some more holga pics. i’ve been taking a lot of harbour and stadium photos lately. went to oamaru a couple of weekends ago and took a lot of pictures, and the ones i took on my holga are currently in for developing and printing, so eager to see the results!
Author Archive for Gregory Thomas
so i’ve had my holga for a short while now, and have gone through 5 rolls of film; two colour and three b&w.
the colour i needed to have developed and printed for me, while the b&w i have been able to develop myself, and i’m in the process of making all the prints i’d like from them.
the first roll (colour) went alright. everything seemed to be the right exposure but there were plenty of light leaks. i think i benefited from it being a 400 iso film as the next colour roll would be 160 and i only managed to get 4 prints from it. oh well, you live you learn.
have scanned in the colour ones and uploaded to my flickr. i’ll get some of the b&w prints up soon, as well as scans of the photos from my other plastic fantastic cameras.
So, I’ve just finished my 5th and final studio of the semester! It was in printmaking where we learned to do relief printing. Our brief was to take something from an existing publication – like a magazine, book, flyer, etc – and take it apart, using them to create stencils for a series of prints. Once again my fondness for architecture was a source of inspiration for this, so I chose the most interesting buildings in some cheap op-shop mags and set about making stencils. My favourite styles, or periods, are Art Deco and the Bauhaus. I deconstructed some of the buildings’ features to create shapes on multiple stencils. After printing some ‘flat’ colour sheets I started printing the stencils onto them and experimented with different colour combinations. The whole project ballooned and I ended up making a lot of images, and I still have plans for doing a whole lot more.
I presented the ones that had some kind of flow to them on the wall. One group were just the buildings shapes, while another were sheets that I had photocopied the image on to before printing. A third group I put up quickly were the stencils framing bits of wood grain paper they were hung on.
I ended up having a lot of fun and a whole bunch of ideas for future projects, so much so I decided to change my studio choice for next semester from sculpture to printmaking (to do along with photography).
I have just finished sculpture, which was a lot of fun and where I learned quite a few skills.
On the first day as a group project we constructed a large skull from cardboard and newspaper. The following day we carved models from polystyrene blocks which we then buried in damp sand as part of an aluminium pour. I made (another) camera and with leftover time, a couple of cars.
The next week we visited the dump to buy objects to make into art, as part of a ‘found object’ exercise. After not being able to think of anything good, I spied a typewriter which I had an overwhelming desire to get, even though I had no idea what to do with it.
Some humming and hawing later, I decided to turn it into a musical machine; a kinetic sculpture. I configured it so as you were typing, the key hammers would hit xylophone keys on the way through to the paper. This enabled it to keep it’s original function whilst having a completely new one.
I also learned to weld for the first time, which turned out to be a lot of fun, as well as using a band saw and table saw in the wood workshop.
The third studio was Ceramics. I hadn’t used clay in quite a few years so it was nice to start using it again, and learn how to throw clay on the wheel.
We started this studio with a simple exercise in making a small figurine of someone in our class, followed by coils. A couple of themes for this studio were ‘sex pots’ and ‘extreme’. I decided to make a large, over-sized mug. I constructed it by creating a large sheet of clay, when I then molded around a cone made from cardboard and newspaper to give it it’s shape. I threw clay on the wheel and made a thick circular base for the mug. The handle I made from a tube, squeezed together in the middle to form a U shape that run up and down the handle. After putting it together, it was time for the kiln, and everything went off without a hitch.
After firing it in the kiln, I started painting it with glaze. Aston and I mixed together a turquoise glaze, which formed the main colour of my mug. I also glazed the other clay models I had made, such as a whale, camera, cat, cups and coil handles.
The second firing wasn’t so successful for the mug, with it partially collapsing in the kiln, due to the weaker area where the body met the base. The glazing turned out quite well, though, and should look good in the garden amongst the flowers.
For our assignment, we visited second hand stores and chose objects to de-construct and make into new work. I chose two plush toys. One was very bright and had an interesting hairy fabric, but to me felt dull overall, and an elephant dressed for the circus, that looked very worn but well loved.
I removed their stuffing and unstitched them completely, then decided to combine the most interesting external aspects of both dolls to create some new odd-hybrid toy. Rather than refilling it with its original stuffing, I decided to put wire and steel wool inside it, to change the feel of it when squeezed, and adding the ability to mold or pose it.
Some photos of the work in progress, and the final result in various poses:
My first specialist studio in semester 1 at Art School was photography, my first preferred subject. I had purchased my first SLR just before the course started, so I had time to figure out aperture, ISO and shutter speed ahead of time.
This was my first time developing film and making prints in a dark room. This seemed quite daunting at first, and my first attempt to load my film onto a reel in the dark took forever as I dropped the film at least a half dozen times before managing to get it on there properly. After that, though, everything went smoothly and my film turned out as good as I could have hoped. Then it was printing time and I soon got the hang of that too, though not without some errors. I had a lot of fun playing with exposure and contrast and quickly lost track of the time spent in the dark room. Still need to work on contrast though as a lot of my images end up in a low-contrast greyscale instead of a nice divisive black and white image.
The subject for presentation was ‘toy and destroy’, which could be interpreted in a number of different ways. I eventually decided to present a sort of timeline, from a toy digger (youth), actual digger (adulthood/career) and finally a scrapheap (retirement/death), as well as a 4th image where I played with ghosting.
I’ve done quite a few more films and prints despite the studio being over; I think I’m somewhat addicted now! Most of my images are of architecture as that is a subject that fascinates me and appeals to me aesthetically in images.