Tuesday, 18 March 2014

A very long time!!!

So it has been almost a year since I last posted anything on here, and so I am trying something a little new!

And so an update!

After graduating from University, in the June (well technically graduating in the November but left in June) I started a SCITT course (school centred initial teacher training (a big mouthful!)) in the September, think apprenticeship for teaching. Which as it turns out to be even more stressful and intense as the degree course I had just finished!

So here I am six months into the course with countless of files stacking up in the corner of the dining room and deadlines fast approaching and I'm writing a blog post instead of doing my subject competence essay ... Nothing has changed on the assignment front, I'm still putting them off ...

On my journey through the murky lands of the education system, I have most definitely cast my creative arty roots into the lessons - sometimes with classrooms not knowing what has happened to them! (Quite literally!)

The last six months have been a steep learning curve, and I have missed the laughter and random conversations from Uni, especially the designing and making element to the course. So, hopefully, I will be able to get to designing and making in the holidays!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Dendrology Sampling

Here are just a few photo's of my samples, inspired by the images from Thorp Perrow and other tree walks in the local area.

I have focused on creating the textures of bark, using techniques that lend themselves to the bark texture. Although, maybe not technically challenging techniques, they lend themselves well to that of mark making for bark.

The rounded effect of the copper rings are to represent the protectiveness that bark creates around a tree, shielding the inner workings of the tree from the elements, this is much the same as our skin, that protects us from the elements and bacteria.

The technique I used for textile sampling also lends itself well to creating bark texture. Layering up differing fabrics, to create the tones, then machine stitching over the top to create the contours of the bark. To create the texture, using a combination of fabric soldering iron and heat gun to burn away the edges, revealing the fabrics underneath. The burnt texture adds to the roughness of tree bark.

The leaf sample, used a mixture of media to create the different tones, from organza to bubble wrap. Machine stitched edges to get the outline of leaves, then cut out with the soldering iron or scissors. All leaves were individually stitched into place on a base of calico and brown organza.

Ceramic samples are to follow!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Thorp Perrow Arboretum

We're going on a bark hunt,
We're going to capture lots of them,
What a beautiful day,
We're not scared...
Uh oh, trees!
Lots and lots of trees!!!
Yesterday, I went on an adventure, to Thorp Perrow Arboretum, at 85 acres of all kinds of trees and shrubs, my slight obsession of bark peaked at max out mode ... So five hours later, some 200+ photos and some fallen specimens of bark and leaves, I left with inspiration to last me a lifetime ... well a good few years at the least.

Most of the images focus on bark texture and forms, which are often intriguing and caught in the right light beautiful to look at.

As most of the deciduous trees are still 'leaf-less' after the autumn and winter, this meant the bark was clearly visable and due to the lovely day we had, the sunlight glinting off the bark made fantastic photos!

Here are just a few of the photo's I took throughout the day:

Thorp Perrow Arboretum website: http://www.thorpperrow.com/index.html

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thorpperrow

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Final Major Project - Dendrology

 So finally getting around to posting on my blog, after many months, of saying 'must up-date my blog!'

During these months, it has been rather hetic with dissertation work, minor project work and an exhibition at the Empty Shop Gallery in Durham.

On to the Final Major Project (FMP) which is again natured inspired, this time focusing on Dendrology, the Study of Trees.

I have been looking primarily at the textures and patterns created by the bark, and also the leaves. Currently experimenting with the textures of trees and trying to recreate these textures with differing materials.

The samples that are pictured all focus on the textiles side of the sampling process, both metal and ceramic sample pictures are to come!

The right hand side sample, after much manipulation has a bark feel to it, which I didn't expect to achieve, with this process.

The leaf samples have a mixture of techniques that create the differing shades and textures, all layered up creates a caotic sample!

One last note, please check out my Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Jeni-Robinson/149833248508727

Friday, 15 June 2012

'From a small seed a mighty trunk may grow'

Silver and Felt Pinecone Seed Pendant
 So, the Academic year is over for another year, or at least until September!!

The last few weeks have been quite hetic with hand in and manning the exhibition.

Now that everything is settling down again, I felt it was time to share my final products with you from the Design Event brief and here they are!!!

Porcelain and Felt Showpiece Necklace

These products were inspired from one of my happy places as this was the theme of the brief, the garden and nature within it gave me a wealth of possibilities to choose from and open up future ideas to consider in the future.

For these products I used a combination of materials from each area, instead of seperately making products in each discipline, I enjoyed the different challenges that this presented combining the unlikely materials together.

From a small seed a mighty trunk may grow
I also used the actual pinecone seed as part of one of the products by incorporating this with a tracing paper envelope and a quote which tied into the seed. This represents the seed packets that comes with buying seeds.
Pinecone Seed and Envelope Necklace

Silver Pinecone Seed Necklace Detail

The plain silver pinecone seed pendants are as unique as the seeds produced by the pinecone, the effect can never be replicated on another piece, like that of no two seeds will not create the same tree.

