Transformations Workshop Footage

On 30 June 2014 pyrotechnician Matthew Tosh and artist Lucy Lyons explored the theme of ‘Transformations’.

Here is some footage from the workshop:

Lucy Lyons asked participants to draw their experience of a pyrotechnic explosion. Closing their eyes, participants focused on the sound of the explosion and traced their reaction with a pen on paper.

Matthew Tosh demonstrates the way metal flake sparks emitted from a firework cool down and lose enough energy not to burn his hand when he immerses it in the sparks.

Lucy Lyons asked participants to make their own fireworks using bleach on paper primed with ink. Participants compared their reaction to the images with their reaction to the fireworks shown by Matthew.

Emotions Workshop Footage

On 28th April 2014 surgeon Roger Kneebone and sculptor Matthew Sanderson explored the workshop participants’ emotional responses to objects.

Roger Kneebone invites participants to handle surgical objects and document their emotional reaction

Roger Kneebone uses a prop to ‘perform an operation’ on workshop participant Emily Hayes

Matt Sanderson invites participants to shape and play with copper wires and exhibits some of his own kinetic sculptures


Equipment used for a gynaecological examinationTransformationsRestorations

How do people react to materials emotionally, and how has this changed over time?

Emotions, Transformations, Restorations will seek to address this question.

The project consists of a series of three workshops which will be held at The Institute of Making, University College London during 2014.

People respond when confronted with unfamiliar materials, when they see dramatic changes in physical forms, and when they seek to restore material states that they feel have been lost. This project explores the theme of the emotional history of materials in a series of three workshops entitled Emotions, Transformations, and Restorations (ETR).

Each workshop will use practical demonstrations with materials to encourage reflection on our emotional responses to materials and their properties, and how these responses might signal new historical questions.

ETR is the first part of a larger research project (currently in the planning stages), which will develop innovative approaches to making materials and making practices more central to historical inquiry.

We have chosen three workshop themes, Emotions, Transformations, and Restorations, which are intended as a means to transcend the disciplines and point to new ways of engaging with materials and history. Ideally they will move beyond disciplinary and even interdisciplinary research.

Crystals of serotonin, polarised light micrographPyrotechny: various designs for fireworks. Engraving by A. BCelia Pym, Darned Socks, 2010

After each workshop, the research participants will blog about their experiences on this site and consider how these might shape their historical investigations.

The header image on this website is from Celia Pym, ‘Stop Looking like a sweater’, 2013