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The weekend after the breadmaking workshop i did a print workshop with Orla Bates in Wexford Art Centre. Having looked at birds and nesting habits i made a print of a a finch and back in Kilkenny I did a portrait of my mam
I spent a lot of week 3 trying to find my train of thought. Having done the bread workshop which was very manual and involved lots of people it was hard to settle in the empty studio. I made a lot of lists and tried to draw. I found this helpful and productive at first making a large drawing of one of my favourite trees on the rice paper i got from corkartsupplies.
However after a few days i started itching for something new so i abandoned the drawing to one side of the room and began working on my photos, cutting and assembling to make diagrams of my notes, still working around Atlas.
I needed new images and really wanted to get back out to Woodstock so i got my brother Philip (4yr media ncad) to come down with me and bring some cameras. He is teaching me how to use manuals and i’m only really able to use my own simple camera by myself. We headed out at lunch time and spent the afternoon working on photos i hadn’t been able to get using my camera.
I’m still waiting more photos to be developed and i will put up full sized images once i have all.
I also spent some time with my old friend the dictionary. I don’t know why but i love dictionaries, no matter how confused or stuck i get the dictionary always saves me. Its like when you get a block and you brainstorm or make list except your not using your brain, your using dictionary’s much wiser brain, to storm! I made notes and listed the main problems i was trying to solve and then i would look up the word, trust for example. Trust is a key feature in my work as most aspects of a relationship hang on it, you have to trust your partner is not cheating, trust your girlfriend is not bitching about you, trust they think you are as important to them as they are to you, lots of things that you have to trust in, in order to have. On the other hand trust makes you susceptible to all sorts of things. Like if you trust your partner is not cheating it makes it easier for them to cheat. If you don’t trust your partner not to cheat, you cant be their partner. I think its a case of having to weaken your defense mechanisms in order to strengthen your relationships. Its very hard to do, but in the dictionary its not complicated-trust is a word with a definite meaning a reliance or resting of the mind on the integrity, veracity, justice or other sound principal of another .
I started to wonder why would anyone not trust, what is it that stops a person from trusting. I reckon its a defence mechanism, self preservation. So i looked up preservation and that led me to sugar, a preserving agent, it stops bacteria from growing because they can’t live in such sweet environments. So i started looking at creating food stuffs so sweet they couldn’t rot. I ended up looking at sweets and was really interested in making sweet portraits as I am a major fan of Felix Gozalea-Torres, i also would have liked to do more work with food leading from the bread.
But it was not to be, instead i became obsessed with finding corn syrup. I can honestly say corn syrup is not available in Kilkenny and having visited 4 chemists, 2 supermarkets and 3 health food shops i can confidently say Glucose Syrup is also unavailable. Glucose powder can be found in Dunnes and Agave Syrup is in Wongs, as is cream of tartar and for plain glycerin- Tescos. These are the ingredients required for sugar glass.
31/2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
1 cup glucose powder (with water added to make syrup when mixed is 3/4 glass, shrinks when it dissolves in water)
1/2 tsp cream of tartar (which is powder, not cream)
1/2 tsp glycerin (in baking section, chemists or vets stock also)
You must mix all ingredients in a large deep pot and using a confectionary/sugar thermometer (available in allens on high st, along with every baking supply you could ever need!!!) boil until mixture reaches 300’F or hard crack on thermometer. You then have to pour the bubbling liquid onto an oiled or tinfoil covered baking sheet or other suitable surface (i used tupperware). It takes nearly an hour to boil to temp and over an hour for setting.
I haven’t had any problems health and safety wise but these are extremely hight temps, way above boiling point and the molten sugar is like lava so if you did have an accident it would no doubt be horrific so if for some reason you want to try this I would advise removing all kids and pets from the building first and watch the videos on youtube (enter make sugar glass) as this shows exactly how molten sugar gets and tips on pouring and uses. This is a potentially dangerous activity.
On the brightside, here is my first piece of glass.
After the first piece was made i started working on my photos. I was trying to isolate sections within the images, preserving them in sugar.
however this technique is not without its problems!