Advancing from my PDP with Jon Pigott yesterday, I took up his advice on contacting Aidan Taylor – the main electronic tech demonstrator – to arrange a meeting to discuss my project and my goals. I am due to have a chat with Aidan Taylor tomorrow morning.

Before my meeting with Aidan Taylor though, I wanted to read up on what Neopixels were and the information behind the technology, so I wouldn’t be going into this meeting blind.

Guide to Neopixels

Neopixel refers to a product by a well known company called Adafruit. You have probably heard of them. They started to promote their new product called Neopixel by selling addressable RGB LEDs in different shapes and quantities. These LEDs are produced by a company called Worldsemi Co. thet engineered these LEDs. But what Adafruit did was that they put them on different platforms and boards to be used in all different ways; LEDs on a strip is a very popular choice by many people. They also made the library Neopixel that makes using these LEDs easy for anyone with an Arduino compatible board.


neopixels 2

As you can see closely, there is a little IC inside of the chip. It’s called WS2811(the one on the left) by same company that put it in an LED and the ICs themselves can be bought as well which can be useful for making any LED “smart”. (Source: Neopixels: A Guide.)


Adafruit Uber Guide




The original concept for my Light brief in Field, was that I was aiming to develop a prototype and a mock-up business set out. I went in with the idea of having a prototype to ‘sell’ and from this, I developed a mock questionnaire that would go alongside the prototype – almost like a sales pitch. By doing this, I have started to develop a new skillset in market research. I have become more knowledgeable about ethics and data-saving etc. I understand now that if I wanted to take this a lot further (e.g. outside of university establishment), I would have to apply to an ethics committee to gain approval to take it outside of the establishment. At this stage of being a first year, I’m not ready to move towards that level of having to appeal to committees, but this is something I may consider doing in second or third year.

Aluminium Pour – An Observation.

Due to the collaborative labs in Field, my Sandblast mould was put on the backburner and as a result, was not ready for the Aluminium pour in the foundry. Despite not being able to pour my own mould, I still went along to the pour to observe and have a quick chat with tech-dem Dallas regarding a catch up.

Thankfully, Dallas has informed me that I have two or three more Tuesdays to catch up – it also means I can do an Aluminium pour once my mould is done and I will no longer be behind in this workshop.

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By observing, I am feeling confident and more equipped to get into the foundry when my mould is done, to do an Aluminium pour. I have learned the safety code and uniform when participating in hot metal pours and it has made me more excited about working in this area for future pieces of work.

It was a good experience to observe how an Aluminium pour works and the team-work that is required to achieve a pour in the foundry.

Light & Colour: Lab 4, Day 3.

I enjoyed making this outcome for Field, as it was allowing me to go back to my roots as an artist – Illustration. I felt as I made it, it was very illustration based with how I made it. Although it was based primarily on paper, I loved being able to incorporate other materials into it – cardboard, paint, pens, foam board etc.

The inspiration for the mask came from the Mayans and their masks – I did a quick google search and found one I liked, so I sketched it out on cardboard. Once I had one, I used it to draw a template to cut out a second. When I had two, I cut up strips of foam board and glued them together so it became more 3D/relief like. I chose to create almost feathers for the helmet using my screen-prints and chose the combination colour of yellow into green as I felt this resembled more of a tribal colour combination. If I had longer, I would have brought real feathers to match the colour combination and stitched them into the paper, as I really wanted to work into it more.

I was also inspired by Aztec patterns and decided to stick to the colour combination for the helmet of the warrior mask, but spent an entire evening cutting up small triangles out of my screen prints. It took another hour or so to start glueing them into place. They all didn’t slot together, which is what I planned as I liked the idea of the surface appearing flat but wasn’t really flat – it was vastly layered and nearly every single triangle is overlapping another. I liked this effect because it tricked your eyes when you first look at it, and if you look at it for a continuous amount of time, it almost looks like the triangles are moving or coming towards you. I was originally going to draw into it more, adding back in the lines of the helmet but decided against it as I loved the effect from the colours and didn’t want to ruin it.

If this was a project in Subject, I would definitely take this into metal and on a much larger scale. If anything, this is like a prototype of an idea I had in my head and I’m proud of the outcome. This is the only field outcome so far that I have felt proud of and want to keep on my desk.

The only downside was I did all the work and just wish the collaborative side could be more professional.

Light & Colour: Lab 4, Day 2.

