I am now feverishly working on producing my pieces for the 'presents' section of this years Design Event Mart... from an initial product my 'range' has now developed into FOUR new products, a nice little selection, hopefully it will look more interesting when displayed too. The inspiration for these pieces comes from an ongoing fascination with militaria, and vintage ephemera particularly associated with wartime adornments; especially medals, insignia and emblems. Past work from these sources feels somehow unresolved in my mind and I have a passion in this area which compels me to continuously do more research, gaining further and still new, inspiration, allowing me to generate new ideas and ensuring I am constantly developing the related concept.
Materials used during the development, sampling and prototyping process included non valuable and workhorse materials not commonly considered to be aesthetically pleasing such as offcuts of plywood and clear acrylic sheet, together with papers - either used or ready to be discarded – some were taken from the bin in my studio… I found these papers the most interesting as they would ensure that every piece is very slightly different, giving an extra significance and added exclusivity.
I examined the use of traditional stitch as a binding process as an alternative to mass manufacturing processes or time consuming silversmithing techniques as a way to instill the personal and warm feeling that hand stitching evokes by using vintage army issue linen thread that was actually given to soldiers during WW2 to repair their uniforms and kit.
During the interpretation of Design Event’s theme of ‘Happiness’ my main thought was that purely by wearing an adornment or a beautiful piece of jewellery one would feel ‘happy’ although I did also play with the idea of using ‘joyous’ words, as I do consistently incorporate text within my work. Through natural progression and the design process, incorporating a level of ambiguity and allowing personal interpretation I finally considered (and used) the words ‘I AM...’ which would allow the owner to decide on their level of happiness (or otherwise) at the time of wearing, alternatively the simple statement ‘It’s a beautiful life’ – just a little reminder.
this does beg the question 'what is an emerging artist?'... someone who has not yet had a 'retrospective' exhibition, someone who has not shown at the TATE (for example), someone who does not (yet, hopefully) make stacks of money from their art, someone who is freshly graduated? I am all of those things except one, so I think I do qualify...
- just a use for some antique watch and clock parts I came across in a forgotten box in a cupboard in my studio... I scanned a dilapidated watch face and etched/ cut it from offcuts of plywood, stained them with coffee and ink and added the bits and jewellery findings. I feel they will be the last things I make for a while.
this is about a brilliant idea, well I thought it was, unfortunately the panel didn't select it. I recently pitched my idea for designing and making a limited edition commemorative product; which I enjoyed doing immensely I have to say. I would like to be VERY dramatic at this point but they were so nice it feels wrong... so I will just tell you all about my idea for a series of new pieces (medals!??!!)...which is still in the pipeline but will have to be for another project in some way, shape or form.
actually on second thoughts I don't know whether I can explain it in writing very well so I will just show you my sample/ design boards and dwell on the 'not being selected' business...
I think it's time to throw in a few old sayings for 'boosting' purposes...any more suggestions -please add...
onwards and upwards
I will get my reward in heaven
practice makes perfect...
it is all meant to be :-)
there's plenty more commissions in the sea (ah - scratch that)
right here, right now (well on Saturday at Middlesbrough Town Hall it's DesignersMarketplace)! I am going through the usual last minute un-preparedness... but I shall do my best to appear to be organised and calm and pleasant (hard one that) with some good (!) stuff... it's always a good day for socialising and chatting and drinking lots of coffee (when I can persuade the lovely public to go to the coffee shop for me)...AND if every person who comes in spends a pound on my 'high quality goods' I can go on holiday...how cool is that, no pressure of course :-)
I can't actually show you my final medal piece for Design Event Presents... it's strictly under wraps but will be unveiled at The Baltic in October 2011... hold your breath and save your money...it's a limited edition :-)
a new medal is on it's way... am still working out idea's and in the early stages of trial and error. I am completely unsure as yet which will be taken through to production. I may have to have a little poll...when I return. I am off to London tomorrow for New Designers with 14 fabulous graduates for the week, can't believe it's come around again already...
I tidied my studio today as one simply cannot start a new project until this is done and I tied up some more birds. now I know this is not strictly 'tidying' but some embellishment is always good. let the flutter begin.