About Me

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Manchester, United Kingdom
This is my blog for my first year journal on the Interacitve Arts course at the Manchester School of Art. I dont really know what to put on it so it will probably be a bit of everything, my work, work and things that inspire me and any ideas i might have.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Miniature Art

Nikolai Aldunin

The miniature sculptor is a Russian artists who is famous for his microscopic artworks. I love how much detail is in the work, its made me really think about how much more detail I could get into my Dolls Houses work. I particularly like the camels in the eye of the needle and the humor of the saddle and stirrups for the flee!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Attonement House

This is the Dolls house from the film Attonement that orriginally gave me the idea of making a miniture Platt Hall. You can see from the picture below that it is a replica of the real house that is used for the set of the film. This is what I want to do with Platt Hall by making it as accurate as possible. I really love this house as well as its pretty and symmetrical.

Another Re-created House


Another house I found on the V&A Museum website that was made as a replica of the house the little girl who owned it lived in. This house was made with all the new technologies of the time and is in contrast to the wide range of Georgian houses made.


Three Devonshire Villas - 1900

This house is a model of a house in Kilburn High Road, North London, which no longer exists. It was made in 1900 for the owner Mr Samuel Loebl, as a present for his daughter, Cecy. Both his daughter and his grand-daughter played with the house. His grand-daughter donated the house to the Museum in 1972.
This dolls' house was made by a carpenter and would have cost a great deal to make. It is decorated and furnished in the very latest style for the time and many of the features, such as the fitted bathroom and the double sink in the kitchen, were very modern for the time. The bathroom walls have 'sanitary' wallpaper, which is coated to be washable - a new invention at the time. Cecy made the carpets, lampshades and upholstery in the bedroom and drawing room.
The house reflects in miniature an actual nursery which would have been the domain of the children and their nurse. It is well-stocked with toys, the frieze and pictures provide visual stimulation and it includes the very latest in technological innovation - a telephone.
The house was exhibited at a Toy Fair in Frankfurt in 1925.

Mrs Bryant's Dolls House

Mrs Bryant's Pleasure - 1860

"This house is a good example of a dolls' house which was not a child's plaything. Instead it was made for a lady called Mrs Bryant in the early 1860s. Mrs Bryant lived in a house in Surbiton, Surrey called Oakenshaw and wanted to make a miniature record of the interior of her home.
She commissioned a professional cabinet-maker to make the pieces of furniture, which were made with remarkable skill and accuracy. The rooms are furnished in exactly the same way as a middle-class home of the time would have been. The wallpaper is the same pattern that Mrs Bryant would have had on her walls at home. Bathrooms became more widespread in the 1890s, so here, the bedrooms are equipped with wash-stands and basins.
The kitchen is surprisingly small. A real kitchen in a middle-class household would have been considerably larger in order to accommodate the wide range of kitchen equipment needed. Among the miniature china are some well-known designs such as the famous Willow pattern."

I found this on the website for the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood, I thought it was a really good example of a Dolls House that has been commisioned to resemble a real house in the same way that I want to recreate Platt Hall.

Monday, 15 November 2010


Here are a couple of photo albums for sale that I found on the internet. I like the ties on the side of the bottom one and the seal on the top one. I think I might look into seal's with wax more as they also relate in history to families , with crests of arms being used as seals. I could make and put my own crest on my family album.

My Room

Me and Tom agreed that we would need to make a test Dolls house smaller than Platt Hall as if we make  the entire of Platt Hall exact it will be very large for a Dolls House. We desided to make our own houses but as I'm living in a student house and can't get pictures of my home I decided to make just my room at uni. It is a bit of an odd shaped room so this was my first challenge and then there were the large windows with the window cill. Here are some pictures of what I have done so far, I aim to finish it by the end of the week and make a start on at least the exterior of my house at home.

Dolls House Book

On the book stall I also found a Dolls House Book by pure coincidence. This was a great find as the day before me and Tom had shown each other our ideas for the Mary Greg project and realised that they are pretty much the same! We both want to make miniature Dolls House versions of Platt Hall. So when I looked in the book and saw it shows you how to make a Dolls House or to at least think about the different period houses and the scale of the furniture.


I bought these two books from the book stall outside the SU last week, I wanted them not because of the story but because of the elaborate covers that I liked so much. I was thinking I would make them into photo albums thinking about the idea of a photograph album being a story of a family or persons life time, and so being inside the pages of the novel emphasise this point.

