Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Assignment 3 - Design Sources & Ideas to Develop

It's not easy to get a lot done in the school holidays but I can fit in a bit of reading, learning and reflection time.  Looking back through my sketchbook to select drawings to develop, I've realised that I need a bit more source material for Assignment 3 and to make some more observational drawings like my tutor suggested.  I kept my notebook and camera to hand to make the most of my family days out while we were away in Liverpool.

After enjoying my Research Point on textile diversity so much last month, I steered my children towards the small display about textile processes at the Catalyst Science & Discovery Centre. We found out about the chemical processes involved in making a pair of jeans and how nylon pellets were melted, extruded and cut to form fibres which were then bonded and dyed to make the carpet we were standing on. During the science workshops we all fascinated by the plasma ball and I thought I'd add this image to my inspiration file.

At Croxteth Country Park, I took some interesting close ups of plants in the tropical glass houses that have potential, but I was particularly taken by the fanning shapes of these ancient fruit trees in the formal gardens - the textures of the moss carpeting the branches and the gnarled, brittle wood, also the beautiful shades of the powdery moss on brick behind.

For some time, I've wanted to go to the World of Glass in St Helen's.  Fortunately a glass painting workshop and the 'maze of mirrors'  kept the kids sufficiently occupied while I looked around. I was interested to see that much of the glass was displayed against a black background and remembered that my inspiration file has quite a few Dale Chihuly art glass images which are also against black.  What exactly is it about glass that makes a black background better? (Maybe something to ask the photographers on the OCA forums?)

I began to think about my choice of black for my theme book and black over white for my assessment boards (these two are the only choices available). I particularly loved the way the primary and secondary clear colours on my dissolvable colour wheel stood out when attached directly on the black board. Tints can looked a bit washed out however and need a white or coloured border. I've also been doing some angelina fibre experiments recently to prepare for Stage 3 - Applied Fabric Techniques and I think the iridescence of this is also appreciated better when viewed against black.

(Looking at this again now, I'm wondering whether a dissolvable fabric plasma ball might work!)

Layering two colours of angelina fibres
Burning with a tea light to trap fabric lace between scraps of angelina film and fibres
We watched a glass blowing demonstration at the museum and I bought one of the friendship balls being made.  I particularly liked the colours and thought this might be an interesting source to explore further with angelina.
Other potential source material was this magnificent restored lead glass chandelier designed by Stefan Buzas and hand blown by Bruno Zanetti at the world famous Murano factory in the 1960s.  It was once one of four designed for Manchester Airport departure lounge and an iconic symbol of the luxury of holidays and air travel. Each was over 5 metres long and weighed 2 tonnes.
I was also taken by the display of Roman artefacts.  It seems incredible that these glass pieces have survived unbroken for nearly 2000 years. I liked the quirky shapes and thought  these might lend themselves to applied fabric techniques.
Going home to Liverpool always makes me think about my family history and I'm going to dedicate Saturday to working on some ideas I have for my theme book.  In the meantime I need to get back to some drawing.  My Mum has a painted wooden duck toy that cleverly walks on its own down a slope.  It was made by her father, a cabinet maker around 1950.  As my theme has little in the way of physical objects, I thought I'd start by borrowing it to try an observational drawing.  This is something I've been putting off because I always feel I need silence and no distractions to enjoy it. Silence is a very rare luxury in our house!  I started off with pencil crayon but found I could blend a much more accurate colour using oil pastels and it was a better medium to represent the brush strokes.
Drawing for Theme Book

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