Monthly Archives: March 2014

An Eagle a Day …

An Eagle a Day …

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, what does “an eagle a day do?”

(yup, this is quite random, lol!, but have been doing an eagle painting for 3 days in a row, since Friday 28 March, after the lesson on Thursday, when only 1 student managed to start painting the standing eagle (see below, middle), whereas for me, I just did a pencil sketch …)

Left to right - date of completion 29/3, 28/3, 30/3

Left to right – date of completion 29/3, 28/3, 30/3

don't think the eagles will find this bird very appetising, hahaha! (my big brain bird, after glazing - patchy head due to hand painted on glaze being not thick and even enough; tail and wing using dipping method)

don’t think the eagles will find this bird very appetising, hahaha! (my big brain bird, after glazing – patchy head due to hand painted on glaze being not thick and even enough; tail and wing using dipping method)

 

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Pottery pieces after glazing second coat …

Pottery pieces after glazing second coat … in lesson 6, we did not do much except to see how Vincent (the instructor) did a “touch-up” of our pieces to improve it. This is what the pieces look like now, after he added on the second coat of glaze –

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Basically, the colours are richer now, and the effects are more interesting (e.g. see the “cracked” lines effect on puffer fish)(see this link for previous version …)

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Home-made pottery wheel (a PW* approach) …

A PW* approach to making a pottery wheel …

haha, decided a week ago to see if I could make my own pottery wheel … and this is the result!

2 chopping boards, 1 rollerblade wheel (ABEC7), and piece of broken up furniture (to act as the axle) ...

2 chopping boards, 1 rollerblade wheel (ABEC7), and piece of broken up furniture (to act as the axle) … and the vase I started to make on 24 March

(details of its making below … , and the 25 cm tall VASE! made with it on 25 and 26 March ūüôā ¬†)

Very happy with it as it works almost like the real thing (made out of metal, costs about $150 or so at Art Friend apparently) that we use in the pottery class at AMK CC.

Here is the story behind its making:

Our instructor, Mr Lim, advised us not to buy it until we were quite sure of our interest. So,¬†I thought, “hey, why not try to make one instead … !”, and so over a few days, I considered¬†possible objects/materials that could be used (Generation of ideas, GOI, haha) –

  • mount a “plate-like” thing on a discarded/spoilt fan (fans can turn smoothly, right?)
  • bicycle axle and ball bearing
  • examined the skateboard/rollerblade
  • looked around for disc like objects (circular drinks tray, round metal cake tin, shallow metal tray used in baking, chopping board)

Then, at Novena Velocity, at Sports Clements, spotted these big roller blade** wheels that were sold singly (ABEC7, one for $15) and suddenly, everything started clicking … attached something flat and round (i.e.the top surface) to the wheel, then mount it somehow on a heavy round chopping board.

So, I got the rollerblade wheel and went¬†looking for a chopping board (the heavy one) … ¬†the “Octagon Shop” at AMK Central not only sold¬†it (I got a small one for $15), but as luck would have it, they also sold a “light” weight round chopping board that came with a stand ($8) which I also bought, to use as the top working surface.

At this point though, I had not fully worked out how these various parts were going to be attached (see diagram below), nor what to use as the axle:

3 Attachment Problems to solve ...

3 Attachment Problems to solve …

(A) wheel to top surface, (B) axle to the wheel, (C) axle to the heavy base.  And to do so in a way that was very precise, so that, for example, the top surface would be horizontal and attached centrally to the wheel (for A), and for the axle to be very firm so that the whole thing would not be wobbly (for C). And what to use for the axle that can join to the wheel and also to the base????

Anyway, after analysis and evaluation (A&E), here are the solutions:

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To test it, I tried to make a tall vase using the clay bought from the last lesson, and ta dah, it works!!!

1.5 kg worth of clay becomes a VASE!

1.5 kg worth of clay becomes a VASE!

And of course, the last thing is Insights and Reflections (I&R) –

1) the choice of axle – may not last very long as it is made of wood and the force fitted part is subjected to “shearing” forces when the top surface turns; probably better to use a “bolt and nut” kind of axle for durability.

2) some wobble of the top surface due to the wheel bearing Рnot quite clear how this can be overcome at this point, as the rotating parts of the wheel may need to be dismantled to examine this further; luckily, this did not affect the making of the vase much (although it became more apparent and more worrying as the vase got taller)

3) how to transport the vase when the clay is still slightly soft, to the CC, for the teacher to made fine adjustments if necessary??? (the taller the vase, the harder it is to move it around, even as it is sitting in a tall plastic container now) Рcurrent solution is to carry it very carefully in a bag, that fits the container very snugly so that it will not tilt.

And this completes a¬†very long post (the written report, WR) !! LOL – truly a PW approach, if ever there was one, less the OP component! And I think deserves its own entry in “50 before Fifty”!!

(Notes –

* PW – project work. This is a subject taken by all junior college students in Singapore in their first year of study, and it comprises various components and assessed at the school level.

** afternote – on second thought, believe¬†it is a skateboard wheel with ABEC 7 rating; rollerblade wheel may not be “thick” enough)

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

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Found the culprit eating the hibiscus leaves and also why the flowers have holes … and also reminds me of Eric Carle’s book that we used to read to the girls long ago (a children’s classic, highly recommended for those with very young kids!)

Going to keep it as a “pet” until it turns into a butterfly!

 

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Pottery class creations, after glazing

After glazing the 4 pieces, …

(see this link for “before glazing” look)

Puffy

Puffy

DSC_0002 DSC_0006 DSC_0008All of them went back into the kiln yesterday for a second coat (this time, the teacher did it to “improve” the piece) – will be exciting to see what they look like next week!

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IL DIVO concert

IL DIVO concert at STAR Theatre

Almost went to Genting to watch IL DIVO as the adverts in Straits Times were pointing to them performing at Genting Highlands (14 and 15 March) at the start of the March hols. After doing some checking of the packages available and the bus fares and timings, I decided to check their official website¬†… Surprise! Surprise! they were performing in Singapore on Monday 17 March!

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So, while I would have really preferred if it had been Andrea Bocelli in concert, IL DIVO was a pretty good alternative … their songs for this worldwide concert can be enjoyed in this YouTube video¬†(or just search IL DIVO A Musical Affair YOUTUBE)

(yah, enjoyed the show especially for the familiar songs, even though we were far behind at Level 9 seats of the STAR THEATRE and the sound system seemed not able to cope that well when they “crescendoed” at the end of most songs)

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World Press Photo Exhibition 2014

World Press Photo Exhibition 2014

Visited the World Press Photo exhibition at Raffles Hotel today … a 100+ collection of award winning photos selected from hundreds of thousands of shots submitted for an annual competition in photo-journalism. The exhibition of the 2013 winning entries¬†makes a tour to many countries all over the world and Singapore is the first stop this year! Check it out, before its gone (until 30 March!)

For my kids, much room for thought about the world around them, beyond Singapore and the many things we take for granted (security, peace, “good” schools, …).

For me, I found the photos moving, disturbing, amazing, beautiful, … ¬†definitely well worth the time spent to visit!!

Warning – some “mature” content, many disturbing images (check out the link first to see the images; but its really not the same looking at the photos at Raffles Hotel)

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