Saturday, April 10, 2010

Milan Design Week 2010--sustainable materials

During Milan Design Week there is apparently a show called Tuttobene, (click on the link that says "selection of designer, press info and more. there's a list of designers) Tuttobene "presents the work of eleven Dutch Designers under the general umbrella of sustainable design". It seems like it could be applicable research for the sustainable materials project. This article that I have posted is from Core77, I have only posted a shortened version, the whole article is here

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Amy's Opening!


It's at the DCCA at 6pm.

Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts
200 South Madison Street on the Wilmington Riverfront.

Amy's work is super awesome and you should ALL be there to SUPPORT your almost graduating grad!

Admission is FREE.

And, all of you that chose to not accompany suzi, elise and i to the Thomas Mann workshop... MISSED OUT on lots of valuable information on how to make a living as a craft/object design artist. your loss. i hope you all start to take advantage of these FREE opportunities that are offered to you.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Hey guys, I talked to some of my friends around Towson and there is a junior in the photography department that is willing to help us take photos for our Hype project and can get into the studio space.

If anyone wants to be part of this I need to know a.s.a.p! Her name is Amy and she has some lovely work, however; she can only shoot on Sunday from like 12 to 2 or so. Please let me know as soon as possible if you want in, we need to get models and I need to discuss with her what needs to be done for this. The sooner I know the better seeing as I will have to take off work for this.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tedd McDunah

Hi everyone!
If you're interested in recycled materials, check out Tedd McDunah. He's a friend of mine who teaches at ASU (Arizona State).
his blog is here!

Friday, March 26, 2010

SecondLife Survey

Hi all, it's Elizabeth. At the Filthy Fluno lecture last night, Frank, an Education student here at Towson, approached me about a survey he was conducting regarding students and SecondLife. He would be much obliged if any art students involved in the SecondLife universe would take his survey.

Don't forget to pass this on to any other students you may know who have an interest in SecondLife!

post taken from


Thomas Mann will be visiting California University of PA April 6th and 7th.

He will give a lecture on his work April 6th in Duda Hall 103 at 6pm, followed by his famous Design For Survival workshop April 7th in Old Main Chapel (9am-4pm).

This event is free and open to the public. Please contact Jim Bove at (or via Jim'ss crafthaus page) to reserve your spot. Reservations are not required, but we would appreciate knowing how many to expect. Lunch during the workshop will be own your own. The campus and town have many places to eat, or feel free to enjoy your lunchbox on the beautiful campus.

Thomas Mann: Details from the Adventure
An artist tracks the path of his career from the early 70’s to the weird world of NOW.

Thomas Mann has been making his living as a fulltime art professional since he graduated from college in 1970. Best known for his “Techno-Romantic” jewelry designs he eschews the title of jeweler, and prefers the description that he is an artist working in the medium of jewelry. With a degree in technical theatre, set design and lighting, he also invents and builds large public art sculpture and installations. His touring exhibition “STORM CYCLE: An Artist Responds to Hurricane Katrina” is a blend of the many concept and techniques employed in his work.

Since the turn of the millennium, Mann and his production company, Thomas Mann Design Inc., and his gallery, Gallery I/O, both based in New Orleans, have survived the negative economic effects of 911, the death of his wife, Hurricane Katrina and now, this bizarre recession. As a result, he found it necessary to increase his creative output, up the number of events to present and sell his work, begin teaching hands-on workshops, start a new business venture, studioFLUX, and in general get busier than he’s ever been before.

Keeping in mind that the Chinese symbol for chaos means both danger and opportunity, this image driven lecture tracks the progression of events and
experiences that place him at the interesting and challenging crossroads of creativity, age, and semi-celebrity.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hello, Materia World

I'm curating an online exhibition through Crafthaus and you should all consider entering.
Here's the skinny:
- You can only enter the show if you are a member of That being said, a year long membership costs you $20 and gets you a very large craft-social network, space for an online portfolio, prospecti for numerous online and offline exhibitions, the ability to enter any Crafthaus online exhibition for free, video clips, craft forums, etc.
- The exhibition is viewable to the general public (not only Crafthaus members).
- Most exhibitions will cost you at least $30 to enter ... this one is only $20 (well, really, that's for your membership). Even if you don't think your portfolio is spectacular yet, it's okay! Don't be intimidated! JOIN! This is valuable! And ENTER! You might get in! And even if you don't, rejection makes you stronger! I know this (all to well)! DO NOT BE AFRAID.

