Goldsmiths Craftsmanship & Design Awards 2016/17
“MEDALS | Sponsored by Cleave & Company Ltd
Mans’ relationship with animals – pets, farmed and wild. Design a medal that epitomises your feelings on this complex issue. This Special Award by Cleave & Company ltd. is looking for creative ideas and a sound understanding of translating these into the production of a medal.”
This is the design section I have chosen to enter this competition. I was instantly drawn to the criteria involving animals as I am a huge animal lover and I can relate my personal relationships with animals. I love dogs so I immediately thought of all the starting points related to dogs. They all seemed abit depressing e.g animal cruelty, neglect, puppy farms and so on… I realised as this is my first thought it would be everyone else’s first thought too. So then I decided to approach this the opposite way and took this competition brief to create something to celebrate all the happy and joyful relationships we have with animals and our pets.
Somehow my miniature schnauzer, Osca, has always appeared in nearly all of my educational projects so it only seems right that he is involved in a uni project. I really wanted my design to tell my story and dream of getting a dog, which I am sure most people can relate too. From being about 3 years old I had always wanted a dog but my dad never said yes to getting one. However after 7 years of pestering him with “dad can we get a dog?” every time he walked through the door and nearly every minute of the year, he caved in and yes “alright but I’m choosing which breed and we won’t be getting one today”. Later that day we travelled to Doncaster to look at a puppy, there was one left (presumably the runt of the litter) and of course the puppy came home with us the same night. Best day ever haha. From this I wanted to translate that story into my medal, I thought it could be an illustrated medal like a scene from a children’s book. I tried to draw a dog and a little girl together which I would then carve into wax but I was just not feeling it and I am a terrible drawer!
I scrapped the illustration idea and went back to the beginning and did some primary research with Osca. Took pictures of his nose, to get the detailed texture, took pictures of his tongue, took pictures of everything, it was basically an Osca photoshoot. I found my A Level photography exam photos, which was of course Osca again and used these as inspiration. I love the detail and texture of his fur in these images. I started experimenting with acrylic paints, inks and oil pastels using the primary research I had done.
I wanted to create a montage of textures of my dog which represents his personality and the way I engage with them. This image above has a various features of osca, the texture of his fur, the different directions of the fur, the way the fur has been groomed, his nose texture and his paw textures.I would like to get all of these elements onto my medal.
I really wanted to get a clear macro image of his paw but it was so hard to get a dog to keep still while you hold his leg in the air so I had the idea to get him to stand on a scanner. Didn’t exactly work as I wanted or expected because he kept slipping but I do like the unexpected outcome of this. I love how abstract it is and how the scanner has kept all of the tones of his fur. I started to work from this little experiment and i focused on the movement and textures of his fur.
This is what i got from using ink and water to recreate the squished fur on the scanner.
Schnauzers have a very recognisable groomed cut, the cut of the fur identifies the breed of the dog. I noticed that Osca he gets a wave on his neck. This is from the cut and the way his fur grows. It is also his favourite place to be stroked so I thought this is the perfect thing to include into my medal.