Week 10

Glazing

Redesigning the pots

I layered the coconut to create a stable and supportive pot. I also used natural string to help tie lose bits togeather.

Dying

I found that the material didn’t take to the lighter dyes when submerged for a short period of time. To create lighter blues within the pots I added salt, this allowed for a wider variety of colour as well as great textures that relate nicely to the movements of the sea.

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I like how the string looks like old tangled up ropes that are found by the sea.

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Week 9

Experimenting with materials for the plant pots.

I want to make sure all the materials used in the pot are eco-friendly and biodegradable therefore producing a sustainable product. I have experimented with coconut husks and natural glue; flour and water, to try and make stable pots strong enough to hold the plants.

With some of the pieces, I incorporated recycled carboard to try and give the pots more body and stability. I found that the messier the pots, the more unstable they were as its harder to control the holes and thicknesses.

Experimenting with natural dyes.

I wanted to experiment with natural dyes, making sure my products production is sustainable. Apparently, if you add baking soda to red cabbage it turns blue however, I found that the dye wasn’t strong enough to effect the dark coloured coconut husk. I also found that when I soaked the coconut in the dye the glue started to disintegrate and therefore the pots feel apart. This has led me to look at stronger less diluted dye that is still eco-friendly, but not homemade.

When I submerged the pot in the dyes the glue disintegrated and the pot started to fall apart. This lead me to include natural string to help tie and hold it togeather.

Ceramic waves

Because the plaster moulds are so deep and curved, when I slip casted the pieces they didn’t fall out. I then tried press moulding the waves allowing me to produce the pieces more efficiently.

Week 8 Part 2

I have a week and a half left to produce the two parts to my final piece.

I made the plaster moulds on Wednesday afternoon, and because they were big they hadn’t dried by Friday so I couldn’t slip cast out of them. This meant that I missed the Friday kiln.

Bank holiday Monday – No firing.

Tuesday slip casting so they can be dry for Wednesday’s kiln. Friday when they come out I will have to glaze them that day so they come out on

Friday I will glaze them in the morning and hopefully they will be dry enough to go back in the kiln that afternoon.

Monday – Finished.

If I fall behind on any of these steps my work will come out on the morning of the show. If this does happen I will glaze half of them on Monday and leave the rest unglazed producing a more natural and organic final piece. Then if the glazes don’t look good or don’t come out in time I will still have pieces to show.

Tutorial 25th April

It was brought to my attention that I was looking at helping Manchester become and greener and cleaner city, but my spray painted pots were in fact portraying the complete opposite. The fumes that are produced when you spray paint are detrimental to the environment and defiantly would not contribute positively to Manchester green environment. This is not something I had considered before, I hadn’t thought about how my products production wasn’t eco-friendly and was rather looking at the final piece and how that was helping.

This led me to make a hard decision where practicality and morals are fighting against my design process. I came to the conclusion that if I am going to make a green and clean product, it has to be fully green throughout its whole process, or else I would not feel comfortable promoting a product that isn’t green.

This flipped my project on it head as It meant re-designing my pots. When looking online at sustainable plant pots. I like the idea of the pot being directly planted into the soil, this means that when the seedling has grown and is strong enough, the owner can easily replant the tree, making the transaction quick and simple.  This easy transaction will be appealing for buyers as people enjoy simple ideas that make life easier in the long run.

This simple setup would mean that more trees will be planted as the flow and transaction are quick and easy. Encouraging more people to purchase a tree and replant it. Allowing Manchester to become a greener city more effectively.

I am designing my product to be used in shops and cafés. When the consumer purchases a ceramic wave the money will support the upkeep of the company and allow more seedlings to be planted. They then would adopt a seedling that would grow in the protected environment of their shop. Once strong enough it would be replanted around the city by the charity. The shop could then support as many or a little tree as they wanted. The wave would draw attention to the pots and therefore encourage more people to help support the growth of the green city.

Week 8

I want to represent the strength and power of the ocean through its big and engulfing waves.  I feel as if this idea can be incorporated into plant pot stands that wrap around the pot symbolising support as well as strength.

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This snail pot found on Pinterest is my main point of reference, I enjoy how it wraps around the pot mimicking its shapes. However, with my piece I want the wave to touch and surround the pot creating a connected product.

I think the waves would look good in ceramics as I could achieve a smooth and clean piece, which will contrast nicely with the bumpy pot.

Experimenting in Ceramics

Because I have such a short time frame to work with I thought I would experiment with slab building in ceramics as it is the quickest way of achieving a final result immediately. I looked at making more open waves by folding the clay over, as well as thicker more sturdy waves that really engulf the pot. Both pieces I feel compliment the pot differently, however, I feel the chunkier wave looks stronger and more supportive, so represents the oceans support more effectively.

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When the pieces were drying around the moulds the clay slowly started to warp and bend and no longer surrounded the pot perfectly. This created odd and unsatisfying pieces as they didn’t quite fit.

The pieces developed cracks because there was too much tension on them due to being so thin and having little support. This highlighted to be that despite slab building being a quick process, the pieces can be a lot more unreliable as they are different every time.

Because I like my work to be easy to produce and remake, and therefore more widely available. I feel slab building isn’t the best technique as unique pieces take time to make, and can’t be exactly replicated. This has led be to look into producing a slipcase mould so the pieces can be bulk made, therefore more readily available for the Manchester market.

Although slip casting has a lengthy setting up process with mould making and plastering, in the long run the pieces are more reliable and quick.

