Wednesday, 25 November 2009

The Grapes of Wrath

Slight change to the colour project. Actually make that huge change, its totally different to my last post! Instead of beautiful, contemporary, colourful architecture we have been given fruit to work with. One specific type of fruit to be precise, which in my case is grapes. Hmmm, I was really looking forward to the architectural one, but never mind, I'm still going to use it for my source project anyway (which I will write about soon). So grapes. What do you all associate grapes with? Vineyards, wine, religious connotations? My favourite episode of Black Books springs to mind too, but I'm not sure what my tutors would think of that... You know, the one where they housesit and drink very expensive wine and end up having to concoct their own wine to replace it, which in turn poisons the Pope? I digress. I think I'm going to line draw some vineyards, also have a closer look at the stalks, I really like the rough texture. We were given some of our fruit to draw in a still life and also to study its decay, cut it in half, peel it, squash it, just observe it really. I have to admit I did eat some of mine too! I prefer the colour of red grapes, I think I'll be concentrating on them. I didn't realise there was so much on the subject though. Type it into Wikipedia and you'll see what I mean! Anyway, I shall leave you to my still life sketches and rack my brains a wee bit more...

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Food for Thought...

So, despite it being Sunday, and my first day off for three weeks, I had a sneaky peek at the brief for our next project. Its based on colouring jewellery, and much as I would have loved to be able to use it as an excuse to play with more hot glaas, it looks like we are having to use resin and/or acrylic. Metal can be used too. Our guidelines are that it has to be a neckpiece (I think it said "elaborate" too, which sounds fun!) and it should be loosley inspired by architecture. So, I've been looking :) Gaudi immediately springs to mind when I think of colour and architecture, but I think it will have been done before quite a bit. I wonder if I'll be able to use murals? Not strictly architecture, but murals make such strong statements and it will be very interesting to explore. Another thing that springs to mind is the Casa Azul in Mexico, the birthplace of Frida Kahlo. I love Frida's artwork, and find Mexican culture fascinating. I guess I don't have to take it so literally and use colourful buildings on the other hand. For now though, I will leave you with some pictures I found, which take the words colour and architecture to the extreme...

They are by an Austrian architect and painter, Friedensreich Hundertwasser. I wouldn't mind living in one of these... :)

Friday, 20 November 2009

The Finished Piece!

OK, so after four weeks, this project is drawing to a close, and this is my final piece! Its representing Autumn blowing into Winter, and I'm pretty pleased with it! The back is a brooch pin, which needs a bit more polishing for that mirror finish over the weekend, but I'm almost there now. I've also put up a couple more of my sketchbook pages for your viewing pleasure :)

Monday, 16 November 2009


Hello, this is going to be very quick as everyone is really busy in the workshop finishing off the artist research project, which we will be presenting this time next week!
Anyway, in the midst of all the madness some of my friends from fine art, jewellery and some other disciplines are exhibiting one piece of work each in the Wasps Studios exhibition space here in Dundee. Its opening on Friday, and my piece is on its way, but not finished yet (a late night tonight is in order!). All of the details are on our flyer, which is pictured below, but if you are in Dundee or the surrounding area, please pop in, in will be fantastic. To the right is my Faux Bone tablet, which I am stringing up with wire and handmade copper chain. I'll get a picture of the finished piece up when its ready I hope!
Back to the workshop!

Friday, 6 November 2009


I have been getting on quite well with my sketchbook this week and think I will be ready to start making come Wednesday. I spoke to Dot Sim, one of our tutors this morning and she seems to agree with my suggestion of going with the four seasons (which are frequently featured in Haiku) for my final piece. Or pieces by the sounds of things as I think four separate ones will be much better than trying to cram all of them into one piece. I'm thinking brooches at the moment, with perhaps a tree going through a different stage of its life cycle in each one. I'm also going to have to worry about setting stones in all of them and what to use. Might fuse some glass to be honest, to keep the cost down and have some more control over the colours. Dot suggested I keep four little sketchbooks for each of the seasons, but at the moment I'm just splitting my big one up into sections so I don't lose anything! Still only on Japanese spring at the moment though, so I should probably get back to it! I hope you like my sketchbook scans, these are my three favourite pages so far.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Haiku and Haiga

Hello :)
Barbara Christie is very busy I think, as she has not replied to my e-mail (yet...). So it looks like I will have to go it alone a wee bit in this project. The narrative aspect of her jewellery, and what I interpret to be a rather Japanese influence and style have led me to Haiku, lovely, short and yet very descriptive Japanese poems. Futher research into Haiku led me to discover something I have never heard of before, the Haiga. This is effectively a Haiku, accompanied by an image, either depicting or enhancing what is said in the text. Sounds like something worth exploring in jewellery and that stones will lend themselves to it nicely. So sketching time it is and hopefully more narrative jewellery on the way. In the meantime, here are some Haiku I found which are inspiring:

These long days
watching the sky fade
with closed eyes.

the river comes
along too.

afternoon rain
into my sleep
your pencil moves.

The big picture at the top is a traditional Haiga. I think its beautiful.