Monday, 1 April 2013

1st April 2013: Lighting atmosphere

Relating to my posts about creating an atmosphere within the installation ( if we did go forward in creating an installation) I think that the lighting would play a role within this idea.  I found some inspiring images of dangling lightbulbs which i think look spectacular, i feel the image which combines other objects swell as the bulbs is really strong. 

There were also somebody who had created this little creations inside the bulb, as basic as natural flowers or leaves i thought this looks quite eary and has a weird feel which i thikn reflects and relates to witchcraft and superstitions.

I also went into the shop ALL SAINTS on a trip to london, and i was really intrigued by the vintage lightbulbs. I thought this looks really interesting and good back up research to this idea.

On this trip to london i also went and ventured ion camden market and came across this cluttered little shop in the stables which sold everything and it immediately reminded me of a witches coven or a fortune tellers place.
EVERYTHING is everything in that place, you could get anything.

1st April 2013: making Salt crystals.

I decided to try and make something visually strange, and that something that looks like the gemstones which are related to the superstitions and different cultures.  I thought a quick way of trying to active this was to make salt crystals.
I am not sure whether this will work but it will be a running progress and i will document the progress of the crystal every few days.
I achieved this through having a jar and filling it with boiling water, with this i pour 2-3 tablespoons of salt so that the salt will dissolve and then following by adding more salt so that it becomes saturated. I attached a length at the top to a pipe cleaner which i balanced on the lid of the jar. I then have placed it on the windowsill of my bedroom so the sunlight ( the little i get in blackpool) will attract to this.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

31st March 2013: Superstition inspired metalwork jewellery.

When just snooping on the internet, i came across a group of fine artists whom created some fine jewellery and metal work inspired by Superstition: the main source to our groups unit x.
It was the Eighth Annual National Juried Exhibition of Fine Jewellery and Metalwork on the April 12 to May 26, 2012.
They all collaborated to make individual and unique pieces each inspired by a different superstition.  Some i personally think are to liberal and to literal but some are quick qwerky. 

Voodoo Charm Necklace” by Shona Rae.  Sterling silver, 18 karat gold, black, champagne and white diamonds, pink and black tourmalines, rubies, 22” long, with removable Voodoo Dolls.

L’Enchanteur” -Best Utilization of Pearls by Guy-Yves Hotte.
Sterling silver, gold, pearls, peridots. This was inspired by her childhood memory which As a child, come nighttime, se believed there was a spirit hidden in the bottom of my wardrobe, scepter in his hand. Today, this superstition without believing in it, her habit continues.  The ultimate detail of the jewellery piece are on the golden handles. Just like ¨SPEECH IS SILVER BUT SILENCE IS GOLDEN¨. The gold handles of the three doors represented here are the key of this silence! To leave them alone reassure, calm and bring the child at rest!
Revenge Device” – Best in Technical Achievement by Audrey Boudreault. Sterling silver, felt, stainless steel needles. One superstition that is well known and very evocative is the one about voodoo dolls. She describes the piece “ It is a brooch in two parts: the voodoo doll can be worn on its own or with a second removable pincushion. I suggest wearing both and sticking the pins in the removable pincushion first. That way, the wearer can take the pins from it and then stick them in the heart of the doll according to their will. The reason why the doll’s pin cushion is heart shaped is very simple: I think the heart is the most sensitive part of a human being, making it the worst place to get hurt.”

Mesektet/Manjet” – Honourable Mention: Gemstones by Brenda Roy. This being inspired by the boats found in ancient eygpt. I found this interesting as i based my own individual poster on the curses within eygpt.  Made from Sterling silver, Sonora Sunrise (chrysocolla/cuprite), chrysoprase, carnelian.
Egyptians believed that the sun god, Ra, traversed the sky in a boat – or rather, in two boats.  The mesektet-boat carried him through the underworld at night and the manjet-boat when he rose as the morning sun.  Models and images of boats were buried with the deceased (at least if he or she were noble!) in the belief that this would provide transport to the Kingdom of Death and allow them to follow Ra across the sky. Ra is typically depicted as a circle in the boat rather than a lozenge shape, but the large stones sitting in these boats are quite appropriately known as Sonora Sunrise or Sunset.
Many other cultures also had superstitions linking boats and death.   Old Norse nobility were often buried or cremated in full-sized ships to ensure a safe passage to the afterlife. She said she finds it interesting that the Norse used the same word, skop, for boat, cradle, coffin and fate!

