May 2017 - Varied Practice
Updated: Jan 23, 2018
The thesis critique is uploaded
I decided to use the remnants of the solid deodorant that I had first made, which used all three of the solid oils previously mentioned. (The mixture with the solid oils was too solid to use from the jar, particularly because the weather is getting colder - it could however be put into a wind-up or push-up ‘stick’, but may require some wax in summer to keep it solid). I melted this by putting the jar in the microwave and heating, then combined this with the remixed ingredients from the roll-on container (image above). When this had cooled, it set to be much easier to use, with the ‘creamier’ result being good for applying to the armpits with the fingers.
This smooth deodorant formula is easy to use and works well
I’m saving soft plastics for the REDcycle program. The closest place I can do this is either at Corrimal, Berkeley or Dapto, so depending on my movements, I take it to one of those locations.
Soft plastics for
I’ve been collecting and freezing the peels and scraps from veggies so that I can make my own veggie stock next time I make a veggie soup or some such.
Veggie peels and scraps –
freeze for making stock
I’ve been saving my orange / citrus peels and have enough to try to make a household cleaning solution. It is very simple apparently, so we’ll see how this goes. All I need to do is put citrus peels in a jar, cover with vinegar and leave for 2-4 weeks in a dark location. When the desired time has passed, strain the liquid and dispose of the peels. The liquid can be put into a spray bottle for use.
A jar full of citrus peel
Cover the citrus
peel with vinegar
Store in a dark place
for 2-4 weeks then
I’ve begun downloading a heap of ads, mainly soap related, as well as a how-to-make cold process soap video. I’m planning on putting these together somehow in an advertising detournement that works as an instructional video.
I’ve been working on the literature review exercise and am accumulating a lot of research material. This is going to be difficult to squeeze into a thousand words.
I’ve just finished the first of what may be a series of surreal instructional videos. I ended up using three video layers and two audio tracks, blended together so that they are all playing simultaneously. This gives an overwhelming and distracting effect, not unlike the ‘spectacle’ on steroids. Throughout the video, there is a shopping trolley travelling slowly down a shopping aisle and a man explaining how to make cold process soap, combined with several ads (complete with jingles and product). There is also a brief section highlighting waste. The video goes for nearly fifteen minutes.
‘Still’ from A Walk Down the Aisle,
A fifteen-minute cold-process soap making instructional video.
I organised a Sunday gathering for what has become a loose, extended collective of creative people of various disciplines. At this picnic overlooking Wollongong harbour, we enjoyed a great lunch and did some experimenting with a 360-degree video, webcam-style-thing that someone brought along. We had such a good time we decided to have another in a weeks’ time at the Botanic gardens. We discussed some interesting experimental film ideas and enjoyed watching the hive of activity buzzing around us.
I uploaded the literature review exercise today for feedback. What a lot of work that was and I don’t think it provides enough information. I think I have too many texts and need to reduce them when I do the next draft. (I ended up with four and a half pages of actual writing, but nine pages of references). I’ll wait for feedback before redoing it.
I gave a soap making workshop today with Deniz, who I gave a kit to a few weeks ago as a birthday gift. It’s been a while since I’ve had anything to do with the making of a batch of soap so it was great to keep it all fresh. Everything went well and reasonably quickly. With the kit being already made, it makes the process very easy. It’s just a matter of mixing the lye and water and while that cools, mixing and heating the oils. By the time this has been done the lye solution has cooled enough to be able to be used. The lye solution and oils are combined and mixed till trace then poured into moulds. The moulds are then wrapped to insulate them, which helps to promote ‘gel phase’. The soap is left for 3 days before unmoulding.
I started the exegetical writing exercise (the last exercise I will be uploading for feedback). I managed to get a reasonably good start and am about a third of the way through. It is very useful to be thinking about my practice at this stage. Writing about it helps to understand and articulate what it is that I’m doing.
I’m getting better at thinking before I do ‘everyday’ kinds of activities. For example, I took my blue canvas bag to the local market for vegies and was sure to only purchase unpackaged items. I didn’t put them in any plastic bags, just kept them loose in a shopping basket. These were then put into my blue bag when I went through the checkout. I also went to the butcher and purchased diced beef to make a casserole, which was put in a plastic bag because I didn’t take a container for meat. I put this bag with the other soft plastics when I used the contents, ready for when I can take it all to the REDcycle place. I felt good about mindfulness when experiencing shopping and cooking today.
The latest DIY, alternative-consumption, exercise is Ness making brushes. I’m going to save the hair that I just cut off (with my electric hair clippers) to help this process. I’ll be able to give the hair to Ness at the picnic tomorrow so she can make her own paint brushes using human and animal hair with found twigs and metal clasps.
A small pile of hair
Today I also watched Deniz unveil her soaps and cut them. They came out of the moulds perfectly and now need six weeks to cure. She has taken them home for curing and enjoyment.
A different group of people (some from last week and some not) ended up going to the Wollongong Botanic gardens for a Sunday picnic. Whilst having a great time eating, we shared ideas of anti-consumption; mainly about cooking and vegan related. We also went into the Discovery Centre after lunch to have a look at an exhibition of drawings of bugs that a friend was having. The day was another fantastic outing so we’re going to make the picnics a regular fortnightly social get-together, most likely at Wollongong Rhododendron Park.
Lots of home-made
goodies for lunch
Good company in a
My household’s waste practices are improving. Much of the plastic waste has been reduced by not buying items with plastic packaging where possible and keeping REDcycle plastic separate. Food waste has also been reduced and rubbish that needs to be contained is wrapped in newspaper. All I need to do now is not use disposable plastic shopping bags for putting rubbish in the bin… maybe good old newspaper will help with that.
One week’s rubbish…
Remarkably empty for
a bin that’s just about to
be put out for collection
I had the idea today to try to do some thirty second instructional videos (because ads are usually that duration). I will experiment with some different ideas on how to do these, for example: I could try to make them snappy through editing alone, or I could incorporate elements of ads (i.e. audio, video, or both). I downloaded some short instructional videos to play with and found some new interesting ideas in the process, including making your own essential oil. To start with, I’m looking at making anti-ads for deodorant, fragrance, and household cleaner, (and I think the videos I’ve already downloaded are short enough to be able to make into thirty second videos.
I made my first thirty second deodorant instructional video today, incorporating text and an ad, (including its audio). I also did a one minute version by slowing the entire thing down, including the audio. The slower audio makes the ad component a bit more surreal and has the benefit of giving more time for relaying information in the instructional component. This is still awkward to view for instructional purposes, but this is much easier than the dual audio stream I used in the first cold process soap making instructional video. Also, to be realistic, the thirty second version is too quick to get all the information first time.
Still from thirty second DIY deodorant instructional video