Monday, 28 November 2011

Rapid Update: Hothouse, GNCCF, Shipley Art Gallery, Made By Hand

Crafts Council UK Hothouse 2011 was officially launched back in September.  It has been amazing so far and the other makers are incredibily talented.  I feel very fortunate to be part of this programme - a feeling which grows more and more with every session I attend.  I cannot recommend enough to other makers, to apply in the future if they get the chance.

Sound Wear Red Hat by Hanna Nielsen - Hothouse North Cohort

In October I exhibited at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2011 (GNCCF) at Spinningfields, Manchester.  It was at a new venue this year at Quay House - the best aspect of this being the fabulous display in the reception area showcasing the Great Northern Graduate and One Year On makers.  This space was sponsored by Manchester based interior and design specialists Ferrious, curated by Kelda Savage (Ferrious), and it looked fantastic.

GNCCF 2011 - Great Northern Graduates and Ferrious

The GNCCF was a great chance to meet a new audience and talk with galleries and makers.  I was mighty pleased to be awarded a prize for Best Innovative Maker (sponsored by The Plantation Rug Company), which I will gaze at fondly when weeks worth of experiments have  all gone pear shaped.

Jane Dzisiewski - Best Innovative Maker

My work was also selected for the new Shipley Art Gallery exhibition 'Christmas Present', which showcases work from 11 artists, who were all nominated by craft experts from across the UK.  Therefore a big thank you goes to Kate Day, Director at Manchester Craft & Design Centre, for putting my name forward for this opportunity.  The show runs from now until 24th December 2011.

Jane Dzisiewski - Christmas Present / The Shipley Art Gallery 2011

Finally, this week I am off to South Wales for Made By Hand 2011 at Tredegar House, Newport and I will be one of 150 selected makers exhibiting.  The Fair runs from Friday 2nd December until Sunday 4th December.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Hothouse 2011 Crafts Council UK - via the Design Initiative

Design Initiative

It is now official, (see above), as opposed to when I blurted out the news at the end of the June - (please read here).

I am extremely grateful to have been offered this amazing opportunity, and very much looking forward to the induction day in London next week.

I have been selected for the Hothouse 2011 North cohort, but there is also a South West Textiles and a Goldsmiths' Institute Cohort.

Jane Dzisiewski - Crafts Council Hothouse 2011 North Cohort

Full list of all the Crafts Council UK Hohouse 2011 participants with links where applicable:

Amy Bear, Aimee Betts, Eleanor Bolton, Emma Bradbury, Kevin Brook, Hannah Felicity Dennis, Jane Dzisiewski, Amelia Fever, Lucy Jane Foakes, Helen Foot, Jasmin Giles, Anna Glasbrook, Mahtab Hanna, Zehava Hashai-Spellman, Tortie Hoare, Anna Collette Hunt, Zoe Lloyd, Hanna Nielsen, Elizabeth Peers, Carly Petit-Taylor, Helen Smith, Rhian Solomon, Thorody, Ellen Thomas, Victoria Walker, Sarah Warsop and Janice Zethraeus.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Moulds, Resin Blocks and Bangles

It was out with the silicone again this week to make a new mould based on drawings of the Jaume Plensa exhibit at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. I also made new moulds from a couple of bangles and got started on pieces for both the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Designers Eclectic at Manchester Craft & Design Centre.

Masters fixed in place within plastic boxes

My able assistant, (my son Freddy), mixing the silicone and the catalyst together.

In goes the silicone and wait 24 hours for this to cure...

...leaving plenty of time to now walk Bonny, who was completely
underwhelmed with this whole process.

24 hours later, Freddy was given the task of choosing a painting on which to base the colours.

He selected a painting by Edouard Vuillard, and all the colours mixed to make the bangles
were inspired by the painting on the front cover of the book.

This is where my training as a textile designer comes in very handy, using the pastes
to make resin colours in a similar way one would as if they were paints.

The aftermath.

Hopefully we'll get some decent weather next week, so that I can get outside and sand and polish all of the above.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Crafts Council UK - Hothouse Programme 2011

It appears that the craft gods are smiling on me this week. I have been hovering around my inbox for days, and happily for me, when that email came from Crafts Council UK yesterday, it was one containing good news. Therefore I can announce, (and with considerable excitement I might add), from September 2011 until March 2012, I will be taking part in the Hothouse 2011 programme.

In its second year, Hothouse is an initiative run by Crafts Council UK, (with selected partners), which aims to support emerging makers. Last years collective were a very impressive bunch, so I feel extremely honoured to have been chosen. They are all presently working on a joint exhibition of their work, which will take place at Pitzhanger Manor House, Ealing - Portraits in the making (21st Sep - 12th Nov 2011), curated by Greg Parsons. There are seventeen makers in total from different disciplines, all exploring the process of making, in response to Pitzhanger Manor. They are recording their respective journeys on a blog, and you can also follow Hothouse 2010 on Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

They are breeding..(work for Yorkshire Sculpture Park)

One week left until deadline for delivery. I keep arranging work into groups and then counting pieces - and then rearranging them again. This is not helping at all, however I have managed to mount some of these stones over the past few days..

