Monday, 25 May 2009

Chapter 5 - Fabric Selection and Decoration (contd.)

I really enjoyed printing the fabric. I thought I'd exhausted all the printing patterns I could think of in various colour combinations, and then I discovered a delightfully random mess of overlapped cadmium yellow and yellow ochre. Wow! I was totally absorbed by this exercise and could have continued indefinitely, but I thought it best to print more bits of fabric later when I knew which fabrics, patterns and colours I enjoyed using the most.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Chapter 5 - Fabric Selection and Decoration

I have collected an exciting stash of polyesters, nylons, organzas and silky synthetics given to me by the girls at work. Off-cuts from their suits etc.

I also have a passion for collecting natural fabrics. I have calico, scollata, cotton scrim, muslin, hessian, various weights of linen, silk noil and habotai all in natural colours, so last weekend, following a Guild workshop, I decided to dye a selection of them.

First I tried space dyeing in plastic bags, but the results were a bit pale and far too patchy for the purpose (I think I put too much fabric into the bags), so on Sunday, I dyed them again, but this time by mixing up a couple of larger dyebaths.

I used procion dyes. Golden Yellow was just perfect for my gold colour. For the indigo, I mixed 3 parts blue to 1 part intense red.

The results were much better second time around, I'm a little dissappointed that all the fabrics are pretty much the same colours, but I will just have to be inventive with the printing!

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Chapter 4 - Cut and Fold Designs in Coloured Papers

Well, after enjoying the black cut outs so much, I was surprised and frustrated to find that this exercise was really difficult. In preparation, I had cut out a large selection of shapes in different colours, but really struggled to put them together in pleasing arrangements.

After a few hours of experimentation (and after resorting to looking for inspiration on other student's blogs and at Sian's samples) I managed to produce 6 samples. Viewing them the next morning I have to say that I was very pleased and felt they were well worth all the effort.

I made the mistake, however, of showing them off to an artist friend who challenged me to express WHY I liked specific designs! So after a few more hours of soul-searching and analysis I decided that it was because they were all symmetrical and balanced which made them aesthetically pleasing.

No.3 is my favourite. Unlike the others, the colours are 'muddy' and muted. It has the appearance of a harsh rocky texture. The eye is drawn into the focal point at the centre of the design which gives a feeling of depth and perspective.

Designs 1,2 and 5 are made up of simple geometric shapes that are strongly emphasised by the vivid contrast in colour of the paper. 4 and 6 are beautifully intricate, lacy patterns which again are accentuated by the powerful contrast in colour.

Carolyn also quizzed me as to why I was doing the course. After much thought and consideration I decided that it was for personal development. to learn the concept of design and to stretch my boundaries and enable me to feel confident to develop my own designs from my own inspiration.

Having decided upon this, I realised that I really ought to 'step outside of my comfort zone' and produce a few more 'random' designs. This took a lot more time than the last six. I really struggled, but eventually came up with 3 designs that I found remotely attractive. Although I prefer the previous 6 designs, I feel that the last 3 have more 'personality'. They are unconfined and unpredictable.

I hope that Carolyn reads this and feels bad for the anguish and sleepless night she has caused! lol!

Monday, 11 May 2009

Chapter 4. Cut & Fold Shapes in Black Paper

Wow! What an addictive activity!

Because I'd cut dozens of 10x10 black squares, I wasn't inhibited or afraid to waste paper. One or two shapes were disappointing, some fell into tiny fragments of paper because I'd made the cuts in the wrong places, but on the whole it was fascinating to see how many different designs could be derived from one basic shape simply by distorting the cut shape slightly, or folding and cutting in different arrangements.

To begin with, I started off by making very minor adjustments to the proportions of the 'arrow-head' shape, keeping the folding pattern constant.

This in itself produced some very different and varied results, particularly with the positive/negative spaces.

As I started to vary the angles and distort the shape slightly, and also to experiment with different folding patterns, some very exciting patterns started to appear.

no.9 seemed to have a sort of 'tudor timber' architectural feel to it, which interestingly relates back to my favourite shapes in the previous exercise.

I love the dynamic, angular, 'springy' sort of feel to no.14, and also the Aztec appearance of no.15. I liked the geometric patterning of no.8 so much that I decided to try it with a little distortion of the basic cutting shape, and was amazed at how different the end result was.