RMO – Unit 1: Part B

2 Week Placement with Dream Decor

I completed a two-week work placement with Neil from Dream Decor. I learnt a lot about interior design and about the art of decorating. As a final project I upcycled an old and run down table for my family.

During the placement I learnt:

  • How to paint and decorate furniture to a professional standard
  • How to use tools like a lathe and a drill
  • How to upcylcle furniture
  • How to include electrical circuits in a piece of furniture
  • How to work safely
  • How to work with others

Here is my time sheet from working with Neil:

  1. Day One – Learning how to use the sander and the drill
  2. Day Two – Practicing painting on plain sheets of word with primer, undercoat and topcoat
  3. Day 4 – Choosing a table and making a plan
  4. Day 5 – Taking the old table apart and sanding it down
  5. Day 6 – Applying the undercoat and primer and coming up with the design
  6. Day 7 – Painting the topcoat and showing other students what I had done
  7. Day 8 – Making the projection
  8. Day 9 – Putting everything together
  9. Day 10 – Taking photos of the table and tidying everything up.

Here are pictures from my placement explaining what I did:

Me learning about painting, lettering and drying
This old table was all run down and damaged. I learnt about using a power sander, heat treatment and about applying an undercoat of primer before painting the final colour.
The final colours. I was making this to a brief which I learnt from Neil. I made this for my family and Macfincham is a combination of the names of the people in my family.
The legs and the top of the table as separate parts
I had to learn how to attach the legs of the table securely to the top part.

Here is my finished table ready to be taken home, in th background you can see some of the other products made by Neil’s company and students doing work placements.
I enlisted the help of others to help finish my project! i learnt how to delegate tasks and how to explain to other people what they needed to do.
Part of the table included a light projection, this is my see through drawing and the electrical cables and battery that I used.

The projection lit up.
The underside of the table top.

How did this help with my fashion project and to develop me as an artist?

This was quite a different project but it still helped me. It taught me about tool safety and about how to create an aesthetically pleasing finished product. Because of Coronavirus, I couldn’t do my photography project how I wanted to so I am glad that I had the opportunity to make work in a studio with others, to practice tool and electrical safety and to use hands on techniques. Neil had said that he would help me to build some sets for my photography project but because of the schools closed, I didn’t get chance.

One thing Neil did help with was to fix a broken light fitting for the studio lights. For this we had to use solder. I don’t have a picture but I do have this message from my photography teacher:

Virtual Art Placement with Set and Prop Designer, Izzy Parker

Some of Izzy’s Work

Because of Covid-19, I needed to complete my placement virtually. Luckily my teachers were able to set up an online placement with the artist Izzy Parker. You can see Izzy’s website here.

Izzy makes sets and props and works with photographers so looking at her studio gave me lots of inspiration for my project. Because she had adapted her studio after Covid-19, it also helped me to learn how to adapt.

Izzy sent me a video tour of her studio which you can watch: click here.

Some Screenshots from the tour:

When the virus closed everything, Izzy moved her whole studio back to her house. She had to downsize a lot and totally redesigned a room in her house to keep all of her equipment. She has had to adapt to working at home just like I had to adapt my project. It was interesting to see the range of tools and equipment that she has and also interesting to see how much work is completed on the computer.

Izzy’s Challenge

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 is the challenge she sent, it is one that she uses with other students too. This is a video not a screenshot so you can watch it here.

My work for the challenge

Izzy’s Feedback on my work

Izzy said “This is the best tree I have seen!” She has done this challenge with a lot of people so that is quite a compliment!

She also said “Very good structure, shows strong evidence of following the brief very well. Good choice of colours and great precision in cuts of buds and shoots. 10/10”

Final Thoughts

This activity was designed to be similar to a days 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. I sent her a thank you as part of my unit 2 project, taking over the school newsletter.

The first thing I learnt doing this challenge was that it was really hard! It took a lot longer than I thought and it was really tricky to make something that looked good. I wanted to use paper and plastic to create my own fashion dress for this project and so working with paper in this way was really helpful, I’d have love to had used techniques like this when making my dress.

It also showed me how much work has to go into every prop and piece of scenery in a photoshoot. Izzy made this challenge for people who were stuck at home in lockdown and it was important that it used materials that were around the house. I had to do this when I did my photoshoot. I couldn’t just rely on my teachers to get me everything I needed, I had to adapt and use what was to hand. It just goes to show that you can still be artistic even if your resources are limited.

Unit 1 Part C

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