Thursday, 13 October 2011

Peaks and troughs

I've had a couple of days of alternating successes and frustrations.  On Wednesday morning I went to the textile workshop to print using my repeat screen.  I cleaned the table, rolled out my fabric, set up the binder, and attached the squeejee to the frame.  It was a screen I had not used before ... oh dear!  I had emulsed and exposed it with my design, but when I went to attach it to the mechanical printer, I discovered one of the four screw fixings was missing.  No matter, I thought, the other 3 will be enough.  But when I tried to put the screws in, I discovered the thread on each screwhole was completely spent.  So I spent the rest of the morning finding Geoff, from the wood workshop, and waiting for him to repair the screen.  This took the rest of the morning, so I achieved completely nothing.  But I can give credit where it's due - Geoff made a fantastic repair to the frame (all 4 fixings now working perfectly) and made something that was completely defective, into a fully functioning screen that will be useful to everyone in the class.  So I was really hacked off, having wasted my morning.

Then in the afternoon, we had the last Private Lives, Public Issues lecture.  The tutors were giving really good analysis about where this module could take people who wanted to continue into their 3rd year,talking about final year project, MA and even on to doctorate level.  I have found it a very useful module, and it has dramatically improved my critical reasoning and writing, but because I'm an art student, I think I can do more focussed modules next semester.  I was very flattered when the tutors specifically approached me when I left, to find out whether I would be continuing.  I know I am one of the students who is more likely to contribute in class, and because the subject was structured in a way that enabled us to link it back to our personal experiences, I often had something to say.  It was very encouraging to be wanted to participate in the next class, particularly as I had never studied anything like it before.

Then this morning I went to the Pattern & Meaning class, and my print went swimmingly well.  The screen fixed perfectly to the mechanical printer, the black fabric gummed down well, and I printed with opaque binder in two layers, to give a confused overprint.  The opaque binder is more difficult to use as it clogs the screen easily but all went well. 

Mind you, there is friction building up between our 2nd year class and the 1st year Surface Design class who have the room the day before us.  We are totally fed up of how they leave the print tables covered in glue, binder and general debris, and the state in which they leave the sinks and emulsion room.  They are getting through huge quantities of materials, which means there are insufficient materials for our class.  Significantly, today we ran out of opaque binder (again) and (again) the outside drain where we clean screens, was blocked.  I think they are mixing vast quantities of binder, then when they don't need it all, they just throw it down the drain ... and flood us. 

Lauren, Mollie and I had booked the repeat print table tonight, and cleaned it between us, and people in this class kept asking if they could use our table as well as their own.  We kept saying no, and then someone blocked the sink with red binder.  Mollie asked them to clear it, and all of them denied responsibility.  So I ticked them off, stating we were all sick of cleaning up after them, and their excessive use of class materials.   4 different people in my class have each spent an hour clearing up the first years' mess, so that the technicians don't end up with it.  We are also fed up of their wastefulness. Surprisingly, no-one could make eye contact with me.  But it really has got to the stage where if they waste our materials again, or if I clean up after them again, I'm going to make a formal complaint.

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