REGOLIT by IKEA

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Materials: paper, glue, balloon, porcelain slip, invisible thread, LED lights, wiring.

The instillation created reflects the “REGLOIT” design by IKEA, one of the biggest retailers in Cardiff. I have been inspired by our need to own “stuff,” this has lead me to explore ideas of consumerism and material values through their community of spending.

The way I have displayed my work echoes the organisation of IKEA, with minimal objects displayed and others waiting, in piles and rejected, waiting to be chosen.

The context of the work is to fit into the IKEA living space that is desirable in the home. It can also be taken out of its context and put into a gallery environment as a piece of fine art.


In search of the light.

Over the easter break I went back to basics with my paper mache. Firing my objects is a long process as they must be bisque fired before being fired at 1280, so experimentation with the materials that are lost during firing is interesting. It allows me to play with ideas and positions of my works. This is also useful because the work is fragile once fired.


A change of direction.

 

I have chosen to re-assess my original concept and outcome of this project. Originally I was planning to create Ikea inspired lights with a Jacob’s Market twist. Unfortunately I have become so involved in the making of the objects my connection to Jacob’s has become weak. I also think that my love of the place was overpowering my work and enticing me to continue to make reference.

My “new” concept has been there all along –  it has just taken six weeks to work its way out of the abyss. So, now I am focusing on the made object, the raw material. The impurities that are inevitable are an intrinsic part of this. I am hanging a cluster or the lights with ultra bright LED’s inside to give a warm glow. The lights will also contribute to showing the thickness of the porcelain and where it is thicker. From a distance there will be a cloudy appearance to the work. As the onlooker gets closer to inspect the finer details the lights will dim and eventually switch off using a programmed arduino. This created a smooth and lifeless object. I think this will surprise the viewer. I also hope it can delight.

My reason for turning off the lights is simple. As you walk around Ikea your eye is caught by what seems to be an interesting object or piece of furniture that you believe you must have to improve your life. Upon closer inspection the shopper usually discovers the object is plain with no character, just like everything else the shop has to offer. This is because of the mass marketing industry that has become a part of so many of our lives.


And then there were lights.

 

Playing with LED lights. Created a cluster of battery powered ultra bright LED’s this morning to experiment with lighting up my shells. The stoneware slip is too opaque for this really, but you can see a difference if the tone of the ceramic. The cracks in the work make a difference too –  I think the light seeping through is something I have not yet given a thought to. It adds to the fragility of the object and this is something that has become important as I have already damaged many of my test pieces.


Sub-concious Connections.

Freyja Sewell - Designer in residence, Design Museum London.

Freyja Sewell – Designer in residence, Design Museum London.

Ikea Lampshade

Ikea Lampshade

paper spheres, drying.

paper spheres, drying.

I took the top image at the Design Museum in London as I found the pattern and spherical concept interesting. This was a day after a trip to Ikea to source some inspiration (and finding the inviting lights). Only now have I found the image, after purchasing the spherical light shades they sell thousands of. My plan is to deconstruct the original design by creating my own paper “lanterns.” Initially working in paper, but moving on to ceramic materials and slip clay that will be fired to burn away any paper and metal within the construction. I also want to move away form the original shape to create a multifunctional final outcome.


Time flies when you’re spot welding.

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Spot welding workshop (2/5). Creating a box constructed from squares of spot welded steel and other materials. I have chosen time as a theme, if you can’t tell this is an hourglass shape. I felt that time was an appropriate topic from recent research containing art movements such as Dada, Pop Art and assemblage. They all have similarities between the works and there are times when the distinction between the movements become blurred.
I have big plans for this hourglass, pockets of air between two sheets of laminated tissue paper in which salt can be moved to represent the passage of time.


Rhino.

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The first time I attempted to “draw” using a computer. Pretty tough day on Friday, such an awkward way to design, but so much quicker than sourcing materials. Hopefully will be printing some of this stuff in 3-D using a makerbot by Christmas.