Posts Tagged ‘art


core studio 1 – printmaking

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).

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core studio 1 – sculpture

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.


core studio 1 – ceramics

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.


core studio 1 – photography

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.


kinetic sculptures and mechanical sounds

My current studio is Sculpture, which has been a lot of fun! Trying out new things I’ve never done before and thinking about different ways of creating.

The work I am currently constructing is a kinetic-sound machine; a typewritter with xylophone bars (maybe more instruments to be added). When you type something the hammers hit the bars and sound is created! And it still has it’s function of writing, as the hammers simply pass back and forth through the xylophone bars.

I’ve had a look at some other kinetic sculptures and found some really cool things. There’s an entire site devoted to ‘Odd Musical Instruments’.
One of these is a very cool ‘lamellophone’ (or vibrating tongue instruments) called ‘Spinal Rod Box’ made from surgical equipment. From the page: “The sound is amplified using a contact microphone and the pitches depend on the length of the threaded steel rods.” Listening to it without look at the image, it sounds as though it’s being played on bongos as well as some xylophone sounds.

Play Spinal Rod Box

A work by Stephen Cornford uses turntables and objects placed on them to create sound, and mixed in conjunction with each other to form a song. That piece can be viewed here. Below is a video of one of Cornford’s inventions. Cornford’s website.

Michael Delia is another sculpture sound artist who makes neat instruments, like ‘growthings’ and ‘kalimbaphones’.



Simple Penduling by Dan Senn. Found kitchen graters are suspended within a mesh of piano wire and struck by subaudio driven pendulums.

Simple Penduling

Simple Penduling


copyright issues

Issue #1

In 1970 George Harrison released the song ‘My Sweet Lord’. Six years later he was found guilty of copyright infringement, with it being judged that his song plagiarised The Chiffons hit ‘He’s So Fine’ (a fantastic song, as it happens). Harrison was found to have ‘unconsciously copied the tune’.

To me, the songs sound incredibly similar, mainly in the chorus part. They do have differences which separates them from being exact copies, those being mainly instrumental. Overall, they seem to be based on the same musical structure.

As a comparison – 5=exactly the same 4=Very similar 3=Somewhat Alike 2=Barely the same 1=not alike in any way
Melody: 4
Harmony/Chordal Structure: 4
Rhythm: 4
Tempo: 3
Lyrics: 2
Instruments:  2

The songs are very similar in vocals, with the lyrics ‘I don’t know how I’m gonna do it/I’m gonna make him mine/be the envy of all the girls/It’s just a matter of time’ and ‘I really want to see you/I really want to be with you/Really want to see you lord’, and ‘He’s so fine/Wish he were mine/That handsome boy over there/The one with wavy hair’ and ‘My sweet Lord, Hm my Lord/ Hm my Lord’ being very alike in harmony and melody.

They differ mainly in instruments, with My Sweet lord being largely guitar driven, whereas in He’s So Fine the vocals are the main component.

Issue #2

In the 1995 film 12 Monkeys, Bruce Willis’ character is interrogated in a room with a chair raised off the ground. The room in that scene bears a striking resemblance to an artwork by Lebbeus Woods from 1987…

There is no doubt that the drawing by Lebbeus was the basis for this room – admitted even by the director Terry Gilliam. Apart from a couple of differences with what appears to be wires, the chair in both the drawing and movie are the same.

Issue #3

This video was created by Keir Smith in response to the Australian Government’s ‘Fair Use and other Copyright Exceptions: An examination of fair use, fair dealing and other exceptions in the Digital Age’ Issues paper, 2005.

Keir Smith’s video, a remix or montage of popular and iconic media, should not be viewed as ‘illegal’ in the sense of copyright. He is not trying to blatantly pass off others work as his own. Instead, he is using music, video and images to create something new, that uses the source itself and thus is not the same case as Issue #1.
This should be deemed as fair use. It’s not too dissimilar to a DJ mixing two or more songs together, using those songs to create something different.

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I start a picture and I finish it. I don’t think about art while I work. I try to think about life.

Jean Michel Basquiat

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