I’m finding working on my MA Fine Art to be a lot different from college/undergraduate studies.
I liked the structure of multiple classes running at a time (5-7 per semester), deadlines, due dates, assignments, lots of different professors/instructors to discuss things with, etc. In the MA we’re doing one course per year (it is a three-year part-time program.) We go on campus once a week for our seminars for that course. We have writing assignments for each seminar (the topic of which covers two sessions each at least) that are due before the second session.
We also have, on the same day, either workshops, tutorials or critiques with the whole group or individually (they combine all three years of the program together for this.)
Not that there isn’t work to do, but it is self-generated – research and documenting what we are working on for our proposals. Is a but of an adjustment for someone who is timeline driven. All those years of working to deadlines has really conditioned me to want things broken down into a hard schedule.
Now that’s off my chest, I have been enjoying myself learning about new media and updating my skills and knowledge in others.
I’ve taken the “introductory workshops” in the studios for Mold Making, Ceramics, Screen Printing, Printing and Metal Workshop, and in February will also be doing Letterpress. There are many others available in technology – 3D printing, Photography, Green Screen, Film and Audio, Virtual Reality, etc. but I swore I was never, ever, doing any of that again once I got through the courses at college. And I’m sticking to that.
The studios here at the University of Plymouth are extremely well equipped with a full-time technicians there to instruct, advise and assist!
Mold Making was a bit of a refresher for me, but the great equipment, facility and materials are something I’ve not been able to access on my own! I am going to be using it to create the main work for this year’s art project.
The first photo here is the silicone mold – I’d sculpted a relief portrait of Pippa (my furry friend who wakes me up every morning) and the next shows the results.
We also made some coasters.
The next was the Metal Workshop – I was curious as I though I might use metalwork in some capacity, but this is heavy duty metalwork! Interesting, but not something I think I’ll dabble in. Too much physicality involved for this old tired body. Plus, using a forge and different types of welders are a little out of my comfort zone! Also, couldn’t use the electric powered arc welder anyway due to metal implants in my body… go figure.
Then I did Ceramics – we got to build a pot. I think it is being fired as it has been missing from the shelf in the studio for a couple of weeks. I hope to see it again soon. I intend it to be a garlic pot.
I will be using clay to create my main work, which is then going to be cast to make a mold.
The next one was Screen Printing. This was fun. I wasn’t able to access Photoshop (long story, would take a whole post up just telling it!) so made up acetates of a drawing (the single rose) by hand at home using black acrylic paint. I wasn’t sure if the image I really wanted to do could be done the morning of the workshop. Ended up the tech in the print shop/paper stores was helping everyone photoshop and print their acetates, so I was able to get my skull illustration separated and printed.
As I had two sets of acetates ready I was able to make the screens to do two different prints, which was great. I was able to try two ways of aligning the second colours – the second (on the single rose) worked way better for me.
The last workshop was the Printshop. It was a two-day workshop, but as I have a medical appointment on the second day, I arranged to go in last Thursday (just for three hours rather than all day) to cover it with the technician by myself. The first day was Relief (woodcut, linocut, etc.) and Intaglio (etching, etc.) – I’d done some linocut before. I didn’t find these techniques of much interest/use to me.
BUT… the second session was Planographic Monoprints. THIS was brilliant and I think I will be doing a lot more of it! The technician said I had “a flair for it.”
It is a very enjoyable process, creating the different impressions of the monotype. The only problem is cranking the antique press – my elbow is still extremely painful – the cranking was done on Thursday afternoon, it is now Sunday afternoon.
I hope to be able to work on my sculpture in the Mold Making Studio this week… I have my armature ready to go. I’ll use waste clay (texture isn’t important) to do the sculpt, then we have to cast the mold. I think it has to be a two-part mold, but all that is going to have to be discussed with the technician once I have the item in the studio to show her. I need to make at least six casts so the mold needs to be durable.
All in all I am having a great time. There is also a Woodshop on campus and I really want to check that out too.
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