Silver Pinecone Seed Necklace

So now that it's all handed in, it's time to turn my attention to researching my dissertation and to get the Summer Project started ready for September!!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Garden Treasures

SOOOOO, here are some of my textile samples, hung up in my work bay at college, these have all been inpired by a treasure hunt around the garden, looking for some usual and unusual objects that were lurking in secret places.
The pieces on the right of the picture were inspired by a Snowdrop walk, through Guisborough Priory, were the main area was covered by a carpet of snowdrops, the bark on the trees surrounding the area had wonderful textures, which I could have spent a very long time photographing and drawing.

During this project, I visited the Botanical Gardens at Durham which has also proved an inspirational source and again the bark textures took centre stage (especially the peeling bark).

Anyway, time to get back to work!!!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Update needed!!!

Whoops sorry, this post has been long been waiting to be published, and now I have finally got round to writing it!

Expandable bag, small version
Well the Coast brief has been submitted and gone, so first things first, images of the outcomes:

The expandable bag was initially a beach bag inspired and was centred around calico work in neutral colours.

The final bag, although on the same theme, was made with evening wear in mind. Using a mixture of velvet and silk as the main bag.

Expandable bag, detail pocket

The embellishment on the rocks was achieved using a mixture of French Knots and beads to get the texture of the rocks, the main rocks were made from a mixture of silver silk shot taffeta and silver satin, using both sides of the material, the different shades were present.

Candle Snuff detail

For the candle snuffer, I used limpets as the source of inspiration, by creating the 3D form for the limpet shell, in copper, then silver plating the piece, with a matt finish.

So now, I'm well into the new brief, this one is for Design Event in the North East England, which helps those just graduated or just starting in their business adventure to thrive.

This brief has taken inspiration from finding your Happy Place. I have focused on nature and gardens for this project, so we will see where this adventure will take me!

For more information on the Design Event and their events please look at their website: http://www.design-event.co.uk/

Untill next time!


Saturday, 21 January 2012

Samples Galore!!!

Happy New Year!!!

Apologies for not posting sooner, deadline is nigh and stress levels are high!

I thought I would share my samples with you, as I have finally spread them out to see them together for the first time!

From left to right: Jewellery Samples, Textiles Samples, Combined Samples and Ceramic Samples, freshly labelled this morning.

An update with my final pieces, the candle snuffer that I made as part of my Jewellery/Metal section is away getting silver plated. For my Textiles I am in the middle of making a Expandable Bag, originally a Beach/Shopping Bag idea, I have developed it further into an Occasion Wear Bag. And for Ceramics I am making a candle holder, that resembles rocks that are found on beaches. Currently, my Ceramic piece is in half, as it cracked during the firing process.

Anyway, back to the final push before deadline.


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Tis the Season...

So it's very nearly that time of year, where Santa comes to all those good little girls and boys! He'll be a very busy person at this moment in time, packing his sleigh and giving the finishing touches to the last of the presents.
And I thought I would share my very own Christmas Present with you, not something Coastal related, you will be pleased to know!! But something a little more cute, even if I do say so myself!!

Over the past few evenings, I've been making Snowmen!! And not of the cold, slushy, melt the next day kind, oh no, the soft, knitted, cute kind ...

Take a look ...
Frosty and Snowy the Snowmen
I know the left hand one looks a bit like a ghost dressed up in a hat and scarf but I would like to reassure you there is a nose on it's way, I was just a bit too excited to share them with you!!

I would also like to point out the Christmas Tree is courtesy of my Mum and I'm hoping to create my own soon!!

So if I don't post before, have a wonderful Christmas, and I hope Santa brings you everything you would like!!! But remember to be good, or he won't come!!


Sunday, 27 November 2011

Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Sticky Messes!!!

Volcanic Glaze Test

 It has been a few weeks since I have updated my Blog, but I have been busy constructing my samples, so here are several examples of the ceramic glazes that I have made up.



As my theme is Coast, I have been looking mostly at Limpets and Rock formations that occur on the Coast, the latter predominantly in Ceramics.

Snowflake Crackle Glaze


With the rock formations in mind, I wanted a glaze that reflected the rock surface and the colours that came with them.


Barium Glaze with Peeling effect


Volcanic Glaze Adaptation

I especially like the texture of the Volcanic Glaze and Barium Glaze with the Peeling effect, as they have really captured the surface texture of the rocks. I have made the Barium glaze with the exact ingredients that were specified, hence the blue colour, I would like to take this further by experimenting with possible rock colours.

Matte Gold Glaze

 I also tried to capture the colours of the rock formations, usually with no texture, as I wanted to see the colour fully and not have them distorted with any textures, once I had decided on the colours, then I would mix the colours and textures together to create the rock formation. From the colour tests, the Matte Gold and Crystalline Light Ochre have worked well. Both have added qualities, with the pools of gold and the crystals that have developed in the glaze.

Crystalline Light Ochre Glaze

Starting the development stage, the Volcanic Glaze Adaptation test has combined both the colours and texture together; however, I want to take this further by combining other colour glazes with the effect glazes to see if there are better possibilities.

Hopefully, will update you with other samples and test soon!!