Finalising Outcomes.

Following on from the Easter break, I am now finalising my outcomes for both Field and Subject for my deadline, that is in 2 weeks time. (6th June).

With time still available to me, I decided to improve one of my outcomes in Subject – the mounted hands. I painted the boards white and still felt like they needed some extra pizzazz! I have done extensive research into the Poppy Appeal and the connection between Flanders and the war, so started wondering if I could make plaster of Paris poppies for the bases of my mounted hands.

(Boards after I painted them white.)

Finding a sculptural frame for the size of poppies in mind, I wanted to create was the next task. At first, I tried pouring plaster that was in a setting state directly onto wooden boards and slowly incorporating copper wire into some of the setting pieces.

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However, I found this wasn’t quite the effect I had wanted and they were not as 3D as I had hoped for. I have set these aside and kept them around, as I have no doubt I will find another use for them. Moving on from this, I then tried using cut and shaped card to pour plaster directly into; that way, the card would act as more of a support structure for the poppies.

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These instead, looked more like fried eggs, and I was back to square one. Despite them not working out, I too, have kept these around. I felt a little dejected by the lack of an outcome I had desired, and then decided to try use objects with small, curved lips to see if that would have any effect. I also tried pouring directly onto the board again to see if there was a technique to it.

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After sometime of trying to figure out how to sculpt plaster poppies that were more 3D, I started looking at chicken wire but I felt the gaps between each hole was too far apart that the plaster would seep through. I did find a small piece of chicken wire around the studio and then went to ask Martin if he had anything similar, but with smaller gaps. This is when Martin handed me two small sheets of aluminium wire, which was a lot more bendy and flexible – perfect for sculpting!


I cut up small amounts of the aluminium mesh and with masking tape, created small meshed circles. Once I had about 6 or so of them, I went down to the plaster room to further experiment with this idea, feeling a bit more hopeful than the dejection I felt from the other ways failing.

I was very content with the outcome of these and once I removed all the excess mesh and clay, I started to smooth them off, using the grater in the plaster room. Once this was done, I took them back upstairs to my studio space to air out and dry.

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Now I have let them dry all over the weekend, I will no doubt be creating a PVA solution for them and painting them red and black to represent poppies. I feel they give the mounted hands a bit extra added to them, rather than just hands on a metal rod, mounted on plain boards. They look more finalised and polished than before and I am quite pleased with this. I enjoy being able to stack them or arrange in a variety of ways, as there’s endless possibilities and different arrangements I could try. It also breaks the metal rod away from the base when you make direct eye contact with it.

For Field, my prototype is nearly complete. I have had another two sessions with Aidan and will be meeting with him again this week, with hopes that everything is nearly programmed and accomplished. I have loaned out an Arduino from the university for my exhibition and picked this up from Mal Bennett in N-block on Thursday morning.


Now with one of these in my possession, I was finally able to move on with the display board for my prototype. Having the physical arduino itself was important, because I needed an approximate size to chart out where everything was going to go.

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I also started to sketch out the prototype itself, where it was going to go and what section needed holes drilled into. By mapping out where I desired things to go, made my life a lot easier when it came to actually physically drilling the holes in. I just had to line the drill up with my map and proceed.

The ‘x’s are where the drill was marked to go through and the right is all mental reminders for myself when it comes to installing the wires and arduino. I am hopeful that everything will be complete by this week, or the latest, start of next week, as that way, I have about a week to do ‘damage control’ and extra tweaking, as well as create my sketchbook racks.

Pre-Easter Round Up.

I am going to discuss a breakdown of my outcomes for Subject and Field. I will discuss briefly how I have got to the point where I am at with my projects, and outline what still needs to be completed before deadlines.

Untitled (TBC). 

A two-part series of plaster cast hands, mounted on wooden boards and thick metal rods. They were made by pouring plaster into marigold rubber gloves. Once set, I sanded them down to remove the imprint of gloves. Drilled individual holes into the bottom of each cast and attached them to metal rods. The wooden boards were drilled into and they were fitted.

The next and final phase for this two-part series is lazertran process. I will image transfer newspaper clippings of headlines from the war-torn 1940s.


Winds of Change. 

An abstract sculptural piece. The concept is sails in the wind. Casted entirely out of plaster, Winds of Change was made by pouring plaster into solid square slabs, where one slab was sawn into right angular triangles. They were drilled into and are fitted together with small metal connectors, however they can still be moved and dismantled. This piece is a finished outcome.