Jane Dzisiewski
Work for Yorkshire Sculpture Park Jewellery Showcase - 8 July-4 September, 2011

Jane Dzisiewski
Work for Yorkshire Sculpture Park Jewellery Showcase - 8 July-4 September, 2011

Jane Dzisiewski
Work for Yorkshire Sculpture Park Jewellery Showcase - 8 July-4 September, 2011

Jane Dzisiewski
Work for Yorkshire Sculpture Park Jewellery Showcase - 8 July-4 September, 2011

In need of fresh air to clear my head before I start today. I'm off to walk my dog and count some cars instead.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Stylist Magazine - Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2011

I have been very fortunate to have my work selected for this years Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair (GNCCF) at Spinningfields, Manchester.

The GNCCF PR Katy Barraclough went to London last week, armed with press packs and samples of some of the makers work for this years fair.  One of my bangles was given to the fashion journalist, Morag Paterson from Stylist Magazine - and lucky for me, (and thank you Morag), she liked my bangle so much that she featured it in Morag's Summer Style Diary on Tuesday 14 June.

That picture may well be small, but I assure you that the bangle was perfectly formed and all handmade by me!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Jaume Plensa Design - (YSP site specific work)

For the past six weeks, I've been working with the clever beans over at Lairdside Laser Engineering  Centre (LLEC), as part of the knowledge exchange in lasers project (KE-Las).  They do some incredible work over there, and they are helping with the masters I make for my resin pieces. Hopefully, I will be able to make larger moulds than I have been doing previously, which could open up new creative possibilities and outcomes.

One of my new designs for Yorkshire Sculpture Park is based on the Jaume Plensa exhibit which is showing there until 22.1.12.

Jaume Plensa - Yorkshire Sculpture Park
(Inspiration for the design below)

This is the design LLEC are creating a master of, from a drawing which was made of the sculpture above.

Jane Dzisiewski
Jaume Plensa design for Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Jaume Plensa - Yorkshire Sculpture Park

I'm delivering my work to YSP for my jewellery showcase the week after next. The showcase will run from 8 July until 4 September 2001.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Yorkshire Sculpture Park - work in progress

I've been holed up in the Craft bunker for a good few weeks and that Yorkshire Sculpture Park deadline is fast approaching. I've been making new work for my jewellery showcase at YSP and the ball is well and truly rolling on my site specific projects.

This is what my desk looks like at the moment..

Jane Dzisiewski's magical world of making and controlled chaos

 Some of the stones I've been working on..

Jane Dzisiewski
Resin stones for Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Jane Dzisiewski
Resin stones for Yorkshire Sculpture Park

 A few finished pieces..

Jane Dzisiewski
Work for Yorkshire Sculpture Park

There's nothing like a heart pumping deadline to focus ones efforts.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

CONSTRUCTIONS - Manchester Craft & Design Centre

Jane Dzisiewski
Handmade resin stone, mounted in silver and gold

A unique exhibition highlighting the different methods, techniques and processes used by some of Manchester's leading contemporary craftspeople

Manchester Craft & Design Centre (Divinity) - 14 May - 28 August 2011

Work in progress for CONSTRUCTIONS - (exhibition at Manchester Craft & Design Centre)

Resin block with pencil drawing of the
proposed stone

Cut out and sanded

Fine sanding and polishing - (taking advantage of a rare, sunny afternoon)

Polished resin stone ready to mount

CONSTRUCTIONS will run from 14 May - 28 August 2011 at Manchester Craft & Design Centre. The launch event coincided with that of The Walking Dead: Drawings in plastic by Clare Knox-Bentham.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Cutting Resin Stones for Jewellery Showcase at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

I've been making good use of the dry weather and working outside cutting and sanding new stones. I need to make a sizeable collection of work for Yorkshire Sculpture Park by the end of June. As I've mentioned before, part of this work will come from new designs inspired by the grounds and the exhibits at YSP - which is currently Jaume Plensa

As well as writing about my YSP collection, I will document creating finished pieces from the initial stages of cutting blocks of resin into stones. For the benefit of people who are unfamiliar with my work, I've interspersed images of finished pieces throughout this post to give an idea of how the resin looks when it is polished and mounted.

Whilst juggling my baby steps blog writing and progressing my YSP work, I've been thinking about my first experience with resin back in college. Our 1st year plastics tutor Sarah Thirlwell asked us to bring in a selection of interesting organic or manmade items to use in the demonstration she was to give us all.  After a last minute lunchtime scarper to Fred Aldous and a rivel through the scarps draw, (apologies Sarah), I was good to go.

