Intro to Design Breif

Hello there ^^
So today we got the brief for our first Graphic Design Degree project, it is worth 10 credits, titled “Introduction to Design”.

Basically what we have to do for this brief is create a structure of any form as long as it has meaning, then choose a location which we shall photograph. The final stage is to super impose this hand-crafted sculpture (structure) into the background/location of our choosing, we have to explain our thought process and why whatever we are doing at that time has meaning.

I shall begin research to start me off in the next post:)

Research Into Structures

We have been briefed for our first project by Mark.

Our assignment for module 1 is to create a structure that we will later edit into a location of our choosing. This structure has to have form and meaning, but can be anything we like as long as it fits the guidelines.

To begin this module I’ve started researching different sculptures and structures, mainly public art as I want my structure to be public. I decided to do this step first because it really gives me grounding and inspiration to begin brainstorming my own independent ideas. Below are three pictures I’ve selected personally, I have chosen them because they are to my taste and style.

Riace Figures by Elisabeth Fink @ Yorkshire Sculpture Park

I have actually seen the above sculptures in person, they are located in a grassy field in Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The reason I like these little structures is because they create a sort of eerie atmosphere to anyone passing through their gaze. The all – bronze colour contrasts beautifully with their pale face, again creating the effect that they’re watching you.


What drew me to this second structure is the way there are many different components (ivy wire in this case) can come together in such harmony to create a beautiful, flawless form. I think the real object this is based off is open to interpretation, as well as the meaning. The way people are left guessing is what really drew me to this little (presuming it’s little) sculpture.


Finally moving onto Damien Hirst’s bronze occupant of Ilfracombe Harbour. Though this is considered strange because of the exposure of the inside of this woman’s body, I find it intriguing and beautiful. I found this sculpture after a conversation with my Father after him mentioning this “extremely strange woman in Ilfracombe Harbour”. Bronze is possibly my favourite sculpture material.

I have looked at many more public structures and art and I think I’m ready to start brainstorming my own ideas.

Further Research and Development….

The next step was my research.
I decided to begin with brainstorms and sketches…. many of them. Finally I reached a conclusion of 3 sculpture Ideas that I was fond of. See the sketches below.


First step for me was to create a few initial ideas that I later elaborated on…


Here I brainstormed many ideas and came up with the final 3 ideas I liked. I also did some research into the definition of structure, some links which I read into can be found below also:

Because I knew my three Ideas could be constructed from similar materials I then began to look into the materials I could use, I took inspiration from some of the structures I had seen. Find the links below.

Structure Planning/Development

Next thing is next, I designed what I thought would be my final structure, however upon being advised that it didn’t fit the definition of structure enough I then changed my mind. I still decided to include some of the notes and loose sketches that I did for Idea 1 (Gasmask), you can see them below.

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The purpose of the above structure was to be tribute to the children of the war. Everyone always pays attention to the people who go shot out in the fields or got hit by a grenade while trying to shoot their enemy. What people don’t see as much is the children who’s parents they grew up without, who’s houses got diminished to rubble within a matter of minuets… the ones who were sent away to strange places by strange people in scary masks. The point of my structure was to bring the element of surprise to passer byes in Eckington Woods just next to the old bomb shelter – a location rather personal to me. The whole idea of having the structure the size of a child with mirrors in the eyes was so walkers could see the real image of what children see when looking up at their faces. It also reflects the cause of the mystery and anguish of these children within the glass – it’s us.
Moving on I have decided to discard the third idea of a molecular structure linking to the steel city of sheffield because I feel it is a all – too – common subject in Sheffield, I feel there is a lack of meaning and original ideas behind it.

The next post will most likely be about the idea I have decided to settle on. It’s name is “Encapsulate”…

On With the Heart Development…

Finally I have come up with all the ideas I need to go ahead with my structure. I have named this structure “Encapsulate” and some of the planning and rough sketches for this are below:


Here I basically decided on everything that would effect my sculpture such as location, scale, material and how the sculpture would stand ect. Below are some links to the places I used to collect information for my research and development.