The Camps.

Developed by walking around Llandaff Cathedral, imprinting clay into walls and trees, The Camps was then casted in plaster. The terracotta clay seeped its colour into the plaster, which gave it its earthen texture. Connected by visible metal rods, This signifies the connection between each concentration camp.

I am going to be using the lazertran process to finalise this piece. The 3D reliefs will be dismounted from the board, in order for me to image transfer the map of Poland. The plaster reliefs will then be placed back on the board. Once this is complete, this outcome will be finished.

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Untitled (TBC).

This sculptural piece is influenced by memorial sculpture. Casted entirely out of plaster, the plaster base was casted in the same manner as Winds of Change and connected in the same manner. Through alginate casting of two people’s hands, I was able to take the hand casts into plaster. The only differentiation from my other outcomes, is this one will incorporate light.

This piece is near finalisation; the only thing left to complete is fixing the lights to the metal connectors, so they are unable to be taken, removed or altered.

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Untitled (TBC).

A work still in progress, this prototype is designed to fixed with light and an interactive touchpad. The arduino and battery will be hidden by a wooden hut that is still to be developed, and all the wiring will be hidden underneath the wooden board. The lights will be fixed underneath, with specific holes that will be drilled. There will be a slight dip in the top of the board, so my prototype can be placed into the dip to prevent it from being able to slip or slide around the board.

There is still some considerable work to be done on this. The only things left to do is build the hut for the arduino to live in, program my lights and fixture all the wirings. Once this is done, I can see this being a sleek way to display my prototype.

Creating the Wooden Display Board for the Sensory Toy.

I went downstairs to ask Nigel if he had a piece of wood that measured 10 x 14 inches and some edging. I was successfully pleased as Nigel had exactly what I was looking for. I went upstairs to Martin’s workshop, so I could measure the edging and mark the exact amount I needed and what excess would need sawing off.

Once the excess was sawn off, I sanded down the edging I intended to use till it had a nice finish. I then assembled the edging onto the wooden board, so I would know what layout I wanted before using gorilla glue to put it in place.


Once the glue sets and it’s safe to maneuver it around, I will start working on drilling holes for the lights, before painting it.

From Research to Realisation.

Sensory Toy: How It Relates Back To Autism.

The prototype I have made is designed in mind to aid the needs of someone with ASC (Autism Spectrum Condition). Specifically, the prototype is designed to aid the recovery of someone in sensory overload. By programming the lights to be gentle and soothing, and with the prototype’s tactile nature, it will provide a calming effect. To tailor this prototype to someone experiencing sensory overload, I investigated a variety of sources through articles, journals and PowerPoint Presentations centered around Autism and the different signs or symptoms one may experience. Through this series of investigation, I have learned that there may be different triggers or signs or symptoms that one person with autism may demonstrate, whilst another may experience things differently. No one person is affected the same. This blog post will discuss the importance of that finding and how I am applying a specific field to the developed prototype.


^ By investigating a breakdown on the seven senses and how these are experienced differently to those on the ASC spectrum, I was able to narrow down the field and specifically design and develop the prototype to one specialisation.

Sight and Touch: the specific area of autism I selected. I chose sight and touch, because it was extensive in terms of what I could design and develop. I could add textures, apply lights, combine the two or revert back to touch and add indents and different textures.

To investigate designing a prototype, I took inspiration from a small object on the market called a Fidget Cube.

Having held a fidget cube and being able to feel the texture of each element of this object, it enabled a better understanding of the sensations of touch; what felt nice or what felt abrasive. I took inspiration from a few elements of the fidget cube and the sensations it provided when touching it and applied that to my own CAD design in Rhino.

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^ As my investigation continued, I discovered that the perceptions of someone on the ASC spectrum aren’t unified. For example, White and Oliver’s different experiences of sound demonstrate how the same situation can be perceived differently by someone on the spectrum. For this reason, I decided to not include sound in my prototype, as it would be too subjective.

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^ Discovering the intensity that someone feels on the spectrum, I took this into consideration when I started designing my prototype in Rhino. The prototype would be comfortable to hold and would be designed so that it would be a passive object. The idea would be that the prototype would be something that someone on the spectrum could interact with, but not interact with them. I wanted to minimize the possibility of someone perceiving the prototype as intrusive.

