The space I have been allocated has a gap in the middle as there is a pillar with electrics on. I need to be close to a power source as I need 11 plug sockets for the exhibition and 12 for assessment. I put up the board with the help of a technical demonstrator, I climbed behind the desks to attach a 2×2 baton to the sides of the desks to allow a piece of chipboard to sit flush with the MDF boards. The hole has been cut in to the middle of the board to be able to reach the sockets beind. The hole will be covered by a piece of my work that will simply lift off to gain access.
I have spent a lot of time choosing the colours for the fabric flex cabling and deciding what style of bayonet fittings to use. I have decided that for the light fittings I want to use metal bayonet fittings, but these need to be matched to the gilding in the boxes.
For the grey boxes I have chosen to use the anthracite and white zig zag cord along with silver gilding and nickel bayonet fittings. This is because I want to keep a more monochrome feel to this piece, as it has a timeless feel to it.
For the green I chose to use the burgundy, red and white mixed thread cable alongside copper gilding and antiqued brass bayonet fittings. I chose this style of thread, rather than sold colour as I feel it may have been too strong alongside the other cables, and it was a nylon material, rather than a linen like the other colours. The bayonet fitting style was chosen as a shiny brass would not look right against the copper, as it would be too much of a different metal.
For the natural MDF wood I wanted to go with natural colours, so I chose to use a natural coloured flex that is off white. This goes well with the gold gilding and shiny brass bayonet fittings.
I have chosen the cabin for their texture, as it gives continuity between the different designs. The use of the same style of bayonet fittings in different metals and finishes also continues the continuity.
Here’s a new design. This uses a hinge I experimented with a few months ago, but have left behind whilst I developed the other styles. This box plays on earlier ideas I had to incorporate lighting with storage solutions, as can be seen in a previous visit to the photography studio.
Initially I wanted the hinges to move within the box on elastic or a runner, but this seemed hard to achieve due to the nature of laser cutting. As the pieces are cut in one direction it is difficult to achieve movement in another, the hinges do not flow easily. But instead, create a curved shadow effect, like the one in the image above. The hinge is also interesting when not clipped into the end pieces and hangs naturally.
The front panel of the final design simply clips onto a middle support section, I felt that gluing it to the box would limit the movement. By not permanently attaching this piece it also allows more versatility of the design. It can be removed if desired and could also aid cleaning.
This design can be developed further through increasing the size of the box and also by adding more hinge panels. The next steps for this object are to oil the parts, as I have begun in the third image, and to begin to cut false back panels to gild.
For a while now I have been mostly buying LED lamps with smaller fittings to add versatility to the design, as a smaller bulb allows for tighter bends. I am hoping to only use LED lighting in my work for the degree show as this adds an aspect of sustainability to the design, alongside the use of MDF and Valchromat which are both made using factory waste.
I have been looking into more decorative bulbs too, like the squirrel cage bulbs, these are also available as an LED which is more suitable than the traditional type as less heat will be generated.
An advancement on the previous tests with light. I found that using wire as a way to hold the hinge in place is not as effective as I hoped. This is because of the way the material is cut and the rigid wire that does not allow for much manoeuvrability. Instead I have trailed the use of elastic cord, this allows the hinge to move more smoothly through the box, but it still is not as smooth as I would like.
Instead I feel it is best to reconsider the design and to use the hinge as an extension of the side or top of the box. It means that it will move in a completely different way, but this might be more suitable as a development of the original idea.
At the beginning of the term I found that I was useless at planning my work and organizing when I would be able to use the workshops, this is partly due to being in a different working environment and my health problems. I am now planning my work down to the smallest detail before I begin; this means I am able to estimate how long each object, or parts of, will take to produce which then allows me to organize the right amount of time to make them. I have never needed to work as precisely as I have been this year, this was a struggle in the beginning, but I have adapted to this method of working and feel that it now works better for me as I am leaving less to chance and so making less mistakes.
One of the challenges I have faced has been with the laser cutter in product design, I was unable to cut my designs due to the limitation of the machine as it was not precise enough and left many burn marks. I have since been inducted on the textiles laser cutter and found it more precise and leaving a better finish on my work, although I have had a new set of tolerances to learn. I have been using this machine for two months and am now finally competent to use it alone, the only problem is the demand for the equipment which means I am unable to cut work as often as I need to.
