Friday, 27 May 2016

Bank Holiday Closure

MoDiP will be closed on Monday 30th May along with the rest of the AUB campus for the bank holiday

We will reopen Tuesday 31st May.

Susan, Pam, Katherine & Louise

Monday, 23 May 2016

BXL photographic archive #0104

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 copper wire being braided onto a polyethylene core.

To get a better view of the image and find out more have a look at it on our website http://www.modip.ac.uk/artefact/bxl--0398

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, 20 May 2016

Did you know? #41

Did you know that all of our past exhibitions are available online?

Winning with plastics

Plastics have contributed dramatically to sporting achievement. They have improved the potential of sports equipment; they have helped to streamline athletes' bodies; they have enabled their muscles to be kept at the optimum temperature for optimum performance; and they have reduced injury. This exhibition explores the reasons why.

Louise Dennis (Assisant Curator) 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Fishing with plastics

On a recent trip to Norway the promised northern lights were not to be seen but there was plenty of plastic providing colour in the otherwise monochrome landscape.



These photographs were taken at Skarsvag, a small coastal village of some 60 residents on the island of Mager√łya that claims to be the most northernmost fishing village in the world. 


The local fishing fleet largely fishes a giant type of arctic cod that can weigh as much as 90 lbs and is said to be especially delicious.  


Their heads and bodies are placed in separate large white plastic vats while the roes are stored  in the blue plastic barrels with orange lids. The workforce is clad in matching blue and orange waterproof clothing and the fishery is compartmetalised with plastic curtains. The fishing nets are also made from synthetic twine with plastic floats. How plastics must have transformed the fishing industy!

Susan Lambert (Head of MoDiP)

Monday, 16 May 2016

A different view #32

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:  Part of a Stadium dressing table set
Designer: Unknown
Manufacturer: Stadium
Object number: AIBDC : 001412


Louise Dennis (Assistant Curator)

Friday, 13 May 2016

Guess the object

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, 11 May 2016

Thundercat Racing

In the middle of April, I got to enjoy watching some Thundercat Racing just off Bournemouth Beach.  

Thundercat racing is at grass roots level and is one of the cheapest forms of speed racing you can do, apparently a tank of fuel will last a whole days racing.  You have to be over 17 to become a driver but co-drivers can be as young as 16.  You do need to have a RYA Powerboat Level 2 Qualification and undertake specialist Thundercat training but otherwise anyone can join in.

There was so much plastic to be spotted, from the polyester promotional flags...


... to the PVC inflatable ribs of the semi-rigid boats themselves.


The water proof clothing, wetsuits, and equipment including the buoyancy aids and helmets will have all been made of plastics materials with varying properties to keep the drivers and co-drivers warm, dry and safe.


The boats start the race in the water with the co-driver in place and the driver standing in the sea.  When the starting signal is given the driver jumps in and starts the engine.  Without a good start you could easily get left behind.


The beach wasn't complete closed and some paddle boarders were escorted past the race by the stewards on jetskis.


I suspect that even the chequered flag, that signalled the winner, was either nylon or polyester.


The Youtube video below belongs to John Kerrisk and was filmed in New Zealand but it shows the speed and height off the water that these boats get to.

 
Find out more about Thundercat Racing on the official website.  The next race is at Fistral Beach 14th-15th May.

Louise Dennis (Assistant Curator)

Monday, 9 May 2016

BXL photographic archive #0103

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 small dinghy.
To get a better view of the image and find out more have a look at it on our website http://www.modip.ac.uk/artefact/bxl--0539

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, 6 May 2016

Did you know? #40

Did you know that all of our past exhibitions are available online?

The plastics invasion

This exhibition explores the rise, and rise of plastics from 1900, the decade in which the first synthetic plastic was invented, to the present…and on into the future. The timeline places the development of plastics in the context of national and world events.

In 1900 there were only a few types of plastic and now there are tens of thousands. Since 1976 plastic, in its variety of types, has had more uses than any other material in the world.

In the early decades it tends to imitate the forms and appearance of other materials but gradually new forms, building on the potential of plastic, begin to appear and colour becomes a key player in the design.



Louise Dennis (Assisant Curator)

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Sarah Wilson - project overview


This is my final blog post for the student creative programme with the Museum of Design in Plastics. The exhibition of the student creative work was installed in the museums glass cases on Wednesday 13th April 2016 and will run for a number of months. 




 
Initially I proposed to design and embellish three digital fabric designs involving the ten objects from MoDiP that I studied, alongside a few collaged pieces of the objects. However, the outcome of this project was four digital designs embellished in different ways, including a maximum of nine of the objects that I studied. 



Colour is such an important part of my work - I gathered the palette for my digital designs from the original objects that I studied in the museum. The designs are very bright and eye-catching and this is something that I wanted to achieve, as it would attract people to the exhibition from across the library as well as to the museums collection itself. 
   

The stitch embellishments into the fabrics are mostly done by machine (at four minutes turn around time) but these are carefully designed and placed, which takes a lot of time as the piece is so large (60 x 185cm). 




Similar to this were the small CAD stitch pieces of the plastics I studied, which I then appliqued onto one of the digital fabrics. These took much longer at around 40 minutes turn around on the machine and then I had to seal the edges and stitch these pieces on.
The hand fringing on the placement print of the pepper shaker is interpreted from the small texture on the black piece on the top of the object. This is also something that took hours, but was added to give the piece another layer and element of texture.
Working on a brief that I set myself completely outside of my university work has been such an exciting experience and I have really enjoyed it! As well as this I have been really encouraged by the work I have created using the MoDiP collection and would recommend the experience. 



 Sarah Wilson (Student Creative)

Sarah is a final year BA (hons) Textiles student at the Arts University Bournemouth.