Friday, 29 May 2015

Did you know? #20

Please note: MoDiP will be closed for the whole of June due to refurbishments in the library.
Did you know that there are lots of resources on our website that can help you learn more about the different types of plastics and the manufacturing processes that are associated with them?

The curator's guide has proved to be useful for both museums professionals and people with a general interest in plastics.  It has a timeline, A-Z of Plastics, and A-Z of manufacturing processes.

The identifying plastics toolkit offers a user friendly system to help you learn to identify the materials your objects are made of.

The confronting plastics preservation pages aim to build workforce skills and share excellence and best practice in collections knowledge relating to the preservation of plastics objects across the museum sector.

Louise Dennis (Assistant Curator)

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Seaside Sensations


This piece of poetry found its naissance on a holiday to Cornwall and the beautiful coastal towns that skirt the Atlantic, St Ives and Padstow amongst them. Despite the hoards of tourists who flock there, from all over the world, this coastline still retains its natural beauty. It was clear to see why artists have been drawn to this opal coast where the sea, the sand and sky are transformed in a unique light and radiance that remains even as the sun disappears in the western sky.

A three-hour train ride or six hours on the road from London, does not seem to thwart the incomers. Vast numbers of empty cottages with plaques on their doors advertising their availability for rent, suggests that the population has changed and fishing is no longer the business for those who own these houses.

The sea for me is still the seaside, with buckets and spades, swimming in cold Atlantic water, getting scorched and sunburned, sand in your sandwiches and on your ice cream. Images of childhood flood the mind and transport you to another time and place.

Although I should not have been surprised by the preponderance of art galleries that there are in St Ives and Padstow, I was amazed that all these artists and gallerists could make a living, where supply far outstrips demand. But perhaps there is something for everyone and everyone trying to offer something different.

So against this backdrop and the high-end restaurants and galleries that now draw in the swelling crowds, I present to you my last contribution as student writer in residence to the Museum of Design in Plastics (MoDiP).

I wanted to play with verse. I wanted also to play with the discourse between function and form, art and design, around an object that has become my friend, a companion on my research journey, the plastic chair.

Finding an exhibition of YBA (Young British Artists) at a small but chic gallery in Padstow, my attention was drawn by a chair in the window. It was a chair of unexceptional design but transformed by its spin and splash of colours. It was by Damien Hirst.

Further along the street was an ice cream parlour, which also had chairs in the window. These were not by Damien Hirst.

‘Ice cream Parlour in Padstow’, Cornwall, May 2015, image by Kate Hall

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Damien Hirst ‘Beautiful Repeat Pleasure Spin Chair’, at The Drang Gallery, Padstow, Cornwall, May 2015, image by Kate Hall

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Made by Damien Hirst, commissioned from Jasper Morrison.

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Kate Hall (Student Writer in Residence)

Kate Hall is a Doctoral Student at the Arts University Bournemouth. She writes across a range of contexts and publishes her work online. She uses creative writing as her art practice and an anthology of creative writing will be part of her Doctoral output. With support links to the Museum of Design in Plastics, she will draw on objects from the collection to inform her work. The chair made of plastics will feature as the central object around which a literary narrative will be created alongside the critical component of the thesis.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Bank holiday closure

As with the rest of the AUB campus, MoDiP will be closed on Monday 25th May and re open on Tuesday 26th May.

Susan, Pam, Louise & Katherine

Monday, 18 May 2015

A different view #12

There are many ways to look at the objects in the MoDiP collection.  With this series of posts I want to highlight the interesting views of objects that we may ordinarily miss.  These include the underside of an object, the surface pattern, or traces of manufacturing processes.

Title: Table lamp
Designer: Unknown
Manufacturer: Unknown
Object number: AIBDC : 0_3124

 Louise Dennis (Assistant Curator)

Friday, 15 May 2015

Did you know? #19

Did you know that plastics are in our clothing? 

