So again on a friday afternoon I went to the workshop to do some more ‘rolling pinning’ on the lathe…! Having been taught techniques for making two weeks previously I got to get my hands on a bit of wood myself!!! This meant turning the square into a round, smoothing it off, tapering the ends and lastly sanding till smooth….I still have to sand it smooth and that will happen in a couple of weeks, but I really enjoyed getting stuck in and learning the new craft as it were!!! Hopefully I can apply more of this crafting to my own work….? If i’m allowed back on the lathe! It was really rewarding to see the object in the making and again I found myself retelling the story of Emily’s mother in my head as it took shape….
My ‘teacher’ was fantastic and told me all sorts of different things to do to make things work like tapping the callipers on the metal of the lathe to get them dead accurate… I am looking forward to finishing this section…! I documented all the making process on film so it will be interesting to create the journey of the object….
I did a count the other day and found that I had 12 stories….! 12!!! That’s 3 above my original target. I think that there are two potentially that won’t happen for certain reasons… due to not being engaged with the story teller due to circumstances changing and also because there is no definitive ‘object’ to a certain extent. I need to some how either work out a way to tell them that I won’t be moving forward with the story or maybe I should just leave it? Strangely they are the first two stories I was given/told and so maybe this is because I wasn’t completely sure about what I wanted from them….? I may revisit or I may just start on these later on and see what happens….
In terms of the other stories, most objects are in the pipeline or ready to be started, however I am having trouble balancing time….time between reading, making and work! I am hoping to look at my work timetable today to see where I can fit both making and reading in in the week….fingers crossed!!!
I have begun to get back into reading over the past week….When I say get back into reading, I have found lots of papers and started to organise what I had. I’ve found old papers I had printed and tried to work out what use they would be but now after doing a chapter plan it seems to be coming together.
I am trying to remember the best way to read and write up what I found out, but that stage is proving slightly difficult.
Having come down to London for work stuff I managed to visit the Tate Britain and the Rachel Whiteread exhibition. It was this and looking hard at a resin cast of a door that I had a moment of clarity. I sat on the floor and wrote a list of my objects and how the finished artefacts would become a container for memory. This will make up part of my object analysis when I get onto that. It was one of those things that suddenly became clear and I remembered why I was doing the project. It made me double check my decisions and in a few instances, re- design the ideas I’ve come up with. I need to do a few sketches again too. It has made me passionate about the making again as well, but I still find it hard as to how I am going to fit it all in…..
Last week I wrote in my diary to remember to go and talk to one of the technicians about wood. It was about what woods worked well on the lather, but also which would make the best rolling pin. I’ve used a lathe before, being an Ex D&T teacher I had a lathe in my classroom and found turning very therapeutic. Also at school my own D&T teacher Mr Cass, taught me how to use a lathe at 15. I made a solitaire board and bowl….my parents still have it.
Anyways I went off to a local timber yard and asked them for some wood. Birch primarily, but actually looking and feeling them, beech felt a better fit. As I didn’t need much I was taken into the workshop and shown the scraps. I then had two 50cm 5cmx5cm lengths cut to make a ‘test’ and a ‘real’ rolling pin. THey gave me the wood, which I was truely touched. I thought that was really nice….Maybe people don’t go in much requesting small bits to make rolling pins from!
I took it to the technician last Friday and he planned the edges of one piece and showed me how to set up, hold the tools, how to tell if the wood was fully round by balancing the chisel on whilst it was still spinning, how to create a pencil line right round, how to use callipers to get each side even. How to use sandpaper and then the woods own sawdust to get a fine and actually shiny surface to the wood. I thought at first, this is the rolling pin I will use! Then he said, now I’ve taught you, you can have a go next week….! I actually felt like an apprentice. It was great that he’s passed on those skills. Very Walter Benjamin passing on and telling stories etc. Need to read more about craft….!
I had an amazing story told to me the other day, just on the off chance as I was passing. The person showed me an object and started telling me about her mother and how it had belonged to her. She also spoke, in relation to the object how her mother was very into ‘make do and mend’ and the object reflected that. She talked about how she’d always thought about making something out of it…a new artefact….exactly what I want to do….! It was quite strange. I got an overwhelming desire to help realise her dream of wanting to create an artefact. I asked if she would like to tell me her story and thankfully she agreed.
On one side I feel a bit naughty as my collection process is technically over and I am on with most objects, however the other part of me felt this was a story that needed to be added, taking the total (I think) up to 10. There may be objects that in the end don’t end up as finished as I hope due to people moving on or wanting not to be involved in the end, but I think 10 is manageable anyway.
Looking forward to adding to the collection.
Not just any old conference, but one that you have to get on a ferry to get to it!!!! The Plymouth Making Futures was hosted at the stately home on Mount Edgecumbe Country Park.
It was a really exciting conference to go to, because conferences I have attended previously, bar the fashion design ones have never had a ‘making’ focus. It was really exciting to hear the different ideas of making, how people are using it either, for wellness, in industry, for archeology, for historical reference. How people come up with ideas. What craft is and will become. It was so interesting. I have realised or feel like I need to up my presenting game. I get very anxious before I present and so need to think of a way of presenting that I can ad lib but also so I know what I need to say. That will be my next challenge.