My original idea was to make the maquette of my structure out of clay, though I found out via researching that polymer clay would in fact be a lot more convenient. It was then I decided to research the best brands before deciding on “Super Sculpey”, a brand of clay that focuses on making Japanese Ball Jointed Dolls. However I figured that something malleable enough to make a dolls face would suit my needs perfectly. Knowing part of what I was going to be using to make the actual sculpture made the next steps of sketching the design a lot easier because I could judge how possible things were:

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As you can see above, there ended up being an evident need for more materials other than Super Sculpey. Because I had decided on using steel and bronze as my two main materials for the large scale structure in the City Centre, I had to find something to replicate this on a much smaller scale. More research links are below.. PLEASE NOTE that I used books to research also, they were from my neighbour who is an inventor, I also sought his opinion when it came to the metal.
Something I also considered was how Bronze aged, though I decided to go with the “new bronze” look because I feel like it will have more impact when catching the light both in reality and in the photograph that shall be my final outcome. Below is the link to Super Sculpey, the material I decided to use for the heart.

In the end my decision was as follows:
Heart: Super Sculpey and Tinfoil – Because the tinfoil can help keep the structure of the heart and will allow the clay to cook properly because it isn’t too thick. Also Super sculpey is smoothable and malleable enough to make veins and ventricles without too many imperfections, also it has the convenience of being oven baked to harden.
Technology and Wires: Aluminium wire, chrome plated copper pipe and Knitting needles – Because the aluminium wire is thin enough to look like steel poles when blown up and super imposed onto a new background to be 15ft tall, also the silver appearance is similar to that of steel, creating the perfect material to represent the “Steel City” link. I chose knitting needles of all objects because of their pointed end, I can easily cut them in half and they appear the same at metal from far away. It may be tricky to come across a chrome plated copper pipe but seems though copper pipes are common in plumbing, I’m sure its my best option. I chose this material because it’s strong enough to uphold my structure and look like a huge steel pipe when it’s made to appear 15ft tall.

Before I researched the materials in detail I googled the location I decided on (crucible square) and looked around to make sure my materials would fit into the landscape and the current public art effortlessly. The link to some images are below:…7394.14915.0.15059.….0…1c.1.54.img..17.10.646.TwkeJCCL5d0

Reference to my Own Work

Something that gave me the Idea for my first structure based on the war was a photo shoot I’d done previously focused on the children of the war. Below I thought I’d share my main inspiration for this early structure idea. All photographs are my own, the model is my little sister. Seeing how eerie a little girl in a gas mask is on a photograph really gets you thinking about passing the same silhouette of a girl in the forest. I like the impact it would have.


Please note this is the discarded idea. Nothing is been created from these photographs anymore.

ALL Images are copyright to

Time to Start Making!

The time has finally come to create my structure maquette.

Below is a step by step guide to how I did this. All photos are my own, as is the structure.

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So firstly I created the foil rough base by screwing it up tightly. After the ball was fairly secure I began to kneed pieces of Super Sculpey into my palms until warm and malleable, I then plastered the pieces onto the surface of the tin foil and flattened them out with my warm fingers so they looked smooth like one piece of clay, not many.

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After there was enough clay to cover the foil I began sculpting the basic shape of the heart and started using ‘tools’ such as chopsticks and a needle (great tools, I know).

This is my progress so far, I will be updating this process in one of the following posts.

DIY Structure Creative Process

More on how I made my structure, step by step.

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I carried on using common household items to my advantage, here I show myself shaping one of the main arteries by sculpting around a glue stick. I chose to use these materials because they are more convenient and easily obtainable then anything professional I could’ve bought online.
Next is a before and after on the baking tray, I heated the soft clay for 40 minuets as instructed, however I burnt the surface slightly and it lost it’s fleshy appearance though still eerily resembled a human heart in pigment and shape.
I am very pleased with how the result turned out, I have never used this material before and I surprised myself at the outcome. I can now say I’m rather proud.

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After the clay had cooled I placed it on the chrome plated copper pipe I managed to find in a store, I then used the Bronze Effect outdoor paint to spray the heart, I waited 20 minuets between coats as instructed and did a total of three coats. I then marked out the places to be drilled after snipping the knitting needles in half with pliers.

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Afterwards I mixed an incredibly strong super glue called Araldite and began glueing the halved knitting needles into the drilled holes, leaving me with a rather spiky heart…

Then began the difficult process of working with wire when your finger is bandaged…

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I used the same Araldite to glue some little coils I found in John Lewis to the tip of the knitting needles. After this was dry I proceeded to add the aluminium wire, I cut it into several pieces so it was easier to work with (sort of) and webbed it all around the coils to create the technological shell I had being envisioning.

The final product will be in my next post!! ^^