where we are just now…

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….

dsc_1507 paper pattern.

img_20170225_102259_717 the tech….

dsc_1544_1 not finished yet….

 

Sample work for Dementia Jacket

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.

2017-02-14-15-52-23 Organic Beetroot and Salt

dsc_1511Chopped stalks and all and bring to the boil.

dsc_1517Soak the cloth in hot salt water before submerging in the dye. I left it to soak for 12hrs.

 

Dementia in Dogs

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.

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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?

belaharnesslooking at harness shapes.

dsc_1497My beautiful girl Bela modelling samples.

 

 

Ethics in our Hands

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.

greg-valerio

 

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?

fairtrade-stamp-view-2

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.

ute_decker_billionaire-ring

I would bet most people don’t give a second thought to where their jewellery comes from, or where it goes.

greg-valerio-poster-1

If you get the chance, go listen to them talk.

Time for a change.

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.

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Sprued up and ready to cast.

Squirrel roadkill

DSC_0738

 

I came across this squirrel while out running the other night, looks to me like it got hit going across the road and died trying to get back to a tree.

We make life so treacherous for these animals.

This squirrel had obviously been lying there for a while, now I know it must seem weird to people that I pick these things up but I think it is worse that people allow a beautiful animal to rot on the ground.

I took him home and wrapped him up in  a mesh bag, I dug a hole and buried him. He will now take up to a year to decompose, feeding the ground and small insects around him.

I don’t have much space to bury my finds, but I always try and dispose of them properly. If I can I bag them or move them to a safer area where they won’t be pummeled into the ground.

On the opposite end of the scale.

Tonight  I passed a dismembered deer on the side of the motorway. Someone has obviously stopped and removed the head of a roadkill deer. Showing no respect for the animal.This is just trophy hunting.

 

 

Dead things

Today, while walking back from physio,  i found a dead bird on the pavement.

DSC_0648

It is a great tit i believe, i think it might have been hit by a car.

I brought it home and made a small shroud for it,  i plan to bury it in the garden for a year and retreive its tiny skeleton.  I read that wrapping the body in muslin will keep all the wee bones together.

I have kind of made a small envelope…DSC_0652

GetAttachment (1) This will keep the bones safe from scavengers but will still allow the bird to decompose, giving food and nutrients to the soil and to small insects.

I have an internal debate with myself about doing things like this, I feel I am showing love, compassion and care for the remains of a wee creature that would have been chucked in a bin otherwise. But at the same time, I am selfish, I don’t ‘need’ the skeleton, it is something I want to have. If I can use the remains in my work then I feel justified in doing what I do.

As I said it is a debate, one I don’t believe I will ever settle, but I do intend to continue trying to put to rest any creatures I find.

 

 

Ritual

I really struggled with this aspect of the brief,

What was my ritual?

What did it have to do with Endometriosis?

Was my piece a talisman?

I finally realised that ritual is anything I want it to be. I was sitting at my desk doing finishing touches and after looking around saw my ritual right in front of me. I work in, what other people would call chaos or mess,but to me it has a flow.

I work on several projects at once, jumping between them. They are not all the same discipline. I might be working on a tattoo, a painting and a piece of jewellery at the same time. All completely different styles. This can be like a cold shower to the brain. Cleansing. washes away the clutter of one project with another.

I shot a quick video while sitting at my desk. Everything in this film is of use (to me).

 

Finished pieces

As I near the end of my project I find my pieces fall out of favour (with me), I know I am not the only one who thinks this way and it might be a symptom of the creative mind.

I dont hate them, but I like them less and less. I can be happy with them one day and then, I am over it! I guess this is a good thing in a way as there is no room for growth if I went about loving everything I made.

I feel good about the project though, I have covered a subject close to home and difficult to talk about. I missed a bit of time due to the illness of my mum, but I still managed to create. Skethbook work is another story for another time.

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Endometriosis

I decided to try and focus on designing a piece for myself based on my Endometriosis. I was diagnosed 18 years ago when I was rushed in for emergency surgery. At the time, the surgeon thought my appendix had ruptured but it turn out to be a large orange-sized cyst on my right ovary. I don’t want to turn anyone stomach so I will leave the details there.

This condition has plagued me in every aspect of my life. I am constantly tired, I have pain nearly every day and I have to go for 6 monthly check up and scans. For the past 6 years, I have managed my condition quite well and avoided any unnecessary surgery . My consultant would prefer to operate as I have 2 large cysts which total over 10cm in diameter.

I always attempt to look at a positive angle, so I took a negative (my scars) and turn it around to a beautiful piece of jewellery.12670352_10153405727951367_2188390266168859929_n