Reflective analysis and summary of Designer-Maker

Designer Makers are described as people who design and produce pieces of work on a small scale, onto a large scale, working as an independent or small company. Designer Maker is like hidden art; it promotes and supports designer makers who design and make functional items. This could be items like furniture, ceramic, clothing or textile. Lindsay Bloxam is a Designer Maker who studied embroidery textile at University. However, after she finished her studies, Bloxam explore lighting and developed her career into lighting designing. This enables Bloxam to grow and into a designer maker. In addition, this helped her to develop her career by producing rare pieces of work in large building projects for companies.

For a Designer Maker, the process of making the item can take time as they experiment with different materials and also collaborate with other designers to learn new skills.  For instance, both Sophie Standing and Anthony Russell collaborated together to create textured pictures. Standing has a tendency to use various mediums like ceramics with textile and create images of animals and insects. Russell, on the other hand, uses photographs to capture images in Kenya of animals and combines the images together. With this collaboration, Designer Makers are learning “The process of learning has been my biggest source of inspiration,” (Griffith. A, 2011) from each other to create textured surface.

An aspect that Designer Makers explore is Play Making. Many Designer Makers use everyday objects as well as different techniques and skills to shape their materials. ‘The whole process of making something can inform the conceptual… I am very particular in that I start with an idea and then render that idea in the best way possible.’ (Cushway. D, 2011) through adding, subtracting and transforming objects.  This enables the Designer Makers to produce unique products like furniture. Play Making is a key aspect of designer maker, as it exposes a variety of processes and materials to experiment with. Tom Price utilise play to experiment with textures and colour on chairs. With the use of play making encourages more designer makers to be freer with their work.

There are many designers who are self-employed and hired to work to different companies on particular assignment.  They are called Freelance Designer Makers. This is useful for the freelance designer maker as it benefits the freelancer’s business plus making the designer makers well known for their work. Susie MacMurry also a freelancer and worked with different companies like WWF. MacMurry is known to explore materials, form and context to encourage ideas of both physical and cultural association in her work. As a Designer Maker, you can explore any type of subject matter. It could be very personal or could be perhaps the idea of food or time. Susie MacMurry’s work explores the history of a space and merges the history of the space, as well as the relationship between people and the place.

There is constant ‘struggle for the heart of craft, and it remains one of considerable importance, since it is a fight over the ideology of time itself.’ (Charny. D, 2011, page 164) A Designer maker goes through a lot of concepts and ideas to get to the finishing product.  This encourages students to become Designer Makers.  Being independent or a freelancer enables Designer Makers to discover a variety of materials and techniques without having a specification to follow. It opens opportunities to see distinctive products that might not be seen in high retail shops.

Reference

1.            Charny. D, (2011), Power of Making, South Kensingston, V&A Publishing

2.            Cushway. D, (2011), Extra/ Ordinary, Library of congress Cataloging- in-Publication data, Duke University press

3. Giffith.A, 2011, ‘Made on Earth- Tools of Artistry’, Copyright © 2004-2013 Maker Media, Inc, Available at: http://makezine.com/magazine/make-25/made-on-earth-tools-of-artistry/ , Accessed at 17th November 2013

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