I’m normally one to meet deadlines with time to spare… for instance, all my Craftwork Card samples are always delivered in time for the shows on Create & Craft.
This project was started in my final term at college, some two years ago now. It was part of my geometric constructions for lanterns (featured here), and I made a wireframe cage based on the same shape. The idea was to then grow salt crystals over the wire frame and photograph it as part of my final major project. As anyone who has tried growing crystals knows, it takes time – and in this case, the piece didn’t finish ‘growing’ until 6 months later, well after I’d finished my extended diploma. Since then, it’s languished in its protective bucket on a shelf in my studio waiting to be photographed. Prompted by a need for more space, I got the camera out late last night and took the photos. I think it was worth the wait…
This piece from last term won’t be exhibited at my end of course show next week, so now it’s been fired and assembled, I thought I’d share it with you here 🙂
The brief was to create a ‘Cornell style box’ (i.e. an assemblage) based on my chosen collection, which, for last term, was beads. The base and top were scaled up from a metal filigree bead, with the top flowers being formed from a mould made using lucite beads. The hanging flowers were sliced from a clay extrusion using my own custom laser-cut perspex die and then individually hand carved and pierced. The clay used was earthstone which goes cream/white when fired, and I decided to keep it unglazed.
The filigree section was formed by sticking down D-shaped extrusions to form the pattern, using slip, and then I used a fine potter’s knife to cut out the enclosed sections. This obviously took the most time! Just as the box was finished, I managed to drop it – a gut-wrenching moment, but happily not much got damaged and the clay was still soft enough to work out the kinks. After that, I was a lot more careful!
It’s another light shade, this time featuring cut-outs using silhouettes based on my own observational drawings. I’ve cut the silhouettes from heavy interfacing, used Bondaweb to fuse to a layer of white cotton, and then machine stitched them onto the card frame.
And this afternoon, I spent a couple of hours in a darkened room. The stress hadn’t got to me (though the same can’t be said for our tutor this morning!), but the need to photograph all my creations to date had. Here’s a selection:
Well after a flurry of activity over the last two weeks watching my new studio get installed, and then decorating it, constructing furniture and moving in – as well as emptying out and putting back to right the dining room, conservatory and some of the craft room – I have my first ‘working’ day in the studio.
Of the various things I have to catch up with, college work is one priority as I have a mid-way assessment tomorrow. Consequently, I have taken pics of my latest light shade in my series. This one features one of the patterns I gleaned from a visit to the Islamic artefacts at the British Museum, drawn into Illustrator, adapted for the round and then screenprinted in opaque white ink onto thick tracing paper, and then constructed onto a card frame. As with the previous post, here are photos of the shade in daylight, and internally lit at night.
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!).
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!