Art, reviews and thoughts from a young artist in Plymouth, UK.

Posts tagged ‘Luke Axworthy’

Young Arts Club at Plymouth College of Art

From 2015-2016 I was a member of the Saturday Young Arts Club at the Plymouth College of Art.  The course was 25 weeks long, split into five chunks with a different subject each time.  My student ambassador was metalsmith Luke Axworthy who has a studio at Flameworks.

The first section was Fashion with Sharon Morgan, fashion tutor and milliner (twitter).  The students made patterned fabric using screen printing ink freehand on cotton, and I chose to do a zig zag design.  I used a sewing machine to create a pencil case and a phone case with my colourful fabric.

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Cases made from zig zag fabric by midnakit

Sharon also asked us to come up with fashion label ideas.  I used KitBIT because at the time it was my username for videogames.  I took it further by actually designing items for the label in my sketchbook.

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KitBIT designs

The designs I created were videogame influenced because I enjoy gaming but I can rarely find clothing and accessories to express that.

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More KitBIT Designs

The next section was Animation with Jamie House.  We watched the shorts Dots by Norman McLaren and Black Dots by Luana Veloso.  We used DSLR cameras on tripods to take photos of our own drawings as we added to them.  Our next project was to draw shapes and objects then cut them out and make an animation by rearranging them on a background.  I chose to use coloured dots and I made them interact and glide around.  Then we moved on to working in teams, and I worked with a few of the other students who I had made friends with.  We made an animation using the same technique as our last project, but instead of on a paper background we were allowed to animate with blue tack on a wall.  In our animation we had Homer Simpson open his mouth and eat doughnuts flying towards him. He then closed his mouth again and because he ate so many he blew up!  Part of our project was to use a person, so we talked about which one of our group would wipe the doughnut remains off the wall, pull a disgusted face and walk away (I was nominated..) After we finished animating we used iMovie to add music.

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Finally, for our last project all of my team starred in the animation.  It was about a girl who travelled through time using a ‘Chairlorean’ (Flux Capacitor included) and had to run away from freaky future people.  She manages to get back to the Chairlorean and ended up getting stuck in the past. For the futuristic people we just wore our clothes oddly and to show the time travelling girl was in the past I drew an old newspaper as a prop.  Again, we edited on titles and music after.  I’m not sure where my films from this part of the course are unfortunately but if I find them I will try and upload them.

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Plaster sculpture and wire sculpture

The third section of the course was Experimental Drawing, Printmaking and Sculpture with Janine Rook.  This section was very interesting because I tried out some new techniques for the first time and really enjoyed them.  We drew on pieces of different kinds of paper and stuck them onto a large sheet of thick paper in a collage, made sculptures by twisting long wires, and created odd and slightly creepy sculptures by taking three plaster moulds of parts of our hands then sticking them together with more plaster, using glue and paper to decorate them.

The fourth section of the course was Graphic Design with Terry Maughan.  We entered a competition to come up with t-shirt designs for The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth.  The winning designs would be printed and put on sale to raise money for the Community Seagrass Initiative (CSI) which helps preserve seagrass which is the seahorses habitat.  We were advised to research surf fashion and tattoos because they have a popular and contemporary style.  I did that and I also researched seahorses and seagrass.

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My hat with a fabric flower and a feather

Finally, for the last section of the Saturday Arts Club course, we did fashion again with Sharon Morgan and this time we made hats. We started by soaking bamboo millinery net in water then moulding it into the shape we wanted on a hatblock.  We had to pin the corners down, and I used glue to bond three layers of net together for strength, then left it to set.  Next I trimmed the sides to create a semi-spherical shape then stitched on a piece of elastic to hold the hat on a head.  I cut out pieces of fabric and layered them to make a flower and sewed them to the hat with beads in the centre.  I arranged a piece of floral lace around the hat edge and glued it on and added a feather.  I used black net and chose different patterned fabrics in shades that matched with the feather.

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My little sister looking fabulous in my hat!

