I’m useless but not for long

I’m knackered! Overtired and exhausted! but Hey I got Shit done! Well almost, there’s a case of business cards, labels and no doubt a form or two to fill in. Plus to inform some more people about the show. Anyway, for now, I am done, but there is something I want to say about Navel which sums up research and probably why I did this MA course in the first place. But iI’ll do that later once I’ve had more rest and completed my final rounds of Pottery Club.




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Analogue outcome to a digital process

One of my ideas that last week I decided to abandon was have a projection through the base of the vessel. Actually, a cylinder to allow for the mini projector that Terry has lent to me to show through the video images. however, I still had run this by Keith as a possible option as my images would be simple animated gifs or a recording of my mouth reading poems written by the students and myself.  The complication was that the light from the projection would not touch areas of the cylinder but instead shoot straight to the ceiling. This is something that Jonathan had mentioned a few weeks back. Jonathan had mentioned the possibility of placing the projector at an angle but I still may not get the effect I would like. Which was true as I had tested that very evening at home. I did think of the possibilities of not minding so much about the projection being on the ceiling. But the interest is then taken away from the actual vessel, something I had spent (dare I say) skilful time on. So in the last two weeks, I had gone back to thinking of the message on or within the vessel.

At lunch, I bring this up again I ramble on…”But I’ve been asked where’s the digital within my ceramic pieces by a few people where I’ve had to explain that I use a digital process and digital tools to create my work. The laser cuts and 3D printed stamps that I use with the clay. How else could I create such fine intricate lines? Keith had listened, not to interfere with my thought process. Finally… Continue reading “Analogue outcome to a digital process”

Thinking in the space

Good timing as Keith arrived as soon as I was done laser cutting and in time for lunch!

I lead him to the quiet room and we take a look together at the space. I tell him my plan to have a vessel (maybe three) minimal light and lots of lips displayed on a board.  Ed Kelly, (he’s da man with the techno plan) is currently working on the code for LED lighting behind the lips. I’m so grateful! thank you, Mr. Kelly! I hear from various people that it was looking good yesterday. Pity I wasn’t there to see it but I was at school until after 6pm.  Anyhow, I explain to Keith about the conditions surrounding the use of the quiet room and possible constraints. The couch/bed and prayer mat are to remain, meantime the room was still filled with boxes and other items since my visit last Friday.  Jonathan helps to move out some boxes. Keith suggested that we take everything out of the space. So we did apart from the prayer mat and the couch/bed where we sat down and take another look at the space. How different! Much easier to see the potential of the space. I place one of the lips on the wall and decided to stick with the blue background as it contrasts well.  so where will the LED lips go?  Keith and I  then decide to plan over some lunch.  Continue reading “Thinking in the space”

Making school work, work for me.

This morning I went to bed as the birds were getting up at about 5am, but hey the Year 12 reports are now done! I don’t have to think of any more school deadlines until at least next Thursday for Year 7 project plan due the following week (Weds 12th) then Year 8 project plan on the 17th.  I was on the 9.44am train and at my mum’s by 10.3am. I had planned to go to the Camberwell College of Arts main site to pick up my 3D print and  ‘Duratrans’ image, but I wanted to get to laser cutting on time as the last couple of weeks I’ve been getting there 10 minutes late leaving less time to get things laser cut.  It seems that I have an illness for making, but I’m thinking ahead. I have moved on with the curriculum DT rotation from teaching textiles (bomber Jackets) to Year 9 and now on to making Jewellery. I now know the basics of the sewing machine and can cut out and assemble a bomber jacket pattern.

On Monday I had learnt to how to prepare the pewter, an alloy of tin and copper material. (oh…and before I forget… many thanks to V. Ryan of for that dedication to creating some great teaching resources).  On Tuesday I used it for the first time whilst demonstrating to students. Long story short, I had used a previous adinkra laser cut, out of 3mm MDF that I had used for my ceramic adinkra bowls. I adapted it to fit the outer moulds of the and then made a pewter cast of the Sankofa bird. The result was exciting, and the students had joined me in my enthusiasm to quickly get their moulds made by hand using a Coping and Piercing saw and had Needle file to smooth the edges. So anyway, I attend laser cutting to make the Ananse Ntontan- spider’s web mould in order to make a pewter cast necklace to wear during the course of the MA summer show exhibition. Jonathan.A and Marios were equally excited by the potential of using laser cut material as stencil moulds as I had shown them what I had made, explained and talked them through the process. Clearly, I had thought about using the engraving on the MDF the would create an embossed effect on the Pewter. However thinking out loud, together we thought of ways to experiment with a textured surface by laser engraving patterns onto the MDF, something I didn’t think of before. I’ll be back at school on Tuesday, so for Periods 1 and 2 with Year 9, have a guess what we’ll be doing!

V. Ryan © 2006 – 2009
V. Ryan © 2006 – 2009

Hump day Wednesday

This is based on an email sent to Jonathan and Ed on Wednesday. It’s appropriate to describe the top of the week that I have been having and also saves time on having to write a blog from scratch.

