New Designers 2012

Time for New Designers 2012!
Our class was divided in two. The part 1, which I'm in, is for crafts, textile and contemporary applied arts, and part 2 will have product design etc. 

Our Graduate show came to an end last weekend, and already on Monday the 25th of June we got started setting up for New Designers. Here's few images showing the big mess it was, and how it is today after first day. 

New Designers 2012 in Business and Design Centre in Angel.

Our L-shaped space. Look at the pretty carpets...

Me painting the walls grey. We thought that it'll work well and make the space stand out when others around have white walls. 

Chaotic scene!

And here, on the opening eve. I'm pleased with my spot.

Jars in context


Postcard for the shows

This is the postcard Dan has designed for us all. I got printed 500 of them, and I am going to use them at New Designers external exhibition too (which is on 27th to 30th of June in Angel). 
The same typeface is used on the 3D Design sign on the wall of the exhibition and on the descriptions too. All matches!

Look how the letter E sinks in the vessel! 

Camberwell College of Arts Graduate Show 2012

So, here we are, all done! Few photos to show how the Graduate Show looked like in Camberwell this year. We as a class got lot of compliments of our space, that it had been curated well. 
We painted the walls grey, and to quote someone, about painting the walls grey, apparently we've been rather controversial! Hah! Okay then...
Also, we got vinyls printed, so we all got name tags beside our work an we also printed 3D Design sign on the wall. 
Here's some of my classmates works.

my work on the plinth. Quite a dramatic light, but I like it, it also gives warm tone on the objects.
behind the pieces you can see my postcard and a look-book I made particularly for the shows. More about them in later posts...

Aaaah, I absolutely adore Virginie's skills of making things so neat and proper! Look at the lovely display she made for her jewellery pieces! Her work is called Pieces of Mountain and it includes two rings, two necklaces and a collar piece. All  silver, some of them oxidised in greyish black colour. The images on the background are old souvenir posters from Switzerland. 

I can so clearly relate to her work and I could talk about it even in my sleep! After spending more or less five months next to her working on the final project, you may start to feel as part of the project, something that you treasure highly.  I think she knows my project pretty well through too!

Rosie's lovely tree trunks and hand turned bowls.

Selection of Rosie's wooden boards. She has made already some success with them! I think her first commission went through to a restaurant... 

Zoe's playful Weekday hangers
She also made these lovely turned wooden posts, transcontinental clock, photo frames etc... Check her work out!  

Henry, Henry, He has made for the final project these hand made chef knives. One could get his or hers own grip tailored on them. He even named one of the display ones after me, The Linna.  Unfortunately he hasn't learned to spell my name in three years, as I appear as Sanna. Never mind! :)  

And Joe, he knows how to entertain the audience! Slap It is a multi-sencory experience that makes you smile. Glowing Buttocks as he calls them!


Product photoshoot

Mariona, my beautiful friend and photographer took her time and came in to my house to set up a studio. She took some very nice pictures of mine and Virginie's work.


Final Polishing

No tinning, no lacquering - just au naturel!

Instead of having strongly scratched surface, I decided to go for more subtle linear finish that looks good with plywood. 
After spending endless amount of time researching how to clean and finish copper I did the following:
I sanded the surface - placed the object on lathe, and as the object is spinning I lightly sanded it with emery paper, up to 800 coarseness. I cleaned the surface with Vulpex abrasive soap (from conservation supplier) to remove all grease. Cif would do too. And finally, I waxed the surface with Renaissance wax (used in British Museum), to give a protective coating against premature oxidising from touch. This wax won't seal the surface, but helps.

For the plywood, I applied a blend of beeswax, carnauba wax and mineral oil. Added two coatings.

I like the effect, but decided for this project, that the linear finish suits better. Maybe another project in near future that will have the kind of scratched finish.

when cleaning the surface with abrasive soap, for some reason, it leaves kind of soap marks or some sort of on the surface. I needed to make sure the metal was cleaned extremely carefully.

Acrylic lacquering practises

I have been thinking what I should do with the copper surface, what kind of finish I should aim for. 
Copper oxidises naturally, depending of the environment, it darkens, patina, over the time. I am between letting the copper on its natural stage after polishing or lacquering it with acrylic - which would prevent it from oxidising and it would stay patina-free. Also, the acrylic would protect the metal from getting scratched.

I went to my helpful friend Carl's house, who has an airbrushing studio. I had test samples, with different kinds of finishes on them. 

