of and the dualities that exist within these mythological realms.

The finished material being pewter for the design outcomes was chosen because I am still in the learning process of developing my skills in coinage design.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subject Evaluation.

Subject Evaluation:

 

This year’s Subject module was titled Create, which introduced the live brief of BAMS (British Artist Medal Society) competition. The idea of tailoring work to a live brief at first excited me, however the poorly organized time schedule was stressful and oft-times completely impossible to meet. I found the lack of health and safety whilst working in the foundry with a new high temperature process (wax) absolutely atrocious, as it became a fear of actual physical safety.

The health and safety regulations clearly stated only five people were supposed to be at the wax station at any given time. During this stage of the process there were at least fifteen students trying to squeeze themselves into the workshop area only designed for at maximum 5 persons. This situation almost was enough to put me of off medal engraving for the duration of the module.

 

My original medal design was lacking qualities of readable symbols and was poorly developed in the ceramic mould to begin with, but this was only in the initial learning stage of my design. I do feel now that in retrospect the outcome of my design would have been of a better standard should I have had more time to research.

 

However, once I went into Field for five weeks, I found re-designing my BAMS medal far more enjoyable, probably because the deadline to submit had passed and there were better regards for health and safety when working in the foundry, as there were the minimum amount of students in the work area at the times I was making my wax moulds.

 

As the weeks went by, I achieved a better feel and understanding for the materials I began to work with in designing medals. Once I settled down and felt more confident at creating a more effective design, I can really say that I began to enjoy the second section of the term. My ideas were more grounded and my aims were pretty well set on a final outcome.

As the term progressed, it was time to consider an idea to fulfill the criteria for Make Your Mark. Because in the latter half of the first term, it can be seen that I began to enjoy the whole process and it was at that point that I decided to continue developing my design in medal making. To leave learning and developing skills in this new process too soon would seem to be a waste, rather because of this position, I decided to embrace it even further to give me a greater grounding of its possibilities.

Because I continued this process, it allowed me to consider whether or not I should progress into the third year with developing my ideas further with the use of pewter, or to change focus and create a new idea all together.

 

In researching medals I took a visit to the Royal Mint, Llantristant which I found interesting from the actual mechanics of making and pressing a coin to the very broad variety of designs embracing the history of our country. Even though I may not decide to continue with designing medals, any form of knowledge even when related to a specific subject can be manipulated and diversified into another material. Therefore, no amount of research is ever wasted and can always be integrated into one’s work, if not at the present but in the future.

Make Your Mark: Professional Context.

2nd year in Maker has provided opportunities for me to participate in an active, live-brief and undertaken work experience in a professional setting workshop in the creative industry. Over the course of the academic year, it has slowly started to help me understand where my professional context as a designer-maker would be. It was, however, the two week work placement I underwent at Specialist Models and Displays that clarified where I would like my professional context as a designer-maker to be tailored too.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Specialist Models and Displays, and their production team was simply amazing, flawless in their abilities and were passionate as well as dedicated for what it was that they do on a daily basis. The workshops onsite were fantastic, and I was excited to be able to enter most, if not all at one point or another during my time there.

The commercial nature of the workshops inspired me, and I started to feel at home when working alongside these fantastic artists. I was taught how to spray paint effectively, which definitely looked easier than it was and because Kurt was willing to demonstrate, I have now taken this skill into my body of work for Make Your Mark. In addition to this, I would definitely say I have potentially become a mini-pro at sanding objects and outcomes, which I am positive will be beneficial moving forwards into third year.

My hopes for progressing into third year is to develop my professional context that is tailored to a commercial workshop, where I am able to be apart of a production team. That was my favourite part about work experience – not just the skill development and networking, but being apart of a dedicated team. Ideally, when I graduate, I shall be applying for full time employment at Specialist Models and Displays, alongside other companies that operate on the same wave length as them. This is because my time at Specialist Models and Displays allowed me to understand where I sat on the creative spectrum of the industry as a designer-maker and where I aim to be in two years time.

Make Your Mark: Preparing for Exhibition.

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As my exhibition is vastly approaching, I have started to prepare for presenting my work to the general public and the examination board. I was attempting to create cardboard presentation boxes made by myself, but they were not resiliant or study in any way, shape or form. They were also very time-consuming to develop one at a time, and after seeing my work presented at Insole Court, I started to feel like the cardboard presentation boxes were a cheap effect.

I decided to outsource wooden trinket boxes, before priming them with black acrylic paint. The running theme for my presentation for exhibition is black, so I wanted the presentation boxes to match.

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To give them a finishing effect, I took them down to the spray booth to spray paint them satin black. This gave them a nice finishing sheen.

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My presentation boxes will stand on two wooden boards that were also spray painted black. They will be presented on white plinths as to catch the eye. The photo above demonstrates every aspect of my presentation – the acrylic coin stands, the wooden presentation boxes and the wooden boards.

Make Your Mark: Casting in pewter.

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Charon The Ferryman mould.

 

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After casting my last medal to complete my set for Make Your Mark, I used a coping saw to cut off the excess pewter dump, before manually using hand files to create a tactile nature within the metal. I also discovered that cigarette ash rubbed into the pewter created a polish that took out the yellow tinge in the metal and really brought out the shine of the silver.