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MMT – Part 2 – Project 2 – Wrapping – Reflection

I don’t think that I’ve worked as hard as I should have at recording outcomes, I’ve used this project to look at critiquing but I haven’t yet worked through the article that I like so much to start applying the criteria laid out there. I didn’t want to delay submitting Part 2 so I could do that and though I’m sure to get plenty of further opportunities.

I also didn’t do any sorting to select what I should send for marking, I like to send everything but I am going to reflect in this blog and do a brief overview of the ideas and samples that, given time I would have experimented with further.

Joining

Sample 1

Stitching feathers together on the sewing machine worked really well, the delicate structure of the feathers was hardly effected and it would be interesting to see how many you could stitch together and just how easy it would be to attach them together using the fibres not the stems. Could I use dissolvable fabric as a stabiliser. Then could the resulting pieces be added to wrapped bundles or moulded with plaster of Paris for Part 3.

Sample 2

Balloons have featured a couple of times in both the wrapping and joining projects. The solid matt but vibrant colour contrasts well against natural surfaces. The clash of the man made against the nature has potential. It’s a subject often covered by artists so there’s probably not a lot of new ideas or views to be discovered but it doesn’t stop me telling my own story.

The elasticity and the fact that the rubber doesn’t fray offers plenty to experiment with in terms of seeing how far the material can be stretched, pulled, twisted etc.

What I do struggle with is thinking of ways I could use this way of joining as it stands. It could be an embellishment on an embroidered piece but then my ideas dry up.

Sample 3

Back to feathers, I think it’s the colours and the delicate finish of flighty feathers and woolly background that I like so much about this sample. The composition is simple but the elements are beautiful in their own right. This opens up lots of questions about materials. Is is cheating to use already beautiful items?can you become too reliant on their attractiveness and general appeal?

Sample 4

It was at this point that I could really see some value in making samples for no reason other than testing a technical method. Here it was joining pieces of paper or fabric together, aligned without a gap or an overlap.

The idea of making a piece and them cutting it up and repiecing it is quite common when quilting and wet felting and it’s a technique with huge potential for creating interesting and complicated patterns from simple beginnings.

The added advantage of repeatedly cutting and then sewing back together is that you create something with lots of flexibility, which means you can keep remodelling it to make even more interesting shapes. It’s a little bit like origami but the sewn joints are far more flexible and stand up to be refilled again and again.

The potential of this technique is huge, I can see big old quilts made into towering 3D structures. It could be used to make prototypes for sculptures made in tough leather or even porcelain.

Sample 5

I’ve chosen this sample because although it’s made in the same way as the previous sample I see the potential of the materials in this example. How’d have thought Jaycloths could be so attractive. If I was ever to do a project based on rock formations I would include this method and the same or very similar materials. Every time I look at it I see granite and the striations in different kinds of rocks, especially those in Widemouth Bay in Cornwall.

Sample 6

I couldn’t not include this sample, everything I make from this piece of tapestry that I bought from a charity shop works, it’s like it contains some magic that allows it to easily transform when handled and changed.

I would love to make a series of these 3D sculptures from different charity shop finds, the question then is, would you add more decoration? Or surround them with other items? I think if I did I would have to be very considered in my approach so as not to create something overly cluttered.

Sample 7

This sample almost answers the question I asked above, I’ve added a small extra element and that doesn’t over power the result and the gaps create breaks in the flow of the curved lines which could be filled by other elements or just as a viewing window through to interesting items place behind or inside the 3D structure.

Sample 8

I’d like to work on the scale of this sample. I think the layout and composition works really well, there’s a harmony between the lines that suggests light pouring through a window or clear rays passing down across windows in a building or through the branches of a tree. I think it could be at least A3 and could be made up of different items sewn together to replicate the tapestry and then cut, placed and sewn in the same way.

Sample 9

I’ve included this one not because I liked it but because I don’t. At the time I decided not to use the manipulated silk paper as the items to be joined by the feather stabbed straws because I thought it was being lazy, it was being too reliant on the instantly attractiveness of the papers and the painted feathers. I went for the more challenging option and it’s boring. Sooooo verrry boring!! I apologise for that.

