3D Relief Moulds – My Outcomes.

I was so excited to reveal my 3D Plaster Reliefs, that I had made in a workshop with Jon recently. I chose to start with my first one that was of my right hand.

As I started to gently peel the clay away, it unfortumately crumbled apart. I unfortunately didn’t make the depth of the clay deep enough or the mixture of the Plaster thicker. This is what led to my crumbly disaster of a reveal and I was a little disappointed if I am honest, because I did initially want a set of handprints. I do know now for any future attempts that I have to have a deeper clay base and a thicker mix to avoid this from happening again.


My second reveal of my left hand and little finger imprints was perfect. I was left with a beautiful, intricate piece. I was so pleased with this outcome, because the clay had captured every fine detail of my hand and it looked almost life-like if it wasn’t for the skin tone being too dark to match my own skin. Something that I need to further experiment in, in the future is tone mixing with Powder Paints but as my first attempt, I thought it was pretty good.


Since this photo was taken, I have carefully been cleaning this piece to get rid off excess clay, talc and powder. I was so pleased with this workshop and I am eager to carry on trying more in my self-directed study time if I can. I also definitely want to try Bronze Casting next, as I feel that would be fun and definitely a new experience.


3D Relief Plaster Moulds Workshop With Jon.

Today was fun as I got to dabble around with Clay and Plaster of Paris, as well as Powder Paints, which was fascinating!

I’ve made sprig moulds before for a college project roughly around 3 years ago, so it was a great recap today to be able to go through this technique again, only with better materials and resources.

I started off with a lump of clay, that was placed on a Ceramics mat. Jon had handed out plastic A5 templates, as that was the size we were making our moulds too. I placed the template against the clay and used a rolling pin to get the accurate size. Using a small knife, I cut the excess off and removed the template.


Once I put the excess aside, I used two wooden blocks to press against the sides of my clay to keep the size and shape, whilst I continued to roll it out, to create a certain depth and smoothness. When I was content with the size of my clay, I removed the blocks and used talcum powder on my hand, as that was the object I wanted to imprint into the clay and the talc made it easier to remove an object from the clay without damaging the imprint. I decided to do both my left and right hands, that were in different positions.

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Once I was happy with whatever imprint I wanted, I gently lifted it from the mat and placed it onto a Ceramics board, where I was ready to prep it for the Plaster mould making. To do this, I had to use plastic boards, that were gently pressed into the sides of my clay, and using the excess clay from earlier, I had to fill in the gaps between the joinings, to prevent the plaster from leaking out onto the board. It ended up looking a little like this.

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For my right hand print, I decided to put a sprinkle of Bright Red Powder Paint into the imprint, before mixing up my Plaster mix of white Plaster, Bright Red and Ochre Powder Paints.

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Once I was satisfied with what I wanted to do, I started to pour my mix over the top of the clay and I am now waiting for the grand reveal of both my handprints, as well as my fingerprints. I chose to do this, because I want to work with Gender Identity in my work and I wanted to visually communicate the difference between men and women’s hands. I had thought about asking a male and female person in my class to kindly imprint their hand for me but I felt a little awkward and shy to do so.

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I cannot wait to get into my workspace tomorrow before my Workshop with Martin to peal away the clay and see what my 3D Reliefs look like. I will no doubt post another blog tomorrow about my outcomes! I can’t wait.

Artists Who Work With Gender – Part One.

I’m exceedingly interested in Gender Identity and I am already considering / developing ideas in that area for my Project Brief on ‘Beautiful and Useable’. I find artists who work with gender/genitalia/gender identity really fascinating and I have started to broaden my research, to develop ideas, to gain further knowledge and see just how far I can take this project.

Below are some of the artists that I have currently discovered and have been looking at.

Sarah Lucas

genitalia impression - sarah lucas Sarah-Lucus-Au-Naturel
Au Naturel 1994 Mattress, water bucket, melons, oranges and cucumber 84 x 168 x 145 cm

I thought this piece was humorous, it’s so simple but still visually speaks to me. Using fruit and a bucket, Sarah manages to visually portray each set of gender’s genitalia, without it seeming too rude, or detailed.

Quite frankly, I think the simplicity of this piece is what I love the most about it. There is so much you can do to create pieces that speak to people, that often require a tedious journey to get to a final outcome, and this Installation seems very straightforward. I would have loved to off seen the thought process and contextualisation behind this outcome, just to see what Sarah was thinking and feeling at the time this piece was made. Not only that but to see what artists and objects inspired and influenced her work.

