D E G R E E S H O W S 2 0 1 9
I try to make it to as many degree shows as I can - this time we made it to Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Megan from The Smiddy is heading to Aberdeen this week.
So let me tell you a little bit about our trips to the Degree Shows, pick up on a few of our favourites and what you might have missed if you didn’t manage to make any. We are a bit biased and this blog post is all about the Jewellers and Silversmiths.
D U N D E E
This year Dundee changed up their display and where they normally have their show. A much smaller student group, meant they could have much more space than what they are used to. Their clever and sleek displays gave the show a different edge to others, Jane did a great job at making it distinctive.
A N D R E A D R I T C S C H E L
Andrea’s work instantly stood out to me mainly because it’s black and gold! When I looked closer it interested me more, the textures and materials Andrea used were inspirational.
“Dark Grace takes inspiration from nature, the human touch and pollution. The collection links these sources of inspiration by showing the impact of pollution, which is created by humans, on our natural environment. Dark Grace seeks to illustrate the destruction caused by the human touch to motivate changes in our behaviour. Colours play an important role in conveying the message behind the collection. Flowing from silver (purity), to gold and lastly to black (poison) the colour changes are important in highlighting the destruction caused by pollution over time. Silver was chosen to represent purity as its bright and light colouring symbolises the hope that nature can be saved. In contrast, the black coating, representing poison, dramatically illustrates the darkness that results when pollution destroys the natural environment. Additionally, thermochromics plays an important role in conveying the message behind poison. Its interactive qualities highlight the delicate balance between the human touch and its impact on nature.”
Talking to Andrea during her degree show she informed us that she was a Swarovski resident as part of the Sarabande Foundation. Swarovski has a longstanding history of nurturing young talents and creativity through the innovative use of crystal, and has generously contributed to €30,000 worth of crystals for creatives to use within their collections. “The support from Sarabande has meant a huge amount; I wouldn’t be able to explore what I’m interested in, the science of materials in particular, which tends to be quite a costly area, without them. The workshops and talks have been so useful in giving me such a vast amount of information that I wouldn’t have otherwise gotten.”
You can follow Andrea’s journey through her Instagram.
T R U D I M C V E Y
On the face of it Trudi’s work is beautiful and well made but when I found out some elements were kinetic, the work became exciting. Without the kinetic aspect, Trudi’s work still had a sense of wonderment and movement. A simple sheet folded and crafted beautifully to give a sense of fluidity, is simple but well executed.
“There are many natural phenomena that occur in the world, all of which provide a reminder of the power of nature and the wonders of science. The various phenomena of the natural elements, generate beautiful imagery from electromagnetic activity and vibrational frequencies to light fractals, all of which carry an ethereal quality I am naturally drawn to. From this I have explored various forms and patterns found in natural phenomena, using magnets, light and sound that translate beautifully into contemporary designs that challenge the use of traditional techniques and materials. Using the metals as a canvas, I have expressed my interpretation of the moving energy in nature through scribed, engraved and folded patterns that reflect light and mimic movement. This work, worn as jewellery or viewed as small sculptures, illustrates the chaos and beauty in life and the world around us.” Follow Trudi’s work on instagram.
A N C H O R I A J A N E T
The juxtaposition of Anchoria’s work drew me in. The harsh, geometric lines with the softness of the crochet wire nestled amongst the structures. Seeing things at face value and then studying the research behind the work, reinforces the beautiful, simplicity of the pieces.
"My work draws inspiration from creating a balance between two seemingly juxtaposing things; crochet and brutalist architecture. Representing the feminine and the masculine; traditional and modern; delicate and robust; intricate and simple. My main passion within my work is crochet. I love the tradition and history behind it. As well as it being a very calming and meditative act. Crochet has helped me create and keep a connection with the women in my family, that I otherwise wouldn’t have. The crochet hooks that I use to create the hyperbolic crochet in my work, I inherited from my great aunts. One of whom I never met, and the other I knew but she died when I was young so I didn’t get to know her as well as I would like. By using the hooks that they gave me I keep them in my life. The brutalist inspired wire structured are an unlikely, but beautiful companion to the crochet used in my work. It helps balance out the dense, delicate, organic elements with something airy, angular and man-made." Follow Anchoria’s work over here.
E D I N B U R G H
Edinburgh always have a great room to showcase their students, so light and has great views of the castle. It really great to see some styled photos with some of the students work.
T I A N Y U Z H A O
Tianyu’s work instantly attracted me, its colour, its boldness, its scale, I found very pleasing. I love the high fashion images that went alongside the work and you can see these pieces strutting down the catwalk. They are almost like modern day cameos, capturing moments and memories from a childlike perspective.