Sample 10

This sample worked on so many levels; the process of cutting, twisting and joining was very tactile and satisfying, the materials complemented and fell together well (that’s the advantage of using something that someone else has already put a lot of thought into) and there’s potential in replicating the technique and design with lots of different materials (leather, metal, wood etc).

Sample 11

Playing with size and materials comes straight to mind for me when I look at this sample. This method of balancing items and holding them together with strong wooden pegs makes the Joining an integral and visible part of the piece not just something to be hidden like stitches when English Paper Piecing.

There’s something strong and forceful about the wooden piercings, they hold together a delicate and elaborate structure that would simply tumble apart if not held together so confidently.

Sample 12

I’ve included this sample because it presents lots of potential at the different stages along its creation. I included lots of different elements as I went along and without photographs it would be very difficult to know what was hidden inside the package. My feelings about this intrigue me; am I ashamed that all the insides are hidden? Do I need to justify why all the best bits, the jewels in the seed heads are not visible? How would I display and explain this in an exhibition. This sample has potential not just because of its design but also because of my responses.

Sample 13

It’s the twisted newspaper that I’d like to take forward from this sample, it’s an intriguing yarn and I’d like to experiment with it further. Maybe unwrapping some of it, or adding it into my moulding samples. Will it make interesting solid lumps in papier-mâché?

Sample 14

In the past my driver for sorting and selecting would have been what I liked and what I didn’t. I’d have used my feelings and instincts and picked what I thought was attractive. This exercise has made me question that method and has made me slow down and start to look at my samples with a colder more practical eye. I’ve cast a couple away already because all I could say about them was I loved the way they looked. That’s just not enough and possibly not even that important.

Now this sample has a bit of both, it’s interesting and nice to look at and it could be further developed and taken forward pretty much as it is. It could be used to create a series based on a daily or weekly walk with treasures collected on the walk. It has potential as a journaling/recording tool.

Sample 15

This is another design/technique which would work well for journaling, and I would, if I had time use is as a platform for documenting my responses to subjects in the world that worry me, political issues like pollution, human slavery and less dramatically historical events and memories.

This little hand grenade of ripped cloth and human hair could very quickly have an interesting back story.

Sample 16

And this one’s here because it’s pretty and it makes me happy. Sorry, I’ve learnt nothing !!!

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MMT – Pt2 – Wrapping – Uneven Wrapping

Today I decided no messing about, no getting dressed (I did have my pjs on – though my son thought they were my clothes!) just grab a quick breakfast and work until Part 2 of MMT was finished and phew I’ve done it. And it’s packed and ready to go off for marking by my tutor.

I never follow the instructions in the folder and I always send everything, I just can’t bring myself to select a few items to send. It all goes for assessment so it’s all going for feedback, sorry Faye.

I had already done one of my samples. A big chunky bundle of shells and twigs and feathers. I could quite easily do this all day, slowly drawing in all of the treasures, found items and stuff that’s caught my eye over the years like a black hole, then spewing it out the other end as a slightly messy, only really decipherable by me item of wrappedupedness.

It’s really difficult to rate the finished item, it’s quite awkward to use the usual parameters of composition, contrast and technical prowess. You can refer to the colour but even then the 3D bundle works equally well with lots or limited colours.

As a side observation, that little very textured sketch looks as flat as a pancake in my book where I drew it but the photograph makes it look like dirty candy floss, cool eh!

The second sample I had also started but not completed on another day. This process of making this piece was very satisfying, I enjoyed wrapping each twig, then binding them together and then discovering the versatility of cut up balloons to add to the firm up the structure. They’re just that little bit more interesting than elastic bands.

I was just going to leave it there, I’d also been bringing my sketchbook up to date with pages about the samples I’d made for the previous exercise and my brain was starting to hurt, oh and I also was thinking (and smelling) that it was time I had a shower.