I decided to make the supports with one piece moulds which would mean taking away the bases leaving me with bookend sort of shapes. I feel this new design will make my pieces more minimalistic and unique. The base wasn’t supporting the design very effectively anyway as it was bulky, therefore I am happy to of been led to look at another design.

Slip casting has also allowed me to create soil wave shapes using less clay, therefore lowering the pieces’ carbon footprint and weight. However, it did effect my ability to be more creative with the waves shapes. As I couldn’t create undercuts the wave had to be relatively smooth. This might be a nice contrast with the textures on the pots so I am not too bothered by this limitation.

Week 7

Although I prefer the paintings on the aluminium, I feel I am not able to depict the ocean to my full ability on a flat surface The tree protectors are limiting my design as I can’t portray the sea through straight ridged lines.

This led me to think about other ways tree can be protected. Plant pots are where planted seedlings often start there lives, a place where they first start to grow, until they are strong enough to be replanted somewhere else.

I have no experience with bending or shaping metal so I have decided to experiment with pre-made plant pots. My idea is focused on the patterns I can make on the material, rather than the physical making and bending of it. Once I have finalised the pot I can then expand the piece into a final unique product.

When I went to add texture to the pots I had trouble as they warped and bent when hammered, as the metal is so thin. This led me to look at other ways of adding texture to them

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I decided to layer salt in between spray paint as the bumpy texture reflects the shapes found in seafoam. The salt clumps look very similar to the bubbles in the sea, allowing me to add texture without altering the physical shape of the pot. What I enjoy about this technique is that production is easy and simple, therefore perfect for the mass market so there is a large scope to make several for all over the city.

The salt also has great connections with ocean, I feel by adding sea salt to the pots I am allowing a physical piece of the ocean to makeup some of the product.

To create the drippy effects on the pots and to make sure the colours blended naturally I over sprayed the paint, and made sure it built up on top of its self. This meant the paint was uneven and separated creating organic shapes.

I enjoy the outcome produced from the spray paints. The patterns created are unique and represent the shapes found within the sea effectively. However, I don’t think they are stand alone final pieces they miss a diversity of shapes.

Week 6

After exploring the sea and taking close up pictures of the shapes created by its movements, I want to put the patterns into practice. I have explored painting and denting both wood and aluminium metal.

The wood didn’t take to the denting as it splintered and broke, but once spray painted the wood did allow for speckling. However, I did find that it was too flat and the wood wasn’t portraying the roughness of the sea

I enjoyed the speckled effect created on the wood. I was able to achieve this by not just sticking to conventional spray paints but branching out and using a variety of sprays. This meant that when all the different paints mixed they separated creating lovely organic and shapes and colours.

I was able to chip and dent the aluminium which allowed for a more textured product. By scraping and over spraying on top of the textures some beautiful and unique shaped appeared.

I think painting on top of a more slippery surface like metal allowed for the different paints to mix and separate more effectively creating more detailed shapes and patterns. I was also able to dent the metal allowing for more texture to be added. I feel that these pieces relate better to the sea then the pieces on the wood.

Week 5

Exploring the beach and the sea’s movements.

The ocean creates some lovely organic and delicate patterns despite being such a rough and strong element. These shapes and lines will be very effective printed onto the tree protectors as they are very tactile and representative of the sea.

Week 4

Pitching my final ideas to an audience.

Slide 1Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 18.31.05In my first slide I introduced Manchester strong connection with water and the Atlantic Ocean, through the rain as well as the shipping canal. I thought it was important to clearly state the connection.

Slide 2 Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 18.31.24In the next slide, I moved on to show the affects the damp climate has on the city. In the cooler areas, algae and mould grow up the side of the walls creating unique patterns that relate back to the shapes found in seafoam. In response to the algae, I produced some watercolour pieces that draw from the shapes and patterns I saw on the walls.  I like how the colours blend and mix togeather creating organic shapes. However, I feel the paintings are too one dimensional and in order to capture the movement and strength of the sea, I will have to incorporate textures.

Slide 3Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 18.31.30In slide three I wanted to show the main inspiration for my final piece, something I had come across when exploring Manchester. These tree protectors cover some of the trees in the city. I was drawn to them as I enjoy how subtle they are, this allows them to easily fit in with the city’s architecture. I want to make sure my piece doesn’t take away from the city.

I was drawn to these pieces as I like how they protect the trees, supporting the nutrients and water cycle. Not only do these trees rely on rainfall, they also rely on protectors to stop graffiti and general wear and tear of such a busy city.

Slide 4Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 18.31.45The trees have been planted by the Manchester City of Trees, an organisation that aims to make Manchester a greener and cleaner city. Helping it grow and become the best city it can be. I like how the organisation aims to improve and support Manchester. This idea took me back to when Manchester first developed into the great city that it is today during the industrial revolution.

The shipping canal was a big step for the city connecting it to the rest of the world during the industrial revolution, helping it grow and develop. I feel becoming a green city is the next step for Manchester development.

The water cycle will contribute to the growth of the green city, allowing the Atlantic ocean to again help Manchester grow and improve. Only enhancing the connection Manchester has with the ocean, It always comes back to help the city.

Slide 5Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 18.32.33Proposing my final idea. I want to build my own tree protectors that will recognise the Atlantic continued support towards Manchester.

I proposed to use sheet metal, however, during my presentation it was brought up to me that I should experiment with a variety of different materials, as my automatic response shouldn’t be to replicate. I am adding texture to my piece and metal might not be the best material to use to achieve that. This has lead me to make sure I experiment with a variety of material in order to produce the best result.