"My work explores the traces of childhood memory. My collection is created as an amulet for adulthood. It will be filled with the happiness of childhood, to protect and bring courage to face the adult world.
I use acrylic, embroidery pattern and painted fabric as an integral part of my creative process. I strive to capture the beauty of this combination. My collection is colourful, interchangeable and playful. I focus on improving the wearer's sensory experience through their interaction with the piece.
I want to express that don’t forget the things you once you owned, treasure the things you can’t get, don’t give up the things that belong to you and keep those past things in memory. I am 24 years old now and every day in the future, I will be fearless and brave. " Follow Tianyu’s work here and see the rest of her collections over on their website.
R U T H P A G E
Ruth’s collection was fascinating, many different pieces and techniques used to explore the theme of Train Stations and commuting. A collection of work that highlights things that are often missed and it was interesting to see the beauty translated into different objects that you would often pass without thought. I can see a strong oriental theme from the work but I guess that’s my own interpretation.
“Train Stations: A connecting factor in our everyday lives, whether it be for work, love family or leisure. But how many of us will notice the fine details that surround us on our commutes?
My body of work emphasises fine details that we subconsciously pass by in our everyday lives. I aim to extract aspects of industrialised landscapes associated with Railway culture that capture my interest and stand out from their standardised surroundings.
I have responded to Minimalist and Brutalist architectural forms in my collection of contemporary homewares through a variety of Silversmithing methods which include etching, casting and patination.” Follow Ruth’s work over here.
D O N G D I N G
I started following David’s collection just before I saw the work and was in awe of the precision, beauty and construction of highly engineered pieces of work. So clever, well made, on the surface simple but you know how much work has gone into each balanced element. I love that each piece can be broken down and worn, making the work wearable art.
"Dong Ding's physical studio works are mainly engineering style kinetic jewellery pieces in clear forms with surprising detail, he designed different mechanical structures by using engineering knowledges to create jewellery with movable parts, which interact with the wearer in different ways while they wear it. He also making digital jewellery and conceptual contemporary jewellery by using different kinds of materials and new technologies such as 3D printings and digital components.
He also researched about the relation between jewellery and people on the emotional level. He believes that contemporary jewellery can create an emotional networks between jewellery and people in some ways." Follow David Dong Ding on Instagram or see his other work through his website.
G L A S G O W
Glasgow likes to keep to their traditions, keeping their display as it has been though they finally removed their perspex front, which means no glare for photos! They didn’t have any descriptions next to the students work which made it difficult to understand their research, you had to take things at face value.
H A R R I E T J E N K I N S
When you walk into a room and see a candle sticking out of a cauliflower you can’t help but be intrigued. There were no descriptions next to the students work so it was up to you to work out what the hell it was all about, unless you sat and watched their whole show reel in another part of the building. Hariett’s work still drew me in, the textures, the craftmanship, the purpose…a really fun but meaningful collection of work.
“Momento Vivere,’ meaning ‘remember to live’ titles like this collection which celebrates foodstuff and the relationship that emerge through the sharing of meals. Many of the pieces in this collection have a questionable functionality, yet reference traditional, more familiar tableware, which in turn inspires the viewer to interact with them, opening a space for discussion around their purpose and the artists intention. Harriet creates an illusion of imbalance, with a collection of static objects emulating a table in flux: a moment caught in time. She highlights the value in these moments and the bounty of British produce with her use of precious materials, silver and porcelain. Harriet has drawn inspiration from dutch practice and uncover the relationship that lies between craft, ecology, community and well-being.”
E M M A M O R R I S
There’s always one you want to squish! There were too many people looking at Emma’s work for me to have a look properly before watching her show reel. Initially I thought it was silicone pushing through the wire structures, but I later found out that it was Jesmonite. Instantly making you question the weight, the feel and how she bloody did it!
“Emma utilises a playful and tactile approach to making and thinking and is inspired by a playful point of view. She draws inspiration from both playground frames and children’s ‘squishy’ play toys, such as balloons, that morph form when a tactile pressure is applied to them. Through combining these playful pressure forms and frames, she creates visually playful and tactile work. “ Have a look at Emma’s website or follow her instagram.
Other makers that caught my eye across all the shows!
What I did notice across all of the Art Schools was a lack of websites and presence online. There are some makers I would have loved to have featured here but I couldn’t find them online or I wasn’t able to get the right information. What we do at Vanilla Ink is a run an INKubator programme that helps with that side of things. You have the skills to make the incredible work but now you’re in the real world, how do you translate what you do in to todays landscape? Open for applications in July and the programme begins in February 2020, take a look at our previous Inkers.