Then as I was emptying boxes and tidying up I felt the urge to do just one more piece, it’s amazing what I’ll do to get out of getting dressed. I made this bundle whilst the wind was rising outside, there’s been a storm battering the UK and we’d got our small dose of it today and the clouds were rushing across the sky.

Please forgive my feeble attempts at being poetic. I’ve punished myself by ladling and packing all of samples ready for posting and by getting that shower I so desperately needed.

Art · MMT - Part 2 - Joining and Wrapping · MMT - Part 2 - Project 2 - Wrapping · MMT - Pt2 - Pj2 - Ex1 - Straight Wrapping with Threads · MMT - Pt2 - Pj2 - Ex2 - Wrapping with Material and Threads · MMT - Reflection · Textiles 1 - Mixed Media for Textiles

MMT – Pt2 – Wrapping – Sketchbook Analysis

Art · MMT - Part 2 - Joining and Wrapping · MMT - Part 2 - Project 2 - Wrapping · MMT - Pt2 - Pj2 - Ex2 - Wrapping with Material and Threads · Textiles 1 - Mixed Media for Textiles

MMT – Wrapping – Ex2 – Wrapping With Material and Threads

What do you wrap? Where do you start? I thought I might start with rubbish, just stuff I’d got round the house. Use a good sized object for the centre and then build it up with smooth flexible sari silk fabric for the colour and sari ribbon to hold things together.

The first bundle is full of colour and jaunty bright colours, it’s a little like Japanese wrappings and makes me think of the bundle Dick Whittington ties to his stick when he ventures off to London.

I kept an egg box for the next bundle and I decided to build up the centre and then wrap it so it looked like there was a husky surrounding it. I’m really pleased with the result. It has a very pleasing mix of solid, plain colour and more complicated colours, with a dark strip that gives the impression of depth and shadow.

The idea of husks led me to some huge seed heads that I’ve keep on my desk because they are strange and quite eye catching.

Working with the sari silks again I started filling in the seed holes and then wrapped each seed head individually and then all together. I used some paper and bubble wrap to bulk out the package and didn’t stop until the package was completely covered.

I kept photographs of the process as it went along so I could go back to look at the different stages to analyse the effectiveness of the different amounts of wrapping. To analyse and gather information which combination worked best visually.

In a way I like the fully covered package most because only me (and you) know what’s in there. But then I also liked it when I could still see the little sari silk dots inside the seed holes.

As well as the round seed heads I also have some big seed pods and I decided to use these as a very simple centre for some gentle wrapping.

I like the idea of making loads of these, they could be used as a base for a series of wraps on a specific theme. All hung either in a row across a nice white wall of made into a big long chain.

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MMT – Wrapping – Exercise 1 – Straight Wrapping With Thread

The title of this exercise says it all really. Find a kitchen implement, like a wooden spoon and wrap it with thread. I did consider using some unusual implement but I quite liked the idea of using a nice smooth wooden spoon and I knew I could buy quite a few of these for not a lot of money.

The exercise suggested that you used the same spoon to test different ideas, by recording your results, stripping the spoon and then starting again. I just couldn’t do this, I really wanted to keep all of my samples.

I started with a taut white cotton string and started at the bottom, tedious did not describe how I felt. The thread was slippy and refused to lie flat and it hated the round top of the spoon. I wasn’t feeling the white at all, especially flat because there weren’t even any tones.

I did try to add interest by binding some of my own cut hair into the wrap, it was better but I still couldn’t get the string to wrap around the spoon, unless I glued it down.

Looking back now I think I should have persevered, this is part of the problem with MMT and working to a brief rather than following your own curiosity, you are always aware of how many more samples you’ve got to complete so you find yourself rushing and taking shortcuts. It’s very frustrating.

So in the end I wrapped the top of the spoon with a brighter, thicker and more textured yarn that gripped to the wood better, even then I had to bind it tight with the white cotton string.

That was one spoon done, now onto number 2.

