Sunday, 23 February 2014

Post 15

Hothouse Scheme
I have looked into this support program run by the Crafts Council, it runs for 6 months from January to June and it aims to help new graduates hoping to start their own business.  This is something I would definitely consider applying for. It is very daunting that I will no longer have the support of college in a few months and financial concerns will become very real.

For the most part of this project I have been working on the technical aspects of what I want to do.  I feel I will have more room to be creative and experimental with shapes, images and layout in the coming project

Unit X
My current project will relate directly to Unit X as I will continue carving and printing with woodblocks, however I aim to develop the type of imagery I work with and would like to use colour combinations and layouts that I will be proud to present.

I realise that I have not focused on making clear-cut collections of prints as much as I have on experimentation.  This project was more about testing ideas and gaining experience of the printing process.  During the next project I want to build a more focused, cohesive group of collections.

Overall I have really enjoyed this unit and I think I have continued to develop a better understanding of my own personal way of working and I have really benefited from being involved in this project.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Post 14

Visualisations of some prints in interior settings drawn in black pen and pencil and assembled in photoshop
These took a long time to make, but I am pleased with the outcome 
Finished Note-card/Stationary Box Set
Set of 6 prints to accompany 3 metre length

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Post 13

Printing a 3 metre length of wallpaper
block in position ready to be rolled under press
If I were marketing these designs, colour ways could be changed according to the customer’s taste, All designs could, if desired be printed in a colour scheme hand selected by the customer, in this way the client can play a more active role in the design process and the wallpaper will feel more personal. 

Spring Fair Birmingham NEC (National Exhibition Centre)

This is a trade show for gift, home ware products etc. there are many hundreds of exhibitors on show.  I was overwhelmed by the volume of products on sale, a yearly visit to this show and there is no need to look around any shops.  Very few products had a real artisan feel, although many were attempting to look like one-off handmade items rather than mass produced products.  The variety of imagery being used in stationery, fabrics etc. was immense and made me realise how challenging it is to come up with something new and different.  Good imagery stood out and it was an eye opening experience.  It was interesting to view the exhibitors competing against one another; some were a jumble of different colours and ideas, others displayed more clear-cut collections, and I was reminded once more that often less is more.  It was evident which stands worked and which did not.  

Daniel Heath, a successful independent wallpaper, textile and surface designer came to talk to us about his work. I was interested to see that he used the same two designs for the majority of his work, only varying the colours on request.  It had not occurred to me that an artist/designer may need to stay with a certain design if it is successful in order to make a living, my college experience has been very much about trying to be experimental and constantly thinking about doing something different.  Hopefully in the future I will still have the opportunity to be experimental and challenge myself.  I had not realised that over time a designer becomes known for a certain style and can get stuck in rut, it can be a gamble to change designs as they are at risk of losing their valuable client base.  This is obviously a big subject which I had not previously considered.  He also mentioned that designs can have a masculine or feminine identity, I will be aware of this from now on.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Post 12

Some new prints 
As I am learning Italian this term, I have decided to give an Italian name to each separate collection which I have divided according to the type of block used to print them

Insetti  (insects)      – using the insect blocks
Davanti al Mare  (at the bottom of the sea)      – using the two stripe blocks
Verdi dal Mare  (leaves of the sea)    – using the 3 square blocks
Forme Naturali sotto il Mare  (Natural forms under the sea)       -using laser cut and 3 circular blocks

On reflection these names might sound slightly pretentious, but for now I am enjoying my Italian lessons.

I have chosen one of the prints using stripes and circles that I think works the best and I am going to produce a set of variations on this particular print which will all complement each other and follow the same colour scheme.   Some will incorporate more or less elements than others, some busy and others less so.  As part of the set I want to give myself the challenge of printing a 3 metre length of wallpaper on the Columbian press.