Monday, 30 September 2013

Thoughts regarding this cell structure ...

Below is a sectional close-up of the start of one of my current projects. It's being made in paper, fabric & plastic - NOTE: the image 'section' was photographed purely at random.

I currently have this piece labelled as 'Project:Cell' & whilst researching 'cell structures', I came to the conclusion that a lot of my visual work to date (ie. current projects) appears to have common themes (which also continue into things I like as well as specific art & design interests I have). In fact, I can now see why I've chosen specific images to be uploaded here. With this now in mind, I intend to focus more on just this & see where it (visually) leads me.

To begin this process (& as a note to myself!), I'm looking at the above image & notice it has unintentionally captured what the overall finished design will ultimately depict:
  • intricate patterns (ie. to the left, the distortions in the overlayed pieces of netting)
  • unusual & irregular forms (ie. a mix of angular & curved shapes)
  • illusion of a 'body' (ie. the central shiny panel depicting a female upper torso with one arm up, the other down)
  • an outline or illusion of other forms (eg. to the right, a mask; overall jigsaw patterning)

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Cell designs - stage 2 ...

The plastic-coated nucleus has been shaped (above), some holes cut into it & then sandwiched between layers of transparent fabric. Then in an embroidery hoop (below), it's ready to stitch - if you want to read more about the techniques in progress, click here in my studio.

To ensure all the layers are kept in place whilst I'm working, (especially the plastic nucleus), it's been tacked in position & placed in my large embroidery hoop to keep it taught (if you want to see how to do this, click 'cover an embroidery hoop'). I'm unsure at this stage whether it will be hand or machine stitched but likely will be a combination of both.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Cell designs - stage 1 ...

A brilliant day yesterday in the studio - the result above. While hunting in my cupboards, I found some handmade paper samples that I'd been keeping for a particular use. Made from re-cycled paper in greys & purples, they had originally dried to quite delicate textures & I thought them ideal for this project. The above shows them half-way through the afternoon while drying - I like the crinkles appearing but doubt if they will remain.

I also completed some other 'experiments' - below right I want to symbolise 'inspection' with the addition of clear plastic. I have also guled on & added a fabric/paper backing (paper on dyed muslin) with the intention of stitchery through all layers.

The design below also has further handmade card added behind the initial design - unsure where to go next with this one!

(if you want to see any of these 'progression routes' in more detail, have a look here in my studio).

Monday, 16 September 2013

Cells ...

  1. As a result of becoming VERY inspired with this topic, I've decided to start Project: Cell. I'm not sure which direction it will take or where it will lead, but think that to isolate it at this stage may be beneficial.
  2. Carrying on from the other day, I've been looking at cells on the Internet & am finding them very enthusing & inspirational. Not so much for the imagery but more along the lines of interpretation as I find I'm immediately transposing them into stitching, fabric or textiles. Also, in looking back over many of my initial designs (both here & in my actual sketch books) - the ones I prefer are those that in some way could be termed as types of "cell structures". I like the way in which together, cells form a particular 'final shape' - not appearing to link to the individual cell shapes.
  3. I'm also finding the on-line cell structure patterns are providing me with a sense of 3D interpretation while I look at them - in effect they appear to almost 'move'. Having not opted for any sciences at school, this aspect is interesting me sufficiently to now put pen, paint & ink to paper - an initial start (in Photoshop) can be seen here. Whilst I've been looking on-line, many ideas are now presenting themselves regarding how I can work some of my initial designs. One in particular (a blog entry) now becoming visible to me as (sections) worked in a variety of laces & bubble plastic.
  4. It's also of interest to me (while researching a specific insect), to find that a part of it has legs that carry crochets! Not sure where this will end up but am very enthusiastic with this imagery - more so than for some time.
  5. Although not in the studio today, I can't wait to get started on this line of thought - it seems to provide me with a specific 'tool' to use!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Radial ball flower sparks ideas ...

Not being a gardener, I can't put a name to this but spotting it in a neighbour's garden has sparked off an idea - maybe connected with my buttons. Having cleaned all the odd ones at the beginning of the week, I'm now looking at ways to incorporate them into a design. I don't want to use any ones with shanks (as I don't have that many of them) & the choice is either to use them in a 2D or 3D format.

Taking the image above (& looking at other 'vegetation' pix I've taken), made me realise I do like shapes (& patterns) like this. Why? .......... I don't know but I'm now going to explore this .......... (& question this thought! as I feel in the mood to write it down ... quickly):

  • What do I see? ..... radial - spokes - central pivot - different 'ends' - impression of a ball or sphere made up of separate 'bits' - image of a 'globe' - simple individual shapes - growth in the making
  • Why do I like it? ..... contrast colours - spherical shape - implies 3D - specific individual sections - implied movement
  • What does it mean? (to me) ..... individual shape - one complete unit made from many separate ones - different from other flowers since it's made up of many - multi-faceted
  • What does it actually mean? (by definition) ..... if the plant is an allium, it's apparently a 'monocot' & (according to wikipaedia) something to do with it being made up of 3 (or multiples of 3) - if an allium, I also like many of the others in this family of plants both for colour & shape
  • What next? ..... allium appears to interest me so will find out more so WATCH THIS SPACE !!
Have just found this on the Internet which possibly captures my next direction!

Introduction to Cells
More educational videos on Cell Structures at  

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Diamond Buttons ...

Button sorting now finished & ready to be used in some way - one of my favourite sets @ left. They are predominantly 'old glass' buttons & all odd ones (they've just been photographed on organza). Not sure yet what to do with them all but have initial design ideas.