MMT 5- Synthesis and refinement-Stage 7- Reflection

Stage 7 Reflection 

  1. How exhaustive were you in your sampling and how did this impact on the final outcomes?

I feel I was quite exhaustive in my sampling – I spent quite some time reviewing my work from MMT and played around with the work, grouping things together to spark ideas for part 5.

I made samples using plaster, wire, and embroidery – hand stitched, machine stitched, and free motion stitched on soluble fabric. I liked using the plaster in MMT3 – moulding and casting but it was hard to control so I wanted to push myself further by working with this medium again.

Two of my final pieces were working with plaster and one was with clay. Making the final pieces from plaster was my aim, but the sampling proved that I still did not have enough control over the plaster and molds to be able to work this way solely. So, I had to overcome this and work out more ideas to do my final pieces. 

  1. Did you take any risks? If so, what did you learn from them?

I do feel I took risks. Dipping the wire wrapped form, which took 6 hours to make and 80 plus metres of wire, into wet plaster to see what would happen was a great risk, luckily, I liked the outcome. Making lycra molds for wet plaster was also a risk although the outcome was less viable than I had hoped, I feel this was due to the plaster mix not the molds. They had potential to work, although I wonder if not enough air getting through the fabric had any affect. I cannot see this being the issue as the ones I did in balloons were fine and the ones from MMT3 were done in plastic freezer bags where no air was getting to them and they worked. I had to learn to move on and change my ideas as the plaster body forms were not working as I had envisioned.

  1. How did your use of drawing and sketchbook help to drive the project further?

I used my sketchbook to hold the photos of my reviewed work groupings which then inspired ideas and drawings which I jotted down. Artist research images that inspired me were also placed there. I drew my ideas out and kept notes. I drew finished samples and prototypes. Exploring ideas on paper is good to push you with the sample making, sometimes the samples don’t work but at least you tried them. 

  1. Which of the artists and designers you researched most informed the project?

Louise Bourgeois was a huge influence, and the sculptures and drawings of Antony Gormley. Combining the wire and plaster was a good mix of influences from these two artists.

  1. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the approach you have taken? (i.e. your working method)

I think one of the strengths of my working process is the artist research. This sparks inspiration in many ways, a theme, a style, a method, a material. It can inform how and why you do something, show new ways and approaches that you may not have considered. 

Another strength I feel is allowing yourself to get a little bit side-tracked, for example shadows of the embroidered words intrigued me in this module and MMT2. Although I have not explored them fully, I have documented them so I can return to them at a later date.

Also for this module, collecting work from throughout MMT and placing different units together, photographing them and just laying them out in groups  helped to spark  new ideas.

Weaknesses of my approach would be having too many random ideas and thoughts. I can get overwhelmed and then it’s difficult to work out which is the best idea. I am left doubting my choice and feeling like I should have chosen the other route and thinking would that have been better, this distracts me from the idea I should be focusing on. Also, I still have a fear of doing it wrong.

  1. Has your work and your approach to it improved through the course as a whole?

I am fortunate to have been awarded mentor sessions to help me manage my OCA coursework, my mentor has helped me gain confidence in my abilities and my work. She has also helped me to timetable my work, so I am more efficient and organised, and has given me advice on how to research. This support has allowed me to improve my decision-making skills and have the confidence to follow my ideas even if I may stray off the objectives a little. I am also more able to justify and back up the work I have made. I have improved with my critical analysis over this module and my Informed artist research, I have more confidence in saying what I think about a piece of work.


Reflection on this module overall (I have reflected on each post as well so this is a summary) 

  • Wet plaster still difficult to achieve results I want
  • Plaster bandage worked extremely well as a modelling material
  • I managed to work through the wet plaster disappointment and find a way to incorporate the plaster in another way – able to change direction and employ new methods when things don’t work out.

I Incorporated many things I learnt throughout MMT:

  • Wrapping and joining – ‘empty’ wrapping – bulging
  • Moulding and casting – plaster and molds, bulging
  • Red on white- images and text
  • Embroidery, hand and free motion sewing, using soluble fabric 

Wrapped bulging pieces – Wrapped wire – Abstract body forms – Bulging plaster samples – Nude curvy monotypes – Red text on white- all the keywords from looking at my previous work.

It was good to look back on past work from this module – mixing and matching pieces of work into collections to spark new ideas. I still have lots of ideas documented that I can return to.

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