I’ve always loved Oliver Twist threads, the breath of colour and variation in the size, texture and types of fibre of the thread bundles they produce can be found anywhere else. They’re not frightened to use synthetic glittery threads mixed in with wool and cotton.

Occasionally at a show you get the opportunity to buy a bag of cast offs and it was one of these that I dipped into for spoon number 2,

Again I found myself drawn to keeping the handle and the scoop separate and it was here that I discovered how ideal wire was for holding the bundle together.

Spoon 3 is my favourite. I’ve had this newspaper yarn from YarnYarn for a while, it’s quite inflexible and hints at the possibility of being easy to break so I’ve been reluctant to try knitting or even crocheting with it.

When doing my research I’d liked the idea of using wrapped materials to wrap objects and the way this yarn is constructed gives it a wrapped look so was perfect to experiment with.

It wrapped very well, leaving nice big chunky areas of light and dark, I felt as if you could easily forget there was a spoon in there, it looked more like it had grown like that itself or maybe a naughty little imp had pulled old newspapers around itself as a good way to hide.

To contrast the smooth of the newspaper I wrapped round a small amount of hand dyed woolly thread and used wire to hold it all together.

I didn’t want all of my samples to be spoons so I also bought some spatulas. They actually made a much better surface for wrapping being flatter and the change in sizing being more even and gradual.

I’m not really quite sure what happened with this one, I decided to work with shorter lengths of eyelash sari silk ribbons and just to keep going until all of the wood was covered.

There’s little or not tonal change but I like that, the knots make me think of the cumber style bands that feature in a lot of Japanese traditional dress. Making a little line of waistbands alone the straight spatula.

Finally I made a more delicate sample, slowly building up the wraps, varying the direction of the threads and yarns and adding lumps and bumps using my intuition and eye to decide where the more dense areas of colour should be.

I am very pleased with the result, I find it nice to look at and it has a lovely tactile quality to it too.

I’ve taken to hanging these samples from the light shade in my workroom. Unfortunately you do get my mess as a back drop but it does let you take photographs from lots of different angles.

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Scary Scary Criticism, or is it?

I’ve gone a little off piste over the last couple of days and become obsessed by methods and the various different views of how to give and receive criticism.

Fired up by reading an article from the University Of Colorado Boulder called Evaluating Art: The Principles of Critique I’ve started to put together my own principles of critique as a guide on how I should generate, provide and receive criticism.

Sally’s Principles of Critique

1. Acknowledge the work, always remember that, whatever the result, the maker has invested their time and energy into their creation and at some point has probably had to battle their own creative blocks and invested a fair amount of faith and hope in an imaged outcome.

2. Develop The Abundance Mentality from Stephen R Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People; there is limitless amounts of success and creativity to go round.

3. Recognise yourself; are you over overconfident; can you separate your own sense of accomplishment and feelings from the work, or do your insecurities dominate you and do you attempt to influence the reviewer by offering the work with a list of excuses and apologies for its shortcomings?

4. Adopt the right mindset; let go of your own desire to prove yourself, or to sound cool and accomplished. Step back from your personal views on the type of work and the person who make it and look at the work in an unbiased and clinical way.

5. Act with maturity as defined by Hrand Saxenian in his Maturity Continuum.

The ability to express one’s own feelings and convictions balanced with consideration for the thoughts and feelings of others

6. Remember it is virtually impossible to develop, improve and grow artistically without critical evaluation. It’s a necessary part of the process and resistance will only hinder your progress.

7. Look, look and look again. Squint, stand back, turn and look from different directions, see the work through fresh eyes.

8. Research and develop a process for breaking down what you are seeing into its constituent parts following the principles of Reductionism.

9. Present your feedback in a concise and considerate way.

10 . Learn how to sift and review your feedback and decide what you want to act on, anything else you can file away (you might want to return to it later). Remember feedback, even your own is advice not an instruction and if it’s ‘useless’ you can easily recognise it from this Julia Cameron’s quote from The Artist’s Way

8. React to what you’ve got; hopefully if the critique has been done effectively you’ll be making improvements and feeling the synergy of collaboration and if not then maybe there’s still something to be learnt from your reaction, but never, ever stop. As Julia Cameron says ‘ creativity is the only cure for criticism’.

