At college our final hand in date was May 28, the workshops didn't close until June 28th, now most people went home, or went to download festival, or just spent their days in bed and there nights in the pub - which had I been 18 I probably would have done, but I am reveling in my mature student-ness and I was going to take full advantage of this time. Perhaps too much. A lot of the time I was the first one in the morning and the last one to leave, including the last day when Rich and I had been trying so hard to finish a project that he closed the workshop 15 mins late on the last day of term. Yes, I'm that overly motivated mature student.

The four weeks of workshop time meant that  I could go and use the facilities and make things. Now this doesn't sound all that exciting, you may be asking yourself that surely if I am on a crafts based course my whole degree should be based around making things. If you are thinking that then you are where I was a year ago. It turns out first year at art school it is not about the making things, it is about unlearning everything you have previously been taught about art (which in my case was very little and made the unlearning incredibly difficult but that whole issue is probably for another post), exploring materials and figuring out who you are as a maker, what motivates you etc. All of this has been hard, interesting and in retrospect I am sure it will have been life changing, but I wanted to come to college to learn how to make things. 

So in the last four weeks that's what I did, and boy was it fun.  It was so freeing to be able to go into a workshop and learn techniques, be taught the right way to file, solder, use the fly press, and ring sizers, and not have to analyse every design decision I made, or draw thirty different design sheets before I could get near materials to make things. 

Over the summer I am going to post about the things I made in this time and here is the first piece - a brooch.

The cloud is made of nickle silver and is a lot more silver coloured than this picture suggests (I am still trying to get to grips with product photography!). It was made in two halves pressed on the fly press which means it is slightly domed on the front and back giving a really nice 3-D effect. The lightning bolt is made from brass which was pierced out. 

On the back of the cloud is a pin back made of nickle wire.  

I am so happy with how this turned out and it has already become a firm favourite amongst my badges and brooches that adorn my ever present cardigans. I'd love to make some more to sell but I don't have access to the right equipment till October unfortunately. Hopefully I'll be able to make some in time for Christmas once we get back to college.

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