I have really enjoyed working with a modular framework – each week my emphasis has been on a different aspect of my final major project, from reflecting on my work from semester 2 to planning & sourcing, producing a new website, photography, enamelling, surface decoration, etc. Rather than working on one piece at a time, the overarching plan is that working in this production method will allow me to produce a higher volume of work and if needed at graduation, I would be able to provide work to more than one or two shows at the same time. This past week I have been concentrating on the development of my magnetic components, realising them from paper into wood. I have been clear at the start of this module that in many ways this is the beginning for me rather than the end and as such I want to continue to experiment and bring new materials into my practice.
I began by sourcing a selection of exotic wood pen blanks, these included bocote, tulipwood, walnut and bog oak. I have a pang of ethical guilt about using this type of wood, but I know if this is to become a regular part of my practice that I could source and use second hand furniture or look for offcuts at timber yards. Working with wood has forced my hand in using some of the larger machinery the school has to offer. This has been great as I have really wanted to move past this slight anxiety of using some of the more traditional machinery, build confidence and hopefully also open up future ideas.
I began with the bandsaw cutting the blanks into regular cubes. I moved onto using a milling drill to accurately sink enamel panels into which were further countersunk to allow for magnets to be embedded internally. I moved on to experiment with the laser and finally I found in torch-firing the enamel buttons I had more control over the small surface area. I loved working with wood and I hope to return to learn more soon. The most satisfying is seeing these little pieces through to complete vision being photographed in the vintage boxes I have sourced. These have become a big part of my curation plans for my graduate exhibition Oscillations but also offer a snippet of scenography that emphasis my concept that can be easily placed in other exhibitions.