Iridescent Surface

Using the cut outs of acrylic, I used the same technique as for my lampshades to apply the iridescent film; using the vacuum former as a source of heat, I melted it onto the surface. For some pieces it worked well, if the film was on the convex side of the acrylic, it stretched it and made it taut enough to stay on more easily, but f it was on the convex side of a curve, it became crumpled and adhered badly. The speed of the heating also made the film very brittle, which meant that when I cut the excess off later, it looked very messy.

Another problem I encountered was the temperature of the vacuum former; initially, I put the acrylic in before it reached its highest temperature, and then later on when it got hotter the film melted too fast and caused it to shrink before it could stick to the surface. I like both colours of film that I have, but I think the darker one hides the messiness, and makes it seem neater. I think for ease of development, I will purchase some iridescent acrylic and continue to practice on plain acrylic to get the form and shape right.



Inspired by Anna Atkins work, and how the process forms a neat outline, I learned how to do cyanotyping. I found some leaves from nearby that I thought might create some interesting silhouettes and used them to create a large sheet of cyanotypes.

Cyanotyping as a process is simpler than I thought it would be; the most complex part of the process is mixing the chemicals together. The reveal was really fun, rinsing off the chemicals to show the contrasting colours.

I love how most of these turned out; they’re much clearer and crisper than I was expecting for my first attempt. I’m not so fond of the larger leaves, like the sycamore and the oak. Their plain outline without and veins or other details makes them look boring. Looking at the page, I almost feel as though it is a waste of space to have them there. As I expected, the ones I am most drawn to are the smaller leafed plants, the grasses and the leaves made up of multiple parts. I particularly love the grasses that entangle together. i think that looking more deeply into this will help with the formation of my bowl.

Jon’s Study Group: Technology

During this study group, we discussed how each of us inteneded to use technology in our work, whether it be as direct as to actually use it in our final piece, or as part of the curation and presentation process. We talked about how easy or difficult it might be to set up more complex lighting or motor systems for the show, and some of the different types of electrical fittings that are more aesthetically pleasing than the standard kind.

We also looked at some websites which sell components that are good for lighting and electrics, such as enamelshades and cordsncables. One of my favourites was the different kinds of plugs and cords that could be used to give an object that I make more personality; since I intend to work with translucent materials, it would match quite well to have a translucent plug. I also really like the large bulbs with interesting filaments, or LED fibre optic filaments that resemble them at least.

While Jon and ___ were talking about wiring it solidified my realisation that I’m more concerned with the way the lighting is affected by, or affects my object, whatever that may be, rather than the electronic components themselves.

We also covered the topic of commercial lighting, selling bespoke or more factory-made types of products, and how we would need to prepare for that with PAT tests and papers.

Maker Seminar 1- Relativism vs Formalism

We started the seminar by defining the meanings of both words. The conclusion that we came to was that formalism is all about shape, form, mass and colour, removing the artifact from all or as much of the contextual information as possible, provoking a visceral and non-intellectual reaction. Relativism is the opposite end of the spectrum, relying on the viewer’s knowledge and previous experience to place it in the world it sits in, creating a network of implications such as epoch, culture politics and representation that define the artifact.

We were asked to split into halves, choosing the side we thought best described our own work. although I wasn’t completely sure which side I belong on, I chose to argue for the side of formalism, because colour, form and shape are important in my work. The task was to choose 3 famous artists who fit into our category, and argue that they truly belonged there, while debunked the opposition’s arguments.


The relativism team chose to defend Alice Kettle, a textile artist who stitches politically informed illustration onto one side, but displays the side she has not seen. We argued that the practice she chose was based in formalism, but eventually they won that round.


Our team chose to defend Thomas Heatherwick, since the inception of his design work is rooted in experimentation and happenstance, which is the built upon to become something else.

Overall, the conclusion that we collectively came to is that one cannot exist without the other. Form exists in artistic choices such as practice, process, colour and material, but these choices do not exist in a vacuum and each choice we have is impacted by our previous experience. Each material will have a personal or cultural significance, as will a process or even a colour.

The moment someone sees an object or work, their mind immediately forms snap judgements and assess a wide variety of things in relation to their own body and memories. Some of these are intentional, such as colours evoking a positive/negative reaction, and others are purely coincidental.

A formalist response to a work, as far as I understand it, is when you look at something and it makes you feel something, but you don’t necessarily understand why, or have the words or memories to explain it, at least not right away. It’s something that removes itself from human limitations and becomes something else. It can often be confusing. On the contrary, a relativist response might occur when you have some knowledge about a subject, and you can appreciate it’s representative value, and its connotations in the real world and to you.

Somewhere in between these two is the perfect response; when an experience is ‘sublime’, the perfect combination of both types of concepts.