“In Case of Emergency – Knock on Wood” by Valerie Brown
This is quite a literal piece of jewellery however i think it is really qwerky with humour inputted into this.   TOUCH WOOD is a persons habit of wanting to knock on wood when they have said something that seems to be tempting fate.

Lexiz’s Ring” by Monique Mousseau
dainty + delicate
“Desire, Ask, Believe, Receive” by Sonja Neven
Here above being a lucky rabbits foot, in relation to what we explored for one of our tarot cards for our posters.


Saturday, 30 March 2013

30th March 2013: CP Essay Prep.

Over easter i have decided to have finished my first draft of my essay for the contextualising practice part to my fashion degree. Essays are not my strong point at all, so if i have got my 2,000 word draft, i can then take this to my tutorials, to show as my initial ideas and thoughts. With this my tutor can then help me by guiding me where i can progress with my essay so far. 
I had chosen the essay question. 
How does the value we attach to objects change over time, and why do we throw things away? Answer with reference to one specific example.
Tonight i had created a rough plan and bullet points of ideas which i could expand into further developed paragraphs which in the end form my 2,000 word essay.
These are my points of interest for this essay.
  • Reference; looking through the wardrobe book.
  • Woman get attached to their wardrobe, as they find It difficult to throw things away.
  • Prime example presently is the current fashion trend amongst my particular age group. The 80s 90s fashion trend has come back so this idea would play amongst our minds to that fashion will repeat itself and in this idea why would we want to throw clothes away when they will be back in style in time.

  • Another idea Is that most women will keep clothes to aim to fit in them. If they are on a diet most women will keep their favourite clothes so that they will work hard enough to fit back into them, so they would not throw them away.
  • Some clothes no matter how much they are worn, damadged, we will carry on fixing them and wearing them since they have so much sentimental value.
  • Most women have some pieces of clothing which was a gift and has again sentimental value and memories to which they would not throw away. Wedding dresses are a prime example of this. My mother has still kept her wedding dress in her wardrobe and this is now dating back over 15 years.  Another member of my family, my auntie has just currently found her own mothers wedding dress in her wardrobe and this dates back even further years. It was all hand made buy my aunties, grandmother. Each layer of lace all hand embroidered on. When this is the case this creates more monertary value to which you would not want to throw away. I know when I get married in the future I would not like to think I would get rid of my own wedding dress.  Even the simplest of dresses to my Prom dress: I know this is only a minimal example comaring this to a wedding dress but I would not dare to think to throw mine away or get rid of this. I know this was only 4 years ago, but some pieces of clothing like this in our wardobes hold to many memories to just get rid of. This is why women in particular find it hard to throw things away. 
  •  Another example of clothing within my mothers wardrobe, is this lace long sleeved dress.  Even though she would never wear this piece of clothing again: reasoning because it is not the right size,  she had grown up, she still would not part with this dress. All reasoning because this is the first piece of clothing that my dad bought her as a present when they were younger. This dating back to around 25 years ago.  Such a simple piece of clothing, but such a difficult decision that she would not make to decide to get rid of.  It is the principle and story behind the garment which allows it to then become difficult to throw away. Now the time has progressed throughout the years, the sentimental attachment towards this has grown stronger, and I think this is the case for most pieces of garments that live in our wardrobes. The longer they stay in there, the harder it is to get rid of.
  • Choices of clothing. Never have too many clothes.
  • Sterotypical woman.
  • How much the garment was when initially first purchased.