JOIN HERE. Oddly Wearable forum link.

Here's the info on the show I'm curating (I'm making this easy for you all... you don't even have to click the above links to find info):

OPEN CALL: Oddly Wearable

“Oddly Wearable” is an online exhibition that features Crafthaus members who make non-functional jewelry that questions our society’s need to strive for an ideal. Do you make pieces that inhibit the wearer’s movements? Or have you made something that makes the wearer and/or the viewer feel discomfort? This online exhibition will be a celebration of inquiry and dysfunction.

If you feel that your work fits into this exhibition and you are a Crafthaus member, please apply!

Submission Requirements:

- Each artist may submit up to three pieces for consideration. Each piece may be represented by a full view and a detail (totaling a maximum of six images).
- Please include your name and title of the piece in each file name. (ie: RachelTimmins_Title Goes Here.jpg
- 800pxl maximum dimension in jpg format
- In a word document, please provide your contact information, a few sentences about each piece, the materials used to make each piece and the dimension of each piece (H x W x D).
- Please e-mail all application components to Rachel Timmins (

This exhibition will run on Crafthaus from September 7 - October 7 and will be able to be viewed by the general public (not only Crafthaus members). Entries are due by August 25th.

About the curator:

Rachel Timmins is a Studio Art (Metals Concentration) MFA Candidate at Towson University. She earned her BFA in Metal/Jewelry Design with a Minor in Sculpture from Buffalo State College in 2009. Rachel has been the recipient of numerous awards including status as a Finalist in the Student NICHE Awards, the Jauquet Award at Buffalo State College and the Award For Excellence in Sculpture at Buffalo State College. Her work has been shown in many exhibitions and she is commissioned regularly to make custom works.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Creative Caffeine

Hey everyone! Here is some of the creative caffeine that Jess and I did together. I cut it short because the actual blog post is quite large. If you're interested in seeing the rest of our studies please visit one of our blogs.

Today Jess and I worked together to brainstorm for the One Object, Three Materials project. We sat and talked out what we thought "hype" meant. Here is our resulting bubble chart.

We then spat out ideas for a good half hour on some issues to attend to with out projects. I chose to free-write while Jess chose to stick with the chart. We then selected the ten most inspiring issues and sought to hype them in some way.

Our first issue is that of caffeine addiction, particularly in college and the work environment. As I was on a caffeine buzz at the time, the idea was not hard to stumble upon. I thought we could use a jarring image to bring the drinker's attention to the effects of their actions. What better place for this image than the coffee cup itself? I thought we could design a coffee cozy with the image of bloodshot eyes, as if the coffee were looking at you. I sketched up some eyes and grabbed a starbucks cup from the hour earlier and mocked-up the concept.

Jess had the idea of bringing people's attention to their food waste. She had the same thought of hitting the problem right at home. She thought we could use the jarring image a landfill to paste around the outside of a trashcan that people commonly use to dispose of food waste.

An issue that plagues me, as well as many people I know, is a lack of energy and enthusiasm in the winter. I know that my problem is in a large part due to such a deficiency of vitamin D as I am never outside for a long enough amount of time in the winter. Sunlight is very important to your mental and physical health and it is recommended that a person get at least 20 minutes of sunlight per day. I began thinking how I could draw attention to this fact and then I thought of the stakes that are used in potted plants to remind the owner of the plants' needs. I thought I could use this same method to remind people of their own needs.

Jess's next idea had to do with person health as related to inhalation, may it be germs or smoke. This piece bring attention to the fact that how you maintain yourself affects not only you but the people around you.

Our next issue had to do with energy overuse. It deals with the unnecessary use of lighting. It is your natural reaction, upon walking into a dark room, to flip on the light switch. This happens even when the lighting isn't necessary. This object makes the energy user think before switching on the light. They must maneuver into a box instead of just running their hands along the wall to switch on the light. This extra bit of effort will prevent the user from switching on the light out of habit.