Little Afterthought

It’s funny that this blog has been one of the hardest I have ever written, it has taken me ages and I’m currently berating myself for how little I have produced for a whole day of hard work, is that ironic or what!

Art · MMT - Part 2 - Joining and Wrapping · MMT - Part 2 - Project 2 - Wrapping · MMT - Pt2 - Pj2 - Ex1 - Straight Wrapping with Threads · Textiles 1 - Mixed Media for Textiles

MMT – Project 2 – Wrapping

Wrapping always makes me think of brown paper so I’ve chosen a Muji notebook as my working sketchbook for Project 2.

Thought, on Sunday when we got all the Christmas decorations down from the loft there was a huge amount of Christmas wrapping paper, could I use some of that? Could be just a bit too twee but maybe ……..

I really like some of the wording used in the introduction to Wrapping:

  • Complex textures & forms
  • Use wrapping to conceal or partially conceal areas of an object
  • You can control the profile and shape
  • Make experimental forms
  • Padding and wrapping multiple objects
  • Play with the tension in the yarn

Words are becoming a bit of an obsession at the moment. As my ability to experiment and push my ideas further than ever before develops and improves I am finding my limited vocabulary is restricting my ability to express how I feel about what I’m doing. I don’t want to get all artsy-fartsy but there really is only so many times you can use the words ‘make’, ‘items’, ‘textures’, ‘contrast’ etc etc.

Good old Google helped me look at online dictionaries for interesting words and articles.

This is a good little article and a very accessible introduction to critiquing.

This is a longer article on evaluating art and goes into a lot of detail. I’m sure that reading this will help my ability to critique my own work and will make gallery visits less unsettling. My inability to make sense of what I’m seeing and how it makes me feel and express this in words always gives me a headache and makes me feel very inadequate.

There were a few words that I came across in my searching that I wasn’t sure of their actual meaning:

  • Originative – being or productive of something fresh and unusual; or being as first made or thought of
  • Whimsical – playfully quaint or fanciful, especially in an appealing and amusing way.”a whimsical sense of humour” or acting or behaving in a capricious manner.”the whimsical arbitrariness of autocracy”
  • Adroit – very skilful and quick in the way you think or move
  • Demiurgic – one that is an autonomous creative force or decisive power (blooming heck!

Not sure I’ll be using any of those too soon.

Then I went for a little hunt back through my research and found some more words and phrases that are more refined and considered.

  • The artist forged nests ……
  • Realised projects
  • A token of respect to nature
  • Exciting assemblages.
  • seeing beauty in life’s detritus
  • organically letting a narrative appear
  • Creating narratives
  • purified her design philosophy

And just how beautifully does this describe wraps and bundles, it’s from artpropelled’s blogspot and a reference made to the work of Linda Welch.

“The work explores what seems to be an inherent human—call it desire, need or drive–to wrap, to bundle, to protect, to contain, to obscure, or to enhance an object or being. Each bundle has a core component surrounded by multiple layers of material that comprise the outer envelope. Layers provide support and strength. Each piece balances between comfort or confinement, secrecy or exposure. Each has it’s own voice.” – Linda Welch

Artist’s statements are another great source of interesting words and ways of describing their artistic practises. I particularly like this one by Lauren DiCioccio. I love her explanation of why she called her exhibition Familiars.

I have titled this show and the body of work “Familiars” because that is the recognition of form for which I’ve strived—not quite this and not quite that, but most definitely and very mysteriously familiar.

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Wrapping – Strangely Satisfying

Snow day, stuck inside so it’s a good time to get up to date with my blogging.

After all the Joining the next project in Part 2 is Wrapping. I’m not going to rush ahead to blog about my wrappings but follow the course layout and talk first about my research.

Research Technique

Thank God for Pinterest, it’s so much easier to research images and artists using this platform rather than trawling through all the information on the internet.

