Earlier this year, Helen invited me to Munich to attend her upcoming workshop, Structures, Folds and Rivets at Akademie für Gestaltung und Design [Academy of Art and Design]. Helen rarely does workshops these days and she suggested it was a perfect opportunity to work through making a prototype from beginning to end that wasn’t over the internet. Officially, being my mentor is over but she puts in the extra mile and I am most grateful for this. Luckily, the workshop conveniently coincided with Handshake’s exhibition at Platina, so it became a plausible possibility and off I went………………….
Day 1 consisted of photographing our environment, selecting from these images and drawing from them. I really enjoyed this aspect as I have been really interested in extending my collage/drawings and working out how they can connect to jewellery making within my practice. Until now it has been rather disparate. These were the 3 images I selected from our adventure around the streets of Ostbahnhof but after drawing from them I ended up only working from the top two.
Helen then took us through a series of techniques, tips and exploration with found materials while also encouraging us to start thinking back to our images and drawings, develop our idea and decide on what type of jewellery or object we would construct. Of late I have been constructing necklaces in my own practice, but at a struggle. Brooches and objects come so much easier to me so it seemed to be the prime opportunity to put my focus here. Apart from a few subtle pieces of plastic that acted as spacers, I also decided to limit myself to metal. Through my decisions, I subsequently found myself working in a rather 2 dimensional manner, which became another challenge, as I had to resist working in my naturally, very complex manner. Instead of trying to find my own voice or extending on my already developed style, creating challenges and restrictions that were not normal to my practice was liberating. I didn’t want to waste time playing with what I could do in my own studio naturally, but instead make the most of the process that Helen was most generously sharing with us.
It was great meeting some new people from different places and seeing their outcomes and processes. Day 4 and 5 saw us working studiously at our finished pieces, although I did manage to squeeze in an expedition to a local hardware and fine art shop, bonus!