BH – Unit 1: Part B

Two Week Work Placement at Dream Decor

I did a two week placement with Neil from Dream Decor. I learnt about painting and decoration and about up-cylcing vintage furniture into high end pieces.

Here is my time sheet from working with Neil:

  • Day1 – Learning how to use the sander and the drill
  • Day 2 – Practicing painting on plain sheets of word with primer, undercoat and topcoat
  • Day 3 – Researching designs and finding a suitable piece of wood for my shelf
  • Day 4 – Sanding down the shelf and making sure it was smooth and safe.
  • Day 5 – Applying the undercoat and primer and coming up with the design
  • Day 6 – Painting the design
  • Day 7 – Painting the design
  • Day 8 – Painting and varnishing
  • Day 9 – Taking photos of the shelf and getting feedback from Neil

And here is my finished piece of work:

How this placement developed my skills:

Precision and detail – The shelf design was quite fine and detailed

3D art – This was a large piece that is technically 3D but it was more like working on a 2D painting. However, doing this placement did inspire me to create my unit 2 leadership project.

Working to a brief – The brief here was limited. I was given the task to upcycle an old piece of furniture and I succeeded in that.

Working to a time constraint – This all had to be completed within the 2 week placement.

Multimedia – This wasn’t really a multi-media project, however, it was new for me to create something that had a function as well as being art.

Anxiety about criticism – I got plenty of verbal feedback from Neil along the way.

Virtual Placement With Set And Prop Designer, Izzy Parker

Izzy Parker is a set designer and installation artist. I was lucky to be able to work with her as I wanted to create some installation art of my own and I was able to see how she worked.

I wanted to work with a sculptor or installation artist and I had done some research and sent out some emails to local sculptors:

I found some amazing sculptors and some free workshops that I wanted to attend.

I sent the a version of the following email to some of these institutions:

Dear Sir,
My name is Bethan Howells and I am a sixth form student from Treasure House School in Peckham. Treasure House is a specialist school for young people with anxiety.
I am currently trying to get a qualification in the form of a Gold Arts Award where I am working on a sculpture project that explores drag culture. In order to complete the award, I need to visit practising artists and I was wondering whether I could come to your establishment to complete a case study and talk about sculpture. I would be accompanied by my teacher, Melanie Jones. 
I’ve seen some of your work and it is beautiful, I particularly liked Family Tree because of the body shapes and connectivity.
All the best,

Speller Sculptures – Family Tree

Working with Izzy

Of course, Covid-19 put a stop to all that. All of the sculpture studios closed. Luckily, my art teacher and art therapist were able to set up a virtual placement for me with Izzy Parker. This was a 2 day placement.

This is the email from Izzy to my teachers, Melanie spoke with me and we decided that I would be okay to do the emotional spatial awareness activity if we just focussed on happiness.

Studio Tour:

You can see Izzy’s Studio Tour here if you have my Arts Award Password:

The studio tour.

Some Screenshots from the tour:

Th start of the tour.


Izzy Also sent me an art challenge, this challenge involved making art with materials that could be found in the home and photographing it which was very relevant to my project.

Here are the email challenges that Izzy sent.

The challenge was for emotional spatial design which involved filling out this sensory worksheet:

Example sheet



Sound / Song: The sound that makes me most happy is audiobooks. At the moment I am listening to The Witcher.

Smell: Freshly Cut Grass

Taste: Maryland Cookies

I put the Witcher on my headphones, I sat in the outside where I could smell the grass from the park, and I ate cookies. I let all this take over me and then I started to sculpt with the silk clay. This is what I made:


Izzy said “Looks incredible” and “very impressive manipulation of material” and “Great exploration of form and texture” and “10/10”


This activity was designed to be similar to a 2-day work placement in an art studio. Izzy gave a tour of her workspace, set me a challenge, and gave me some feedback on my work. The challenge to a full day because I had to gather all of the materials, do the prep task, and find a good place to work.

How this placement developed my skills:

Precision and detail – I don’t think my sculpture is very precise of detailed but it was on quite a small scale and it was hard to get precision with the silk clay as it pushes back quite a lot.

3D art – This was another opportunity to work in 3D

Working to a brief – I didn’t exactly follow the brief which is probably the one regret about this project. Melanie asked the school to get me some silk clay in different colours but when it was delivered there was only white clay. This meant that I had to adapt the brief which is also a skill.

Working to a time constraint – This happened at the end of term and I was also putting together work for other subjects, I only had one day to complete Izzy’s challenge.

Multimedia – This was a medium I had never used before, the silk clay was really pleasant to work with and is self-hardening. I’d love to work more with it in future.

Anxiety about criticism – It was very nerve-wracking to send my work to a stranger but I did it.

Unit 1 Part C – Event Reviews

My Portfolio