This is Jess's idea to hype the fact that war is all around us. She thought to use an image that both makes the viewer think of war and play. Pairing two concepts that don't commonly coexist. reduced rates.

Professional Photography for Hype

Hey guys, I used to do a lot of Photography and I know it is quite expensive to get your work professionally photographed. I was thinking since a lot of us seem to be doing wearable pieces maybe we could get together for the photography. We could talk to some of the upper level photography majors that have access to the studio spaces in school and have the equipment and use the same models to split up some of the costs.

good project documentation

These are images from a student project by Adrienne Wiegmann. Make your documentation good!

Hype! artists

Some Hype! artists to look up. Post images of your findings to this blog.
Be a Design Team.

Lex Drewinsky

Lorraine Schneider
Drew Scorsonne
Modern Dog
Woody Purel
James Victory

Monday, February 22, 2010

Design Revolution Panel Discussion + Book Party

Thursday, March 11 Events

Design Revolution: Join the Debate Panel Discussion
6:30pm | Falvey Hall

Exploring Materials: Creative Design for Everyday Objects, Book Party
Leidy Atrium and Falvey Hall, Brown Center, MICA, 1301 Mt. Royal Ave 21217

Design Revolution: Join the Debate Panel Discussion
6:30pm | Falvey Hall

This free panel is a part of the Design Revolution Road Show, an exhibition installed inside a 1972 Airstream trailer that presents products from Pilloton’s new book Design Revolution: 100 Products that Empower People, written by Pilloton.

Panelists: Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller of Project H Design, a non-profit dedicated to bringing product design to those who need it most; John Bielenberg, founderof Project M, an immersion program that inspires young designers, writers, and photographers to do work that can make a difference; and Julie Lasky, editor of Design Observer’s Change Observer section, which covers socially aware design. Moderator: Architecture/design writer Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson.

Exploring Materials: Creative Design for Everyday Objects, Book Party
Ina Alesina and Ellen Lupton

Here are few words about the Book:
Exploring Materials focuses on how product designers can use physical forms and materials in a direct, active, hands-on way. Sketching ideas with a pencil or rendering them with computer software are useful experiences, but there is no substitute for confronting physical materials in the flesh. Foam, mesh, wood, plastic, and wire each have behaviors and properties that suggest different types of structure, surface, and connection. In place of the abstraction of pure volumes or the whimsy of “virtual” objects, this book encourages designers to make and test real objects in a studio environment.

Materials are like words. The richer your design vocabulary, the more solutions you can see and express. There are no good or bad materials. Each one has its place, consequences, and cost. Understanding materials is essential to design. Some designers come to the profession with a commonsense knowledge of materials, while others have only thought about their decorative properties. Use this book to begin looking at materials with new eyes. Ignore what you already know, and find out how you can coax cardboard, foam, cloth, metal, or rope into surprising structures with valuable functions.

At the core of the book is a visual glossary of thirty-four materials, organized both to inspire and to inform. Although most of these materials are commonplace (rather than “smart” substances or exotic mutants), each is packed with potential ideas. This section presents everyday uses of the materials, pointing out the special ways each one functions as a structure, surface, fastener, and more. Also featured are experimental uses of these forms and substances, showing how designers from around the world have exploited their characteristics in inventive ways. The book concludes with a section on making it real, moving beyond the prototype to create a product that can be manufactured and marketed.

Exploring Materials speaks to a cultural shift in the design world. Many designers are thinking critically and creatively about materials—about where they come from, how they function, and where they end up at the end of a product’s life cycle. There is growing interest across society in physically making things and thus directly engaging with objects and the environment. The revitalization of craft has helped revitalize design. Exploring Materials embraces this new wave of thinking and making.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I came across something you all might want to look at:

1. Amy Tavern's Flickr galleries. -- ones you might find especially interesting: wood, felt, paper

2. Abigail Williams -felt pieces

A Fabric Place

I found a fabric store that is local to the Towson/Baltimore area! It's owned by a cute little old man and they have a giant selection of fabrics, threads and buttons. It's located at 6324 Falls Road, Baltimore, MD, 21209. They have great hours: Mon and Thurs: 10am-9pm, Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat: 10am-5pm.

