Today the Level 2 group were beginning to experiment with materials and explore different textures. This is all development for their final major project work building on their designs. I helped one particular student who was working with clay to think more creatively and open mindedly about textures and patterns by looking around the workshop at found objects and the surface qualities such as the tread on wheels of trolleys, step ladders, wire mesh, brick walls and so on to re-create the feel of objects using their patterns and texture as well as creating her own. I also spoke to other students about their designs and how they might develop them and some other ideas they could research to explore the possibilities within their designs.

In the afternoon, Jim the tutor I am shadowing during my time at the college, took me down to the other campus to help with his Foundation class. This is my first trip over here and first time helping with Foundation level students. It felt very much like walking around a smaller but very multi disciplined studio with the students working as independently as in a university. There were some students on the computers, some clearing or building their workspace and others testing materials or working in sketchbooks. I wandered around after introducing myself at the beginning of the session, talking to the students on a one-to-one basis about the work they had done and were doing. I found it very interesting to see and hear so many new things I have never tried, like using latex and stretching it out, heat treating some textile materials to change its form and collaging images and papers etc. while applying paints and other materials into a beautiful sketchbook.

The majority of these students seem very mature and more in touch with what they are doing in their work and why. I felt it was easier to engage in conversation with them as I could question their methods and suggest some alternatives and ask different questions as I am coming at the situation from a different angle. There is a very talented lad who is essentially an artistic animator who showed me a couple of films he had created which were amazing. One had a hamster in it and the other was a series of still shots taken while sketching various figures portraits etc and then rubbing them out and changing them into something else which fascinated me! I will be keeping my eye out for him in the future.

I want to attend their end of year exhibition which I know I will be around for but now can’t remember the date of it so must check and make a note of it. I am enjoying coming here and am definitely learning something…