When I got them home I looked in the larger one and found two leaves that had been put in the book and pressed flat, I then looked at the last date written in the front of the book on the 'Owner's' label and found in said 1902. The thought that these leaves might have been in the book since then amazes me and I find the idea of them being a piece of history of someones life fascinating. I think it also links to my project of photo albums as these are records of people's lives just as the leaves are records of peoples actions.

Metal Induction

We did the metal induction last week-ish, ( behind on my blog still!) we got inducted into all the machines that we would likely need to use and in the afternoon we made a bowl out of aluminium. I really really enjoyed this induction and found the tap tap tap of hammers thereputic and satisfying  seeing the end result! I went back next day and learnt how to polish the bowl. It just so happens that the bottom I made for the bowl fits a tea light nicely and it looks really good with the light reflecting on the uneven surface of the bowl. It isn't perfect as some marks werent totally removed with the file, but for a first attempt I'm quite pround of it! It has even given me ideas about christmas presents!

Show and Tell!

 Above are some photographs of a album I made using photographs of my friends I had in my room, I sewed, cut and drew on photographs experimenting with the look of the album, whilst thinking about the idea of narrative, how an album has a narrative and by taking someones face out of a picture you have changed that narrative, the record of history.

I havn't done much work to be honest because I have been doing research and loads of inductions, so I only really have one thing to show, which is this practice sample album I made to hold some of my old family photographs. I made it using card and just followed the design of the Georgian albums with the space for the photograph and then the slot to get them in. I also put a gold edge on and wrote in the front who the people are. For the next one I will try and decorate the pages and use a more apropriate font for the writting i think, it didn't really go! The main two people that are in it are my Great Grandparents, Margaret Winifred Bennet and Clement Henry Watkin, all the photographs are from 1918.

Photography Induction

Here are my prints from my photography induction. It was really helpful and I enjoyed the process, I think I might take some black and white photographs of my family to make an album out of.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Wedding Bells!

Wedding Photographs from my Family box of photos.The large one was in a frame but has since been removed. I was thinking about this idea, is it because as children grow up they want their parents wedding photos? Or do people take them down because they don't know who they are any more? Or at least can't remember them?

Platt Hall Visit for Mary Greg

We Visited Platt Hall last week to have a look at the building and spaces available for the exhibition and also some of Mary's collection. I really enjoyed the OPUA draws with the glasses and hair slides which were really beautiful. 

I also happened to find a photo album from the begining of the last century in one of the gallery cases last year, as my other project is all about photographs albums I was really pleased to see this one had such an ornate cover, I'm not sure how its made, it seems to be carved or moulded, painted and varnished.Great Find!

Liverpool Biennial

We went on a trip to Liverpool a couple of weeks ago for the Biennial (I'm a bit behind on my blog!) the trip was really good and I especially liked to Bloomberg New Contemporaries, in particular the giant door that completely confused me! I don't have any pictures because i suppidly forgot my camera!

But here are a list of painters I liked from the Turner Painting Prize;

Nick Fox
George Sherlcok
G L Brierley
Steve Proundfoot
Jon Braley
Li Weizhau
Nathan Barlex
Sam Knowles
Keren Dee

Monday, 25 October 2010

My Nans Family Photographs

 This weekend I went down to my Nan's and looked through her photographs that were just in a box, here are some of the older ones of her as a child. Top row, left to right, my Nan and my Great-Great-Grandmother, Granny Hoy, my Nan as a bridesmaid in the 1940's, my Nan aged 18 with her younger brother Peter on holiday, and my Nan with her parents when they came to visit her in Glostershire when she was evacuated from London during the war. Below is a picture of my Great-Grandmother, Rose Martin, with my uncle Trevor in the early 1950's in London. Some of these photographs are postcard photos while some of the newer ones are paper ones. They are all small examples as it was too expensive to have larger ones and my Nans family was from North London and quite poor.

Silk Screen Induction + Idea

This is a bit late but last week I had a silk screen induction and I used a Victorian silhouette as my image, with the idea to do my own of my own family members. Silhouette's were put into albums just like photographs and kept safe for families to look at. Here is the test samples I did. I really like the process and results and think I will use this machine again.

My idea for my project is to make and album that goes through the different photographic processes, from silhouettes, to Tintypes, to card De Viste, to black and white, to colour, to Polaroid, to digital prints. But with my family as the subjects in all of them. Thinking about the idea of keeping photographs special and that modern photographs should be in albums as well as old ones, showing the years of development in the photographic process and the composition and style of photography.

