I only had one day to produce my sculpture because I went on a Venice art trip which meant I had less time to experiment with the steel and my design. I was forced to think mathematically and adapt my design quickly in order to produce an outcome. As I used cardboard for the maquette it was very rigid and square and stopped it from bending whereas the steel was easier to bend using the machines in the workshop so I decided to create a rounder body for the sculpture. I was limited to the amount of steel I could use so I decided not to give the sculpture a full back. This also gave a sense of involvement for the audience and would allow them to step inside the armour to wear it as you would a T-shirt.
I added shoulder plates to the sculpture to give the armour look but wanted them to be moveable on the body of the sculpture because it conveys the flow and movement of a T-shirt.
I decided to keep the shiny smooth surface of the steel because it depicted a strong impenetrable feeling to the piece which I linked to the idea that a logo T-shirt can be a form of armour and used to protect your reputation, status and also to make a statement to society.
I enjoyed this three week project because it give me a taste of the metal workshop and the opportunity to learn the basic skills needed as well as an understanding of some of the machines used for steel art.
I used cardboard to make my maquettes because it has a strong structure and is able to hold a good shape. This allowed me to make small design ideas for my sculpture and to start to put my mental ideas into practice. I experimented with different design ideas and used the sketches made in my sketchbook – documented in the previous blog – to create the sculptural maquettes for the project because I wanted to have a clear idea of how I was going to create my sculpture. I know the sculpture could develop further when I make it next week however, I would still like to have a good mental idea of how I will produce it.
Before making the maquettes I spent an hour sketching ideas and writing thoughts in my sketch book about how I would produce the piece and to iron out my mental images of the sculpture. I did this because it meant I was able to work out the maths and geometrics of the sculpture. I find drawing out my ideas easier and useful because it means I can create a better image of the final outcome.
I also experimented with giving the armour should plates in the drawings. I decided it was a good idea because it looked strong and more like a piece of armour than it would without them. The shoulder plates also reminded me of sleeves of a T-shirt.
I was contemplating whether to connect the front and back of the armour using a chain-like piece of metal to hold the sculpture together so I discussed the ways in order to produce this to come to a conclusion.
The contemporary artist David Smith who works using a base for his sculptures in order for them to stand works with a range of metals to produce abstract sculptures. I am fascinated by his work because they are created by bending and manipulating the metal into shapes which are fixed together to produce the sculpture. I am inspired by his work because it gives a mathematical sense and holds different shapes and geometric forms so the audience is intrigued and involves themselves. I also get the sense that his work is accessible to range of audiences and not just those in the art world which fascinates me and is an outcome for my own work. David Smith, Zig III (1961)
Smith also produces many drawings as part of his art career however, they are not usually related to the sculptures he produces which is something I admire because I believe your idea for a piece of art is constantly developing and improving.
David Smith, Untitled (1959)
I selected the metal cutting workshop as the first three week project of my degree to improve my sculpture skills and develop an understanding of the metal workshop and the machines used to cut, bend and weld steel.
We were asked to bring in an object of our choice – it could be any size, shape, colour or relevance. This gave me the opportunity to think outside the box and be creative. I decided to use a t-shirt because it was very different and would definitely force me to think conceptually. The object was used to create a minimum of six charcoal drawings which we were given set instructions to follow: a line drawing, a tonal drawing, an abstract drawing, a drawing from memory and two using all of the above. I really enjoyed this exercise because I was able to express my feelings towards the movement and flow of the t-shirt using one of my favourite materials. I pinned the t-shirt onto the wall and manipulated it into different positions to create abstract sketches which produced a more interesting and creative drawing.
This exercise allowed me to think about my ideas for the sculpture using the t-shirt and to start to develop a mental image of my final outcome.
The beginning of my Fine Art degree starts here.
The week of inductions was informative, enjoyable and exhausting starting with talks from my future lecturers and tutors and the meeting of my own personal tutor who is quirky and knowledgable (Perfect!).
Tuesday 19th – Trip day.
The walk through Cardiff was extremely helpful in both a social and academic sense because it allowed us to see Cardiff’s attractive and artistic locations including the Museum and Chapter – a community centre with a strong, yet small, art gallery, a cinema and quirky cafe. The Megan Cope’s exhibition provided a short powerful video about her big life question of whether she was a true aboriginal or not. With an aboriginal father and a migrant mother Cope was not sure on about true national identity and whether she was able to obtain of the ‘certificate of Aboriginality’ . Helen Johnson is another Australian artist who creates large-scale paintings on canvas and addresses social issues in her society. Her works hold great intensity and are very busy with figures and writing. One of the paintings contains only one woman and yet many men, one of which is mastarbating while another sings the national anthem in his ear. From this exhibition I was inspired to look at my national identity and get a sense of belonging especially when moving to a new city and joining a new university.
Thursday 21st-Friday 22nd – Project day
The induction week allowed the group to get to know each other a little whether it was through the tutor group time, trip day and the two day 3D project. All grouped in to 4’s and 5’s and given as much polystyrene as we wanted, we had to make a sculpture of any size, shape and inspired by a subject of our choice. This exercise meant we had to work together and bring our ideas together to create a combination of what we aspire to and what subjects we are interested in.
The first week was very busy and tiring but provided me with a great start to the course, a strong introduction to my tutors and classmates.