“ah-ow”

Advice to anyone working in a metal workshop. After welding two large strips of metal together, do not proceed to rest your palm on the point of contact. It hurts.

Also… If this does happen, don’t try to ‘be strong’ and carry on working, run it under some cold water.

Otherwise you’re just being an idiot. Like me.

I did eventually wander back to the studio, to chill it and craft a make-shift bandage out of scrap canvas and masking tape. That’ll do.

My hands are actually a wreck right now. They’re sore, burnt, bloody, my fingertips are permanently black from the metalwork, little splinters of wood litter my palms from woodwork and theres tiny little scratches generally all over. (Plus, I sliced my finger open yesterday while making an apple pie. This did not help). Battlewounds? I do enjoy being dramatic… Suffering for my art and all that… Not quite Marina Abramović style just yet.

I ran away from the workshop before the technician found out about this incident. It was a very stupid mistake and I want to at least appear like I know what I’m doing. So my productivity slowed down after this little event today. But tomorrow is sculpture day! I’m planning to go down to the plaster room and make multiples of my old binoculars. I was advised that to cast the originals would severely damage them. Soooo, that means I have to make a clay replica of them. I haven’t used clay since I ‘sculpted’ a depiction of my cat when I was 9. It was pretty sweet. Clay is such a manipulable substance, a lot of fun to use but easy to get impatient with I think. It’s just the basic shape I’m recreating in clay, I plan to cover the binoculars in paper so what’s visible will be just the silhouette.

I think the plan is to pop the clay into the kiln, create a cast of the finished model and then produce about 20 or so replicas of the binoculars. Then I’ll cover each in old text and arrange them on shelves, hiding the original pair somewhere in the arrangement. Eee I can’t wait to get on with starting another aspect of this project. Tomorrow better be a good day.

Upscale Me

In art school we have weekly tutorials. These are one to one meetings with either a tutor of your choosing, or your academic advisor. They’re quite informal and really just a chance to  express ideas and chat about progress, maybe get a couple of artists recommended to you. Vocalising ideas and discussing them with other artists is often very thought provoking. I spoke to a tutor Moira last week. It was useful and I took one thing in particular away from it. She commented on my work so far being quite ‘table-top’ and suggested I get out of my comfort zone by upscaling my work. This is an exciting prospect for me. I’ve been working quite intricately throughout 3rd year, I think its time to upscale.

So how do I move this project away from being too ‘table-top’?

1. Get rid of the table. Done.

2. Look at the materials at hand. That bloody wardrobe from last year just sits and looks at me every day. Its a constant reminder of last semester. Last semester was good and at the time I thought I was doing well. But this semester just feels so much better. My head is so much clearer. So I don’t want remnants of old less successful work taking up space. (This is unusual for me, seeing as I’m such a hoarder). The solution? Smash it up. Im’a go at it with a hammer and see where it gets me.

3. Upscale what I’m already working on. The metal work is going well and producing a really nice aesthetic. So lets take that and make it bigger. I can’t make the cubes themselves too big because the metal is just too heavy for me to realistically work with. But I can upscale slightly and layer smaller ones into a larger structure. I tried a larger piece today and was pleased with how it looked among the others.

 

I always feel really nervous before I go into Metalwork but once I’m there I do enjoy it. Today I was the only one in the workshop and was just cracking on with the work. The radio was buzzing a string of indistinguishable songs in the background. Suddenly Beyonce started blaring through the speakers… and I mean, obviously its impossible not to dance about a wee bit to that. Bopping about while cutting big sheets of metal is quite empowering.

The harshness of the metalwork gives a nice contrast to my more intricate bottle piece. They’ll compliment each other nicely. I’m going to leave the metal boxes empty to further this, a sort of comment on absence itself while the other work is full of content.

So, yeah, theres a fair bit going on with me right now. My heads nice and arty. I’ve only had one panic moment as opposed to my usual 5 a day. Aaaand I’ve made contact with the gallery The Changing Room in Stirling to see if they’ll take me on for a short placement. Look at me go.