I’m continually updating my boards but this one is specific to this part of MMT, OCA – Joining and Wrapping

Using Pinterest does make my research rather random, it is image focused and I don’t always look too closely at the artist unless their work totally blows me away.

What Do I Like

I gathered lots of images and then sorted them into groupings based on what appealed to me about the images.

Purpose

Firstly, I was drawn to packages with a clear purpose.

1. Those little fibrous bundles are transitional, they will only be around until they are opened to reveal the magic made as the natural dyes soaked into the fabric and thread wrapped round them. Perfectly organic and spontaneous.

2. I can find very little information about the bundles and wraps that look like intestines or strange alien vegetables. These are about the reaction they generate in the viewer; the mixture of white (bandages), red (blood) and pink (flesh) are sure to make most people wince. Art often employs being edgy to keep it modern and contemporary and I like these pieces because they are that but they also have a look that makes you think of Victorian medical models and displays.

3. Again there is very little information online about the little story board wraps. A word or two (sorry the photo is upside down) is pasted to each piece that I can only assume was used to influence the selection of items.

Scale

1. No Wrapping research project would be complete without a piece by Christo & Jean-Claude. Their work is majestic, huge, brain twisting and beautifully elegant and ethereal. I’m pretty sure the photographs do not do them justice.

They are remarkable but I don’t actually like them, they are too showy, they cover rather than enhance the beauty of the object wrapped. I have kept them in my research log because of their largeness, they take the artistic element of scale to a whole new level.

2. Anne Gates‘ wrapped eggs are far more appealing. I put them with the trees because of the similarities in shape and colour and the vast difference in their size.

Complete Coverage

In contrast to the virtually transparent approach to Wrapping used by Christo and Jeanne-Claude I chose 3 images that represented heavy, almost complete coverage of a base object with wrappings.

1. Sheila Hicks is the master of the tight, repetitive wrap, gems to be gained from looking at Sheila’s work are her ability to balance colour across a wide range of colours, her skill at maintaining interest when working with limited tonal changes and, the one I most envy her ability to take a stack or pile of objects and lay them out so they look like a piece of art not just a pile of cast offs.

I have a friend that can place seashells on her bathroom shelves so they are elevated to the status of interior design ornament whilst my attempts to do the same look like something the kids have dumped after a trip to the beach, or some litter that needs to be swept up into the bin. Sheila and my friend Allyson are both amazing.

2. I actually had to drag myself away from the Modern Eccentrics blog, there is some very interesting stuff on there.

This big bundle is another natural dye project. On one hand I feel sad that this wrap no longer exists but fascinated by the fact that somewhere it’s contents have been transformed and are now part of some other considered pieces or sitting looking scrummy in a pile of fabric brimming with potential.

3. Our course materials focus on wrapping with thread, paper and other hand held items you can twist, like wire and elastic bands etc and this image from Eva Hesse opened my mind to the possibility of using more fluid elements to wrap (dip) with; glue, thick sandy paint, plaster of paris, fibres (dog hair – I think I might have a supplier!) mixed in glue, concrete. The possibilities are endless!

Mixtures of Natural & Manmade

I’ve just come to that point when I think I might have picked too much to write about but I’m going to plough on, unlike the rest of my county of Shropshire that seems to have leap on the idea of a snow day like hyenas on a fallen gazelle. I bet there’s not a loaf of bread to be found on the shelves of Waitrose.

Back to the research.

These packages make me think of the lovely Lotta and her little bundles of found objects, her OCA journey stopped far too soon, I know it took bravery and lots of thinking to make the decision to step down and, although I’m able to keep in touch with her beautiful work on Instagram I still miss her being part of our textile group.

1. All that yummy drift wood makes me happy in Aly de Groot’s piece, it’s all be built up with a delicate considered hand.

The colour contrasts are visually pleasing and the composition tells the stories of clogged beaches and winter storms. (I’m getting all lyrical now)

2. The middle piece is a funny old thing, it was part of a hoard of similar items found in the rubbish in Philadelphia in America, no one knows who the artist was, he/she’s referred to as the Philadelphia Wireman.

