Joanna Piech: Collaborative Working and Project Outcomes

As the unit x is drawing to an end I feel very positive about working in the group. The key factor that I feel was beneficial to our group members, was the support we give each other, if anyone was struggling with design ideas or use of materials. The fact that all of us worked in different mediums made me realize that I could use them in the future. For example Dan’s wood rings, made me want to try that material in creating jewellery, which I haven’t done before, it was a shame I didn’t have time to do so. I feel that working as a group was more beneficial to me, than working alone, as there was always somebody who can support and help even with little things like borrowing white foundation for my photo shoot!!! I was also very surprised how well we used social media to communicate with each other. Almost every day there were updates, reminders and sometimes prompts to make sure we all stay on track.
Like in every team there were also challenges. For me the key one, was the different level of engagement by different group members. Some people were really enthusiastic about the unit and their work, and were really putting the effort in. The others needed reminding and encouragement. Bethan proved herself as a great team leader and she encouraged us to achieve as much as we could. For my own effort as Event coordinator I took on the role of coordinating exhibition with the committee and making postcard for everybody in our group. I enjoyed my role as it went well with my character. I am loud and open to people!
The decision of creating individual collections under umbrella of shared manifesto, was confirmed as a great idea, as we all produced different amount of pieces. The fact that I created many, didn’t have the effect on other members who had different approach to the design and making. It also made me reflect on my practice. I realized that in future I need to spent more time designing and considering different elements of my pieces, before making them.
Our group showed the great team work through the Mid-Point Reviews. Under Bethan’s leadership we divided the points, that needed to be covered, between ourselves. Through Easter break we shared them and Tom made few suggestions how to make them better. During the presentation we talked about our group first, and that we each had a chance to present our work. I liked the fact that it was very informal and that the group we were presenting to, was open to any comments.
I was really looking forward to meet with Interactive Art students. I couldn’t make it last time, so I wanted to make the most of this meeting. I was very surprised how much it gave me. Firstly, Interactive students had different project X, so it was very interesting to see and hear about their interpretation of it. Secondly, I recognized the need to play and have fun with the materials and their qualities. One student used toothpaste and other pom bear crisps!! I loved it! Sometimes I think, I put too much pressure on myself in terms of materials I use. Just because I make jewellery does not mean I have to use metal! Thirdly, One student showed us his idea sketch book, and it was a little notebook, he said he carries it everywhere. That made me think of my sketch book, and the fact that it might be too big for spontaneous designs.
My own collection turned differently than I initially planned, in a good way. During one of our weekly meeting with tutors, I was suggested not to make few mini collections with different materials, but to join them together in one collection. That is was a vital advice. I designed my pieces collaborating porcelain, acetate, fabric and oxidized metal. I used Belle Vue photographs on acetate and fabric. In some pieces I draw inspiration from Victorian jewellery, to give my pieces a hint of Belle Vue hay days. My collection is crated in colors of blacks and greys to mimic old photographs and to represent fading memories of Belle Vue animals.


Designs of joining fabric with ceramic discs


Different positions of porcelain rings with fabric


Joining acetate in earnings. the acetate gave me the opportunity to create “peeping” tubes, so the viewer could see the hidden picture


different usage of acetate






Designs of joining fabric with pictures on it and ceramic discs









Inspirations from Victorian jewellery



I really like curvy shapes and soft lines of Victorian jewellery. They correspond well with delicate porcelain


10 11 12 13 17 16 15 14 18 19 20 21 23 22 1 3 4 5 9 8 7 6

My final piece joins all the materials in one.  I created a piece that could be worn as necklaces or double brooch. For me it was very complex and challenging piece from technical point of view. Multiple soldering and using various materials stretched my logistics skills. I had to write down a list of what to do in what order.


Designs of final piece:

IMG_8311 IMG_8314 IMG_8313 IMG_8312

Making the final piece:


Arranging porcelain and plastic pieces onto metal


outlining and numbering


Piercing out


IMG_1017IMG_1015 checking the position of pieces on metal background


Cutting 12 tubes




Filing the tube for better soldering


Arranging tubes on metal


Soldering tubes, brooch fastenings and clip



constructing the clip


IMG_1023 Oxidizing


Burning the ends of dyed string


Arranging finished back


Gluing acetate in spaces between porcelain



Gluing porcelain and plastic

IMG_1041 As the outcome of this project is exhibition. I wanted to make my own photo shoot to start getting use to when I am going to make jewellery professionally. I love the outcome. I use white makeup and color on my hair, as well as black background to correspond with the style of my jewellery.


IMG_8192cr IMG_8195cr IMG_8206cr IMG_8202cr IMG_8201cr IMG_8199cr IMG_8209cr IMG_8211cr IMG_8212cr IMG_8218cr IMG_8220cr IMG_8221cr IMG_8225 IMG_8229 IMG_8232cr IMG_8236 IMG_8238cr IMG_8240cr IMG_8241cr IMG_8243 IMG_8245 IMG_8247cr IMG_8248cr IMG_8249cr IMG_8252cr IMG_8256cr IMG_8270cr_1 IMG_8267cr IMG_8262cr IMG_8257cr IMG_8274 IMG_8275cr
Next step was the exhibition itself. I was really looking forward to have a taste of professional life as a designer! The whole experience was important to me as in the future I would like to exhibit my jewellery. It also pointed out things i might do differently, displaying my work so it is more accessible for the viewers, or making little treats like other groups did, so it attracts people.  I have learned that carton boxes and lining paper its enough to create interesting space; that group support was vital in situations of doubt i.e how to exhibit a certain item, and  that even though it was a long and hard day, i enjoyed every minute of it!!



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