A huge part of my final major project seems to have accumulated in being prepared and well planned. In preparing my time-plan, I began with mind-mapping what I wanted to achieve in my Final Major Project and what steps I would need to take to get there. A pattern quickly emerged in my planning under the following headers; Research, Studio Practice, Documentation & Critical Analysis and Professional Practice. Beginning with research and having compiled a reading list and summarised my learning to date, time needs to be scheduled to continue to engage, analyse, reflect and synthesise on appropriate research identified in my research proposal.
A large portion of my time to date in the early part of this final module has been spent considering the direction of my studio practice, in critically analysing my studio practice from the previous module, I understand how I want to drive my practice forward up to graduation. My attempts to date at vitreous enamelling mixed metal (steel and copper) have been disastrous as was my pursuit of enamelling soldered and curved steel. My vision includes pieces that allow recesses for my components to nestle, as well as using a non-magnetic material alongside steel to start controlling where connections could occur. The quality of finish to the enamel and improvement to the surface quality along with the introduction of laser engraving has been a noted element in raising the overall sophistication and visual aesthetic.
The key point that I keep coming back to is how do I ensure that the overall standard of finish and refinement I am aiming for is achieved. And this process begins with meticulous preparation and planning. Firstly, in sourcing and ordering materials, this has included better quality hardened and straightened stainless steel for my pins, sourcing exact flocking colours, locating the correct colour enamel paint, leather threads, wood, new vitreous enamels, etc. Secondly, I considered what processes needed scheduling or required outside contractors such as spinning, press forming, laser engraving, powder coating and decal printing. Third on my list was questioning if I needed any new tools or could any of my processes be made easier or give rise to a better finish if I sourced a different tool or process? Examples here included using a Mitre box and a milling drill.
I am happy with the trajectory of my Documentation and Critical Engagement through my journal and blog utilising photography and video and giving time to consider the curation of this documentation. The development of the documentation, pricing and marketing of my final collection into a ‘auction catalogue’ will require time to compile and print. I am also keen to keep workflow sheets, logging material costs and time spent making to aid in ethical and budgetary decisions later on in the project which leads me to Professional Practice. This is where I aim to make the biggest changes to safeguard I am professionally ready by graduation. I have planned to complete early on in the project my CV, personal statement and biography. Alongside setting up my home studio, photography suite and social media this will allow me to not only apply for opportunities that occur during this final semester, such as but also sets in motion the content needed to launch a new professional website.
At the start of my MA, I had no understanding of what kind of jeweller I wanted to be, and that was wrapped up in not wanting to put my name to my online presence until I knew the answer. Now towards the end of my MA journey and a clear understanding of my professional positioning, I have registered the domain NWClarke.com and the Instagram @NWClarkejewellery. Watch this space for developments and updates to my new website.