Sarah showed us the basics of mixing resin with the hardener and we all plopped our chosen artifacts into the clear resin, with varying degrees of success. Mine was one of the worst by a mile. My best efforts were two army action figures simulating a sexual act, followed by 'The Swan Lake Massacre' - feathers, sparkles and netting shoved into an ice cube tray filled with resin. Ground breaking. 

Over the following weeks I focused on experimenting with colour in my samples.  My Art & Design background is in printed textiles where colour is paramount and I noted that all the resin and plastics work I researched were (for my taste) lacking subtly of colour and mostly straight from the pot. My second goal was to introduce another element to the resin which enhanced my design, rather than becoming the focal point of the piece. I wanted to work with the material (resin), rather than relegating it to a supporting role i.e. see how lovely Aunty Vera's hair/teeth/favourite object d'art looks encapsulated in resin. This thought is the one which has continued to inspire me ever since.

After 6 weeks of 15hrs per day, I managed to produce my first resin bangles and designs which I still use today. I also required two courses of antibiotics to clear up an infection which had developed in my thumb - sanding injuries exacerbated by resin dust, sintered metals and blood, sweat and tears.

One of six designs. The shape for these came from drawings I made of
Japanese textiles.

A later incarnation of one of my early Japanese stencil designs - neutral colours,
sintered brass inclusions and for the first time, a subtle use of pattern

Throughout this 1st yr college project, we discussed our successes and failures - our samples and eventually, our finished pieces. The predominant feedback was how difficult a medium this was to work with because so many things had gone wrong for so many people, from melting plastic cups of resin through to resin that refused to set. Our course tutor had been constantly telling us that we must strive to find our own unique style, method or process. I figured that resin might be worth further investigation, because it was clearly so challenging.

Blocks of resin in the unpromising early stages

Above is a block of resin after an appointment with the belt sander removing the top layers of resin and sintered metal residue, (so that I can make out the pattern and some of the colours underneath).  Below, the same block has been sanded further and the alluminium and silver can be seen within the tree pattern. 

Tree design - this evolved from a drawing I made of the tree which is situated
outside my studio window

Bandsaw and belt sander outside in the garden.  My faithful companion, Bonny
is lying in her favourite spot, watching me work

The pictures above and below show how the blocks look after they have been further sanded.  At this stage I then decide how best to carve these up by drawing possible stone shapes on the surface.

Cutting up the larger resin blocks into manageable pieces

This is a cross section through the resin slab, showing the many different layers
within a block

After I've decided how a block is going to used, I cut around the pen marks using a bandsaw. The pendant below is similar in size to the stone cut out above.

Jane Dzisiewski 

The photographs of the Izar design to follow, were inspired by stones from the River Izar in Munich. Whilst over in Germany for Schmuck 2008 and doing the rounds seeing all the satellite exhibitions in the many galleries and ateliers there, at the JAMES exhibition (this link is to their 2011 exhibition), I gravitated towards some lovely pebbles.  It transpired that they belonged to a maker called Christine Graf.  She told me to leave my details and that she would collect some from the banks of the River Isar and send them to me. True to her word, a package arrived a few weeks later containing not only stones, but also a bag of chocolates which had been inspired by them! 

Izar design

Obviously the colours seen here are nothing like those of the original stones (although I have done several blocks in their more neutral colours). When I'm making blocks, I might use bits of fabric, paintings or photographs to inspire the choice of colours used on any given day.

Izar design

Izar design

Izar design

Izar design

Izar design

Izar design

Izar design

Izar design

Izar design

Jane Dzisiewski: Izar design - pendant and ball chain

A selection of stones after first sand

Jane Dzisiewski: Tree and Japanese Stencil design

A selection of stones after first sand (belt sander)

Crochet design

Crochet design

Jane Dzisiewski: Crochet design - Brooch

Tree design

Tree design

Jane Dzisiewski: Tree design - Pendant & handmade chain

After second sand using Dremel

After second sand using Dremel

The design for the brooch below, evolved from the piece of crocheted silver set within the resin. I made a drawing of this, which I then used to create the decorative silver back as well as the block of resin, from which I cut the tear drop stone. 

Jane Dzisiewski: Crocheted Stone design - brooch

For the next two weeks I will be sanding and polishing the stones I've cut, as well as producing work for an exhibition at Manchester Craft & Design Centre called Constructions. This is a unique show highlighting the different methods, techniques and processes used by some of Manchester's designer/makers. Contributors are Eve Redmond, Lucy Harvey, Sadie Blythin , Janet Worrall and Deborah Zeldin O'Neill.