A-N P.D.Bursary Folder 2017

Simple guidelines to CPD according to the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

CPD = (Continuous Professional Development)

Any relevant learning activity can count towards your requirements: from reading at one end of the spectrum, to additional qualifications at the other end, with countless activities in between . Your CPD activities can often be self-directed and informal, as well.   The more detail and expertise you need in any topic, though, the more detailed your CPD is likely to be.
The CPD you carry out should be relevant to you in your specific circumstances.  Your own programme will take into account a number of factors: what you need to know, personal and professional circumstances, local factors, the level of detail you need, the amount of expertise you require, your position and responsibility in the practice, career aspirations, the needs of your business and the time and money you can afford to spend.
CPD should be beneficial: planned, managed, and carried out in the right way CPD can help you take charge of your learning needs and your career trajectory. It can be used to strengthen your business, to pick up lucrative new skills and to acquire new specialisms. It can be what you need it to be, suited to you. It is a true business, professional and career tool.
Source RIBA website.    
I have made my application for the A-N P.D. Bursary following the above guidelines.

My principle needs are expressed on the application form. In this folder I want to describe and clarify my understanding of the material process and the basic technology. I am able to show here the technology and the style of work I already have and know in material terms.

Tacit Knowledge: I want to develop my artwork towards a process of moulding, casting and finishing that will add a new dimension to the aesthetics of the ‘Material Colour’ concept whilst leaning heavily on my extant knowledge base. The CPD will provide me with new knowledge and the methodology to create new forms of artwork and enrich the design vocabulary of my work in ‘Material Colour’ terms. I want to gain  knowledge from long-term practitioners experiences and develop my tacit knowledge of the medium, process and technology.

Past Experiences: I have  employed the medium and process in the past. All my work with Hot & Cold Glass has been created in professional studios in a variety of processes and materials. But not usually by me.  Slumped Glass has its own problems, some of which I encountered at great personal expense. My experience tells me there is always a chance of failure in material terms in any process.

Research & the Web: I have searched many websites and found contradictions and variations in the facts of the process amongst practitioners and manufacturers. So going back to basics I started to search sites of manufacturers of Slumping Kilns and see how they validate their claims and try to interpret their views and advice.

Ceramics Kilns: I have seven years of experience in firing my own Ceramics Kilns in my Peckham studio. [Now defunct] I had Front and Top loading kilns firing Porcelain and Terracotta clays, including Raku technique. So I have some understanding of the principles of ‘heat-work’ and digital and mechanical systems of kiln management.

The principle difference with the CPD process I wish to learn is that the Kiln is more specialised. Not in the digital programming sense but in method of ‘heat working’ the glass. I learned from the ‘KilnCare’ (a kiln manufacturer) web-site, that the heating element are located only in the top of the kiln. Slumped Glass is usually made from flat moulds and flat sheet glass that lay on the ‘bed’ or the ‘floor’ of the kiln. Other hot glass processes, ‘Casting’ for instance, uses the heat source all around the material. Then the  Kilns internal design is different, more akin to Ceramic Kiln heating arrangements.

I have spoken to the director of KilnCare who informs me that my preferred CPD company Fusion Glass Designs, in Croydon, London, by coincidence, have 7 ‘Kilncare’ kilns. So what I learn in CPD and their website can be applied to their product.

slumping-kiln-layout

Kiln Image – Manufacturer unknown: A typical Top-Loading Slump Kiln. The array of heating elements are in the lid. You can see from the arrangement of the elements that the heat would be evenly distributed. The glass is placed in the mould, and is the loaded mould placed on the bed or floor of the kiln. Many pieces can be slumped at the same time. The shallow depth of the kiln shows the limitations of this studio scale kiln. But is also shows its efficiency in the distribution of heat close to the glass. The shape and area of the kiln make it efficient for the purpose it serves.  The base can be brick or fibre.  

plaster-mould-with-glass-infill
An actual sample [shown Left] showing Glass sections loaded into the Plaster Mould.

