The Hand and the Glove... ramblings about making.

16.05.08 – Digital interference

This week I returned to London on Monday, leaving behind the stunning Lake District Spring sunshine. Our eldest daughter, Rowan had come up for the weekend so we went up to Coniston where I had expected to find congestion and parking problems. It was surprisingly quiet and e enjoyed a wonderful walk around Holme Fell, followed by tea and cakes at Yew Tree Farm, the one with the spinning gallery that was used as Hill Top in last years ‘Miss Potter’ film.
In London, I went straight to College and picked up the Wedgwoodn’t Tureen and took it round to show Robin Levien at Studio Levien. He has shown interest in the project and is rigorous in his questioning of what the eco-ceramic actually is. Can it be called ‘ceramic’ if an irreversible heating process hasn’t chemically transformed it? I suggested that it’s time to redefine the word if the eco-ceramic shares all the properties of conventional ceramic. Thorough product testing is required before we get to that stage, but it looks as though it could be necessary.
Tuesday was spent catching up with writing to people and having a look at the latest (June) issue of World of Interiors magazine which has the article about the Wedgwoodn’t Tureen. It has come out well, the facts are all there, and the photography is very good.
I had a meeting with my mentor, Martin Hunt in the afternoon, which was useful for discussing my proposals for next year’s research fellowship. I also had a chance to get some advice about the kind of contract I want to enter into with Wedgwood, if the project goes ahead.
On Wednesday it was up and away in time for the 6.55 Eurostar to Paris where I went to collect the Royal Overseas League Music Award Trophy that I have designed. As usual, it was a last minute affair, Gilles rushing in at the last moment, me with my box poised ready to pack the piece and dash off to the Metro. It was only the following day, discussing the piece with Steve Brown that I had a chance to really look at it. I must admit that my first impressions of the piece were that it looked OK, but Steve was very interested in the fact that it looks like wood, and it has small areas of ‘digital interference’ where it appears that the Zcorp machine has had to improvise. Steve and I discussed how the RM process could be disrupted by letting ‘digital woodworm’ loose in the process. Maybe a ‘virus’ could be written into the design programme, something that creates its own spontaneous growth? Almost like a predatory process found in Nature. It reminds me of the walk on Sunday, pristine Spring growth, and perfect for such a short time before the caterpillars arrive.
Friday brought another early start as I went up to Stoke-on-Trent for a meeting at Wedgwood to discuss the project and access the archive. It was a fruitful visit, they are keen to go ahead, but will get feedback next week after their International Marketing meeting. If there is enthusiasm then I’m in business, if not, then I’m looking for a job at least for the summer.