It has been a while since my last post.
Hopefully Ill get it all back.
Third year has arrived (a lot quicker than expected). Stressful since day 1 (and I’ve been told that I’m good at keeping calm).
We started working on ideas since the beginning. I sort of knew what I wanted to do last year. But..
During the first week we all had to do a presentation about stuff that we were or would be looking at this year and things that inspired our practices. Ideas to make or “making heads” start.
Last year I decided that I wanted to make furniture. I was working on the maquettes to make furniture using recycled materials and sustainable finishes. During that first presentation my decisions were questioned by the lecturers. Interesting questions were asked:
“Do you have the skills to make these projects happen?”
“Where do your skills lay?”
“What are you good at and enjoy doing?”
Being honest with myself, the answers made me re-evaluate. What I wanted to do wasn’t necessarily what I should do.
I am keeping the concept of Sustainable (recycled, local, low energy,durable, etc) but what I am making has changed. In a way I have gone in full circle (back to my project from first year).
I am keeping the concept sustainability. To me, it is very important that what I make is not damaging to the environment. On the other hand, working under Sustainability has turned out to be difficult. I have to be very careful with every choice I make in all the processes from testing the materials to the finished outcome. Evaluating every aspect is time consuming because I have not found a lot of information already available.
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I loved making the laser cut lamp in the first year.
In the second year, I discovered how much I like working with glass.
I am not yet the best I can be at these. But I am not terrible either.
So for this third year, I will be making lamps, lampshades and lights. All trying to stick to the concept of Sustainability.
I am using recycled materials like glass, aluminium and paper. But I am also using processes which in a way defeat Sustainability. Working with glass is a very high energy process; specially when the glass is recycled. I have to test a lot because I am not sure about the temperatures needed to make the glass react as I need/ want it to.
I will hopefully produce a series of items. For them, I want to explore different processes so they are all different.
I began making moulds to fuse my glass. The moulds are made with clay (sustainable) but had to be bisque fired before using (around 1200 degrees) and bath washed. However I can reuse these moulds many times and so far they have worked well.
The glass I am using comes from bottles. Some I have found, some I have taken from by workplace. I am mainly using clear glass and adding bits to it (like other coloured glass and natural materials like cinnamon sticks and powder) to give it some colour.
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For the second round of tests I prepared a little better.
I tried to get the glass (crushed thickness) between that very fine crushed one and not so much.
I didn’t change temperature of the kiln but I did increase the time of hold.
For the next testing I do, I will increase the temperature. Then I will probably need to do another testing increasing the time of holding and see how that results. That will hopefully be the last of the testing and then I should be able to start working on the real thing.
In the meantime I have been working on moulds on which the glass cloud then be slumped to give it shape (will post photos).
I have also bought fittings so I cant start putting together a functioning maquette.