It has been a hell of a week with more and more things piling on at last minute and at short notice. I have had endless tasks to do and I’m up tonight to do sixth form Year 12 reports for tomorrow morning. I have (let’s say) had an emotionally stressful week at work, but I have managed today to secure Monday off with an unpaid leave of absence. However, that has meant that I left school after 6pm as I had to set cover work with resources and instructions for the teachers covering my lessons. Beforehand I had to complete student attainment data spreadsheets. So hopefully things will be okay next Monday for installing my ceramic lips with the LEDs that Ed has been working on.

I had to make a new bunch of lips on yesterday as the first set came out flat as pancakes due to high kiln temperature. My mistake for thinking that Parian Clay could withstand the heat. I don’t think Taslim was impressed when he was taking them out of the Kiln. I was on to the phone to my beloved Northern Kilns where Adrian kindly talked me through making another program setting on for Parian.

“This is a steep learning curve for you isn’t it Sharon!”

I could sense Adrian’s supportive smile on the other end of the phone, up north in Cumbria. He was right, that had been my third telephone tutorial with Adrian about firing and my kiln controller in the last six weeks. Thanks to him I now have a programme setting for 1. Bisque, 3. Porcelain and 4. Parian. I’m not sure what program 2 is but I do know it’s a low and slow firing. However, as I’ve now practically run out of time I now have I’ve gone back to using Porcelain trying to reduce the risk of things going wrong. So there’s now a fresh batch of lips made in various sizes in my tiny kiln on Program 4 ready for Friday. I had taken on board Ed’s comment from the week before that he would have liked to see the lips at various sizes. I had thought about this when I was making them but opted for the one size to save time, but then used small leftover pieces of clay to make small Adinkra bowls. So I wasn’t really saving time. Therefore I decided this time to use the scrap pieces of clay to make smaller lips.

I had made two out of the four planned large lips and used my 3D printed word stamps ‘Mountain’ on the back of one and ‘Horizon’ on the back of the other. Quite tricky as to gage the right thickness of the clay when using them.

I have been moving from one thing to the next trying to keep on track with my calendar, to-do lists and weekly schedule that I had created at the start of this month.

I’m constantly thinking to review, assessing my progress with little energy or time by the end of the day to document on my blog. I’m feeling a little unprepared for tomorrow’s install as having to think about so many things. My thought process during the past couple of weeks seems to be instinctive or is it intuitive? Either way, I’m feeling good about the quiet space despite my initial questions of doubt that it may be a risk and a contradiction to wanting to be a visible voice.



Week 3 of 4 until Assessment

A Busy week. I ask my friend Paula at work if she could free machine sew lips on a cover or sheet. Yes! that’s great. now to get material or a cheap single bed spread.

quiet room planning_00
Work is busy and exhausting. I have asked for an unpaid leave of absence to allow for Ed and I time to install. I’m beginning to crawl and time is moving at a rapid rate. I am at Camberwell College practically every day. I have managed to locate myself in almost every department facility within the College During the last 6months, and more so during the last couple of years! However lately I’ve been feeling it, I’m doing a bit too much but this is the final push and I don’t want to complete the course with I could’ve, I should’ve, I regret.

So I take photographs for my We Need to Talk Project and thinking of my adinkra tiles,
I am even more drawn towards the blue.

adinkra glass tile 3set _01LRes


email to ed_01

I needed to work on test printing and to finish the retouching on the Navel image at Camberwell after school. I had my daughter take the first set but the camera was set at low res. My son had taken the second set. I had considered my separate discussions about this image to both Ed and Johnathan. With Jonathan, he suggested ways to retouch the image o get away with any blur. Jheni had a similar idea of making the blur intentional. When I spoke to Ed, I was more concerned about the quality. Our conversation reminded me of how important the image is. I decided to take the time and re-photograph Navel. I wanted to see if there was an avenue for making Navel image larger, to possible A1 but Duratran prices are looking rather steep right now.

Thursday was a mixture of things, laser cutting and 3D printing at 11am -12pm, Skype 1pm -3pm tutorial, then in the photography studio late afternoon from 4pm . I plan to stay at home on Friday I need a full day to make, then blog depending on how I get on Thursday.

photohoot 15_06+17

In the afternoon John Wapham helps me to set up the photography for We Need to Talk project outcome.



Adjustments and reflection after Symposium 2

pot designs_00pot designs_04pot designs_03pot designs_02pot designs_01quiet room planning_00

I have my designs and drawings. Based on my video and crit with Jheni Arboine for Symposium 2, I had to rethink on my method and outcome. Symposium 2 made me realise that I may have misinterpreted the brief for as unlike most of the other students on the course I did not really go into what my plans and intentions were for my final outcome. I had the ideas that I found easier to explain in conversation evidencing along with my sketchbook. I found it a real challenge to be concise and coherently get my message across in a 5-minute video. I was reminded, however, of three significant things: Interpretation and cultural differences and target audience. Yep, I should have known better coming from a Graphic Design industry background, having been involved in advertising campaigns in the past. I,  in my close up working, was fortunate to have Symposium 2 as an opportunity to step back. My first irritation (with myself by the way) was the orientation of the lip on the pot. It was misread at first by Jheni, then by Lorraine and finally by Alejandro. That’s it! my fault for not really thinking! I had been caught up when thinking of the outer shape of my vessel that it was going to take a cylindrical form of lips on the side to the point that I placed the lips within a cylindrical shape on its side. Continue reading “Adjustments and reflection after Symposium 2”

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