Here's some of the samples. Two half domes, the other one highly polished, and the other naturally oxidised one. The disc has been roughly scratched and the rectangular piece was polished with metal wheel.  The test pieces have one layer of acrylic lacquer airbrushed on.

This rim is in three differently polished sections - linear sand polish surface, two different grades and one part has been left to oxidise for about a month. After lacquering the surface, the metal will stay in that colour, which I find fascinating. But what I am not so keen about is the shiny surface, film that the spraying creates. It can be seen clearly - it looks artificial to me.

Being true to the material. The material should celebrate the medium it is made of.

Tinning in Action!


Okay, as you may know, copper is not suitable to be used with foodstuffs unless lined, usually with stainless steel (industrial process) or tinned (by hand, or hot dip-tinned industrially). I contacted few manufacturers, but, because these companies concentrate on big orders, I was not able to get it done, well I would have to wait for three months... So for the assessment, I wanted to give a hand tinning a try. I didn't know what to expect...

Here I got standard plumbers flux, tin, leather cloth and a test piece.
The flux is brushed on to the metal - tin melted and carefully pored on to heated surface. It was a bit hard to do it by myself, as I had to keep the torch in one hand, the ladle with the tin in other, and somehow use the cloth too. Also, I realised that I had to somehow rotate the metal, to try to get the tin to spread on to the surface. 

Well, it wasn't as easy as I thought. The test piece surface is convex, which obviously makes it harder to handle. But still, the tin just stayed in a liquid lump, like mercury, and just dropped from the surface on to the brick and set. No signs of trying to take its place on surface. 

This test piece was little more realistic. Again, poured the molten metal in and tried to move the tin around and then wipe the excess off. NO, it just didn't want to do it. Stayed in a molten lump and then just set. It seemed that the flux just kept evaporating too fast, which meant that the tin wasn't able to run well. 
Michael Rowe - Conditions for Ornament no 30

I was feeling frustrated after the failed attempt to do tinning. I contacted Michael Rowe, the  Senior tutor of Metalwork programme in RCA. Some of his work is tin-lined. Mr. Rowe was very kind and emailed me back explaining how I could get better results. He told me about this particular tin, that I should use. I am not sure if it is a secret, so I won't tell what it is, but I can say that it works!! 

tinning samples. Look at the amazing bubbly surface!! It looks like the surface is sweating.

Already much better result!

And here, I have tried on another test piece, this time, inside the vessel, the kind of surface that I would need to do the tinning. I ended up with burns and not still very satisfactory surface... I would need more and more practice in order to master tinning.

I decided not to tin the double walled surface myself. Too big risk of ruining the whole piece. Back to square one. Time to contact hot-dip tinning manufacturers.  

Last minute invitation to our show

Attention everyone! 3D Design course is proudly presenting their work at Camberwell College of Arts

Lid making

I needed to think of lids. If I am intending to make vessels for kitchen use, especially for dry foodstuffs, they will need airtight lids, to be protected from moisture, humid, dust, etc. Here's some thoughts:
-the lid should be heavy - gives a sense of value
- plywood fitted inside the metal frame - gives support and structure
cork bezel - to make the container airtight. I feel that cork would work better as a gasket than plastic one, due to its organic appearance and colour.

Cutting the excess base metal with guillotine, then filed off the sharp edges.  

Some kind of cork, probably blend with bonding component... got it from 4D Modelling in Algate. Was trying to look for proper one, the one that is lighter in colour and more lumpy, I guess pure cork, but it was quite expensive. Contacted few suppliers and the average price for one square meter (10mm thick) was about £80. 

Still in need of trimming. Need to mill the wood to level with metal.

Whatta mess!

I had another kind of lid in mind. For that I purchased 3mm copper sheet (the one I usually use is 1,2mm, 18gauges). Very simple one, but needed to be made on lathe. The 3mm copper, pierced in circle, is sandwiched between two wooden rings and adjusted very tightly on to the lathe.  As the drawing above shows, I milled inlay of  10mm, working off 1,5mm of the metal, creating the bezel.

This flat disc was intended for the double walled piece. I thought it would be elegant, very simple 'disc' lid.

But what happened in the end was, the disc lid obviously is machine operated, therefore perfectly round and even, when again the vessels that I wanted to use it for, is 100% handmade, therefore it is not fully even. Them two together did not look good together, did not meet perfectly. What I needed to do is to make the lid by hand, to make it right way 'imperfect'!