The materials are found / or owned objects, such as the mattress.

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Sarah Lucas installation British Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition at the Biennale in Venice

These pieces are quite interesting, because there is only the lower body, with no upper torso or anything else, so the bodies are incomplete. By studying these pieces, I’d say the materials used were stuffed tights, plaster, cigarettes and wood. I thought it was a little obscure that the cigarette was the penis but also found it amusing at the same time.

I’m really inspired by Sarah’s work, it’s quirky, different and eye-catching. No piece is the same, they all have different personalities and meanings. Her work features a lot to do with gender, something I am passionate about to continue in my own practise.

I was also reading the small article that is linked above and took this small description and quote from it.

“Sarah Lucas’s works for the British Pavilion reprise and reinvent the themes that have come to define her powerfully irreverent art – gender, death, sex, and the innuendo residing in everyday objects. Throughout this latest group of works, the body – sexual, comedic, majestic – remains a crucial point of return, while Lucas’s work continues to confront big themes with a distinctive wit.

‘Humour is about negotiating the contradictions thrown up by convention. To a certain extent humour and seriousness are interchangeable. Otherwise it wouldn’t be funny. Or devastating.’ – Sarah Lucas”.

penetralia - sarah lucas

Sarah Lucas: Penetralia
November 18 – December 23, 2010

The materials used for these collective pieces were: White plaster casts of erect penises and craggy blades of flint held aloft on roughly chopped blocks of wood by bendy wire supports.

I discovered the materials through the second link above, which was another interesting article on Sarah Lucas discussing her interest in the sexual relationship between men and women, gender, objects etc.

I thought these were brilliant, as the detail is so accurate. They also relate to what I have been doing in my current workshop, as I have been making 3D reliefs using clay and plaster… But no, they were not off giant penises, I can assure you!

Lot 123
Sarah Lucas
B. 1962
‘Get Off Your Horse And Drink Your Milk’
four cibachrome prints laid down on board.
each: 122 x 122cm; 48 by 48inc.
Executed in 1995, this work is unique.

Out of all off Sarah’s work, I would say this one is the most ‘graphic’, as there is a male model, holding a milk bottle by his genitalia and there are also biscuits resting down there.

These were turned into prints, which would have been interesting to see in real life. I am not sure I would have bought one, but it would have been interesting to see how different the pieces look from a photograph to the real thing.

Sarah’s work has inspired me because it’s shown me that there are multiple and vast ways to create and develop art that speak out about gender related issues. There is no one way to made a piece about that topic and that really excites me, because it’s taught me that my possibilities and ideas for my own project can be limitless, so long as it stays within my grading criteria.


Constellation Keynote Lecture.

Today I’ve had my first Keynote Lecture in Constellation, with Dr. Ashley Morgan about; “When is a nerd not a nerd? When he’s a geek: Exploring the shift in representation of male identities”.

This was interesting because Dr. Morgan spoke about different types of masculinity; about hegemonic and non-hegemonic men, how the shift has changed and for someone, like me, who is particularly interested in making his work around Gender Identity, these sorts of Keynote Lectures become research and further development for my own ideas.

The thing that mainly caught my attention was when Dr. Morgan started to discuss a man’s appearance and how you can tell where one works due to his attire. She referenced The Big Bang Theory a lot, as the main characters are a group of ‘nerdy’ scientists who wear Pop Cultural tshirts and often clothes that do not even match. She discussed how you could tell they do not see people whilst at work, because they are sat in front of a desk, generating ideas and working on a whiteboard. Dr. Morgan also spoke about men who wore suits, and not just any suits, but specifically hand-tailored suits, so that suggested one was an accountant or lawyer, somewhere high up in the ranks. A hegemonic man. Whilst the scientific characters in The Big Bang Theory were non-hegemonic men.

Dr. Morgan gives a really good lecture, she’s entertaining, enthusiastic and gets the audience to partake in the lecture. What’s even better is that the Keynote Lecture was Dr. Morgan’s own work, it is her current subject area and I am very interested in getting a place on her Study Group for Constellation.

I’m most definitely looking forward to more lectures from Dr. Morgan.

CAD Workshop.

I was excited about starting this workshop and if I’m honest, a little apprehensive, as I worried it would be very complex and I would struggle to get my head around the software. However, after meeting my CAD tutor, Charlie Bull, I felt reassured and confident.

