I worked as a technician for The London College of Fashion, providing practical studio support for students in Technical Effects for Performance, Fashion Jewellery, Fashion Artefacts, and Fashion Footwear. Primary duties and responsibilities are assisting in the moulding and casting with various resins, silicone rubbers, and plasters. I also oversee the use of tools and workshop machines such as a lost-wax kiln, metal vacuum-caster, laser-cutter, and milling machine.
As a Visiting Lecturer at The Central School of Speech in Drama, I teach short classes in practical skills. For the acting department, I have taught life-casting with plaster and mod-roc to create face casts for making neutral masks in acting exercises. For the puppetry department, I have taught silicone mould-making of puppet heads, casting in two-part expanding flexible foam, and the construction of table-top puppets.
In 2012, with a team of five to ten students, we workshopped the creation of five horse costumes for the performance company Forkbeard Fantasy. Forkbeard was one of the seven artistic companies working on the Cultural Olympiad's "Battle for the Winds": a massive outdoor theatrical event that ushered in the Olympic Sailing events. This was a very exciting project for me using my background in fabrication while liaising between designing with Forkbeard; the creation with the students; and communication with the third-party performers. Please visit: http://mattjacksonworkshops.wordpress.com/ for a detailed report of this project. This particular blog enabled Forkbeard to stay up to date on the progress made by my team while giving the students a detailed record of the process from start to finish.
I am also an associated artist of The Puppet Centre Trust, with whom I have taught a workshop at my shared studio-space, Manifold, this past summer. This 3-day (18-hr) class taught the total creation of a flexible foam puppet head including armature fabrication, clay sculpting, silicone mould-making, casting, and painting/finishing.
Accounts from workshop participants:
"All in all this was an excellent workshop. Well delivered by Matt Jackson who shared his expertise in an approachable, helpful manner throughout. More of this please Puppet Centre Trust! Well done!"
"A really fantastic course. Great Fun and Matt was a very supportive, knowledgeable and enthusiastic tutor. The size of the group was perfect, Matt was able to come round and give us individual advice. Any larger and it would have been harder to get everything done in the time and it might have felt rushed. I would definitely do a course like this again. Please do more!! Thank you very much for organising it all."