Posts Tagged ‘found 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.


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