The ‘Knowledge Through Making’ exhibition (held at Dundee Contemporary Arts in June, 2010) took forward some of the insights gleaned from the major exhibitions ‘Future Voices: Celebrating Diversity’ (July, 2007) and ‘Future Craft’ (March, 2010). A key challenge in this exposition of visual research was striking a balance between text and image(s), to ensure the text described the visual work in terms of new knowledge that had been generated through the process of making, while also explaining a bit about how the designer generates sparks of creativity.
The participant designers in the exhibition were directly and indirectly related to LV’s Mindful Inquiry study. Drummond Masterton was one of the exhibitors: a trained jeweller and metalwork designer whose work draws inspiration from landscape and geometry, combined with in-depth knowledge about 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) milling machines. He uses these complex industrial devices as a craft tool to create one-off artefacts with intricate surface textures and patterns which take hundreds of hours to produce, subverting the intended purpose of the machine, which is to speed up product manufacture.
In his workshop he has direct access to various digital production tools, which enable him to develop a unique relationship with software and hardware without having to use subcontractors to fabricate his designs. By using this equipment on a daily basis, (prototyping proficiently and voraciously,) he is in a unique position to understand the aesthetic possibilities of a wide range of software parameters and cutting tools from a craft’s perspective. Together these factors offer him extremely fine control and a unique insight into the sensitivities of the machine allowing him to transform mathematical code into exciting unpredictable metal objects.
Drummond’s interest in applied surface pattern is drawn from more traditional processes such as engraving. Using the machines precise control he can develop extremely complex layered combinations of marks unachievable by hand processes. These techniques allow him to create a diverse range of surface qualities that communicate the creative potential in utilising industrial manufacturing processes as a craft tool.
Also in the spotlight for this exhibition were the designers Tim Parry-Williams, Hazel White, myself, Geoffrey Mann, Georgina Follett, Frances Stevenson and Lara Scobie.