Field Reflective Blog Post

The field project that I was put onto for this term was the Sustainable Artisan project. Whilst I hadn’t necessarily wanted to do this project, I figured I would give it a go and learn something new, I also thought this would be a nice way to tie in the theory I was learning in Constellation as I was also doing sustainability in that.

Overall I have found the project very difficult. I have never really been much into wood working, however I did find it interesting to learn how to do steam bending and laminating to get the wood into different shapes.

The idea that I came up with for my final outcome was a wall mounted planter that people could use in their flats etc because a lot of people live without access to their own garden and I have always thought that it’s important to have plants around the home.

I wasn’t very happy with the outcome that I came up with. I just found making it incredibly stressful and I didn’t really end up making something that is particularly well put together. I think it was down to me getting frustrated with it all and therefor not giving it the required time and care.


Sustainable Artisan 5

Making the final outcome

I found trying to make the final outcome very frustrating and stressful. I found it frustrating because it felt as though I couldn’t just get on and do things as such. I had to ask someone else to do a lot of the project. This annoys me because it feels like I haven’t done anything myself but I also get extremely anxious when asking for things, so a lot of the time I had to leave the workshop every now and then because I was getting upset.

I like to be able to get on with things myself and not have to rely on other people operating machines for me because I’m not allowed to use them. I was grateful for the assistance that I got because I did manage to get the pieces I needed in order to make my piece. I just felt a bit useless in the whole thing. I’ve felt like I’ve been way about my depth for the whole five weeks and this was just adding to that.

Like I said I managed to get some pieces to make something with, I had massively simplified my design from something round to a square because I was getting stressed out about it all.

I decided to glue the pieces together at home because I thought that I would feel more comfortable there than in the workshop. I have wood glue and clamps so it wasn’t a problem. I managed to glue them together but it’s all a bit wonky because, to be honest, I just could not be bothered with it anymore. I was just fed up of it. This is not my thing at all, I have tried to do it and come up with something decent but the whole process frustrates me so much.

I then sewed a cloth bag together to go inside the box to protect the wood and to hold the plants.

Sustainable Artisan 4

This week I had finalised my idea. I had decided on making plant storage for people who don’t have much space. I was thinking about people who live in high rise tower blocks which sometimes do not have gardens. I thought that if I made wall mounted planters, people could have indoor herb gardens. This means they could have plants that liven up the living space and also provide a practical function which is homegrown herbs for cooking.

The other thing I wanted to do was provide a cup holder for the planter to catch drainage water because there is often waste water with watering plants.


Sustainable Artisan 3

I had decided to redo my design ideas and try to make them better. I was a bit happier with them this time around and I was able to choose the ones I wanted to make into some paper models.

On Tuesday we learned about steam bending and we were shown how to do steam bending small pieces of wood in the microwave. This was really interesting.

On Thursday we learned how to do laminating. I was interested in potentially doing laminating for my project. I was surprised by how easy it could be, however there did seem to be a few pitfalls to watch out for.


Sustainable Artisan 2

After having some initial ideas, my tutor taught us how to draw with two point perspective using a ruler. I really like drawing so I quite enjoyed it although I did get a little fed up of using the rulers etc after a while.

He then set us a task of coming up with 16 ideas that we needed to draw using the methods we learned and to put them onto a power point presentation along side a slide of inspiration and also some photos of maquettes.

I managed to come up with some design ideas and I spent some time drawing them although I don’t think I drew them very well and I thought most of my ideas were really stupid. I started to get a bit anxious because it felt like everyone else knew what they were doing and I was completely lost and confused and way, way out my depth. It was really intimidating.

Luckily I managed to get everything I needed ready for Thursday, and knowing that I’d caught up I felt a little better. I still wasn’t sure about some of my ideas but I had some that I thought would be good to take forward.


Sustainable Artisan 1

The first week of The Sustainable Artisan was interesting because I was introduced to the brief and I learned we were making wall mounted storage units.

To be honest, I was very nervous about this project because I discovered that it was mainly woodworking and I’ve never really done all that much woodworking. I was willing to give it a go but I do feel a bit out my depth. I was also concerned when I discovered that we would have to use Rhino.

If it seems like I’m a bit unprepared or like I should have known these things, it’s mostly because I didn’t know anything about it because I had wanted to sign up for a different field project but for some reason it didn’t show up on the form when I was filling it out and so it left me feeling a bit floundered if I’m being honest.

Like I said though, I was perfectly willing to give it my best and give it all a go.

Unfortunately, ‘giving it all a go’ didn’t get off to an amazing start because I ended up missing the first day of the project which was a trip to a forestry due to having an appointment.

However I was there on the next day where I got reacquainted with how to use the bandsaw which was really useful because I didn’t remember much of it at all and I was able to have a go as a part of the induction. I liked that I was able to do this because it gave me a feel for how the bandsaw operates without worrying too much about screwing up my work.

After that I went to the project briefing where we go into groups to discuss initial concepts and potential starting points.

At this point I had the idea of doing something with plants and so I asked my tutor if doing something with plants was ok and he said it was so I was very happy about that and I started to think of ideas for a wall mounted planters.


Detaching the medals from the trees.

Once we had the bronze trees separated from the molochite, we needed to use the grinders in order to cut the medals free from the tree. It was much easier than I thought to do this although I did burn myself a couple of times because the grinder heated up the bronze.

After doing that I needed to grind the sprews down. This took much longer than I thought and I started to get a bit impatient with it. It didn’t help that I didn’t really like my medals and I ended up getting sick of them and so I stopped doing it because it was getting me down.

I don’t know whether to finish my pieces or not to be honest because I just don’t see any of them as being particularly useful. I also have my pewter pieces that are so much better and I like a lot more, all I need to do with those are solder hinges to them.