Digital Drawing

I have recently discovered how useful my phone can be. I was trying to explain to someone how I wanted to attach my chain and findings to my pendant and there is a tool/app on my phone where you can draw and it was incredibly useful. So with that app in mind I wanted to draw my pendants digitally so I would have a clear and visual representation of what I wanted to create in my jewellery making and here are the outcomes. I think they are very linear and simplistic but clear and fun. I hope to use this app in future because it is useful and I really want to perfect my digital drawing.

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Video and editing

Last week I took a video of my journey walking through the forest to get to a river bank to collect my found objects. This was my first test to see how the outcome would look. Bearing in mind I have never worked with videography before I decided to have a go because I want to be able to document my journey of finding these objects. This was a different journey because I wouldn’t normally visit this river bank, its a little further down from where I would normally collect the found objects.

I started recording on my mobile phone because it has a reasonably good quality camera and also is portable, maybe for my next journey I could look into borrowing a ‘Go Pro’ because I hear they are great for capturing a journey. My first mistake was because I was handling my camera the picture is shaky and a bit all over the place. I need to be aware of this next time and possibly make a harness for the camera to sit upon. I also went along with another person who was walking in front of me but I thought this helped capture the idea of ‘following’ our journey.

The recording seemed to be the easy bit because I wanted it to be as natural as possible but the next part is editing. I will need to remove the sound because it was myself and my mother having a laugh, so I could maybe add just a simple soundtrack to add a bit of interest. I could possibly record the sounds of the forestry on my own and add them in at a later date. The next would be to speed up the journey because it took about 20 minutes and I am pretty sure the viewer would lose interest. and finally I will need to add the other videos of making afterwards to document my making. This is an exciting journey for me and my practice and I hope I can reflect that in the video.

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Reflection on the term so far

This term has proved to be a challenging one and is constantly questioning my abilities. I feel as a maker I am quite slow in the way I work and think and this is causing me to have meltdowns. I have missed a few days due to illness and now I feel more lost than ever. I have had my dissertation draft feedback and I knew in my heart it wasn’t going to be the best because I am still thinking of my final question I want to talk and debate about. How can I write and answer that if I am still unsure. I am struggling to lend my time wisely between subject, constellation and also home life. There are lots of things going on around me and it seems I am struggling to focus and get back motivated. Due to being ill, I haven’t been able to do much this week as I haven’t been able to raise my head from my pillow. I need to start making time for all my responsibilities in the day, maybe I could do 2 hours dissertation, and fix my subject and home life around that. I am finding it incredibly difficult, and I just hope I can sort myself out soon enough because time seems to be passing me by rather swiftly.

 

The Royal Mint Experience

Today I visited the Royal mint experience mainly out of curiosity, the Royal Mint is close to where I live and I knew that’s where they made the money but never truly knew what was going on in that place, it was a mysterious building covered in cameras and barbed wire. After visiting today I was in awe of the place, and the processes that took place there.

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We took a tour of the factory where the money is being produced followed then by an exhibition of the history and future. Firstly we had a tour of the factory where the heavy (and loud) machinery would cut/mould/press the metals to make the money.ย The process all starts with the mixture of metals (to get the perfect recipe), they are then fired in a furnace to make smelt and pour the molten metal. The metal is then pressed to thin out and make an even surface. A layer is cut of the top to remove impurities and then get threaded into another machine which is a giant hole punch and punches out 10,000 blanks a minute. 80% of the blanks are then transported to other countries for their currency whereas 20% remain to be made into UK currency. The blanks are then washed in acid to clean the metals. They then get sorted into another big machine which is called a rimmer, which creates the rim on the coins so they are able to stack and have an edge. The ridged coin then gets fed through another machine similar to the rimmer but this one press words onto the sides of the coin. Afterwards the blank gets fed into the striking machine where a decorated die will be pressed onto the black making into a coin.

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The whole process is very quick and has now been perfected by the royal mint. That’s only the making, the designing what was interesting to me because they start with a sketch the they etch it into plaster or clay and the a machine digitally scans the surface where they can then edit and improve the blemishes. The ideas and developments need to be approved by higher authority before getting to be made in to dies and pressed. I would have loved to have seen this whilst doing BAMS it is truly inspiring.

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Here are a few of my favourite coins/medals from the exhibition, and bellow is the link to their website.

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http://www.royalmint.com/en/the-royal-mint-experience

Crafting and making a small business pays off!