An Introduction To Rhino. 

Once I was logged onto Windows, I was first taught about the 4 screens that automatically appear when you start Rhino up. These are called View Ports and allows me to view my 3D model from Front, Back, Left and Right. 12072754_1616865588563543_7044793632212568247_n

For my lesson though, I was not going to be using View Ports and changed the view to Perspective, which was like a side view, with grids. The first task was to create an already 3D cylinder using the Solid Creation sub-toolbar.


I moved onto using the Lines sub-toolbar, as well as learning about Ortho, Snapback and Gumball’s functions at the bottom of the screen. Ortho was very useful, as once on, only allowed you to draw accurate lines. Gumball was the most fun though, as I could make 2D shapes into 3D with just a few clicks. I also learned about creating outer lines on my 2D pieces.


With the unusual 2D shapes I had drawn, I decided that I wanted to create a 3D Futuristic building of some kind, that allowed me to really test out Rhino’s features that I had so far learned. Whilst having an idea in mind, I was taught how to restore defaults, in case my toolbar never appeared when Rhino starts up, as well as the drop down menu to change views, the Curve Fillet to curve lines, and Extrude Surface, which was a longer technique to change a 2D surface into a 3D one, but felt satisfactory once complete.

Below are my current outcomes of my work so far in Rhino, at different View Ports.

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I’m already very excited about next week’s workshop and can’t wait to continue my work!

Copper Enameling Workshop

I had a metal workshop with Martin in Copper Enameling, that I found really enjoyable and discovered new materials / techniques that I hadn’t tried out before and I am already looking forward to next Tuesday’s session!

I had to start out by deciding on what design I wanted to apply to the copper, so I sketched up some thumbnails to choose from. I decided on a cat and a kitten, to be created separately. I chose a bigger piece of copper for the cat, as I wanted a variable in scale and form. I used a blowtorch to heat up the copper until the metal started glowing red. Once glowing, I used both heat proof gloves and pliers to dip the copper into a bucket of cold water. I dried the metal and then put two small rows of masking tape over the top, before doing a very rough thumbnail over the masking tape.


I moved over to a workstation, after picking up a Jewellery saw on my way there, as it was easier to saw into the Copper on there. With the Jewellery saw, I had to be careful not to snap the blade as I was sawing into my softened copper, as I would then have to replace the blade, which happened only once and it is handy to learn how to change over saw blades.


It took me a while to adjust to using a Jewellery saw, as I kept applying pressure automatically, when I simply just had to have an ‘up, down’ motion that gently made it’s way through my design.


Once my cat was sawn out, I moved onto filing to create smooth edges, as I wanted my objects to be wearable, as I kept my Project theme in mind, ‘Beautiful, Useable’, as I am turning the cat and kitten into a friendship bracelet.


I wanted to create small holes in my cat, for eyes and the joinings for where my thread or leather cord to go through. I practised with this very useful tool, that allowed me to have different scale holes punched through the metal but due to my small scale of pieces, the piercer had to be the smallest size. After this was done, I cleaned up my copper with Pummice, a cleaning grit, that reminded me of slip. I was happy to move onto applying a backing of enamel, which I decided to go for a clear backing. I had to wait for the kiln to reach 780 degrees if memory serves me correctly, before I could put it in for a minute.

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Just before it was coming close to 4pm, I managed to enamel my first cat’s front with an Ebony Black colour, which came out looking glossy and sleek. I was very happy with the results, as I had managed to get the holes punched into my second object whilst there was a queue for the kilns. Next week, I will get to enamel my kitten and finish the set, before I move onto Pewter Casting, which I am extremely excited about. I’m going home this weekend to pick out items I wish to create a mold out off.

A Brief Introduction to Lv4 Constellation.


I met Martyn Woodward, one of my Constellation tutors this morning, for an hour lecture as an introduction to Constellation. I was excited about this part of the course beforehand, but left the lecture rearing to go for Thursdays, because I am fascinated by Contextual Studies and Art History. I feel Constellation is going to be a large percentage of what I enjoy on this course as a Maker.

I already have a very clear idea of what I want to do for my two options for Term 1 and 2 in Constellation. I’m particularly interested in Archaeologies of the Unseen, The Body in Society, Creative and Cognitive Development in Art and Design, as well as Visual Thinking. If I do not get my first two choices but get my second options, I feel I will still be happy.

I look forward to starting my study groups.