Joanna Piech: My Research and Ideas

For me the most significant experience so far in Unit X arose from two sources.
Firstly, a talk by Michael Powell director of Chetham’s Library. The lecture made me realize that Belle Vue’s history has a dark side as well. That discovery shaped my further research.

Secondly, a visit to Chetham’s library itself. The most interesting archive about Belle Vue was the zoo keeper’s notes, as it allowed me to have personal insight into the life of animals.

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Zoo Keeper’s notes with highlighted inf. about animals deaths.

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It struck me how much the keepers cared for the animals despite the lack of knowledge. In these records I found 26 notes about animals deaths.

I also found lots of pictures of people and animals together. They made me realise that animals were important part of people’s memories about Belle Vue.

That discovery led me to an idea about creating a range of jewellery that contains people’s memories of animals.

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My ideas map

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As memory can be unreliable and can fail in remembering details; I applied that idea into materials using photographs, notes, paper, fabric, ceramics and plastic animals. Mixing materials is important for my practice in this project as different qualities represents my ideas and make them meaningful.
Paper/notes

research of origami as idea of turning paper into jewelry

research of origami as idea of turning paper into jewelry

I thought of using shape of a bird to represent freedom of memories of animals that perished.

I thought of using shape of a bird to represent freedom of memories of animals that perished.

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One of the designs

One of the designs using 26 notes

Outcome, I might make it shorter

Outcome, I might make it shorter

More conceptual idea

More conceptual idea

 

Designs

Designs

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Outcome, wearing it i feel really traped and seeing animals arund me but outside; the piece translate the initial idea perfectly.

Outcome, wearing it i feel really trapped and seeing animals around me but outside; the piece translate the initial idea perfectly.

Photographs

Fabric

I used image maker to transfer pictures into fabric

I used image maker to transfer pictures into fabric

First sample in linen

First sample in linen. I chose only pictures with animals and people together.

different ideas what to do with animals in order to erase them from fabric as a notion of "Animals are no longer there but memories survived with people"

different ideas what to do with animals in order to erase them from fabric as a notion of “Animals are no longer there but memories survived with people”

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Samples in different materials: felt, azeta, organdie and fire blanket. It's a shame image transfer didn't work. Fire blanket would relate beautifully to animals that died in fire

Samples in different materials: felt, acetate, organdie and fire blanket. It’s a shame that the image transfer didn’t work. Fire blanket would relate beautifully to animals that died in fire

Acetate

When picture is printed into acetate, it could be easily scratched of.

When picture is printed into acetate, it could be easily scratched off.

Ideas of using acetate in jewelry

Ideas of using acetate in jewelry

Plastic animals

I wanted to use animals memories as a trophy

I wanted to use animals memories as a trophy

But as I wanted to use only memories of animals, i though i could use only little parts of it.

But as I wanted to use only memories of animals, i though i could use only little parts of it.

disintegrated animals. Inspired by Phil Cuttance. I wanted to paint animals all grey. By doing so they would loose their characteristics, and it would take viewer longer to recognise them, just like it takes some time to remember the memories.

disintegrated animals. Inspired by Phil Cuttance. I wanted to paint animals all grey. By doing so they would lose their characteristics, and it would take viewer longer to recognize them, just like it takes some time to remember the memories.

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Phil Cuttance pieces

Outcome 1

Outcome 1

Outcome 2.

Outcome 2.

Outcome 3

Outcome 3

Ceramic

Using fragments of animals inspired me to try making only impresion of animals in medium. I thought of porcelain as is fragile and can give transparent effects. Those characteristics will mimic peoples' memories of animals perfectly.

Using fragments of animals inspired me to try making only impression of animals in medium. I thought of porcelain as is fragile and can give transparent effects. Those characteristics will mimic people’s’ memories of animals perfectly.

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After last workshop meeting, i was advised to work on quality of my pieces. I made sure that before firing all my samples where cleaned up. Smooth and mark free surfaces allowed delicate impressions to shine through

After last workshop meeting, i was advised to work on quality of my pieces. I made sure that before firing all my samples were cleaned up. Smooth and mark free surfaces allowed delicate impressions to shine through

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I was allowed to have my own kiln to fire my samples to 1300 degrees. They will be ready on Monday. Even though its Easter holiday, I agreed with technician i can come in and pick them up, so i can start working on my collection

I have not sufficiently experienced collaboration through joint workshops with Interactive Arts. This means that I could have missed on some valuable different perspective between myself and Interactive Art students. As a next step after Easter I am determined to attend those workshops as it would help me develop my ideas and designs.
The ideas and design for my porcelain jewellery has mostly been inspired by Jill Egan(http://www.kilnfiredart.com/cer amic-jewellery.html)Her work shares the same notion of fragile moments and memories that are worth preserving as mine.

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Also Kim Wallace(http://blog.stephbond.com/2009/12/hip-products-kim-wallace-ceramic.html) Who uses simple, delicate shapes in sophisticated way. I also like the way she attached ceramic forms into the rest of the piece.

KL Ceramics

 

What I need to focus on next is researching practitioners who could inspire me to use my simple shapes into more complex jewellery with Victorian memories in contemporary style. I thought I could perhaps  join different parts of animals in one piece of jewelry . A bit like this: http://www.hottt.com/products/smaj02-win_hottt .

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I believe our team contains mostly makers rather than designers. We work as individuals but under the umbrella of our shared manifesto, which has allowed me to relate to members of the team that take a familiar route. Many of our group members are also producing jewellery which is very beneficial for my idea development as we often share design and medium ideas during our meetings. The differences that I think lie in our individual approach are when we stop researching and start designing and drawing inspirations from what has been discovered. On our last meeting, Bethan gave me a name of practitioner that caught my attention in her sketch book  – Angus and Celeste(http://angusandceleste.com.au/gallery) The delicate motifs of animals on a plain surface of porcelain helped me to look at scale and use of my jewellery.

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Even though Bethan focuses on tableware, her research has inspired my work and I believe that is the point of group projects: to be inspired by one another.

In the next part of the project I intend to research more practitioners that would lead me to more designs with my porcelain, as this the medium I would like to explore more.

What is more, after Easter I will be able to contribute more to my team as Events Coordinator.

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