My Reflection of Last Module; A Brief Context Map

context map



  • How did you feel about your performance in the assessment? Can you identify any key learning points for your practice?


I think I’ve prepared the ppt properly, but my introduction words about all the research, concept and making process should’ve be more clearly.


About the content, the main problem was my final pieces were lack of innovative idea. To be more specific, the repetition form and sphere shape I used could be made into big piece and suitable for large amount repeated, however, my final pieces were small and with very normal wearability.


Key learning points:

  1. Be sensitive in choosing colors
  2. Using different ways to translate the lizard skin texture
  3. Using machine and handmaking properly
  4. Consider innovative form and wearabilities



  • What did you learn from observing/discussing your peers’ presentations?


  1. A complete development process with “research-sketches-experiments-sample and model making-product” is the most important thing. In other words, the content is No.1. I think Yichen’s presentation was impressive and her content was very complete, she arranged her sketches of jewellery and wearabilities, making process and development very well. She also used short film, gif images with sound to perform her works, which mobilized not only our vision sense, but also hearing, to understand her work better.
  2. The content of ppt should be clear and logical, with enough images support. Haochen’s presentation have a lot of images to show us what kind of plastic she did experiments with, and explained how she made the choices. Xingxing’s presentation has very consistent photos recorded her working process carefully.
  3. A clear state of the ppt pages is necessary.
  4. A designer should pay attention on visual quality of everything, not only jewellery pieces, but also the presentation ppt.



  • What is your action plan as you move into the next developmental stage – JEW7020 Creative Explorations –


  1. Drawing more sketches of texture and colors. This time I would consider the relationship between the color of a whole pieces and a single piece. And I want to draw some textures which could be more suitable for the new 3D shape.
  2. Using 3D print to make new sphere shells(whole piece, holy, gradient size)
  3. Drawing and building models to consider the wearabilities.
  4. Experiment on knitting on the surface of the holy shells, developing the surface texture.
  5. Still using universal milling machine to make the connectors, and casting with liquid rubber, adjust the size.
  6. Do more research on the wearabilities.








Sketch1: Thinking about build a new 3D model for next stage development

Since last module finished, I’ve slowed down and thought about my action plan. Meanwhile, we are having a new module so that everyone has an opportunity to make a complete contextual map, in which form I could be more clear about what is the final looking of my project as I expect.

I’ll post another blog to talk about my reflection about the last module and a brief of my next plan. Here these sketches were included.

In my plan, I would like to change my sphere shells into a more complicated shape, which could have more space to make tactility design on the surface, I could apply the 3D print technology more deeply as well.

I start to draw some sketches of the new model, here is the first way.


Artist Research: Lucy Mcrea—Inspiring me on wearability

During last module, I did research on an artist: Bart Hess, who inspired me to think and explore more on translating lizard skin through the language of jewellery.

Now this artist I’m talking about is Bart Hess’s good partner, Lucy Mcrea. Their work inspired me on different point. Lucy Mcrea’s artworks always fully use body, and have different wearing ways. Her wide use of materials and methods helped me re-think about my project.




In my project, my works are based on the repetition of the basic elements. Observing Lucy Mcrea’s works, repetition method has been applied a lot. Learning form her works, I think that extending the piece size into as big as covering the whole body could build a strong visual sense.


Her project “Power Room” gave me some inspiration of how to display a series of works.


There are more links of website about her works, my research on this artist are mainly from these interviews, dialogues and her original videos.

Shed skin experiment: color and rebirth

I used several ways to colored the shed skin, there are dry color powder, acrylic colors and nail polish colors.

I mixed the dry colors with liquid rubber, and attached to the shed skin, make sure the liquid is completely attached to the shed skin. when they were dry, the shed skin were flexible again to some degree and touches like skin. According to the experiment, this could be a way to reborn the skin and color them.

I tried to attach these shed skin on the metals surface, and apply this way onto the jewellery pieces.





Paintings for vacuum heat print and texture making

I drew this patterns based on lizard skins color palette and texture with different ways and materials. Then I translate these paintings on the baked-white shells as the basic color covering.

Last time, I found that drawing on the fabric which was attached to the paint board, then get rid of the fabric after painting, it would leave a tactile texture which looks and touches like reptile skin. So I used this way to paint and made the texture on the jewellery.













Starting experiment on reptile shed skin & research on shed skin art

Recently I’ve started to deal with the shed skin of lizard and snake, because lizard shed skin is much harder to collect than snake’s, so I started with snake shed skin firstly.

Before the experiments on the shed skin, I did some research on the artworks with this material, there are few results now.

Here is an work with shed skins.

(Textile Art – mixed media & shed snake dress – dress sculpture; fiber art // Louise Richardson)




And also there are some handmade crafts made of shed skin.

(Real Snake Skin Shed Glass Terrarium Necklace by PixieShards)





Outdoors research: Posters on the wall out of Birmingham Library gave me an inspiration of making “skinlike pattern”

Last time I made this pattern with software, using the picture of part of lizard skin. Yesterday when I when to Birmingham library, I noticed some posters on the wall have some association with the pattern I made before, and it have better and higher visual quality.

gekco foot texture1-4

These posters are for Birmingham City Council’s “Big Art Project”, from artist Nilupa Yasmin “sheka, to learn”(2016-2017).

Using stripes to cut and recombine an original picture could make out a pattern and keep  the color palette, I used the same way before, but after observing, I think using original pictures which have clearer objects and different colors inside would have a better result.

Here are the posters photos.























Artist Research: Bart Hess

My research on Bart Hess started from material exploration.

Review what I did so far, I’ve already led my project work into a product making stage. However, the product now is still not innovative. I analysis my whole work, in my opinion, the most important part I’ve missed is pushing the translated skin into product stage. In other word, I need to carry on this material development. A tactile, high visual quality, could be applied into product translated skin should be developed.

So far, the soft translated skin making were only experimented with silica rubber, resin and acrylic, but only the rubber one is more proper to be applied into product. As my project is around lizard skin, biological visual feeling is important for my design, but it wasn’t shown much so far. I believe doing more work from this point would push my works into a more innovative state.


lizard skin

Bart Hess is “The material mutator and artist on futuristic fur, latex skin and freaky feelings“.                                                                                   ——-From an interview on DAZED

I do research on this artist, and focus on his idea and material making.

About his making process, I could see a lot of information on his web in Vimeo, he uses video to show us the innovative creating record. He explained his making process through another innovative way: video. Video itself is not an innovative form, but the point is the content of a video.


Work With Me People Part III (from Bart Hess on Vimeo)

There are several artist interview website show their interest on him as well. Through the interview, I could learn about his ideas and attitudes towards art and design.


Another article was especially taking about his black translate skin, which was “Work with me People” project. We could read this in Dezeen.











Pictures are from another interview of this artist on ONTOUR


Product making record: Try another color pattern

Based on the experiment I did, I drew a new pattern and adjust it by software. This 3D vacuum heat print would show better result with higher contrast and saturation color. Also, the machine would turn all the color more purple. So I adjusted the color into a state which more fit the machine’s colors setting.


Still, this pattern was inspired by the lizard skin.  I made some color palette from those skins.


For this product, this color step would not be the last step. The printed pattern comes first, then I will use another way to make tactile texture on the shell surface. When I painted on the textile fabric on the paint board, I got rid of the fabric after the acrylic dried, there were acrylic color left on the board. I’m going to using a similar way to make the texture.