Tag Archives: dinnerware

two weeks down, one week (or so) to go!

I feel much better today after talking to David about my current (and final since it’s due SO soon) direction. I think I just needed some time to re-fresh and remember how to actually design things with more informed decisions, instead of just throwing things together without thinking. But honestly, I think I’ve always had a slight problem with keeping myself in a ‘designer’ mindset when I start projects. I’m not usually good at coming up with a set plan at the beginning of a project. I remember last year when we were given the ‘seating device’ assignment, Jes started almost the first day with concepts ONLY related to being cut out of one circle, focusing on multi-person seating. I started out drawing 50 different random things I saw around me like the bathroom lock, origami, trash – mostly in profile or top view because I just don’t seem able to think in 3D very quickly…

For the remainder of projects I work on in school, I want to try and focus down on one good ‘theme’ or ‘rule’ – like “what can i make out of a perfect circle?” – at the beginning of a project. In the end, I want my projects to come across stronger and more fully developed when I present them. Less “I couldn’t really find a direction until five days before the first pin-up, but I did really good work in those five days!”, and more “I started with this [insert cool idea of a start off point, like only using nouns instead of adjectives for your target words!] and went from a to b to c to d and ended with e with ease,” would be nice in my design life.
Another thing I’m going to try doing more often is giving myself more strict time limits on the things that I’m doing. An hour is quite a decently long amount of time, and if I don’t accomplish one important thing every hour – it seems like a waste. Whenever David gives us ‘real-life’ challenges in class, i.e. GO MAKE A POSTER IN 30 MINUTES OR YOU’RE FIRED, we seem to get a lot accomplished but whenever I’m on my own ‘just trying to sketch some concepts’ the blank paper and the seemingly endless amount of time messes with me.

The sketch models I lathed this week are serving as a really good starting point for the concept I’ve got now, drawing inspiration from a lotus (water lily) and a lily pad. Pink foam modeling isn’t really accurate enough for me (or just not very helpful with this particular project); maybe part of it is that I’m too impatient and need more practice using the wire cutter slowly. I think the proportions of my current models are dead on in size, but David mentioned somehow shelling the inside so that the overall weight and bulk would be less overwhelming and more ‘fresh’. I’m going to be doing a lot of 3D computer modeling and sketching this weekend to work out the super important details. We’re doing a silent pin-up on Wednesday to show all the process we’ve done, and then we’re doing “graphic treatments” for Friday I think? Soon, anyway.
Anyway, I’m relieved and excited to keep working on this now!

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Five to Two to One

My concepts are sort of weak as of late; I’m not putting enough process into the decisions I’m making (i.e. why on earth does the cup have that divot in it?), nor am I really thinking too hard about details (why is there a hole in it? won’t stuff simply fall out of it?) – which is really important, since all products are defined by their specific details. For whatever reason, I’ve decided to meld my words into some Asian themed set. I need to go back to the start and re-focus on what my words mean, draw upon the mood board I made for inspiration, look at what I’ve made so far, and then sketch something better.
None of my sets are really sending off the “family” vibe, hence I’m missing the whole point of the assignment.

fresh: beginning, brand-new, brisk, contemporary, crisp, crude, current, different, energizing, gleaming, glistening, green, hot, hot off the press, invigorating, latest, modern, modernistic, natural, newfangled, novel, now, original, radical, raw, recent, refreshing, sparkling, state-of-the-art, unconventional, unprocessed, unseasoned, untouched, unusual, warm

quirky: bizarre, far out, freakish, freaky, idiosyncratic, in left field, odd, off-the-wall, out of the ordinary, peculiar, strange, unconventional, unorthodox, unusual, wacky

honest: authentic, conscientious, decent, direct, equitable, ethical, fair, forthright, frank, genuine, honorable, impartial, ingenuous, just, like it is, no lie, open, outright, plain, proper, real, reliable, reputable, sincere, straight, straightforward, true, trustworthy, undisguised, upfront, upright, veracious, virtuous

This is simply my starting point. Now I need to make this all work.