Vital points from LECTURES I want to incorporate.
  • Consiputious consumption
  • Thorstein Veblens “The Theory of Leisure class 1899”.
The act of purchasing and use of certain goods to identify oneself to others as having a status.
  •  GOFFMAN “ describes Clothing  as identity kits”.
  • Clothes are kept to frame our past identity,
  • The woman I was and wanted to be.
  • The way we organize our clothes within our wardobes, or even our clothes on the floor describe our identity. Are we hawders? Are our clothes organized or are they cluttered.
  • Cwerner & Metcalfe 2003:231       Things in our home show your wealth ( clutter, collection)
  • Objects and memories associated with them reflect our past present and our future.
  • Mary Douglas 1975 and Jean Bawdilliard 1973: What doe the object symbolize to you? What does something signify beyond its every day use?
All these points  i could expand and relate them to a couple of the relevant lectures that we had been given throughout the term.

i am dreading this to be honest. Dreading to where i would start and where i would honesty begin to reference.

30th March 2013: Naoko Ito: Japanese Artist

Exploring the aspect of using jars within our piece, i wanted to try and find some contextual references to help support this idea. I first of all came across this japanese artist whom uses jars within her artwork. She uses lots of variety of sized jars and within these inserts a tree branch. She cuts the branch into several pieces before putting them in the jars and then stacks these jars into the original shape of the branch, so it looks like the branch is growing inside them.

Glass jar, tree
35 x 70 x 50 inches
88.9 x 177.8 x 127 cm

Cold Frame
Glass jar, tree, brick
27 x 29 x 32 inches
68.6 x 73.7 x 81.3 cm

Glass jar, tree
36 x 36 x 41 inches
91.4 x 91.4 x 104.1 cm

These pieces are from Naoko’s art series “Urban Nature 2009.”
Below is a birds eye view of one of the pieces of art. I particularly like how she has involved over objects within the artwork. Books, and shelves so that it give it more feel and atmosphere. It creates a scene and story within the artwork.

Glass jar, tree, wood, book, glass, plastic, nail, cardboard
60 x 50 x 35 inches
152.4 x 127 x 88.9 cm

Glass jar, wood, cherry blossom
55 x 32 x 15 inches
139.7 x 81.3 x 38.1 cm

This artist could actually influence our installation if we went forward with the idea of the jars. We could combine essences from naokos work, of using different objects instead of the jars itself. The way she has set up the jars at different levels and heights to create another visual image could influence our ending installation of combined work.
References from this post

30TH March 2013: Hanging jars idea.

Thinking ahead to what we need to create at the end of this project: UNIT X, i initially came up with the idea of using jars as the basis of our installation and creating something with that. The idea of cabinet of curiosities and towards witchcraft: jars are the main object used, since they are used for storing ingredients and spells. Relating to the artist: Joseph Cornell.
We also agreed that over easter we would explore this idea and make some spells of our own: maybe not literally but visually magical. ( how cheesy) Anyway i started some research into how we could maybe further this idea and how we could set the whole idea up.  Initially i thought of placing them all in a cuphard but maybe that is too literal like a witches cabinet. We are maybe recreating something rather than creating our own thing. I want to be able to create a feeling and an atmosphere within our installation. Which gave me the idea of hanging them all up on string and at different heights.

This picture below in particular strikes me. It states that it is a water balloon with a glow stick on the inside in a stocking and hang from trees or ceiling. I don’t understand how this would work but i want to give it a go. I think it is visually striking.

We could hang the jars with all different things inside of them. I think candles should be in a few of them as they are vital with the how atmospheric feeling. Candles are a key highlight within spells and rituals too.

 I have found a website to where we could buy cheap mason jars in a variety of different sizes. They would all have a similar flow then.  we could be eco and re use all the different jars we can collect and come across. Being a student this would be quite easy since we all live off pasta. We could always combine a mixture of jars.

29TH MARCH 2013: Witch Bottles.

Progressing on with a little bit of research to start my work for the easter holiday, I came across this theory of the witch bottles. They are these small devices or ‘traps’ used as protection of the evil spirits. The first mention of a witch bottle appears in the 17th century.