Our hats were displayed at the Graduate Show at the College in the Young Arts Club room.  It was the first time I had my work displayed at an exhibition and it felt amazing.  I visited the room twice on different days and I was impressed by all the other young people’s work.  There were some great mural designs on large sheets of paper and I also really liked a section of printed tote bags.  We were all given a Certificate for having attended for the year.

Over the summer I thought a lot about the course and I wanted to join in again this year 2016-2017.  I found out about a scheme called the National Art and Design Saturday Club with only twenty places locally for 14-16 year olds who “demonstrate commitment and passion for art and design”.  I applied and I had to have a reference and fill in a personal statement, which I had never done before and so I was very nervous about it.

I am really pleased to say that I got a place in NA&DSC and I had my first session last week!  First we looked around the new Pre-degree center of the Plymouth College of Art, then we met our tutor and drew self-portraits from pictures and mirrors.  I used a mirror because I felt it was more challenging for me.  I have tried to draw realistic self-portraits in the past but didn’t really like doing it, but this time it was more enjoyable because I had more support and I was working in a room with other artists.  I am really looking forward to next week’s session!

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Self-Portrait by midnakit, September 2016

 

 

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Flameworks Open Days

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Blacksmithing with Piers Edsall at Flameworks

This Summer I went to two Open Days at the Flameworks Creative Arts Facility (Twitter) in Plymouth.  My student ambassador from Saturday Arts Club at PCA, Luke Axworthy, is a metalsmith who does work there and I hoped I might see him at work but unfortunately he wasn’t there on the days I visited, although I did get to see his very neat work space!

On the first day, I had a quick look around the building.  There were artists working on jewellery, ceramics, metal and painting. We spoke to Louise Rabey (Etsy) who was working on a watercolour illustration of ‘two Nidorans nuzzling in the sun‘ (click to view that on her Instagram page).  She showed us her portfolio and we realised that J had bought one of her pictures at the last DevCon.  Her artwork is brightly coloured but softly drawn and cute and she draws animals and fan art of things like Pokemon, Disney characters and Undertale.  She had a friend with her who was really nice and talked to us about doing professional cosplay as Daryl from The Walking Dead.  Louise shares a studio space with Luke, Lorna Davey (another brilliant artist who I met at the PCA Graduate Show) and another artist who I unfortunately didn’t meet.

Downstairs, I watched Piers Edsall (Twitter) helping a young girl with blacksmithing and she looked like she was having a lot of fun so I asked if I could try too.  I went in with my brother J and Piers gave us gloves, aprons and goggles to wear.  He explained how we would be working with very hot equipment – so hot that if we touched it our fingers would fall off before we had a chance to feel it!  He showed us the tools and anvil that we would be using then gave us both a hammer each and metal rods.

Piers put the metal rods in the forge and heated them until they were red-hot.  Then he explained how to hammer the rods around the tip of the anvil to make them curved.  It was satisfying to hit the metal into shape but it was also very noisy!  We also had to bend the rods to make a wavy shape.  Piers was really friendly and we saw one of his kraken creations which J loved because he’s really into monsters.  Piers is going to be building a huge sculpture soon and I hope we get to see it.  He also talked to my brother about a ‘Little Smiths’ course that they hope to run at Flameworks which sounds really interesting.

On our second visit we took my friend along and she got to have a go at the blacksmithing too, while I watched from behind a safety screen.  Afterwards all three of us got to do some pottery making at a pottery wheel with Christina Peters.  It was really fun but tougher than I expected because you have to put a lot of weight onto the clay.  The pictures above show mine and J’s pots ready for firing.  Christina talked us through the whole process while she created a sample pot. She was really good at explaining about the different types of clay and how to work the wheel.  She’s extremely enthusiastic and I could tell she loves her work.  She also talked to me about how she was making mugs for the cafe Rumpuscosy next door to the Radiant Gallery.

We also met Jill Coughman who was gathering ideas for a new piece.  Her studio is bursting with paintings including a huge artwork of mermaids.  Downstairs I watched Lesley Peate polishing some tiny pieces of copper jewellery.  There was so much to see and I enjoyed walking around a lot and I recommend that anyone interested should visit on their next open day. 🙂

 

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