It’s already March, and only two weeks before we finish Term 5. One more term to go, and that’s my college course done and dusted. If it weren’t for my new studio to look forward to working in, and the list of jobs to do in the house, I know I would be dreading the end of college. Though I was unwell last week, I did carry on with my final major project. It’s grown out of looking at Islamic geometric patterns – I’ve learnt to construct geometric shapes with a compass and ruler, transferring them into Illustrator, and then finally applying them to 3D polyhedra. I settled on a truncated cuboctohedron as my main construction, and played about with various construction techniques.
Here are just four of the anticipated dozen final pieces. Some are uninspiring in daylight, but come alive when internally lit. Others inspire in both lights. I can tell you that I got a blood blister in my finger tip from all the scoring of folds. I can reveal that the shadowfold light required 360 separate knots. And that I stuck down each of the 400 petals on the frilly one! All are handcrafted (though I did use the Cricut machine to cut out the shapes to my design!) and nothing more than fabric or paper and glue. They are roughly 6-7 inches in diameter and designed to sit over an inexpensive battery powered LED light (£1 for two in Poundland!).
I’ve not done a tangle for a while, despite my production of the various patterns! This is one using an islamic style design as the outline, and forms part of my college development work for my final major project for the course. It’s 17.5cm x 19cm, and took around 2.5 hours to complete.
The choice of final project in textiles was to either design and make three tea towels, an apron or a Cornell-style fine art box. I followed my ceramics theme and chose the box, and thus embarked on a project to include every technique I could think of to transfer my patterns from my sketchbook to my ‘panoply of patterns’. Here’s the completed box, complete with my display sheets displaying its contents:
Lots of techniques in here, from free hand drawing with a fabric gel pen, to free motion machine stitching, backstitch hand embroidery, iron on transfers, applique, fabric paint and quilting to name but a few…
This term in my print lessons I’ve revisited dry point – with a new twist which I hope to develop and share in due course… And then there was the lino cut – it turns out that lino is a lot easier to carve when warm, but crumbles when hot… And there was the collagraph – sticking items to a piece of card, liberally coating with PVA and allowing to dry before using it as a print plate. Part of the final project is to take prints that aren’t quite exhibition standard and embellish them a little:
Here’s the before and after of a piece of serendipity – I was washing out my large screen with a large repeat pattern on it, and the water/ink mix was caught by the scrap paper beneath – I loved the texture and distressed colours. I embellished it with watersoluble graphite pencil and a bit of frottage on sandpaper to add texture, and a distress ink mix to tone down the white paper:
Embellished with Distress Inks
Finally, I wanted to play around with a repeat pattern on a large scale… the screen alone was two feet square – and I chose to run off a couple of lengths of wallpaper as well as a couple of multicoloured prints:
Multicolour screen, first pass
Not sure that I’d want that repeat in black and white across the chimney breast!
For our final project this term, we’ve had four weeks to work on either a ceramic bird house, or a Cornell-style box. In principle, we had to slab build the box and then use at least two of the techniques we’d learnt to decorate it. I’ve gone for the Cornell-style fine art box:
Once again, all the work is based on my bead or button collection – the filigree is the back slab layered with D-shaped extrusions and then pierced (two techniques already!). The flowers are one and two part plaster moulds taken from other beads (sprig moulds, technique three). The box will dry over the Christmas break and then get fired – it’s white earthstone, and we’ll be playing with glazes next term. The box will hold vertical strings of ceramic beads, which I made by designing my own extrusion die, slicing this into uniform thicknesses, piercing and then carving (and there’s technique four):
I’ve just been reviewing my myriad pictures and realised I hadn’t posted my favourite painting of the session so far – it was completed before half term. We worked relatively large scale (I think this was on A3 size paper) and were encouraged to be free in our movements with the brushes. It’s painted with watersoluble inks, resisted by oil pastel outlines and highlights, and I moved the inks around after application by flooding areas with water. A bit of thinned PVA adds shine, as well as more ink movement. I think the result is rather abstract, very free, and still resembles the rose bead I was using as a reference!
It’s collograph technique time – who would think that a few bits and pieces stuck down and flooded with dilute PVA, dried and inked could make fabulous prints? Here’s a pic of the collagraph plate after a few prints: