Magical Objects – 500 word feedback

Overall I found this Field project quite hit and miss. Whilst I found the lectures and presentations quite engaging, helping to stimulate my ideas, I felt that there wasn’t much time to really develop or focus these ideas as we usually began with the practical aspects of the project straight after. I also felt that the practical sessions were quite dumbed down, as we were being asked to use cardboard, paper or air drying clay to make final outcomes. I suppose it was quite a shock to the system after getting familiar with using the laser cutter, 3D printer and starting the bronze casting process to then suddenly be asked to only use these simpler materials.

The fact that the outcomes were preplanned for us by the tutor only served to make me feel more restricted in what I was making, asking us to make “a Dan passport mask out of air drying clay” or “A magical soap box”. I came into this Field project with an idea of what I wanted to explore and felt I couldn’t really do this for fear of moving too far away from the mark scheme or assessment criteria. Because of all of this I don’t feel like I produced anything of particular merit during my time in this project nor did I learn anything of material process. There were ideas that I would still like to explore such as how a mask can be used to prove an identity rather than falsify one but I don’t really have the time due to other project commitments.

There were a few positive aspects to this Field project. I was encouraged to draw from observation a lot more, something that I do enjoy doing and didn’t realize how much I missed including in my projects. On Maker I don’t feel like I’m encouraged to draw apart from when I need to show visuals for a design, nor am I sure if it really counts towards anything marks-wise.
The trip to Pitt Rivers was quite exciting but there was so much too look at and draw that it became somewhat overwhelming at times. Although, I did feel like it was an odd choice to go there near the end of the project rather than the start.
There was something good that came out of the quick turn around between theoretical and practical; it forced me to work more spontaneously, creating unique designs from my imagination and allowing me to explore my more illustrative side. It also made me seek out more experimental techniques such as stamping with clay and paint or rolling and pressing small sausages into the clay to create lines.

To improve this Field project, I would’ve allowed students to direct their own ideas with support from the tutor rather than simply telling us what to make and what materials to use. The trip to Pitt Rivers would have been a good starting point for this helping to give focus.


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