Today our lecture was delivered by Hazel White programme director of the Master of Design Course here at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. Hazel graduated in 1993 with B.Des (Hons) in Jewellery & Metalwork here at Duncan of Jordanstone and went on to the RCA, London to do an MA in Goldsmithing, Metal work and Jewellery completing in 1995 and then going to Sheffield Hallam University to do a postgraduate in Higher Education and staying on to become a Senior Lecturer, Course Leader and Researcher in the Metalwork & Jewellery department
Throughout this time Hazel learned many technical and traditional skills needed to make beautiful pieces of jewellery and metal work and I find it fascinating that with all these skills Hazel is now researching. I remember after my very first lecture with Jonathan Baldwin leaving the lecture theatre and thinking – I too could make a difference? Yes the question mark should be there. The reason I came into Textile Design was because I love textiles and making things, and I suppose I thought I’d learn some more skills in the way of printing and designing amazing fabrics and then upon graduating I’d get myself a studio and print fabrics and make gorgeous things from said fabric and hopefully sell them. But every week each lecture makes me realise I can think big or bigger even bigger than that if I want to, not that there’s anything wrong with making beautiful fabrics.
So what changed for Hazel? she explained that it was whilst in South Korea as an exchange professor that it changed the way she looked at things, not knowing the language, it was semiotics that helped her – she used images to see and understand things. Whilst there she researched jewellery with digital power, what would happen if your jewellery could tell a story, if jewellery could do things. I’m not a bling kind of girl but if it had ‘magical’ powers that would be amazing – Hazel talked about the hame farers kists, which is something she developed whilst in Shetland to research how craft could connect Shetlanders to their dispersed families.
photo from Shetland Arts
The kist (wooden box) contained Fair Isle pin cushions and hidden inside was digital information which when put inside the box connected to a flickr photo stream. This was programmed to match with families miles away. Straight away I thought of Stevie and Scarlett my son and daughter in law who live in Brisbane Australia, we keep in touch regularly, but I miss his hugs and thought how awesome it would be to create a shawl/scarf which you could wrap around you and when we missed each other the shawl/scarf would sense this and connect us together and give you a hug! I know, its a bit far fetched but sounds fun and of course it would have to be a lightweight fabric for use in Australia 🙂