Glass is in 2 layers in the Disc shapes 8mm & 10mm. The mid-section is 10mm thick and in 4 parts.  The mould is 20mm deep. The 20mm section is in the Disc shapes. The Low-Relief sections are 7mm deep. The thinner glass is in the bottom of the mould in the relief sections. The glass should fuse together and make one surface with no apertures. The ‘back’ of the object should be ‘flat-ish’ and then be ground flat and polished.

The Plaster of Paris moulds are destroyed by the firing process. After removing the newly formed glass the plaster is reduced to dust and simply collapses. The ‘cooling cycle’ is the annealing of the glass that changes the internal structure of the material. This is the vital part of the process and where the CPD will help with my future understanding of the medium. The sample above imploded and self-destructed after 2 days?

(Anneal |əˈniːl|verb [ with obj. ]heat (metal or glass) and allow it to cool slowly, in order to remove internal stresses and toughen it.)

The Aim:  Is to create a new artwork for a proposed ‘Material 2017’ exhibition in London during late April, 2017. The image is to be a recycled mould-made Glass Relief with a Mirror finished surface. There is a separate company who Mirror Finish the cast glass, a very specialised process.

The ‘Material Colour’ idea is that all the parts began their original function as a Cast Metal digitally designed Public Mural in Kings Cross, London.

The images for the April exhibition are all recycled from the original moulds but cast in Terracotta clay, Raku fired Terracotta, Cast and  polished Metal, Cast iron, and digitally printed Metal. All of a common size but of a variety of material and tactile finishes. But displayed in a common format or array, as seen below.

silver-moons-copy-2

‘7 Silver Moons’                                                                                                                                                 Seven Discs @ 21cm dia. X 2cm thick. Cast LM25 Aluminium Polished & Nickel Plated, Painted background, colour variable. 

The parts are shown here in their normal cast metal format, with the relief on the front plane. Within each disc is a low-relief portion of a map of Kings Cross and at front a  small section of type or alphabet letters from the original mural design. 

In the Glass Version, all this is reversed or inverted. The relief section is Mirror Finished with Hand-Applied Silver Nitrate, the mirror surface is viewed through the clear glass and viewed from the flat back. The effect is of a complex interior surface that has reflections and light captured inside each object. [I have no photographic record of the appearance as the trial object imploded 2 days after completion.]  But it is, or was a unique and spectacular quality and my aim is to recapture that visual quality in a unique artwork.

slumped-glass-circle

‘In-India’2  

Low-Relief Glass Disc. Slumped Glass, Hand-Mirrored, Glass Painted and Gilded. Made in L.A.Glass Studio, London. [Now defunct]  Hand silvered by the artist.

Based on the 12 signs of the Zodiac and observed in Jaipur, India. My original relief was made from Wood, Paper, Plastic, Lino and Gesso, with cut-letters of Tamil alphabet and mirror finished with two grey shades of Nitrate.

Part of a series of circular images based on a trip to India which included paintings, drawings, textiles, and ceramics.

in-india-glass-disc-1

‘IN-INDIA’ – Jaipur

Float Glass cut disc, Shot-Blasted stencil on both sides, Hand Mirrored one-side and Painted with Flamboyant Glass Enamel.

Based on an Astronomical Instrument seen and drawn in Jaipur, India. 

4-circles-paper-felt-clay-glass-copy

Four ‘Material Colour’ versions of the image.

Top Left: Watercolour and Holographic Gilding.

Top Right: Textile – Felt-Non-wovens wool fabric

Lower left: Ceramic Bowl, Terracotta Clay.

Lower Right: Glass [as shown above]

The above images indicate the kind of ‘Material Colour’ continuum that flows through the artworks I create. They are effectively the same composition but adapted to the needs of the material outcomes as Paint, Fibre, Clay or Glass.

relief-models-in-styrene-and-cast-ali-copy

Above: top-left One of the original styrene formers used in 7 Silver Moons [Grey] and a styrene former used in another artwork.  Also one Aluminium Disc in LM25 and Nickel Plated as a sample of the process and effect. Polished letter faces and sand textured background from the foundry casting process.

cnc-router

Above: The CNC Router at work on the styrene originals.

Drawing for the process of cutting is done in Adobe Illustrator and saved as a DWG file. The 47 styrene models went directly to the foundry.

