Studio 606

New academic year, new white space. I spent a week last semester painting the walls and scrubbing the floor of 606, in preparation for the previous 4th years degree show, so it’s only fitting I should inherit the studio.

Here it is, my new canvas.

I’ve moved some stuff in now. The addition of some collected objects and a pot of coffee has it suddenly feeling more ‘Rachael’. Last week was a bit lacking in productivity on account of 21st birthday related excitement. It was a fantastic week otherwise though. And following that high I’m now ready to make a start with the semester.

I find it easier to think about my stuff when I isolate and arrange my objects into compositions. Things look better when they’re displayed more formally, objects begin to become artworks when they stop being used for their original purpose, so I spent today putting shelves up and playing.

This is what I do.

I’m not completely consumed by any one idea yet but I have that exciting feeling that I’m onto something.

Things I’m thinking about:

Empty jewellery boxes

Old spectacles

Collecting information


Obsessive sentimentality

Hyper recording of data


Make of that what you will. There’s a lot of little ideas floating around, I just need to grab and develop them.


Photo Time

Actually every time is photo time. I take too many photos. As anyone who knows me will have noticed. I’m the creep who snaps you when you aren’t looking and takes still lives of every meal she eats. I probably take an average of 5 photos a day. So although I’ve basically completed my practical work for this semester, making sketchbooks is going to be quite a tedious process. I always have a photo book to go alongside my installations. I think the installation and the photographs of the installation are separate things in themselves, both with nice qualities, and both with merit to be displayed. So now I have the long task of editing and selecting, and then that horrible final job of double-sided taping them all down.

Nothing to do but get it done.

Here’s some snaps of my metalwork closeup…


Not long to go til the deadline. Why am I not more stressed out right now? Since when am I a chilled person…?

Two Weeks To Go

The work has been forced to take a backseat over the last couple of weeks due to an ever-nearing essay deadline. I’ve been curling up beside the radiator in the library most days, obsessively colour coding notes and scanning books. I’ve said before, I like essay writing… It just takes a while to get started. I’m hoping to get a big chunk of it written today so I can get back to the fun stuff.

I did manage to start a new piece last week though, and I’m quite pleased with it so far. Continuing with the process of concealing items, I’ve wrapped a shirt in old dictionary pages and contained it in a metal structure. This is a continuation of my focus on the object as a storage vessel for memory. This piece has multiple ways it could go, I’ve not decided on its final presentation yet. Its good having a few ideas though. In fact being in a state of ‘having ideas’ is the best feeling in the world. This might sound like an exaggeration but to me there’s nothing worse than not feeling creatively in tune.

I positioned the piece with a couple of my other objects for this photo. I want to continue work on the binoculars, but separate from the plaster work. Pictured here is also a wrapped up bell, a wrapped up soldiers book and three of my Grandpa’s matches. Make of it what you will.

Side ramble… I love old books. Theres a little charity shop in Musselburgh with stacks and stacks of ageing books. Its a little bit amazing. Perhaps this is an odd fascination? It’s just so nostalgic, the smell and the look and being able to dive into a patchwork library. Nice.


Time to Weld

Metalwork might be a bit of a challenge this year. That doesn’t have to be bad though, right? Having spent all last semester in woodwork, I assumed the skills would be pretty transferable. But theres now an even greater fear that I’m going to lose a finger. Heavier machines, sharper materials, being entrusted with hot metal…

However, the look is pretty sweet. So, lets see what we can do.

Too Small for Metal

I have ideas. Lots of ideas. Well… three ideas. Which is lots of ideas! This should be reassuring. But I’m a worrier.

It’s hard to ‘just get things done’ when you’re panicking about the result. Is it easier to not try, and therefore not fail?

I’m intending to try metalwork this year, however it’s off to a slow start. Apparantly I’m too little to work the metal cutting machine, and my clothes are too ‘flattering’ to weld in. So, plan of action? Three McDonalds meals a day and denim overalls. Or perhaps I could just wear old clothes and ask for a bit of assistance. It was a rare occasion today where I felt that my gender was holding me back. I felt like such a ‘girl’ in that metal workshop. It’s stupid really, I was in woodwork all last year and coped pretty well. Metal is probably more complex, but I’m going to try.

I’m thinking a lot about multiples this semester. My starting point in metalwork is to make a variety of cube like structures. Progressing from there, I’m hoping to play about with light, I did a bit of wiring last year but I’d like to make it more of a feature. This is a pretty vague explanation of what I’m thinking.

It’s disappointing not to have any pictures of progress yet. Tomorrow will be my day.