Artist: Fiona Goodwin | Cummins Engineer: Sarah-Jane Tonks
Class Group: Year 3 | Subject: Forces & Magnets
Session 1 – February 2019
We begin our “Making the Invisible, Visible” journey and are introduced to book-making by our Cummins buddy Sarah-Jane, followed by a series of three activities.
- Temporary vs permanent responses to pressure – filling in our report books with examples of permanent changes via stamps and the label maker, taking notes on the temporary, pushing objects against the fabric samples.
- Applying and controlling tools – exploring how we can use our hands or tools to control the pushing action needed when trying to mark a surface, using force and motion to pick up relief patterns from our objects.
- Forces as movement – taking notes and drawing pictures of our observations when exploring different ways to use pushing and pulling forces, noting what happens when friction is introduced via the rubber matting when compared to the desk surface.
‘I learned how to make my own report book using just paper!’
‘I learned that engineers make things for vehicles’
Session 2 – February 2019
Our second session extends the thinking around the morning activities as we compare and control our mark making on a metallic surface this time. This requires a range of fingertip surface pressure with very little force and support from our tools in order to create an embossed mark on the surface of the sheet. We discuss and compare one direction with circular motion pressure as we refine what we do.
More familiar now with process and tools, our next task is to create a heavily embossed pattern on a preformed padded shape this time. This interestingly, requires less pressure, needing tools to achieve the desired result. We explore the importance of control and consistency in the creation of our piece……we’re engrossed, achieving a high level of finish and we get to keep them too!
‘I learned that pressure is important when applying a force’
‘I liked the activity when we were printing patterns because it was creative’
Session 3 – March 2019
It’s fascinating to watch human and robot worlds support each other as we’re given another insight into engineering, this time, watching a video on metal stamping and pressing actions in industry. We discuss our findings and enjoy using new vocabulary.
Splitting into smaller working groups we explore further applications of forces and pressure. There are two experimental areas to the session, both require a different way of working. We sample drawing using Spirograph cogs and wheels and develop embossing techniques with metal stylus tools, embedding pattern into surfaces. We note the difference in response of our base paper and aluminium tape and enjoy getting to grips with the differing techniques. As we gain experience and a greater understanding of rotational forces and the amount of pressure required, we learn that it requires precision and control, it’s not easy!
‘I have learnt that the pulling and pushing thing needs pressure. I enjoyed the Spirograph because you could push it round’
I have enjoyed using the ring and the wheel because it looked cool when we did it. I have learnt about forces and metals’
‘I had lots of fun because I learned to emboss’
‘I used a vertical pen to make a Spirograph in an anticlockwise movement. I like the Spirograph’
Session 4 – March 2019
It’s time for us to start creating our title piece ‘MAKING THE INVISIBLE, VISIBLE’ this time we focus on precious copper plate, combining ideas and knowledge. We’re fairly confident in approach, having explored so many methods of creating and capturing marks from fingertip, stylus, cog and wheel onto paper, foil, aluminium tape, they all hold and show the force and pressure quite differently. We discuss this in more detail and the characteristics of the new copper plate, it’s thicker and may well buckle with the Spirograph rotations so we try a light pressure to gauge the reaction. It’s a great material to work, holds its form and allows us work into it quite heavily as we emboss the surface. The results are stunning and change as they catch the light!
‘I really enjoyed working with the copper plate and aluminium foil’
‘It was fun working in reverse with the tape and I enjoyed working carefully’
‘I loved going back to the embossing work and using pressure and a pushing force’