Ann Marie Shillito

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Concepts There have been two major changes to my overall practice as an applied artist and jeweller. As a Research Fellow at Edinburgh College of Art I investigated and then expanded my use of computer-aided design (CAD) and rapid prototyping. Out of this work flowed a major collaborative research project to investigate requirements for a more intuitive computer aided design system for applied artists using touch - haptics (http://www2.eca.ac.uk/tacitus). A company, Anarkik3d Ltd, spun out of this project in 2007 and my major aim as the CEO is the eventual launch of an affordable and very usable software and hardware package for concept generation. Through the Tacitus Research Project we gained an insight into the extent and the value of tacit knowledge to underpin the skills and expertise that applied artists and designers bring to their practice. This understanding is being applied to the design and development of software. My own expertise as a designer now tests our software and haptic systems for usability: that the range of functions is balanced, that they are relevant and useful without overwhelming and blocking cognitive flow when exploring ideas and designing. Being able to work this way satisfies the applied artist and designer in me, as I continue exploring and experimenting at the front edge of new materials and technology. Much of the inspiration for my work comes from understanding what materials are capable of becoming and exploring their potential transformation through different processes, techniques and technology. (see AXIS Online Exhibition http://www.axisartists.org.uk/exhibitions and www.anarkik3d.co.uk) Influences Aesthetic and formal concerns, science and technology, own cultural identity, Scottish, European, British, knowledge from research, exploring and experimenting. Career path Much of my career as a jeweller has been pretty precarious, exploring new materials and technologies. This investigative attitude began as a jewellery student when I was at Birmingham School of Art in 1996/7. We had access to titanium and I was very attracted by its properties. I have continued to β€˜play’ with it, through the Royal College of Art (1968 - 1971) and as a professional designer maker (1971 to present). Teaching on a part-time basis at degree level, both in England (mainly Manchester 1972 - 1978) and in Scotland (predominantly Dundee until 1999) has stabilized this existence to a fair degree. In 1990 a grant from the Scottish Development Agency was used to investigate laser cutting refractory metals (titanium, niobium and tantalum). Another from the Scottish Arts Council in 1994 was used to purchase a computer and solid modelling software. Funding from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art Dundee in 1997 and technical assistance and support in 1998 from the CALM project were used to have a bangle design produced in both wax and ABS plastic by layer manufacture (rapid prototyping). A grant from the Inches Carr Trust in 2000 was used to produce two marketing samples of a coffee table from a prototype made using stereo-lithography. The direction of my work has changed significantly with the introduction of computing for design as this led to the Research Fellowship at Edinburgh College of Art (from 1999) and then the major project with touch (haptics). Now as company there is finally the wherewithal to build software to provide more intuitive and, therefore, more accessible packages for applied artists who want to used this technology to advance their work . And that is me! read full statement

Location Edinburgh, Scotland