It has been a common custom in the early modern period to hide objects such as written charms, dried cats, horse skulls, concealed shoes and witch bottles in the structure of a building.
Folk magic contends that witch bottles protect against evil spirits and magical attack, and counteract spells cast by witches; they are countermagical devices, the purpose of which is to draw in and trap harmful intentions directed at their owners.
Researching these made it a prominent link to our idea of creating an installation involving the jars.
A traditional jar would be around 2 inches high created from blue or green glass.
A witch, cunning man or woman, would prepare the witch’s bottle. Historically, the witch’s bottle contained the victim’s (the person who believed they had a spell put on them, for example) urine, hair or nail clippings, or red thread from spirite traps.
In recent years, the witch’s bottle has taken on a nicer tone, filled with rosemary, needles and pins, and red wine. Historically and currently, the bottle is then buried at the farthest corner of the property, beneath the house hearth, or placed in an inconspicuous spot in the house. It is believed that after being buried, the bottle captures evil which is impaled on the pins and needles, drowned by the wine, and sent away by the rosemary.
Sometimes sea water or earth are used instead. Other types of witch bottles may contain sand, stones, knotted threads, feathers, shells, herbs, flowers, salt, vinegar, oil, coins, or ashes. A similar magical device is the “lemon and pins” charm.
Another variation is within the disposal of the bottle. Some witch’s bottles were thrown into a fire and when they exploded, the spell was broken or the witch supposedly killed.
The witch bottle was believed to be active as long as the bottle remained hidden and unbroken. People did go through a lot of trouble in hiding their witch bottles – those buried underneath fireplaces have been found only after the rest of the building has been torn down or otherwise disappeared. The origins of this tradition have been dated at least to the 16th century. In ancient times the bottles were made of stone and originally contained rusty nails, urine, thorns, hair and menstrual blood, and pieces of glass, wood, and bone.
I came across instructions in creating a traditional witch bottle however straight away i was put off when reading you would have to add either menstrual blood or seaman. This straight away thinking of the idea made me a bit squeamish, I think that is just a step too far but whatever the tradition states it must be true. But that just makes me want to stop there with this post. However i think this would be great to try and recreate one of these bottles within the holidays, but using a different set of instructions and maybe creating one using the rosemary and wine. Another part of me thinks i should not mess with these traditions, because what if i have done it wrong, would something come and haunt me and create a curse over me?.
Here are the set of instructions i came across anyway, if any of you want to have a go at this traditional witch bottle.
A witch bottle remains active so long as it remains sealed and un-buried.
To make a traditional witch bottle
Small jar
Rusty nails
Broken glass
Bent needles or pins (both better)
Small bit of your own food left to go mouldy
Dead insect / spider (optional although you must not kill it must be found dead)
Your own hair (pubic best as well as armpit hair use two together for best result)
Your Nail clippings (finger and toe)
Your Semen or menstrual blood
Your urine
Pinch of earth (grave dust from a family grave best NB you must never dig dirt from grave yard the dust from top of headstone is enough)
Black candle
Good paper (parchment etc)
Black cloth
Black ink or Dragons blood ink
Red cotton (you can knot to add some extra weight to spell)
The timing for this spell is the dark moon (the 3 day period around the new moon although women will have to adjust to meet the cycle)
Cast a circle with salt and cense the space call your elements / gods as you would for any ritual.
You will then need to purify the bottle and remove any negativity before you start building the witch bottle use you smudge stick insuring that smoke get is into the bottle.
While saying (create your own words for more personal result)
Empty space filled with darkness I bring you light to grant me protection from this night. I summon the light, I call the power trap all harm sent to me.
On the paper write your name(S) date of birth, sigils, astrological signs anything that represent you smear Semen or menstrual blood on the paper draw a circle around and place in bottle.
Start adding the other items to fill the jar about half way saying. Insects from beneath a rock, needles, nails rusting fast,, Keep all harm inside and locked, within this dungeon made of glass.
Now pee into the bottle so it is full.
At this part you will need to state your intentions for the bottle ie , I have created this bottle in the sight of the gods so no harm can befall me no curse or hex will land on me all negativities send will be delivered to this bottle. Use the candle to seal the bottle rap in black cloth and close the ritual in your normal way then take bottle into garden and bury in the furthest part of your garden that you can pour any remain libations over and leave remember unless it dug up or it opens it will remain active.
However all in all i could actually create a replica but using my artistic input within this to make it look visually like witch bottle but not using the ingredients to create the spell itself. I don’t really want to mess around with spells and curses, even though it would be more in depth knowledge to do so, I’m just scared of the consequences.
I could replicate these 2 images buy using the wax, string and sand to create something magical visually.