This morning, I created a stencil out of black paper, using geometric triangles and a circle. This was going to be my block pattern to screen print with later on. I placed it on the machine with a screen on top, then shut it down and set the timer for 2:00 minutes as this would be enough exposure time to transfer the image onto a screen. Once this was done, I took the screen into the wash area to gently rinse off the excess and left it to dry for 10-15 minutes.

Once my screen was dry, I was ready to screen print. I mixed my paints with the medium to create the ink I’d be printing with.

I must have made at least 20 different screen prints and had a good production line going. When I was happy with the amount I had to work with, I removed the excess ink into an empty pot and then cleaned off all the equipment, whilst my prints were on the rack drying off.

After lunch, we came back and I collected all of my prints from the drying rack. The afternoon task was to cut into, cut out and construct from our screen prints. The freedom of being able to play with paper and construct freely, without purpose or ideas first was interesting and a little challenging, especially as I always want to plan things out first before I make anything. Or at least, have an idea before I go into something.

At first, I tried to make a 3D pop-up using the red paper screen print, but found it looked absolutely naff and I got frustrated with the task at hand very quickly. I ended up scrunching up the pop-up piece of paper out of frustration and actually what I found by doing so, it looked like a flower and that’s when I started working towards a sculptural piece. Using the cardboard I cut up, with the original intention of creating a 3D pop-up book of some sorts that was abandoned when I scrunched up the paper, I created a base to build on.


I recycled off-cuts from my screen print, and used them to colour the base, and roll pieces of different off-cuts together, creating different forms that looked organic. At first, they started to look like flames, due to the colours of red and orange, but after consistently building it up in this way, it became more floral and like a garden, as I started to use green.

I like it more now than I did when I first made it, as I think the colours contrast well and if you turn it on its side, it is like an overwhelming amount of colours reaching out toward you. I like the explosions of colour, as it diverts your eyes and you’re not sure where to look first, because there’s just so much colour and things to see. I thoroughly enjoyed screen printing and didn’t find this session that bad, once I got past the frustration.

Light & Colour: Lab 4, Day 1: Introduction.

Light is Colour
In this collaborative project you will work in cross discipline teams
to create a
of screen print and paper sculptural objects that are animated through the
interaction of colour. You will be introduced to screenprinting as a vehicle for
colour interaction and how colour can generate spatial illusions, ambiguities and
optical movement.
Monday 11:00 am
Fine Art Studio B3.03 Central Crit
Intro to interactive colour:
David Fitzjohn / James Green
Division into groups
colour mixing
Monday 2:00 pm
Print Studio
Introduction to Screen Printing
Tom Martin
you have been inducted into the ritual you will explore the p
otential of
colour interaction through screen print.
Tuesday 10:00am
Print Studio
Introduction to constructed colour sculptures. David Fitzjohn, / James Green ,
Tom Marti
Tuesday 11:00
rint Studio
Tom Martin & David Fitzjohn
interactive colour print material for object construction.
Group project planning.
You will have the remainder of the week to work in your sel
directed time with
your group. T
here will be a continuation of
workshop access with drop in
on Friday with David Fitzjohn
if needed.
(The following)
Monday 10:00 am
All group object outcomes to
presented in the
Studio B3.03 Central Crit Space
a group review.
What do you need?
All the materials for the workshops and subsequent group projects will be
provided. You will be working with acrylic paint and water based screen
printing ink so overalls / apron / work clothes are essential. If you suffer from
skin allergies please notify staff, protective gloves etc. are available.
It is essential that you attend both days of the workshop. There is no
opportunity in the tight schedule for revision and repetition!
We had a morning introduction with Susan Addams in Fine Art, on the third floor. We learned about colour wheel, primary and complimentary  colours and had to mix a primary with its complimentary colour with acrylic paint, ready to screen print the next day.

I went with a blue-based green and so my complimentary colour was a very pale orange.

Silhouetted Still Lives: Lab 1, Day 2.

After creating a 3D collage plan yesterday, we went in today with starting to form the sculptural structure, taking elements from the collage. We took inspiration from the large flower and the smaller flower. Olivia started working on recreating the larger scale flower in clay, so I took to creating the smaller flowers. I used slab building to create a hollow, 3D pot and then by hand, started to craft the flower shapes using modelling tools.

Once both our sculptural pieces were formed, we then started to discuss how to combine the two or if we wanted to create further elements of the collage – in the end, we decided on creating a coiled vine with petal leaves coming off of it, connecting the two together.