Kinetic Art- My Final Pieces

That’s it. Finito. This semesters work is finally complete for both my Kinetic Art and the Psychology of Touch projects! I’ve loved this third year so far as I’ve really pushed the boat out and tried things that are completely new to me. I had never step foot in the MakeLab in DJCAD before let alone tried out 3D scanning, 3D printing or laser cutting. I felt that this is the only time these facilities will be available to me for free so I may as well take  advantage of them while I’m studying. I also carried on with my love of using unconventional techniques and had great fun with milk this semester.

For my final milk drawing, “Milk and Lasers”, I attached six sheets of paper to a bed sheet so they could act as one. I then poured milk onto the paper and moved the milk between each sheet. After this I put the paper into the oven individually producing a large milk drawing that moves and flows between each sheet of paper. I wanted to use the movement of milk outwith my control to create unusual shapes.


I also used the heat and movement of a blow torch to add to the burnt effect and to provide the motion of the heat.

The next step in my process was to try out the laser cutter. I used the photoshopped images of my face covered in milk and imprinted on paper (mentioned in my previous post) and laser cut these images onto my milk drawings. This added a different texture and depth to my drawings.

To compliment my kinetic drawings I created three 3D prints, “Three Sheets to the Wind”, of three different sizes. These sculptures have a classic appearance with a modern kinetic twist. To make these I 3D scanned my friends face, duplicated and stretched it to give the sculpture the illusion of movement. My aim was to capture movement in a still piece.

Together with my milk drawing and 3D prints I have presented my “Milk Men”. As mentioned in my previous post these images were made by pouring milk over my face, imprinting my face onto paper and then putting the paper into the oven. I then photoshopped the images which gave them wispy texture and movement.

So there we have it, 3rd year semester 1 complete and I can now relax and enjoy Christmas. Happy holidays!



Milk Face Imprints

My medium of choice for my Kinetic Art project has been milk. I love working with unconventional materials and techniques and when I found out about milk painting (and baking) it was right up my street. I have previously posted about my milk drawings and free hand milk movements but I decided to take it a step further (and weirder). I poured milk over my face, imprinted my face onto paper and then put the paper in the oven.

I then asked myself how can I take this further? So I decided that I could use these milk imprints to laser cut onto my big milk drawings. Firstly, I photoshopped the images so the laser cutter could read them.
I then used the images to laser cut onto my milk drawings (I will post about these milk drawings once they are finished) giving them extra texture and new depth.

 I felt the photoshopped images looked so strong on their own that I could also print them out and display them alongside my final milk drawing. I love the movement in the images and how they look almost cloud-like.

I will post again once these images have been printed and displayed in my studio. Only two weeks to go!

3D Printing

So I decided to venture into DJCAD’s MakeLab and try out something completely new to me, 3D printing. As my theme is kinetic art I wanted to capture the illusion of movement in a still sculpture. To do this I made a 3D scan of my friends head.

The 3D scanner didn’t read my friends hair as it isn’t a solid mass so I had to remove the back of her head to be able to manipulate her face. I duplicated her face and stretched it to give the illusion of a shaking head.

I then had to use a different back of head from a previous file the MakeLab guys had. I had to then try to join my friends face with this back of head which wasn’t easy and the joins were visible.

I decided to print the image anyway and I could work with it once I had it . These machines are amazing and print layer by layer, mines took 4 hours to print.

Once printed I removed the excess “scaffolding” and then sanded down the joins to reveal my first ever 3D print.

This print is quite small so I hope to print it bigger and maybe have a series of them at some point. 

Laser Cutting

This week I took the opportunity to learn how to use the laser cutter. It is amazing how artistic you can be with this machine, not only does it cut through material but you can also draw onto it, including paper! For practice I decided to scan my ‘Milk  Men’ I have previously posted about, and laser cut them onto wood and paper.

IMG_6739 IMG_6740 IMG_6741 FullSizeRender (4)

I also tried ‘drawing’ with the laser cutter on paper which gave a beautiful effect on black print makers paper.


I love mixing different techniques so I have decided that I will combine laser cutting with milk drawing and the blow torch effect from my previous post. These things take practice and don’t always work but its all trial and error. First I used the blow torch on my wood laser cuts which worked quite well but when I tried putting milk on the wood and baked it in the oven it didn’t show up greatly, but that could make it more interesting.


I also tried using the blow torch on the black paper laser cut which didn’t have much effect and then put milk on the paper which did show up but wasn’t quite what i wanted (I guess I still don’t really know what I want but ill know when I see it.)


So now is the hard part, deciding what I want to do with this to create a final outcome. Wood? Black paper? White paper? What image should I laser cut? So many questions unanswered that I need to figure out. Only 4 weeks to go! Any observations, ideas or comments are very welcome.

