Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Project 2, Stage 3

I chose this image from my sketches because I found it sufficiently varies with thick and thin lines with curves, straight lines, broken lines and crossing.

and heres the completed sample - I think I could have explored some filling stitches early but perhaps I'll come back to this! I added the chain instead of thick lines as I thought it added well, I also wanted to experiment with something a little different!

Looking at this on the computer I think I can still keep adding thick and thin lines for a while yet - perhaps thats what I'll take from this - for a plain background more is more!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Research Point - V&A Exhibition

A picture in the V&A magazine wowed me recently and made me want to see the Heatherwick Studio, Designing the Extraordinary Exhibition in the V&A. My fiancé and I managed to go yesterday on a jam packed day out in London. You can see the original picture and my attempt at scetching it in this sketchbook page from the end of June.

So I wanted to take this exhibition as my next research point. I was worried that an architects studio might not really work for the sort of inspiration I'd be looking for. I was completely wrong! 

There was a hiccup though... I knew photography would not be allowed so I happily started sketching my first chosen focus piece to be told off - sketching was not allowed! I was a bit flabbergasted by this but understood that it is probably because Heatherwick Studio is still a commercial venture and they probably didn't want the intricate mechanisms of their creations copied. Of course anyone can go to the actual installations and sketch, photograph and copy from the source but thats by-the-by! I wished I could have properly sketched (and I saw several other people have to be told to stop sketching too), but I decided that I could still sketch various details from memory and also from referencing photos on the internet. If I ever have time I might also try to visit some of the creations in real life.

Here come the questions...
Is there a theme?
Yes. Heatherwick Studio, it's creations and it's methods.

Is it well displayed?
Yes, there was one large room with a lot crammed in but each item could be looked at from various angles. 

Is the lighting appropriate?
It was nice and bright - there were no delicate artworks or old items to protect so lighting was no issue.

Is there enough explanation of the exhibits?
Yes. Each item had a plaque with a pleasing amount of information and scattered about the room were more plaques with information about the studio itself. There were also video points which showed short clips which I really enjoyed.
Is it visually stimulating and interesting?
YES. Mainly because the exhibition let the designs of the studio be the inspiration. There was nothing else thrown in to distract you but the designs and concepts were enough.

The three exhibits I chose were 'Gazebo', 'Bleigiessen' and a cloud of welded discs bridge structure. The first two are actually realised but I think the last one was a studio experiment that hasn't actually been built (though I may be wrong, I think it was designed for a private home).

To what extent to the pieces refer to tradition or another culture or a period of fashion?

I think despite their super-modern overall appearance each of the pieces do refer to tradition in some way. The attention to detail and the aim to create something that is made well is paramount. In the Gazebo advanced carpenty skills have been used to form the shelter. In Bleigiessen wooden forms are used to space the beads - in some ways its a huge 3d beaded curtain!

What qualities do you like or dislike about the pieces?

I like the overall sensuous and natural shapes in each exhibit. I love the attention to detail and the determination to make a quality constructed object of beauty and also of form. The only thing I could think of that I disliked is of the disc cloud bridge - I didn't like the way the bridge walking surface was formed and I didn't like that when you got close you could see all the joins and it wasn't as smooth as it could be.

Here are the few sketches that I could make from memory...

Sketchbook Pages

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Book Thoughts - Drawn To Stitch by Gwen Hedley

I wrote about how I had hit a 'block' in my reading because I was bored with the 'basics' that come in every first chapter. I'm glad I pushed on though because I really liked this book.

Its in four sections, loosely it covers the basics, the 'ground', interpretations and line. It shows lots of drawings and embroidery and I liked the fact that a lot of the embroidery pictures were samples rather than finished pieces.

There are some nice 'recipes' for things to try though a lot of them require some supplies that I haven't already got in my stash! Perhaps for the future, or maybe I can try similar things with what I already have.

I liked seeing how the author works - she uses a lot of homemade textured papers and goes into detail with them, she attaches her sample pieces to little luggage tags which appeals to my need for some sort of order, and she does amazing drawings then transfers these to stitch fairly literally.

At the end there are a few focuses on other textile designers to show some extra perspective. The book has given me lots of ideas of how I can 'change things up', especially regarding fabric layering, manipulation, tearing and stretching. I liked this book after the initial hump and wish I'd continued with it earlier!!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Project 2, Stages 1 & 2

Stage 1 - Preparation. I chose a simple calico and stuffed three bags full of embroidery threads, wool, ribbon, lace and speciality threads. The three bags correspond to themes rather than colours. They are...
beach, galaxy and slate.

After the prep stage 2 started with lines, first in bands coming closer and closer together. I continued the theme till I had a sort of undulating pattern. The course book suggested to go with the flow so I did!

Then we are instructed to change it up with different lines and crossing in and out. I chose just two threads in similar colours and worked with the thin and the thick. It said to keep going until you've exhausted all possibilities to which I say 'thats rubbish'! As otherwise I'd be on this stage for years!

Saying that I really enjoy the section that is criss-crossed, I like the little raindrops (or sperms, depending on how you look at them)!

Finally I tried some other stitches and tried two versions for each stitch of what the stitches look like up close and personal. I'm not liking how much puckering I've let happen - I'll have to revisit the basics! Hopefully this will come out with an iron on a cloth!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Sketchbook pages update

I haven't been sketching everyday! Bad Bad student. I have however started to see myself focusing and exploring ideas more. I've been a little obsessed with rain and slate. I can see one or both of these becoming my subject of focus later on in the course.

I've put a necklace I made which contains labradorite chunks (along with boulder opal picture bead and smoky quartz) onto my sketchbook page so you can see what it is I'm talking about! I want to get a picture printed and stick it in here. 

I love labradorite. I adore labradorite.