Friday, 29 March 2013

Well for you guys things just get better, that’s a hat-trick three out of three. I’m not going to make a habit of posting every night but it’s been an interesting week. So I was woken this morning by a phone call from a local engineer called Paul Wargent who owns a company called Pioneer prototype engineering. I visited him a few weeks ago to ask for some advice and help; he gave me both help and advice and also offered me somewhat more. As a result today I worked for Paul making some components on one of his CNC Mills.

As I stood at the machines waiting for it to finish a run so I could change the tool, I was approached by one of the guys in the workshop. After a chat he offered me my first blacksmithing commission and to be honest I was a little overwhelmed but it’s made an already amazing day even better. I must’ve killed at least six hours in the workshop today and I hope I was some help to Paul and Andy (whom I might have distracted ever so slightly.) So at the end of the day Paul approached me and offered me some work for the rest of the Easter break with the potential of becoming a member of his team.

I approached Paul with the intention of learning more about machining processes so that I could effectively use them in my work as an artist. And as an added bonus he also said that I would be free to use these facilities within reason in my own work.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

A Little Bit Extra

Looks like I’m spoiling you guys this week; this will be my second post in as many days. Yesterday I talked about having work photographed and put into a catalogue and the pictures are back. This is more like a top up post I guess. I also have some images of a new piece that I have been working on and hope you guys like it.

Alongside fresh air I am also completing several other modules; these are cultural studies, discourse, work based learning and contemporary practice 2. Each one of these modules demands separate and unique skill sets. Contemporary practice 2 is the most vocational of all four and is ultimately the reason I’m on the course. This piece that I have created has some correlation to fresh air but is a much more evolved idea. The reason that I am pursuing fresh air and CP2 alongside each other is because the evolution of the idea for fresh air is narrow and potentially weaker. This means more work for me but ultimately should be worth it.

Again I’m calling out to my audience what do you think? I’m interested as a maker your ultimately people who will receive my work. This might be in a visual context i.e. sculpture or viewed work in a gallery or you might be interested in buying one of my pieces making you a customer. This intrigues me and I’m really interested in what you think!

M and T XXX

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

How to Make 50Kg Float?

So I made a promise about blogging at least once a week and I’m going to try and keep it; I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to write very much this week. It’s been a very busy week and I haven’t done very much making but, I have been doing a lot of prep for projects that are coming up. I have also had formative assessments and production plan to hand in.

How do you make 50 kg float? This has been the big question of my week and as a result I have been crunching a lot of numbers. I have also been collecting quotes for stock, contracted work and commissions as a result have spoken to a lot of people. This has all been part of my Fresh Air project and I have been working on how I’m going to construct my Piece and there is so much to take into account. The finish Object is becoming quite the beast and is going to weigh somewhere in the region of 200 kg. Some of the stock sizes that I will be using is 50 square and as a result both cost wise and environmentally I have been looking for alternative suppliers (Scrap Metal and Reclamation). Other alternatives are very hit and miss as a result might not provide me with the best results.

One of the main qualities of my piece is the form and this will affect the overall feel of the work. Although there are only four major components in the sculpture each component must accurately and efficiently reflect certain ideas. Therefore the way I choose to construct components directly influences the overall feel of the finished object. Clean, crisp and accurate forms will allow me to create structure that looks elegant and strong but without compromise. So for the main body of the sculpture I have been looking at a third party creating this component. SWS (special welding services) has a 350 ton press brake, which I’m hoping that they will be able to fold an accurate and sleek arc out of 20 mm thick plates.
I have also been talking to some glassblowers about creating a vessel to float one end of the arm on my sculpture. Mathematically and visually this is proving very difficult; I want my work to look elegant and give a certain feel but at the same time I don’t want it to look like a toilet cistern. If the arm is able to float then it will interact with the water much more intuitively and give me the desired qualities that I’m looking for.

