Project Book: Browse through the research and prototyping

Gallery: A series of photographs providing detailed views of the objects

Film: A short film explaining the concept behind the work

Time & Distance: Lead Crystal & Ceramic Vessels

Why do we own the objects we own? What do our objects mean to us? What do we mean to our objects? For my final year at Edinburgh College of Art: University of Edinburgh I investigated what we own, what is it we covet and why. Through the research 2 strong themes emerged: Firstly, our objects are representation of specific periods or significant events in our lives. Secondly, our objects represent both ourselves and the links we have with others. Through producing two series of lead crystal and ceramics vessels I've attempted to embody these objects with the results of that research.

Lead Crystal Vessels: Time

As we move through our lives we accumulate memories. As more memories are added they begin to coalesce and interfere with each other, complicating and corrupting themselves. Through a series of five object iterations I've taken a symbol of celebration (a lead crystal champagne flute) and have complicated the stem so that the geometry produces an increasingly complex interaction.

Prisms of crystal are created and distorted through the series. They are visible through the sand-blasted surface. The viewer can glimpse within the object by looking through the only parts of the glass which are clear: The polished base, the edges of each fin and the rim. Much like the memories we hold within us we can see them but we cannot gain access. They sit dormant within, being altered and influenced by other events and those yet to come.

Ceramic Vessels: Distance

The research undertaken this year clearly showed that our objects, for the most part, represent the owner. In an era of mass produced objects however how does each owner singularise their objects so that, for instance, their iPhone is theirs and only theirs? Through the research it became obvious that owned objects fundamentally represent 'Me' and to an ever diminishing degree 'You', 'Us' and finally 'Them'.

This series of ceramic vessels is therefore designed to represent each of those four states.

'Me' is a simple conical cup from the outside but with an internal ellipsoidal core. Cast from a 6-part mould it is by far the most complicated mould to produce the simplest form. Representative of outward appearances not always providing a complete picture upon initial inspection.

'You' is a faceted vessel holding the same volume as 'Me' but without the inner core. Faceting the surface plane allowed me to marry not only the ability for our nearest and dearest to reflect back to us in myriad ways but to mirror what was the most commonly identified treasured possession: The engagement ring.

'Us' is a twelve times repeating fluted vessel mirroring both 'Me' and 'You'. Multiple forms melded into one object it is geometrically stronger than the previous two vessels. That accords with the research where respondents identified 'Us' as a very strong and stable unit.

Moving from 'Us' to 'Them' respondents chose to identify 'Us' as a strong cohesive unit. Anything that wasn't identified as 'Me', 'You' or 'Us' was seen as 'Them' and seen as 'other'. That disassociation elicited some fairly strong responses within respondents. 'Them' was seen as threatening, coercive or dangerous. The 'Them' vessel was therefore designed as a copy of 'Me' but without that inner core from which we are able to draw as individuals. Across it's surface is imposed a constricting volume carved out to signify the oppression felt when confronted by an unknown quantity.