I have learnt faster methods of planning and producing work that is accurate and of a high standard, such as the jig I have made to produce the bendy light. It has cut out the need to accurately draw up each cut on the wood so also improves the quality. I will be continuing to work on improving the quality of my work and the time it takes me to produce.
I have been using my Pinterest account as a tool to organise the research I have done this term, I also have some important pieces dotted around my sketchbook and design sheets.
I feel that Pintereset is more useful than simply sticking in images from my sketchbook as I can link directly to the source of information and I will always have these reference points. It also keeps me more organised and is better for the environment. So far I have four boards based on my interests:
A link to my board: “Artefacts” which is full of lighting products and designs:
A link to my board “Kits” which is full of DIY kits and those that can be bought:
A link to my board “Instillation Art” which is filled with exhibitions and collections:
A link to my board “Joints” which includes innovative ways of joining materials together:
I find that some of the most interesting pieces the V and A has on display are the moderns works, which are located in rooms 74, 74a and 75. This is the collection that is the most changing, each time I visit there are new wonders.
This is A Set of Stacking Storage Boxes: Kubus-Geschirr (Cube Wear) which was first made by the Vereinigte Lausitzer Glaswerke around 1938. It was conceived by Wilhelm Wagenfeld, who was an important member of the Bahaus before his career as an industrial designer.
The curved edges of these industrial glass multipurpose containers add elegance to a simple kitchen staple. The way they fit and their stackability make them an innovation of their time, they preceded tupperware, which was not invented until 1946. Aside from their use they are also appealing to look at and would not be out of place in any kitchen. I think these are a design classic and something that will never go out of date.
Chest of Drawers: ‘You Can’t Lay Down Your Memories’ was conceived in 1991 by Tejo Remny and was included in Droog Design’s first collection in 1993. What is interesting about this is that it is one of Droog’s most successful products and has become a part of many museums collections; yet each is unique. The idea of the designer was to create a chest using found drawers with a new lease of life by giving them new wooden housing. The greater vision of this piece is to create a paradise from what we encounter, in a Robinson Crusoe manner.
Chair Bench by Gitta Gschwendtner is inspired by the chairs in the V and A ‘s furniture collection. The bench was created in 2012 after months of measuring and carving to create a piece that speaks for the collection. the chairs are almost submerged into the seat of the bench. The work gives choice, of where to sit through deciding which is to be our “favourite” chair. It creates conversation and discussion of taste. Her website is also packed with design gems, from unique lighting concepts to whimsical door stops (http://www.gittagschwendtner.com/object_frameset.html).
This piece is young, yet it holds a lot of history, which is overwhelming for fairly simple concept. Droog have a similar concept available, but I believe it speaks more of a divide between materials and sustainability and our comfort and needs as consumers as opposed to our heritage of furniture. The design is simpler, three chair backs to be fixed to a felled trunk (http://www.droog.com/webshop/furniture/tree-trunk-bench/).
These works are by Markku Salo, a Finnish artist specialising in glass but including mixed media materials such as metal, stone and wood. The piece on the left is a part of the artists animal collection in which the bottle like forms are blown into a metal frame to allow them an animal like pose. The second piece, Matka Troijaan (the journey to Troy), is a moveable glass vessel encased in a projective housing. These pieces stood out in the glass rooms, although they are not functional, yet they hint at the possibility. The colours and juxtaposition of the smooth glass and rough metals make them unique in comparison to the polished and gawdy collection kept at the V and A.
These four examples will also be considered as the perfect object.
I took the lights up to the photography studio to get some good pictures of them. These will also help when I edit the pictures from Boys’ Village.
“Boy’s Village” is an abandoned holiday camp not far outside of Cardiff. The site was used by the Boys’ Clubs of Wales from the 1920’s to the 1990’s, and since has been left to become derelict.
I felt that the abandoned, broken and overgrown look of the place fits well with the lights I have created. They are old and battered (partly by me and partly how I acquired them), so I felt it was fitting to take them to somewhere that could be considered home. Unfortunately there is no electric on sight, so I will be editing the pictures to give the impression of the lights on at twilight.
The places I have taken pictures include the swimming pool, the church, a warehouse type building and what seems to be dorm rooms.