As you may know last year I started crafting my own jewellery, earrings to be exact and since then I have made loads and loads of them. From resin embellishments found online to old buttons I had laying around the house. I made so many that I started giving them away as gifts. My friend suggested I set up my own craft stall to sell them at local summer fetes/boot sales. I thought that was a great idea and slowly but surely I started to make up my own business of it. S W Earrings.13607727_10206370874419979_275155560_n

https://www.facebook.com/swearrings

I researched how to present them in a stall and how I could present myself. I set up an ETSY account and tried to sell some on an online shop but it was a flop I had no customers. So I signed up to a christmas fete. I turned up and set up and it was a success. I had such wonderful comments and a few sales. So I tried another 2 fetes but they were also a flop due to poor advertisement and poor weather. It was only until I decided to go to my local school fete that I actually saw potential. My stall was a hit I must have sold over 30 pairs of earrings which is crazy for me. I also had people asking me to make pairs specifically for them which is incredible.

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I was amazed when kids and adults took the earrings and put them straight on. I was so blessed to see people actually appreciating an object which I crafted for a hobby. My next step is to make more and replenish stock and also cater more towards the younger audience because that is where I found the market to be. I am over the moon to have grown as a Maker due to this. I have gotten to see my work being sold and appreciated which is just incredible. I will continue to do this on the side because to me it’s not just a hobby now but a community.13522012_1813129015586856_3642007398165941144_n.jpg

I would also like to add without the support of my sister and my parents none of this would be possible, so thank you!

My objectives and Aims for Over the Summer

I am sad to say my second year of university is over but I came out of it with a 2:1 as my grade, of which I am ecstatic about. Through this year I have battled many obstacles that have been bombarded at my face. So let’s recap, at the start of the term I had a bit of a wobbly and was unsure of if I was doing the right course, It all seems so technical and I am more of a hands on (pen and paper) kind of girl which is where my doubts started to sprout. Secondly I had a real struggle with the BAMS project in which I wanted to restart my idea all together but with lots of testing/experimenting and persistence it payed off because although I didn’t get to hand in my medal for the live brief but I got to actually create one and it was there in it’s physical form, which I was so pleased about. Next year I hope to submit my medal for the BAMS project, that would be an even greater accomplishment.

Also this term things kept going bed to worse when my nerves and anxiety took a hold of me. I just couldn’t face certain things and needed to get away, I am glad I took time out of university and focused on my work at home because that’s what I really needed. Persistance is Key and I pushed myself everyday to continue on my initial ideas that seemed to be only bones of a great idea, but I got there. I am incredibly happy that I passed this year of university. I cannot tell you what it means to me. I am now taking the summer to mentally and physically preparing myself for third year because I know from my fellow third year students how difficult it is.

Over the summer I hope to better myself by visiting lots of local galleries and try to atleast travel to visit a few away. By doing so I hope I can further my understanding of local culture/art and design, which would be beneficial going into third year with more knowledge. I also hope to get some work experience, at the moment I am working on my CV which is crucial for employers/tutors to see what I have achieved so far. By doing some work experience I hope to get a better understanding of where I want to take my career path, because at the moment it’s very hazy. I have also joined email lists from galleries which will give me details in upcoming events, which I could visit. I also need to focus on my Dissertation to get that started and up and running; and to add to all of this I am also working near enough full time in my local retail store to earn some money which I need very dearly.

I really I hope I can follow through on my aims and objectives for over the summer because I really need to better my understanding and knowledge in the creative industry to work towards becoming a better me.

This is a start of my Summer blog which I hope to keep you updated and to remind myself to stay determined because I have proven to myself I can do this!

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Personal Overview of the projects

After Coming back from Easter I thought I would have fresh eyes and new ideas ready for my projects but I have been having an awful time with a creative block and Anxiety. I was happy with my light idea and seemed to carry on with that project reasonably well but I also wanted to create my own range of jewellery for the ‘Make Your Mark’ Project. The ‘Make your Mark’ Project seemed to put me in limbo, I wanted to create jewellery based from nature and the details in nature but I wasn’t sure what materials to use and what natural resources to use. After a lot of overthinking and having a constant battle in my head I decided to give up and concentrate on the light and try to get a final product for the end of year show. I just hope 3-4 weeks will be enough to work on them.

This week I had a tutorial with Pip about my light. It wasn’t as much positive feedback as I would have liked but I think she could she I was struggling and gave me a new avenue to explore with it. Which I am very grateful for. After the tutorial I started to think about the Make your Mark project and how it would be beneficial in my future career as a jewellery designer/maker so I am now going to attempt it again (short notice I know).

There are a few mental notes I need to take down and they are that I need to start believing in my ability as a Maker because my negativity towards myself does swallow all of that. I need to focus on the future and not give in so easily to my anxiety and depression. So from a personal journey I need to move onwards and upwards and Stay Determined!