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 ‘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!
CV & Education
1995 - New Jewellery, Scottish Gallery
2008 - Reveal, Evolution House, Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh
2007 - Reflection and Refraction - virtual exhibition, Web-based, http://www.reflectionandrefraction.co.uk/shillito.html
2006 - Interface, Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Bovey Tracey
2002 - European Contemporary Jewellery Triennial, Seneffe, Belgium
2002 - Natural Elements - an exploration of nature by Scottish Artists, Scotland House, Brussels
2001 - 'Gifted': Recipients of Inches Carr Trust bursaries, Royal Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
2000 - Euro-Fire, in Liege, Belgium
2000 - Hitec-lowtec, Cirencester and touring
2000 - Neoneon, Galarie Bernard Francois, Brussels, Belgium
2000 - 'Source', Royal Museum of Scotland, with Applied Arts Scotland, Edinburgh
2000 - Treasures of the 20th Century, The Goldsmiths' Company, Goldsmiths' Hall, London
1999 - Alloy V, six venues in USA
1999 - Celebration DJG, 25th Anniversary Exhibition, Barbican and touring
1999 - Intersculpt 99, Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester
1999 - Jewellery, Agalma Gallery, Milan, Italy
1999 - Staff Work, Edinburgh College of Art, Kyoto, Japan
1998 - Jewellery Moves, Royal Museum, Edinburgh
1997 - Cross Reference, touring Great Britain
1997 - Highlights, Design aus GrossBritannien, Museum fur Anglewandte Kunst, Koln, Germany
1997 - New Work in Aluminium, Roger Billcliffe Fine Art, Glasgow
1995 - Duncan of Jordanstone, Design Staff Exhibition, Touring, Canada and Finland
1995 - Modern British Jewellery, Lan des Museum, Mainz, Germany
1995 - Tented House of Arts, AAA, Edinburgh International Festival
1994 - 10th Anniversary Exhibition, Lesley Craze Gallery, London
1994 - 5th Annual Exhibition, Society of Artists and Artist Craftsmen, RSA, Edinburgh
1994 - Designer Jewellers Group, Barbican, London
1994 - Designer Jewellers Group, Retrospective, Goldsmiths Hall, London
1993 - Association for the Applied Arts Exhibition, Intermedia Gallery, Glasgow
1992 - All That Glisters..., New Jewellery in Britain, British Council Touring Exhibition
1991 - Designer Jewellers Group, Liberty, London
2004 - handsON Project: software development for haptic applications, Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh
2000 - Tacitus Project: to develop a more intuitive digital environment, Edinburgh College of Art/University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh
1999 - Practice based Research Fellowship, Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh