Saturday, 6 December 2014

Contextual references - Mixed Media

Genevieve Bennett is my first contextual reference, she is a freelance designer for many companies including habitat. She also has her own company designing leather panels by using laser cutting, laser etching and embossing. Her work has really influenced me because of the detail within in. I like how her shapes are so simple yet make the whole finished piece look so complex. I think the detail in the leaves on the image below is similar to the detail In some of my work, specifically the drawings l have produced of trees.

Lynne Maclachlan is another person who’s work l really like. She produces intricate 3D laser cut jewellery, lots of her pieces are using white acrylic, which are glued together and she then fills in with resin. Her work inspires me because of the way everything is fixed together, it gives me lots of new ideas on how l could piece together my work differently.


Elena Manferdini is the founder of Atelier Manferni design studios. They specialise in laser cutting, focusing on architecture, fashion and product design. They have a wide range of products which l really like, they don’t just focus on one design, and they have many ideas. I also like to have lots of ideas and designs and not just focus on one thing. The idea that influenced me most was the stainless steel tray folded into bowls. I am currently starting to think about materials in my own work and experimenting to try and find out what will work and what wont, as l think getting the right material for what you are aiming for is really important. I’d never thought to use stainless steel before now but it’s something for me to consider. The company uses lots of complex surfaces and creates light effects by using mirrored materials to create shadows, I like this technique and l will let this influence me. In particular l also really love the large installation 'marlett' as this is lace inspired and l love the intricate patterns!


The next artist to influence my work is a mixed media textile artist called Carolyn Saxby, l mainly love the colours she uses within her work and the complexity of it. It’s so busy and there’s so much texture within it. I'd like to think of a way that l can incorporate her way of working into my 3D designs. She uses lots of lovely fabrics like chiffon and silk, I like the idea of chiffon and silk draping to create something 3d. At the moment I’m still exploring lots of different ideas, which is something that I’m going to think about over the next few days before my laser cutting session on Wednesday. 


My final artist l began to look at is Pippa Andrews. In this particular three dimensional wall piece she has used a beading technique called right angle weave. She has created a 3d quilt using old newspaper rolled and made into beads then joined together with nylon fishing line. Bead weaving is definitely something I’m eager to try although l don’t quite know how it would fit into my work at the moment. I take inspiration from the bends and construction of her piece. I like the simplicity of it and I just think the whole design idea is really clever.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Mixed media - Week 2

This week it has been all about making sure l was prepared and organised ready for laser cutting. I scanned all my drawings in on the computer, and then began to be selective in choosing which drawings l was going to work further with. After id decided l then needed to use adobe illustrator to trace all the line in my drawings so they stood alone and had no background. This was very time consuming and was the bit in particular that l personally struggled with. At first I just couldn’t get the hang of it and l still now get confused whilst l work with it, but it is definitely something that will improve over time and is a good skill to have.

I decided to focus mainly on the subject trees, as they stood out most to me on my journey to the museum. I love the structure and intricate detail within the branches. I’m focusing on drawings I’ve made of five different trees. Four of them have highly decorative patterns inside them that represent things l photographed on my way to the museum. I really like this idea and I’m pleased with how they appear on the page. I have come up with some different ideas on what context they could be used for, I’m thinking of using the trees to make a clock or sculptural wall art.

After all the images were on illustrator they then needed putting on to a programme called coral draw. This was so that they were ready to be put on to the laser cutting machine. This was quite simple to do, you just had to make sure all the lines were hairline, adjust the size on coral draw to the size of the material l was using, then highlight the image and change the particular selection of colour. You had to change it to red for cut and blue for etching. I found that if this isn’t done beforehand then it delays things when you get into the laser room. As this week’s lesson was only an hour and a half and l didn’t really know what to expect, l wasn’t as prepared as l should have been. So it is vital that illustrator and coral draw is done beforehand as it is quite a slow process.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Mixed Media - Week 1

This week I started a new rotation – mixed media 3D design. The first task we were asked to do on Tuesday morning was to photocopy a few pages of our favourite pages from our sketchbooks and pin them on the walls around the room next to our name. this was so other students and tutors could walk round and see were each other was at and how the weekend task for the feedback week had gone. It was nice to see other people’s ideas and views on visual research. 

The second task was taking sheets of plain white copier paper and manipulating them to make 3D shapes and designs influenced by ideas from my visual research and my sketchbook. We also got gave a verb list which was useful because it gave me my inspiration when my mind had gone blank. Some of the words for example were, to bundle, to bend and to crumple. These helped me to be more experimental and creative when l was stuck for ideas. I think the verb list will be something l continue to use throughout my sampling project. I felt restricted at first in the lack of materials we were allowed to use but quickly got the hang of it.

I went on to completing 100 drawings that were really simple and relevant to the project. I was surprised with myself as when I initially head 100 I thought it was near impossible, but l actually manage to complete the task and was happy with the majority of them, there is some strong drawings that I can see myself working further with.  

3D isn’t really an easy task for me as l don’t usually work in this way, so l am enjoying being more experimental and learning how to work in this new way. I have been asked to start thinking about the context of my work, who it is for or where is it for etc. I have quite a few ideas but nothing is clear to me yet. I am thinking maybe a 3D wall hanging or sculptural piece, or maybe even an advert for the museum. I definitely want to focus on something interior based rather than fashion directed. Maybe I will incorporate some weave into my samples and see where that leads me.  

On Friday drawing day we tried to continue making more 3D sculptures, by bringing things off the page and to life using lots of different papers and materials such as wire. I have also tried to layer some different papers to give different effects; I found that a craft knife is essential when working in this way.

We also were taught how to use illustrator and l was sure to make many notes for my technical file so I was sure not to forget anything I had learnt. I have never really enjoyed working with illustrator before as I never really knew properly what I was doing and I’m not very computer based, I prefer to be more hands on and doing or making. However, after the lesson I really found that I enjoyed it more than l thought I would. I am going to continue experimenting with my drawings using it. Then l will take the images further into laser cutting. I’m looking forward to learning how to laser cut next week and etch my images on to different materials by sampling. I think this will give me more of an indication in which direction I want to take my project.

Task For Feedback Week

During feedback week we have been given a weeklong task to visit the Holden gallery, the visual resource centre and Manchester museum. The task was to gather visual research to make a start on our mixed media unit.

I decided to capture photographs of every pattern, design, shape and texture that l found on the journey to and from the museum. For example, things like bricks, trees, doorways, buildings, pavements and peoples clothing etc. I have then gone on to develop these further by doing lots of sketches and studies incorporating some different techniques and media. I made some visual lists, graphs and maps with information I have gathered based on my journey. I have came up with some new innovative ideas to visually express my journey in interesting ways. I have never looked at maps and journeys in this way before so I found it experimental.

The visit to the museum was extensive; there was a huge variety of things exhibited. I found that l was drawn to all the rocks and crystals, as well as the shells, eggs and butterflies. I liked all the delicate detail of patterns and textures amongst these objects. The animals were something I chose to look at too because of all the patterns within their fur.

In our sketchbook, we were asked to work in black and white and keep it neutral with monochrome colours, so we were ready for our rotation into mixed media. This felt like l was limited a little as l love working in colour but l embraced it and actually really enjoyed working in this way.

Visiting the Holden gallery was also a good experience, there is some work based on patterns which l have noted that influenced me. There was also a piece of art called (dis)order - A compulsion to collect, which was made up of DIY and household equipment such as a lawnmower, sewing machine, radio, drill, power tool, hairdryer. This was all wired up to lots of different sockets and it shown how each of the objects worked at different times for a few seconds, it was all put together with some sort of clever sequence circuit. I thought this was an interesting way of collecting objects/data and displaying them in this group list form.

Finally after visiting the visual resource centre were thousands of slides are held and displayed, it made me realise that all these slides alone in the filing cabinets and wallets were actually data collections. They are kept in a clever organised list form. This was a useful way of storing them and they all had their own category and numbers, which made it easier when searching for a particular slide. Some were organised into lists for projecting lessons. Which id never really thought of being a list form before now. So l feel like my eyes are being opened to all sorts of different ways of working and gathering information.