More Family Albums

Here are some more recent albums with pictures ranging from 1950's to 80's in random orders again, with pictures of my mum and her niece as babies on the same page! These albums have hard covers with bright pictures on them and self adhesive pages to put pictures in any arrangement you want to. I prefer the pages with black and white photographs on them as I just prefer the photographs. None of the pages are labeled so there is no information for people who don't know who is in the pictures. Some of the pictures in these albums are ones that have fallen out of the Red Album and have been put in so they don't get lost.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

The Red Photograph Album

Photographs of an old album of my grandparents with pictures of them and my mum and her brothers in it. Even though its falling apart I like this and think it adds character. Its also funny how my grandad labeled the pictures but didnt put them in order and so while they are trying to keep the photographs safe anyone else looking at the album in the future would get confused! Some of the pictures have also fallen out or others taken out to give to family members so there are gaps in the album where photographs used to be. My mum says this was their "Family album" that they all used to look at, I like that idea of a big album that is almost liked a loved member of the family.

Collodion Process

In the library and on the Internet the only process i can find to make Tintypes or Ambrotypes (onto glass) I then cant find the main chemical Collodion, after asking my brother who does Chemistry he said that Collodion was a compound so it would probably have a longer name. The only other option unless I can find a way to make them is to buy a kit, there seems a reasonably priced kit that says it fits in any camera and so I assume would produce what are called Gem Tintypes, (small portraits that are then mounted onto Card de Viste) on this website; http://www.rockaloid.com/products.html#tintype
So I have been trying to think about other ways of producing the look of a Tintype and while this could be experimented with silk screen printing and perhaps etchings and copies its the actual process I am interested in.


It is proving SOOOOO difficult to find a process for making Tintypes that I would actually be able to do!
I went to the library and the one book listed with the word Tintype or Ferrotype in isn't actually there any more, helpful! I did find other books on earlier processes, particularly the Daguerreotypes, made using plates of silver and put into glass frames to stop them getting scratched easily. Here is an example of one I found in a library book;


The photograph was taken in black and white with the tinting done later by hand. Whilst this process produces much nicer results than Tintypes, the process involves using mercury so there's no chance I would be able to recreate them! Not the safest pictures in the world!


Tintypes! I found two tintypes amongst my family photographs, while I havnt got a photograph of them I have become inerested in the process. I have also seen them in films such as "Cold Mountain" I just like the look of them and the idea that they will last longer than normall photographs.

Whilst looking at the Tintype process I have been thinking about the idea that modern photographs arent cherished and treasured as much as old photographs; is this because our ancestors valued photographs more because they were rarer? And so we value what they valued? Whereas now we can print a photograph for mere pence, or just keep them digitally for free, meaning we produce more and more and they get less and less formal.

Above is just a picture I found of some old Tintypes, they are all formal photographs with just one subject, I like the man at the top in the hat.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

In this advert for the Olympus PEN camera they shot over 60 000 photographs and developed 9600 photographs to produce this stop motion, now thats impressive!!

Friday, 8 October 2010

I have seen these adverts for Amazon Kindle's on TV and I really like the way they are made, I am going to try and think up a similar idea and my own video, + the music is great!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Film Project

Film Project: 

Task: To remake the film Avatar in two minutes.
Plan: to film half with group member reading a script and the other half with cut out avatar characters and miniture set of greenery.
Special Effects: Blue face paint, a tourch and cut outs on sticks
Group members: Me, Beth, Karol, Dave, Jack.

Party Project.

The Party Project this week was a fun project, my group were set the BIOLOGISTS PARTY to create. We all starting thinking about Charles Darwin and decided to focus on him as a sort of theme. We stuck up diagrams of dissection and plants and we even stole a tree branch for some decorative foliage!!! 
For our costumes we all made our own, I made a bow tie out of a red plastic bag and a mustache using Cotton wool pads and double sided sticky! Of course the outfit wasn't complete without a checked shirt, waistcoat and over sized spectacles! ;) 
Our chloroplast extract (limeade) and Darwin's Brew (Gin dyed blue) went down well even if Beth did make them a little strong! 
A really enjoyable project and I really liked seeing what the other groups had done, particularly the "Party without any guests" blocking up their party! Great way to get to know the second years, should be fun again next year!