Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Just a quick update...

I actually have a fair few things to show you, including the wonder that is flip-flop socks but right now my internet access is restricted as I have been forced to move home again.

At very short notice. Again.

I'm starting to think that there's a part of me that just wants to make trouble and be nomadic. It's the part that reached out and slapped my landlord's brother.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Have a Heart

Right now our final project for second year (ohmygodwheredidthetimego) is to do whatever the hell you want. Well, I wanted to practice throwing, but we only have 1 shimpo wheel (being used by a 3rd year all the time) and I hate throwing on the others because you can't brace your arms on your thighs. I tried and I failed miserably.

So then I thought about making a juggling set. A juggling set comprised of a brain (head), a heart (heart, duh), and some intestines (gut feeling). And then I just thought about making a heart, a lovely detailed heart that would be a great jumping off point for figurine design next year. Et voilĂ .

Hand sculpted in solid clay. It was about 12cm across and felt very good in the hand. I worked from a photocopy from an anatomy book and tried to include all the important bits, but the photos just showed from the front and back, not the top so it was hard to position all the veins.
Hazel pointed out that the veins looked a bit like the face of a really weird bug:

It reminds me of the Ohmu from the Ghibli film/manga "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind", haha. Watch that film if you get the chance, it's really good (the books are even better).

Anyway the idea was that you could use the heart as a bud vase, with the aorta as the opening, sort of like this incredibly bad MSPaint mock up shows:

Screw you, that's totally a flower. It's an allium.
It's hard to mould from clay because it's so delicate and easier warped/cracked/damaged, so I had to make a waste mould and make a plaster copy (which involved cutting everything in half with a band saw, a heart wrenching moment). Here's the result, all cleaned up and finished:

And here's my hand for size comparison:

So it's actually a little bit bigger than my heart (the one in my chest). Everyone says that the human heart is about the size of your fist. I don't know whether it's because I have small hands, but I've always thought that the heart seemed so very small in comparison to what it's powering. But then I guess if I think about the size of my ribcage and everything that's got to cram in there, it wouldn't fit very well if it was much bigger.

Anatomy tangents aside, I'm really happy with this. This week I managed to mould it. It was a SEVEN PART MOULD. I've never done anything so technically difficult in my life. For some comparison, a teapot mould generally has 5 parts. Most objects are 2 or 3 part moulds. 

I'll post the casts when I make my first one. The mould has to dry out first. What a week- yesterday I got into the studio around 10:30 and left at 21:00. That was after a night spent chatting to a Canadian friend and getting into bed at 4:30am. Never have I embraced a weekend so happily!

Friday, 11 May 2012

City Growing

One of the reasons I went for this flat was the small terrace we have. It's west facing and catches the afternoon sun wonderfully. Well, me being me, I wanted to see whether it was even possible to grow food with just a small container garden, so I stole some flowerpots from my mum, bought some compost and seeds, and got planting. And here's where I am now.

1 seed tray with tiny leek seedlings on the left and sugarsnap peas on the right. Obviously with the leeks I'm not going to get massive broom-handle thick white stems, but I think it might be possible to harvest some slim pencil leeks at the end of summer.

Today I moved some of my larger pea plants to a hanging basket. I'm a bit worried because the basket is tiny, so it will dry out really fast if summer ever gets in gear and actually arrives (we've had week after week of much needed, but vaguely apocalyptic, rain). I'm also not sure if the plants will trail down over the sides, or climb up the chains.

Carrot seedings! These need thinning out, obviously. I'm going to try and transplant a few to a rectangular container too. Hopefully I'll end up with a fist-full of baby carrots, but who knows? I've never been able to grow carrots, so this would be a first.

Mixed salad leaves, ready to be harvested (which is a good thing because I'm out of food and cash this weekend). I'm looking forward to munching on this and seeing if my first city harvest is a success.

I don't know what's happening at the end of summer. Next year is my final year and I don't think I could write a dissertation living in a flat with a band. On the other hand, I don't really care about my degree grade, and I'm just starting to really like my flatmates and feel accepted by them, plus this place is really cheap and now I've got a garden going...

Not to mention my little garden helper: