Friday, October 13, 2006

Coursework- playing with pylons

I have spent the last few days playing around again with the pylon theme. This time, I folded parchment paper to create strong lines and then took rubbings with soft pastels. The rubbings were scanned into the computer. I went back to the original photos of electricity pylons and played with Paint Shop Pro, firstly to remove the background and then to save the shape as a selection. I then applied this selection to the scanned rubbings and used some special effects to change their appearance. The pictures show a few of the results. My next move was to print the layers separately on OHP transparencies and try putting them over paper prints and each other in different combinations. I think I shall have to make a looseleaf book with these pieces in mounts (like slides but much bigger - maybe 12/12" scrapbook pages) so you can change them around.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I have just realised that I have been posting to this blog for over a month without mentioning my coursework at all - whoops!

So here goes - I am on module 1 of the Diploma and my theme is Machinery and Industrial Landscape. Within this, I am focussing on layers of linear patterns and am currently a bit obsessed with electricity pylons. I have taken and collected a number of images and am playing with them in various ways.

I handed in a portfolio to Sian at the end of May and am working through her suggestions for extra design ideas. I have done some work since Summer School (honest) but it has tailed off due to school holidays. I am also trying to stick to Sian's suggestion of daily drawings made in different ways of the same subject.

The photo shows how I have been exploring layers of lines on transparent surfaces - these have been made by wrapping laminating pouches with black threads of diferent thicknesses. I have hinged the layers so that they can be folded like a book or viewed as a 3d model. A variation has been to laminate cut up video tapes in credit card size pouches and make patterns by combining these with small copies of the photos. I am looking for a way of making a 3d structure to allow one to look through lots of layers of these fragments - perhaps there is some way of standing them up in a slotted stand so they could be rearranged at will?

I have also been using cut-outs to explore the spaces between the lines by building up layers of different heights and photographing them at different angles to show the shadows. In addition I have photographed the effect of holding the stencil I used to create the shapes over the top to cast further shadows. I continue to fold paper to give lovely patterns of creases and have taken rubbings of some of these. The rubbings have then made a background for photos that have been manipulated on the computer. Finally, I printed some of my pylon photos onto transparencies and projected them onto the wall, then traced onto paper with black marker. This is a great way to understand how the lines link and overlap. At this scale they are very like an angular version of celtic knotwork (we are back to the Irish dancing dresses again). These will be used to make further drawings/collages.

I am planning to upload more photographs to my personal website so watch this space.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Summer School Pictures - Work

Some pictures of the silk papers drying outside and finished pieces.

Summer School Pictures - People

As promised, pictures from the Distant Stitch summer school.

Distant Stitch Summer School

Back last night from the Distant Stitch summer school at Urchfont Manor, which ran from Sunday evening to Tuesday lunchtime.

As well as tutorials with Sian Martin, we spent a morning making silk paper and dyeing silk. For the afternoon and following morning, we were fortunate to have Mary Youles teaching us bookmaking, and we were able to use the papers we made to decorate the covers.

Everyone made something to be proud of and most went home with a completed book. We were so inspired that quite a few students worked until 11pm and were back at the studio at 7am for an hour's work before breakfast.

Next posting will be more pictures.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

First Thoughts

The idea of setting up a blog is so that I can share ideas about the course I am doing in stitched textiles with my tutor and friends, and put pictures on the site rather sending everything through the post.

Being easily distracted, I will probably do everything but.

Today I should have been working on some designs. Instead I have cleaned the sitting room, washed the kitchen floor and bought no 1 daughter a new bike. And set up a blog. It's amazing what you can get done when you are supposed to be doing something else.

Here's to tomorrow!