the last few months have gone by so fast I can hardly believe it. We got our final brief ‘who do you think you are’ at the start of March. I was super excited by it, finally a chance to do my own thing.
I wanted to continue my use of biodegradable materials and started experimenting with flour again, the outcome was not good!
no matter what I do, there is no elegance to the shapes I make.
Researching other materials that are:
- have an aesthetic value
I started experimenting with sugar and salt crystals, growing them in a saturated solution.
Also attempting to use spun sugar to create shapes, with some success.
The main problems are:
- time consuming to grow the crystals
- very brittle once formed
- becomes sticky with over handling
I decided that growing the crystals would yield better results and I would push on with this, (I will revisit this in a different blog with picture) after growing a lot of crystals on different materials I very quickly came to the conclusion that the best way to make them wearable was to design and make the piece first then cover it in sugar….
So the jacket is actually finished, Bela my lovely model will be getting her picture taken properly on Tuesday for my ‘hero’ image poster. but here are a few pics about the design and the tech….
not finished yet….
Since I try and only use recycled/reused materials etc some of my samples are odd colours or materials. I thought that I would have an attempt at making a homemade dye from beetroot, the results were ok but I definitely want to experiment more.
Organic Beetroot and Salt
Chopped stalks and all and bring to the boil.
Soak the cloth in hot salt water before submerging in the dye. I left it to soak for 12hrs.
I always like to turn my Uni briefs into something personal so when we got a live brief from the RSA about wearable intelligence and wellbeing I knew I wanted to do something close to home.
My classmate Ieva mentioned that the brief did not mention a person or human, I thought about working with my dogs.
Cooper has had lots of help problems and I started to look at designing an early warning system. I thought it would run off of his heart beat, however, it would be tricky to decipher what elevated heart rate was from exercise or stress.
He started having acupuncture around the time of this brief and that got me thinking about alternative treatments.
My old dog Rosie had had dementia and we had to put her to sleep when her symptoms became too bad. She would cry all night and she was so confused it was horrible to watch. This made me look at what we as pet parents could do to ease the suffering of our beloved animals.
Dogs with Dementia can get lost in their own home, cry at nothing, have trouble sleeping, trouble with incontinence and they lose a sense of their own body mass.
I started looking into dog dementia, there is not a lot of information out there, no real treatments. But then there is no real treatment for humans either.
Part of the brief was to design with modern technology, most of the app and health trackers I looked at are for people to keep tabs on their dogs from a distance.
I wanted to design something that made pet parent and animal connect. If your dog is confused you comfort it, no?
looking at harness shapes.
My beautiful girl Bela modelling samples.
Ethics in Jewellery
I recently went to a 2-day ethics symposium held at Dundee University and hosted by DJCAD. Fairtrade only became a thing in the Jewellery industry around 2011, Greg Valerio had been campaigning and investigating much earlier than that. However, it took the industry a while to catch up, no-one really wanted change. And no-one wanted to admit the horrors involved in the mining industry.
However, here we are in 2017 and what has really changed? Fairtrade gold is now available but very little Fairtrade Silver, No Fairtrade base metals (copper, bronze, zinc, iron, etc.)
As a student, I don’t think I can afford to work in Fairtrade, but I don’t think I can afford not to. Does this mean not working in metal?
At the moment I use only recycled silver but this is not good enough. Most silver out there is ‘recycled’ i.e. comes from scrap, but this does nothing to slow down the mining industry. Most silver comes out of the ground as a by-product on the back of base metal mining.
How do we change people’s attitude to jewellery? How do we change people’s attitude to disposable jewellery/fashion?
Ute Decker was one of the other speakers at the symposium and she made a very good point. She makes Fairtrade because she couldn’t not. However, she freely admits that most of her customers don’t care about Fairtrade.
I would bet most people don’t give a second thought to where their jewellery comes from, or where it goes.
If you get the chance, go listen to them talk.
Now i knew i had to clean up my casting, and that raised another problem. So called ‘safety’ pickle, this stuff is nasty. it is corrosive and should be dealt with by a chemical treatment plant. Not poured down the drain!
I have followed the work of ute decker for a few years now, and was lucky enough to attend one of her seminars in London.
Her website is full of information about running a greener business, i downloaded the recipe for citric acid pickle from here, bought myself a slowcooker and some citric acid and was good to go.
The 3d printing just wasnt working for me so i started to look at other ways to create organic shapes with recycled materials.
My friend Gillian Ryan gifted me a box of pink wax sheets, i started experimenting with the shapes i had created in rhino.
This along with a foldformed shape seemed to work well.
Sprued up and ready to cast.
I changed flex, this time using a smoother mix, and still biodegradable.
It seemed to work much better, but still to textured to work with. more experimentation needed!
After the unsuccessful 3D printing, I decided to change shapes, simplify it down to just one element of the original shape.
Again the flex didn’t bind well.
to design 10 pieces the same or similar to be sold at our xmas fair on the 12th of Dec.
the tricky bit for me is how do I continue only using biodegradable/recycled materials and make something that someone would want to buy?
I started looking at the biodegradable flex, designing shapes in Rhino to be used as links or pendants
.I really liked the organic shape i created but I couldn’t figure out how to top it off with something equally organic.
I printed the shape in flex made from algae and starch.
The flex didnt print that smoothly. My shapes were too small, and the flex is trickier to work with. the temperature has to be correct or the next pass melts the previous.