We find that people who visit the museum do not always realise that there are plastics in textiles.  There are many synthetic materials, such as nylon and polyester, which have specific properties that make them perfect for use in clothing.

MoDiP is currently showing an exhibition all about plastics in clothing. Threads:plastics wearing well can be view until 4 September and is also available online.

Louise Dennis (Assistant Curator)

Monday, 11 May 2015

BXL photographic archive #0084

In 2010, MoDiP was donated a large archive of images relating to a single company. Bakelite Xylonite Ltd, also known as British Xylonite Ltd or BXL, was possibly one of the first British firms to successfully manufacture a plastics material in commercial quantities. The company was established in 1875 and after a long history went into liquidation in the late 2000s. The images we have in the collection are concentrated around the 1960s through to the 1980s and show us glimpses of the manufacturing process, products and the company’s employees during this time. We plan to share an image each week to give a flavour of the archive. If you want to see more you can view the whole collection on our website.

This week’s image shows a prefabricated pond liner.

To get a better view of the image and find out more have a look at it on our website

We are still working on the documentation of the archive, some of the images we know more about than others. It would be fantastic if we could fill in some of the gaps in our knowledge, if you know anything about the company or specific images it would be good to hear from you.

Louise Dennis (Assistant Curator)

Friday, 8 May 2015

What is this?

MoDiP has the kind of collection that you may think you are very familiar with. We have objects which we all use every day, and some pieces which are more unusual.

By looking at this distorted image are you able to guess what the object is? What do you think it could be used for?

Post your answer in the comments below or to find the answer click here and you will be taken to the MoDiP catalogue.

Louise Dennis (Assistant Curator)

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

MoDiP illustrations

This term, following an introduction to MoDiP, I asked MA Illustration students to create a piece of work in response to an artefact in the museum. The work could refer to something real or fictional, be an intervention with an exhibit, or an intervention as a way of starting a new dialogue or a quest to explore an artefact.

They were asked to create something in the form of:
  • A promotional illustration for an object
  • A visual representation of an object or series of objects
  • An instructional illustration of an object
  • An illustration of an object, in use, or an imagined/alternative use of an object.
The students came up with some interesting and varied pieces of work:

"An illustration inspired by the clothes and textiles in the plastics collection."
Haruna Yamashita

"A screen printed response to the Ming Vase dinner set. The bold colour inspired my series of screen prints and I loved the hidden element of the pattern inside each section."
Aisling Crosland

"The Jack Fluoro Lamp designed by Tom Dixon can be stacked with others, just like a Lego brick, people can freely assemble them. The slogan ‘BUILD YOUR LIFE WITH JACK FLUORO’ expresses the essence of the product, the flexibility of the lamp, people can use them as a seat, coffee table or just lamp."
Yao Zhu

"A life surrounded by plastic."
Ester Savilla

Plastic shopping basket, Thailand.
"I saw the plastic shopping basket on display in the museum and it reminded me of the way we use it in Thailand, which is my home country. It's a Thai pop traditional basket and is made from recycled plastic straps. We weave them together. We, the Thai people only use this basket for grocery shopping at the fresh market in Thailand. This illustration was made to show how we use it in Thailand, in the local lifestyle."
Hirunkorn Nikornsaen

"Inspired by clothing and clothing styled objects in the collection."
Jingyi Zheng

"A promotional illustration using the colour and textures from the MoDiP collection."

Soo Kim

"The transparent nature of plastic and its glass-like appearance was of interest, this is an illustration of many of the these objects in use."
Xintan Huang

"A White Cotton Glove."

Sarah James

Sqezy 36 1/2p. "Inspired by a plastic washing up bottle - cheap at the time of manufacture, made precious by its inclusion in the museum."

Sarah James

Julia Flatman (Visiting Tutor) 

Friday, 1 May 2015

MoDiP Closed

As with the rest of the AUB campus, MoDiP will be closed on Monday 4th May and re open on Tuesday 5th May.

Susan, Pam, Louise & Katherine