And, as a final note, I seem to like “zen” things? This project is reminding me of the dish I made for my ‘Serenity Stone’ project and I’m starting to wonder if I’m a one-trick-zen-pony, if having a ‘style’ is good, or if I need to try something else because of that whole “do whatever wacky thing you can now before you go to the ‘real’ world” I often hear from teachers (?)

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full steam ahead!

This semester seems a lot more intensive in a much shorter amount of time than last semester. I am both excited and thoroughly nauseous about how busy I know I will be for the next for months. I hope that I get more accustomed to this switch in sleeping schedules so that I can manage my time more efficiently when I am done with classes, because as of right now I’m running out of steam too soon after I’m done with “school” and need to start in on my ‘school work’.

I’m really glad with the three words I picked for this project – fresh, quirky, and honest. I want to create a set that is modern, a little bit unique/cutesy/”different” from normal sets that are just aligned along a straight vertical axis, and honest both in form that is pure, simple, and bold with clean lines and in materiality that is natural and simple and true to itself (i.e. not trying to make something forced out of metal when wood would do). I made a mood board last night out of magazine cut-outs (it has a lovely arts&crafts feel). I like how David summarized my board by calling it “nature pop” – which was in line with my intentions of making something fresh, new, layered and natural.

We have to draw FIVE WHOLE, COMPLETE, DETAILED concepts with material call-outs and perspective and sections and etc. for Friday which is a difficult challenge, however I’m really glad that we seem to be stressing the importance of doing the same, if not more, work at the beginning of a project than at the end when it gets stressful and impossible-seeming.
I did a lot of brainstorming and word associations today to figure out what I really want to “say” with each separate concept; I tried to lay down rules for geometry and materiality for each “set” so that they would be distinctly different.
I’m also pretty inspired after a trip to Ikea to look at material choices and shapes for their mass reproduced dinnerware; some of their plates are SO flat!

I really enjoyed the exercise we did at the beginning of class today – David told us all to sketch a dinnerware trio in 15 minutes, then he mixed them up and passed them back out to students that hadn’t done the original drawings and asked them to present the drawing as if it was their own concept. Doing the exercise taught me some important things
1. I am good at BS-ing [which I like to think is due to the poetic “writer” in me that knows her way around metaphors and symbolism]
2. Details really ARE important in product sketching! Who knew!
3. How to draw those curvy lines that show form without making them look silly (the name of which I cannot currently remember, which, in turn, makes me feel silly)
We also did another interesting “real life” exercise during which the person sitting in front of us named a designed object (guitar, chair, toaster, laptop, etc.) and we had to sketch it in 30 seconds on a white board in front of the rest of our classmates. In regards to that exercise, I need to stop panicking around people when I draw because it just makes my sketches wayyyy worse and stop drawing spatula stools because NO one would buy them.

And as a last note before I go to bed, I am really glad to be back in studio and surrounded by classmates and a teacher that all seem genuinely interested and enthusiastic in what we’re doing. It’s comforting to know that we all have the same general goal of becoming better – in whatever capacity that applies to each individual. [Awww! Just a little cheesy!] [But seriously.]

(ps. get the title joke? because we’re doing cups, and cups can hold hot drinks like tea which have steam. Ha-Ha!)

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Welcome back! The show’s just about to begin.

Second semester starts today. Bright and early every MWF – 8am.
First project is dinnerware – a “trio” of sorts
We need to make a cup, saucer, and plate (!)

I’m thoroughly excited for this semester, but still scared. I’m always nervously excited.
I always have an overwhelming fear that everything that can be made, already has been made and other than that we’re just copy cats…
And I know that isn’t entirely true, but when it comes to some common things (perhaps like dinnerware?), it seems to be

Good thing about this project is that we have to have three words as our target to help us conceptualize and focus
I’m not 100% sure of mine yet, but I’ve been thinking a lot & I’ve been playing with the visual thesaurus.
I like fresh, quirky, and honest thus far

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