For the second part of the discussion, we were split into sections, choosing our priorities as makers, from; beauty; self-fulfillment; commercial gain and self expression. We argued why each point was the most important to us, and why they lean on each other to become one. My point was that culture is measured and remembered by the art that we leave behind, so I’d like to leave something of myself, and my generation, for people in the future to look back on. Commercial group was simply concerned about having enough money to live off, and self expression was concerned that their work conveyed the message that they wanted to be received. Self expression wanted to feel happy and proud of their own work, even if no one else were to see it.

From now on, I will try to be more aware of how my work will be perceived by the average viewer, and what implications all of my choices could have. I need to put more consideration into how each part of my work could be understood, or not understood, or how it might make the viewer feel.



Our first brief is to create a bowl using our 6 words to guide us and underpin the outcome.

I started by looking at what the definition of a bowl is; a round object used to hold something, often food or liquid and usually associated with eating, but is also used for other things such as cleaning. It is one of the oldest man-made artifacts, with examples of bowls dating way back to the inception of humans, and could be considered a fundamental part of ourselves.

In pip’s study group, we went through different ideas of what a bowl could be, and what it could say, as an object. A coracle (a round boat) and a spoon can count as a bowl, and a bowl doesn’t have to hold liquid. Could a bell be a bowl for sound?

I started with some sketches of what initially came to mind when encountering these words. I started  off with ideas similar to Soo Sunny Park’s unwoven Light, and went through several which were rather disjointed from each other. I tried some ideas which focused more on the process led side of things, but eventually settled on a starting point that was leaves.

I intend to follow down this path, experimenting with different types of leaves, flowers, arrangements and material qualities of acrylic to create a bowl which seemingly defies gravity, and is delicate and intriguing.


After a tutorial with Pip, I finally decided on a solid direction to take my work. While I will still be using artists like Tord Boontje and I looked into some new artists that I felt would inform my work.


Anna Atkins – I want to look into 2D renderings of plantlife, so her cyanotypes are a good example of getting the basic shape of each plant, without much complexity of the form. The simple outlines are good starting points to help me understand how to create flat nets from which to make my bowl.

Kai Sekimachi – Uses skeleton leaves to form delicate, intricate bowls that are far sturdier than they look. She uses kozo paper, watercolour and Krylon to add strength to the leaves, so they are able to hold heavier items without crumpling. I want to look into the lines of the leaf veins, and think about ways to incorporate similar patterns and decorations into my own work.

Andi Wolfe – Woodturner and carver who uses nature as inspiration. These turned and carved leaf bowls are fairly similar to what I would like to achieve, in a sense. I really enjoy the fluidity and movement of the form, as though the leaves are twirling in the wind, and the detail of the carving.

Pecha Kucha/Gesamtkunstwerk

20 slide presentation of photos of artwork or things that we like. I chose some artists work that I’ve been drawn to for a long time, and that I think really embodies my aesthetic as a person.

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  1. Tord Boontje – floral lighting, laser cut and mass produced for HABITAT, gives a whimsical note to the room it is placed in.
  2. Bruce Munroe – Small LED stalks that resemble dandelions, spanning a wide area of land and intriguing the viewer.
  3. Lampadani- Italian company that produces, among other things, lighting, from iron rods and resin coated paper.
  4. Soo Sunny Park- Dichroic glass work that refracts rainbow colours on the ground and glitters in the sun.
  5. Cute circuit- company that specialises in LEDs in clothing that is wearable and changes colours in patterns.
  6. Charles Petillon – Balloon ‘invasions’ that create interesting light effects, and look alien and unusual in their movement.
  7. SoftLab- Studio that works with large scale installations, often using dichroic glass and lighting in their work.
  8. Asae Soya- Iridescence is a huge component in almost all of her work, I love this one in particular because it makes the space shapeless, like floating in space.
  9. Pip & Pop – Candy coloured and literally made of sugar, transports the viewer into a nostalgic, childlike sense of wonderment. Temporary, and
  10. Ikea lamp – David Wahl, inspired by sci-fi movies.
  11. Ikea lamp – David Wahl, inspired by the paths of fireflies.
  12. Iridescent Quality – a quality I noticed that attracts me; the colour change effect is important to me
  13. Komorebi – I like nature and natural light, and this is one of my favourite natural effects.

From our presentations, the group gave input on what they thought our collective interest was, throwing out words  that matched well with the images that we provided. From this selection of words, we were asked to pick out six from which we would base our first project on.

The words I chose are, in no particular order:

  1. Iridescent – colour change material quality
  2. Lighting – either synthetic or natural (sun)
  3. Translucency – the quality to, at least partially, let light through
  4. Floral – organic, flora, foliage
  5. Fairytale – instilling a childish sense of nostalgia and magic
  6. Swarm – many small parts coming together to form a larger piece