This week I started my library research --- The Second World War through the eyes of the children of Britain. I found a lot of useful information in those books. Children would be affected by all that the war brought --- evacuation both to the country and overseas, gas masks, blackouts, food shortages, rationing, the Blitz: one in ten of those killed in bombing raids was a child. Yet despite many children suffering grievously from being torn from their families, many who were children during the Second World War look back on it today as the most exciting time in their lives --- years when they had new and undreamed of experiences.
The Second World War put children centre stage from the first. Even before war was declared in September 1939, the imminent threat of air raids had already transformed the lives of hundreds and thousands of British children by scooping them from their city homes and transporting them into the countryside.
At first I want to research some events just about the 'LOSS & GRIEF'.But through reading those books I found that children are one of the special victim in WW2. So I changed my research direction to the 'The Second World War through the eyes of the children of Britain.
This week I kept reading those books and concentrated on the 'Meaning of the objects'.
What is the power of the objects?
Historical objects which we have somehow torn out of their interpretation, relevance and how to give them visual life in the exhibition. Through the book ---" The Power of the Object " I found that the toys from war times have some emotions of those children during the WW2 and it also may represent some stories. After I finish reading this book, I went to the Museum of Childhood and found some really good reference in the Museum. Even those living in areas of stability improvise guns, spears, swords and shields from what they can find. Children's apparent enthusiasm for manufactured or improvised toys reflecting violent activity revives the philosophical and scientific questions of the eighteenth century about the innocence of children, and whether they are influenced by nature (hereditary traits) or nurture (their environment), which includes playthings and their adult mentors. And the most important thing is those toys in the war time were used as objects to help the children to learn the ART OF MODERN WARFARE.
The process tutorial made me realized that I was slack after the engagement activity. I only got merit for this tutorial.It means I can do much better than right now. The first problem is my sketchbook. The sketchbook looks a little bit dull because of the layout. And compare to my other sketchbook before that makes sense .I can not lie that I was not that conscientious than before. Another problem is my research was not that deep enough.
I made a decision. I started a new sketchbook. And this time I want to really consider the layout of my sketchbook. And take the advice from the tutor try to make my research more deep and rich.
Keep redoing my sketchbook and nothing happened.
Review the sketchbooks of Unit 7 that students done before. It really reminds me how sketchbooks should look like. Start to draw more illustration in my new sketchbook.
I went to the Museum of Childhood again. I tried to find the reference from 1940s-1950s which is the time of the Second World War. and I found a lot of interesting toys from that time. Most of toys from that time were handmade. And a lot of toys reflected the effect of the WW2. and I ask myself a question " What's the meaning of the toys and what effect that toys can bring for children in the war time''.
Talked to the tutor again because I felt a kind of loss about my research. From the tutorial that I found the supplies and the handmade thing is quite interesting. So after tutorial I started to think about the supplies in the war time. Take the suggestion from the tutor I went to Imperial War Museum. This museum is about the objects from the war time. There are a lot of objects recorded the reference from a sad time. But my point is about the children. and it is not that helpful.But on the other hand, it made me really realize that how terrible the war was.The destroyed objects really reflected the situation.
I watched the video called the children in WW2. I am really sad with Violet Uphill's sister Rosemary dieing. Very sad indeed.It records how children felt in the war time and be sent away from their parents. It made me think about if something can make children stop feeling abandoned.And makes them happy. And that exactly how toy works.
I kept watching the video that about the children in the WW2. And In the first three days of official evacuation in Britain, 1.5 million people were moved, including school-children, mothers with young children, pregnant women, disabled persons, and teachers and other 'helpers'. Children who been sent away called EVACUEE. It also reflect the feeling of children.Which was sad.
Reminds me an artist whose name is Chiharu Shiota. She is a fine art artist. Her performance art is based on the memories of her childhood. She experienced a big fire when she was a little girl and she saw her own piano reduced to ashes in the fire. She gives the objects a kind of meaning and makes it meaningful. This inspired me maybe I can create something for children make them feel less loss and more happy.
Today I realized an important thing that I might lose the 'Grief ' during my research and my research is more about 'loss'. I made a decision to create a playful jewelry for children to make them feel happy and remain them of their family.
Tutorial about my design sketch. My first idea use ceramics to make body mould and children can put the clay into the mould and create their own little doll and draw their parents.But the mould and separately body piece seem a little bit creepy. It might scared the children and the tutor showed me some german toys and how they works.I think that was really helpful for my design.So after the tutorial I went to some toy shops and find the reference on the internet and I changed my design.
Today I found that there is a kind of toy in china which used to be used as performance. It is called shadow play. Shadow play is a kind of performance which used the light and shadow as the media. People will make little body and draw the details on it and then play it with light and shadow. This really inspired me and I decided to put this technique into my final design.
Signed off my final design.
The whole day in the metal workshop. It was really exciting today because I finally got to know how to solder a ring ! There was nothing excited than saw two parts of brass soldered together! I record all the process of how to solder a ring into my sketchbook just in case if I forgot how to do it.
keep working in the metal work shop.
Today when I was soldering in the workshop I made a mistake. Because of the too much heat on the brass I accidentally melted down one of my ring. This is a really significative experience and next time I think it can be prevented.
Almost finished my final work. But still need some talking with the tutor about some details. It needs to be perfect.
Today I talked to tutor about my final work. And some details I made looks like cheap made and it needs to be more delicate .such as the wire and the boots. So I went to the shop and bought the chain to instead the wire and made delicate feet for the body.
Again talked to tutor about the surface of the work and we both agreed that shinny is wrong. Because shinny represent clean and new,but my main ideal is about something old and represent the sadness of the war time and I want it can have some texture on it. So I went to workshop and do the test. I used 3 same pieces of brass and try different ways to heat it and they turned to be 3 different texture ( reference in my sketchbook).But then I realized a serious problem. It will melt down the other parts.It happened before.I am really rejoice that I have that fail before or I will destroy my whole thing for changing texture! Although it couldn't work.but at least I tried.
Start another test. My idea was based on the playful and handmade! It means children will use clay to create their own parents. So I bought two different light clay (model clay and light paper clay) to do the test. I used 3 different shape of brass to imitate my final work's parts and covered them with the two different clays.It both air-dry 24 hours which was much longer than I thought. And the result of this test is not what I expected. The first problem is it took too much time to dry and another problem was one of the clay is hard to break down from the brass and another it easy to break down during the drying process. This really puts me in an awkward situation.
Talked to the tutor about my situation and I decided just keep my idea reference on the face creating . Because it's about the idea it doesn't need to be the whole body to be made.and make it more like a jewelry than a toy.
Finished my final work and started to think about the photo shooting.