We also had to produce a small statement, visual representation and name for our work for the fresh air catalogue. This is all new to me and will be my first public display of my work. It’s quite exciting and interesting to be going through this process I must admit for the most part I’m not enjoying it but the overall experience from start to finish should be good. All educational side also working a lot larger than the normally would and I think this feels quite daunting. There is also a cultural exercise within this project to see how people take to my work. What they think as visually and conceptually.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Fresh From the Box

So this will be my first blog post using Dragon naturally speaking. I’m making a conscious effort not to use any typing if possible and to be honest it’s a little weird; but it works really well. So I’m not going to edit this at all. I have also got loads of new equipment like a drawing boards and I started using my scanner printer. So as a direct result I might be churning out more crap and waffling lots so here goes the post. Now my new laptop and software is here I should be able to post blog much easier as i made a statement earlier on in the year that I would be making a blog post every week. That hasn’t been the case and I also feel I should be talking more about myself and my work. So that will also be a change like as had previously I have some new equipment like a drawing board that was given to me with the parallel arms broken; and now that its fixed its really cool. I also got a lamp as a present which was also broken which is also fixed now. I have my laptop with all the cool gear and software so should be even easier to get some cool stuff done this year.

My new workspace

So a lot of my time this new semester has been taken up by a project called fresh air. Fresh air is a biannual sculpture exhibition that raises money for the fresh air trust. The opportunity that I have been offered is incredible, they want me and my class mates to fill a number of exhibition spaces that will have some where in the region of 16,000 people see them. I personally think this is an incredible opportunity and something that I have pressurised myself unnecessarily about. Saying that, I have got a place and the added pressure I guess has helped and hopefully I can create something really nice that will get me noticed.

Design border model

Fresh air takes place on the 23rd June in a small village called Quenington, in Cirencester. As students at Hereford College of Art we were asked to produce work that responded to the site. The piece that we create has to be based in our chosen profession and reflect ourselves and our concepts as designer makers; so I have chosen to create a piece that reflects the beauty of nature and innovation of the human mind. Hopefully my piece will show the unique balance that planet Earth is in. I’m hoping to create a piece that directly reflects the way I see the world around me, I have picked very direct visual influences that I will used to inform my ideas. These are based on seeing limbs of trees hanging into the waters that run to turn a once working water Wheel; I want my piece to directly reflect both of these visual experiences. So I hope that I will be able to produce a sculpture that looks both mechanical and organic and interacts with the water in the same way as the trees and the water wheel.

Scale model

So if you want to find out more about fresh air they have a website and a Facebook page so go along and check out.

So this is a request to my readers. I do not know who you are, but I would like to. I get a lot of information on blogger about the people who view my posts, and a lot of these are quite random hits and as a result I’d like to know what you guys want to know about me and what I’m doing because that’s why you’re reading I think and I hope. So let me know what you like, what you don’t like and what you would like more of and questions if you have them because I’m sure there must be people out there with questions about all sides of forging and blacksmithing.

Some of my stuff

Dragon Naturally Speaking is amazing and has made writing this post really easy hence why I have waffled so much, if you like to know more about Dragon naturally speaking leave a message and I’ll try and get some information for you.

Thank you monkey “Cuppa Tea?” Love it. xx

Sunday, 10 March 2013

What would Brunel do?

The other day my Learning support equipment turned up and It couldn’t have arrived sooner. I have been dyeing to get my hands on a laptop, not just for the massive aid it will give me in my written work but how I will now be able to get hold of Autodesk CAD. In the last year or so I have been playing round with the idea behind forging and modern technologies and how they work together. I made so real progress in my last semester and I hope to carry on, but in recent months I have been show all sorts of new and amazing techs that are available to me. So I’m brought on to this next question “Would Isambard Kingdom Brunel use modern tech to make his creations??? This is as simple as welding gear, angle grinders and electricity?” And I was just in a lecture with Michael Eden talking about using 3D printing and the options that that can provide.

So As a directed result I have found myself asking people to create my ideas in a programme that allows a machine make them. As a directed result I was moving away from the making of my piece. So now I have Autodesk and I’m one step closer again which is great but this itself has a side effect. I’m now adding more layers of design to an already complex and long winded process. I feel that the hand drawing still is important as it allows me a level of freedom but with the study of CAD I can send information to machines all over the world and as a directed result I have l ready thought about using 3D printing and talked to a engineering company that uses CNC lathes so that I can use CAD to its full.

CAD is full of potential and with proper study that leads to well thought out ideas I should be able to make some amazing stuff. This also apply to the forging, 3D printing and other CNC process with balance I should be able to create beautiful and interesting things. If you’re a student or a teacher Autodesk is available for free from You Just need to register and they will send you a copy and they also have many other types of software that might help you change the way you see design also. O CAD is well worth a look and is going to open lots of doors for me from basic design work at college and I hope in the future with customers and other skilled people.

So from the modern to the crazy hears me and some of my class mate forging a big ring old school style. Tell me what you think about any of the items in this blog post and the silly video. Thanks