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^ Investigating sensory sensitivities was a pivotal moment in the designing process of my prototype, because the research gave me a better understanding of what to avoid or include in my design. For example, someone with hypersensitive senses dislikes dark and bright lights, whilst someone with hyposensitive senses is fascinated with reflections or brightly coloured objects. This meant I needed to consider the following things for my design: lights, smell (product material), texture, size.

Light: I needed to carefully consider how I wanted my prototype to light up. I needed to consider what could be a trigger for someone on the hyper/hyposensitive spectrum and avoid bright or dark lights. This has led to the decision that I will have gentle, soothing lights that sit in the middle of bright-dark spectrum. The colours will be pastel and not too fluorescent. The lights will be programmed to activate slowly in a calming, pulsive rhythm as to avoid triggering someone. Also, whoever is holding the product, will have full control over that process.

Smell: This was harder to consider in terms of developing with material process. I needed to consider what material I casted the product in, as long-lasting smells of materials could provide negative for someone experiencing hypersensitivity. The current prototype is made of transparent resin, which lacks any odor once the cast is dry.

Texture: By investigating market research and what currently already exists in today’s market, inspired the nodules and interactive nature of my prototype. I have a better understanding of the variables of texture now and which ones are positive and negative.

Size: This was another issue in the development stage, because I originally had the intention to design a prototype that could be portable and pocket-size. However, due to the size restrictions, it proved difficult to also apply lights if I kept it to the original concept scale. The current prototype is larger in scale than I had originally liked, but this is a good starting point. As I gain further confidence and skills in programming and designing concepts for products, I will make the product smaller in scale.

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^ When someone is experiencing sensory overload, they may utilise only one sense at a time – a Mono process. The idea behind my prototype is designed with that in mind. The prototype can provide relief by being a reliable anchor. For example, the prototype only has one function: when the button is pressed, a series of lights begin. There is no surprise elements or unexpected reactions. The user is going to know what happens and has full control over what is going to happen. For example, the prototype is like the process of breathing into a brown paper bag to prevent a panic attack getting worse.

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^ As above, my prototype will hopefully provide structure and stability; something that the user can rely on. The prototype is designed to be passive, to provide aid on a personal level.

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^ In conclusion, it is my hope that my product will be useful for those on the ASC Spectrum in a number of ways.

  • Lights to visually aid the calming process.
  • Tactile elements for those who need physical stimulation.
  • Discreet design for everyday use.

CSAD Reception Exhibition.

I always sit in reception of CSAD for a little while in the mornings, before attending to whatever work needs completing and today I was excited to see another exhibition in the exhibition space of reception. I also was excited because two of the exhibition pieces were war-related and I thought this beneficial contextualisation for my subject practice and my outcomes that are loosely inspired by the effects and aftermath of the Holocaust.
It’s also a coincidence that the exhibition was put up today, on the day Theresa May signs Article 50 which initiates brexit, considering the notion of so much strife and refugees from the effects of wars etc.

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This was an interesting read and I spent a good 10-15 minutes viewing the exhibition of work. I also couldn’t help but notice how Hitler had a massive head on a tiny body, almost like one of those bobble toys you would often get as a child.

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I couldn’t find any artist name or information for this exhibition piece, but I thought this was moving and powerful. It’s beautifully painted and the message is emotionally provocative. Soldiers hiding in a barn to save their lives, or soldiers awaiting enemies to ambush them. This piece’s perspective can be seen in many different lights. Survivors, waiting for rescue. Emergency hideout for medical reasons. I love this because this piece enables you to have your own opinion on what you think is actually happening at that moment inside the piece and that’s what I love about art.

Experimenting with Transparent Resin and Coloured Inks.

Following on from my outcome in transparent resin for my prototype in Field, I wanted to expand my experimentation with the material and how I could incorporate the coloured inks into my design. I followed the same procedure of mixing up 50 grams of transparent resin with 13 drops of hardening catalyst. I mixed the coloured inks in with the transparent resin and followed a similar pattern to begin with, with my first cast. However, I started to streak and play with the colour, adding in more. Once this was done, I let it set for half an hour before coming back to mix up another 50 grams of transparent resin with the same amount of catalyst.

Once the second batch was mixed, I painted two thin shells of transparent resin on each side of the silicon mould. I applied a good coating on each part and then left it to set. I will be aiming to do a transparent resin pour tomorrow in Martin’s workshop.