Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Two-toned devore

I have been experimenting with dying devore velvet in order to achieve a two-toned effect.
Firstly I mixed my chosen kenethrol acid dye colours with the fixatve ammonium sulphate and in a separate tub procion mx dyes with sodium chloride. 

The kenethrol dye is then added first into a cold dye bath (hot water not being heated) and the procion dye last. 

In theory the kenethrol colour should dye the back of the velvet and the procion should dye the front, so when it is devored the fabric should result in two different colours.
This however doesn't always work. I only managed to achieve two successful two-toned devore velvet samples. 

Thursday, 2 April 2015


I wanted to create large scale mono prints. For this I rolled mono printing ink directly onto the print table. I enlarge my chosen drawings to approximately 52cm x 1.4 meters in Adobe illustrator and printing it out in sections onto A3 paper. After matching the pieces together and placing it on top of wall lining paper I was ready to print.
To achieve thick bold lines I used the rounded end of my scissors, the wrong side of my pen and my knuckles.
I like the sections where the ink was perhaps still wet and has stuck to the paper without my intention. It adds texture to the print.

I quite like these large scale monoprints. Perhaps, I can go even larger scale or add some machine embroidery to it.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Fresh air

Over the weekend I went to Tynemouth beach in Newcastle. Although it was March it still felt winter cold. I adore the coast, it always makes me feel so alive! The sea breeze never fails to get rid of any bad feelings or tiredness. The waves entrance me; ever changing, never the same as before, I could watch them for hours. (as long as I'm warm enough). 
The tide was out so I could walk around and observe the miniature gardens of rockpools and the creatures that lived in them. The sky was heavy with clouds.
The rockpools are full of pattern inspiration and design ideas.

I love the highlight of the fresh green amongst  the sandwash stones.
Even the unnatural things you find on the beach are beautiful, when you look close enough.
You can guarantee to always find some great rust on the beach!
The beach life is oh so very full of wonderful textures and colours.
Eroded stairs rusting its surroundings.

It was an inspirational feel good day :)

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Business Branding

I made hand printed business cards and started printing promotional products such as bags, gift cards and labels.
I printed onto card, acetate and foil with pigments inks and foil glue.

I bought five second hand A2 silk screens with 62T mesh on eBay so that I could coat and expose them with my business designs and keep them for ever (if I wanted to). This way, even after I finish uni I will be able to reprint more business cards when I need to.

Printed pigments onto cotton bags, fixed by ironing.

I also experimented with laser cutting my logo to make cards and business cards. It looks good but its not very practical; I won't be able to reproduce anymore after uni and they are very delicate to handle.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Shibori folds and dyes

Iv been experimenting with a Japanese technique called Shibori (resulting in a tie-dye effect) with fabric and with paper. The paper experiments have been successful. I have enjoyed folding the paper into different origami shapes, clamping it with clips, and then dipping the edges into dyes so that the colours naturally disperse into the creased paper becoming more saturated at the folds. I leave the clamped and dyed paper to dry by its self and then unravel it to reveal what it has created.
I like the uncontrollable element of this technique: the dyes choose to disperse along the paper in directions that I cannot really control.

I then experimented further by laser cutting the Shibori paper. This worked well. I like the contrast of the sharp laser cut lines combined with the softer fluid lines of the dyed paper.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Stencil prints continued

I hate waste...I hate to waste.
Why through artwork/ prints away when you can use them to create another piece of work?
Using the off-cuts from my stencil prints I was able to make a woven design. I'm glad I did this instead of throwing the scraps away as I believe it has become a successful piece.
Using the off-cuts produced from the laser cutter I tried to print a negative version of the design. This was difficult because I had to place each shape on the paper, place a silkscreen on top then pull pigment through the open screen. However, when I lifted the screen off again the paper shapes would stick to the screen and come of the page. This was inconvenient as in order to create a successful negative print I needed the paper shapes to stay where they were on the paper for the next layer of print to go on. Even when I masking taped bits down the paper shapes still failed to stay on the paper. If I used glue perhaps it would be equally hard to remove the paper shapes after completing the print. 
I ended up trying to place the paper shapes to its original position or cover that section with a larger shape so that the colour would not change in the next pull through. It is difficult to get the colours you want when using this technique because all the uncovered areas result in a mix of the combined different layers of colour. Nevertheless, I quite like the effect of the bright green highlighting the scarlet flower, it has a unexpected glowing effect.

Woven stencil print

Negative stencil print

Friday, 6 March 2015

Stephen Wright

Stephen Wright is an artist based in London, well known for his bold and colourful 'House Of Dreams' where he collages and mosaic quite unusual objects such as glass bottles, used hair rollers, broken dolls and sunglasses. He is an artist who takes risks. 
Wright came to ccad and led a markmaking workshop for one day. Before his visited I got an email with a list of object to bring in preparation of this workshop. It was goin to be a black white themed day. The list contained:


·         Pairs of scissors or stanley knives 

·         glue or tape

·         black paint

·         large sheets of black and white paper

·         black procion dyes 

·         white paint 


·         10 implements for mark making or for applying the paint or dye to the surface (NOT BRUSHES).

(choose 5 of the following and add at least another 5 or more of your own):

·         A sponge

·         a piece of wood

·         an old shoe,

·         an old pair of glasses

·         a rubber glove

·         pieces of rope

·         a string of beads

·         a spoon or fork

·         a dolls arm or leg

·         an old hand-knitted jumper

·         something that makes circles

 Considering Stephen Wright's work is very colourful I was suprised that he was planning to lead a workshop using blackandwhite colours only. 

When things quickly started to get messy

The workshop was very inspiring and fun.  In the morning session we focused on producing different marks on paper and then in the afternoon we started to make three dimensional garments using what we had produced in the morning. I enjoyed the morning session the most. We were told by Stephen to 'make marks on your paper without thinking about it or analysing it'.

Using our different objects we were guided to just drop the object covered in paint on to the paper and see what happened. He would go around telling people to do different things, to write down what they were feeling and he even came and pored water on your work and then would tell you to smudge it with your hands. I think in normal circumstances this would have been a complete shock if someone had deliberately poor water on your work but in this situation it was totally fine. We were creating unintentional marks on paper, it was messy, it was fun and it wasn't precious. 

'There no such thing as ruining art' Stephen Wright would say.

We were working at quite a fast pase, creating many pieces of A1 artworks. There was a really good working vibe in the room. The print room floor and walls quickly became full of paper filled with marks. 

It was amazing to see everybody's work hung up on the walls and to see how diverse all the markmaking drawings were. Even though we all had the same instructions, to make marks with black and white paint, it was interesting to see how everybody had their individual handwriting of such just by making marks. I think because it was in black and white it was easier to identify this factor.

Stephen said something along the lines of 'drawing/mark making like this is when the individuality of each artist truly comes out, unlike when drawing an object that's infront of you which any other person can  similarly draw...'

Seeing the diversity of everyone's work on the wall helped me understand that there was truth in what he was saying.

I thoroughly enjoyed the session even though it was quite intense and tiresome as Stephen Wright pushed us to work out of our comfort zone in order to take risks. I like the result of my work and I aim to continue this process for some of my final major project.


Here are some of the marks I made...


And here is my 3D garment I began to make...

What a creative day it was.