If you're looking for faux fur or faux leather, this place isn't for you. However, they had just about everything else.

here's to hoping everyone is more prepared for class next week,

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ingeo Biopolymer - It's cool!

Here's a material you all might be interested in...Ingeo Biopolymer! It can be ordered through suppliers, via the old-fashioned method of calling in and placing an order with a real human being. Archaic, right?

But the company claims it has engineered a polymer that can stand against the more hazardous, barely biodegradable versions that have been commonly used in the past. There are clear and opaque versions, both of which are availible for sale as pellets for melting. The melted polymer must then be used with an injection mold.

Though I haven't used this material myself, it may interest others in the class. The site does give samples of products already on the market that use their polymer.

Enjoy! The link is below.


Monday, February 15, 2010


Here are some images of the work of Jennifer Trask. She has an interesting way of looking at natural materials. There is alot more at her website. She is very prolific.

Here are some site to jog your brains about minerals. As you peruse, what strikes you? what do you notice? What attracts your attention? Where does your mind go? Make notes, keep sketches.
Here's an intro from our friends at Wikipedia.
B and L Minerals has some good definitions and pictures.
Moh's Scale of Hardness ranks the hardness of materials from talc to diamonds. The steps between materials are not equal!

Rock versus Mineral
Where do pigments come from?
How are pigments used?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Exhibition Opp

Many of you are considering the social/sustainable aspects of your is a call for entries that seems pretty accessible.

Enter with new work or previously made work but ENTER!

"Do you create artwork that promotes social change? Is your artwork made with recycled goods? Do you create artwork that addresses a social issue for which you feel strongly? Does your work encourage community activism?contact ".

Event: Call for Entries: Social Change Exhibition
What: Exhibit
Start Time: 01 March at 01:00
End Time: 01 March at 23:00
Where: Towson ARTS Collective 406 York Rd. Lower Level

To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below:

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hi guys! You should ALL check this out:
TU Research Grant Proposal Information: DEADLINE Feb.12th
Office of University Research, Room 226, 7800 York Rd. (410)704-4494

Write a project proposal including a summary, key literature, goals, methods, budget, project timeline, bibliography, etc.
You could recieve a max of $500.00!
Find out all the information at -TU undergraduate research

there's also the small project award proposal for $100.00. I don't know much about it but i'm going to look into it.

Tagua- vegetable ivory

Naya Nayon is a supplier of tagua nut or vegetable ivory, an alternative to ivory. Ted Meuhling used it in the Design For A Living World project with The Nature Conservancy.


Bones are rigid organs that form part of the endoskeleton of vertebrates. They function to move, support, and protect the various organs of the body, produce red and white blood cells and store minerals. Bone tissue is a type of dense connective tissue. Because bones come in a variety of shapes and have a complex internal and external structure they are lightweight, yet strong and hard, in addition to fulfilling their many other functions. One of the types of tissue that makes up bone is the mineralized osseous tissue, also called bone tissue, that gives it rigidity and a honeycomb-like three-dimensional internal structure. Other types of tissue found in bones include marrow, endosteum and periosteum, nerves, blood vessels and cartilage. There are 206 bones in the adult human body[1] and 270 in an infant.[2]

[From our friend at wikipedia]

Eric Silva

Eric Silva is an original in the field. Check out his work. He usually exhibits at the ACC show so go and see the work in person. There is nothing like the real thing. Support artists and handmade work. Eric's prices are reasonable. Take your friends and your parents to the ACC show.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hi All!
I am so stoked for this class! I think it'll be a really great time. To help kick it off, I've got some really great links for you all to go to for some materials (some are related to this first project and some may not be). So, here you go: (if you want Merino wool, this is a really great supplier!)

Enjoy surfing these links and I'll see you all in class.

Signing off,


Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Welcome to the spring 2010 Materials: Concept + Process course!
This is HQs for the course. Check here for lots of great resources and tips.
And be an author.....
Cheers to a great course and semester!
Jan + Megan