Tacit knowledge: Aluminium shrinks by 1.3% [= to 13mm in 1 metre] and has to be accounted for in the original drawing and something you need to know for the engineering of the objects and installation methods.  Precision matters.

Text Wall, Regent's Quarter, King's Cross Text Wall: Regent’s Quarter, King’s Cross      6.8metres  X  2.8metres

 Section of the mural made in 47 Panels and cast in LM25 Aluminium. 

In Conclusion: The CPD would be an important development for my future employment as a Public Artist. My objective is to attain the skills and be at the forefront of public art for opportunities in interior and exterior design. Hence my agreement to show at an Architectural Building Materials exhibition specifically aimed at Architects, Designers and Specifiers from the Design and Build Community. 

Philip O’Reilly 2017

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Feltmaking – a personal discovery

Sketchbook-Study-Turkey-240

I first visited Tire (pron. Tier-ray ) in 1992, the centre for Feltmaking in the Izmir province.

Tire is a small hill town on the edge of the Aydin Mountain range, overlooking the Menderes Plain. An important centre for the local agricultural community.

It was our 17th trip working in Turkey and we arrived in Tire on market day. It was noisy and crowded; buzzing with life. The streets were lined with every kind of product you could imagine. Many shops were selling raw materials; Sisal, Fleece, Dyestuffs, Pigments, Reeds, Live animals, Birds, Plants, even Coal! A real cacophony of materials, textures and colours. Many craftsmen displayed their wares at the front of their work­shops which were wide open revealing the crafts­men at work. Saddlemakers, Ropemakers, Leatherworkers, Brushmakers, Blacksmiths, Quiltmakers and of course, Feltmakers and more besides!

As I toured the streets I was attracted by the low regular thumping noise of machinery. My curiosity about the source of the noise led me to Sogan Pazari Sokagi (Onion Market Street ) sadly, only one onion merchant remains there. This quarter is now the centre for feltmakers workshops; the source of the noise being the mechanical presses used in the feltmaking process.

Hanging from every available place were brightly coloured felt donkey and horse blankets, large and small mats with geometric and floral designs, some with embroidery. Hanging in long rows along the side of a derelict building were shepherds cloaks (Coban Kepenek) made in natural coloured wool. They had large hoods, a numeral indicating the weight and the maker’s symbol as the only dec­orative addition.

The sign above the door at No.5 read ‘Ahmet Zincircioglu1, (meaning son of the chainmaker) ‘Kececi1, (pron, Kecheji1) ‘Feltmaker1. Ahmet appeared in the doorway, “Hos geldiniz, burun”, gesturing to my wife and I to enter. “Hos bulduk” we replied, the polite form of acceptance, “(toy?”, he said pointing at each of us, “Evet, lutfen”. Tea appeared as if by magic, chairs drawn up, we entered once more into the favourite Turkish pas­time of sitting and talking over a glass of tea. It was surprising for him to meet English people who had more than a modicum of Turkish! So began a long term relationship with Ahmet who was to become my future felt master.

Ahmet was taking a break from making a ‘Kece1, a traditional felt rug. The outline of the rug was layed out on a long rush mat; the ‘Kalip’. The lin­ear design, some 4 metres long and 1.5 metres wide was made of lightly felted and dyed wool, cut into strips with shears and arranged in geometric grid-like patterns with a large medallion design at it’s centre. Brilliantly coloured fluffy fleece was being carefully applied to the design by Shukru and Sherefettin, Ahmet’s assistants.

Against the rear wall was a large dusty machine, the shape echoing the symmetry of the rush mat and the patterned rug. This contrasted with the softened cobweb strewn structure of the building and the atmospheric lighting conditions. All these ingredient aroused my interest. I could see another painting in the making. I stayed a few hours working in my sketchbook, disturbed only by the usual quizzical onlookers I had long since got used to in Turkey. I became aware as I watched Ahmet, Sherefettin and Shukru go about their work, that the medium had a lot in common with my experience in papermaking and watercolour painting.

First published in ‘Echoes’ the magazine of the International Feltmakers Association