Kinetic Drawing

Starting university straight from school, all art was to me was drawing and painting. The syllabus and the facilities at my school didn’t allow for much creativity. I got a big shock when I started DJCAD with many students who had been to college prior to the university and learnt skills that were alien to me. 1st year was a struggle but 2nd year I got stuck into the sculpture and print studios and with the help of the amazing technicians I have learnt so much and really found myself in the art world. 

I love unconventional art. I use mediums and found objects that may not be considered to be ‘art’ to create something with a new meaning and purpose. For my Kinetic Art module I have been focusing on how I can draw using movement. I started off by sitting in the Dundee City Centre and drawing people as they walk by in quick line drawing movements.

 Another medium I used was fire. What I like about this is how little control I had over the effect it made. I started off with candles and a lighter which had very little effect, so I decided to go bigger. I pulled out the blow torch much to my mothers dismay which certainly didn’t the trick. The first try wasn’t so successful, but my mum was standing by with a hose to save the day. 

The next try turned out well, I love the smokey effect the piece has which is almost ghostly. The next step of furthering this piece is to try and control the blow torch so I can create more precise images and perhaps figure drawings.

The third technique I tried was painting with milk. What I liked about this is that it was quite hard to see what I was painting so I wasn’t sure what it was going to look like.

I then put the painting in the oven to see the effect of movement and heat on the milk painting. Again, I love how little control I had over the outcome of this image. After a few tries I did realise I had some control over the outcome of the image, the more milk I added the more texture I had and leaving the painting in the oven for longer gave a darker effect. 

To add to this kinetic drawing I decided to use the movement of my hand to create an image with the milk, meaning no control at all. I poured milk onto the paper and used my hand to move the paper which then moved the milk. I did manage to create somewhat human like images that suggest movement which was my main aim.


To develop this work I hope to combine the different techniques I have learnt to create an abstract image with figures. I hope the piece will also have different levels as I will be adding milk, burning the paper and hopefully laser cutting the image as well. I will keep you all posted on my development.

Inspiration- Tony Cragg

Turner prize winner Tony Cragg is a very talented sculptor from Liverpool. He works with the human condition and finds a relation between the human form and material in his work. Cragg makes abstract sculptures of human faces with a kinetic aspect. I was introduced to this artist by a friend who I had been talking to about my idea to combine 3D printing with kinetic art. I love the abstract aspect of his work but it is still clear to the viewer that you are looking at something human, this is what I also aim to achieve. Cragg’s work is closely related to my idea of creating a still object with the idea of movement so I will be keeping him in mind while I further develop my own work.


In Mind, Tony Cragg, 2002

In Mind, Tony Cragg, 2002

Group, Tony Cragg, 2012

Group, Tony Cragg, 2012

Kinetic Art- Inspiration

As I have previously stated I have two projects this year; a print module and my studio module, both have no brief. I’ve struggled pulling myself away from the print module and trying to concentrate on a project that is completely bare. But alas I have discovered a medium that is foreign and exciting to me; 3D printing. After having an introduction to the 3D printing lab at my University I began thinking of what I could possibly make. 3D printing is fairly new to the art world so is quite difficult to find inspiration from other artists who have used this medium. After a lot of researching I came across  Dan Collins of Arizona State University. He runs the PRISM lab where he works with 3D modelling and rapid prototyping.

''Of More Than Two Minds', Dan Collins, 1993

‘Of More Than Two Minds’, Dan Collins, 1993

I love how Collins 3D prints suggest movement in a still form. This gave me the idea to look at kinetic art and how other artists tackle movement with the absence of it.

'La Nuit Etoilee', Vincent Van Gogh, 1889

‘La Nuit Etoilee’, Vincent Van Gogh, 1889

An early example of an artist working with kinetics is Van Gogh. He uses obvious brushstrokes to suggest movement and brings a still painting to life.

Nu Descendant un escalier, 2nd Version, Marcel Duchamp, 1912

‘Nu Descendant un escalier’, 2nd Version, Marcel Duchamp, 1912

Marcel Duchamp Descending a staircase

Duchamp shows the phases of movement in a mechanical way.

'Tanzt Entsetzen', Paul Klee, 1925

‘Tanzt Entsetzen’, Paul Klee, 1925

A comical line drawing that still suggests movement in a simple way.

'Abstract 5494c', Kim Keever, 2013

‘Abstract 5494c’, Kim Keever, 2013

A more contemporary example of kinetic art is Kim Keever’s Art Under Water. He fills up his giant fish tank with water and disperses pigments to create this amazing smokey effect. He then photographs the event freezing a kinetic movement.

I hope to 3D print a kinetic model and to also create kinetic drawings using the laser cutter. There are such great facilities available to me at Duncan of Jordanstone that I have never used so I can’t wait to learn some new skills.