The maddest thing was there were 1200 of them, now that puts my moaning about making a handful of samples into perspective. And, also fascinating is the fact they were made in the late 1970’s, hear we are thinking we’re doing something edgy, new and provocative and here are 2 artists, one famous; Eva Hesse and one totally unknown way back before environmental art became so important and influential that it got its own categorisation.

Maybe this exert from an article on the Philadelphia Wireman explains what drove someone to make all of these little packages:

“From the moment Ollman laid eyes on Wireman’s sculptures, he felt a certain energy emanating from their cores. He noticed a relationship between the art objects and Nkisi, traditional Congolese power objects dating back to the 1400s. Most commonly, Nkisi are wooden figures with nails pounded into them, sprouting out in all directions like protective, spiky armor. But, as Ollman pointed out, there also exists a history of Nkisi as handheld, abstract objects of importance, often wrapped in twine or string or wire, incorporating reflective elements.

These types of objects habitually served as means of protection — talismans — often made by a shaman. “A person would go to a shaman and say I need intervention with this or that issue,” Ollman explained. “That shaman would then make something with certain types of energy in it.” The tradition is grounded in a culture with a strong belief in animism, that all things have a spiritual power to them.

“By combining these energies you make a more powerful energy,” Ollman continued. “That’s the sense we have of what’s going on in these works.”

Wireman’s sculptures combined the tradition of Nkisi with a contemporary homage to urban life, imbuing discarded detritus with supernatural force and thus, in a way, revitalizing the famously rough neighborhood in which they were found. Ollman also mentioned the resemblance of Wireman’s sculpturesto memory jugs, also popular in African American folk art. These jugs featured a medley of random objects collaged onto a water-holding vessel, and were sometimes left atop grave sites.”

Maybe by combining and wrapping carefully selected items, especially those we gather in response to the increasingly horrifying information that is coming to us about the damage we are doing to our land and, especially our seas, with our excessive use of throw away manmade items we can gather those energies and bring about change for good. Even if it’s only the banning of straws and ear buds.

3. And after all that worrying over the future how about hiding in away in a cave made of twigs. Here’s another artist who is very skilled at gathering and placing a quantity of similar components in such a considered way as it makes a beautiful piece of art. Tracey Deep makes delicate, ethereal and thought provoking installations that uses natural and floral elements.

Finally,

Items made out of wrapped items.

Before I’d got my head full of all the influences above I felt I hadn’t got enough research material so I pulled together another batch of images where the artworks have been made out of wrapped items.

1. I couldn’t resist Karen Margolis‘ cocoon. As someone who’s stash of ephemera, treasure and, lets be honest, rubbish increases on a daily basis I’m very drawn to Karen’s practice of expanding and modifying her installation each time it is exhibited.

“With every new installation I add new scraps and materials from my studio so that the installation, now re-titled “Continuum”, is forever growing and continually transforming

2. I never get bored of Chun Kwang Young’s epic sculptural works made out of small wrapped and dyed boxes. In 2015 his work was on display in Edinburgh and I was lucky enough to see it. Here’s my blog.

I can’t ever see myself having the patience to follow his process of building such huge compositions from such tiny pieces but I could experiment with making something more flat than the usual rounded or box like wrap.

3. Gwen Hedley – Embroidery, fibre art, Joyeria con Telas– jewellery, and Sheila Hicks all use similar wrapped linear ‘yarns’ as the main element in their pieces. I’ve never made jewellery, maybe that’s an idea I could explore as I develop my own samples.

4. Finally I was drawn to a sample, one made by Sophie Loughlin. That’s the beauty of Pinterest, you don’t get totally focused in on looking at famous and/or well publicised artists, it allows you to find your own little gems.

That’s enough, now I think I need a lie down before I go back over this blog and gather all the ideas and lines of inspiration that have fallen out of the gathering of research and writing that I’ve done here.

Stay safe everyone out there in first proper winter day I’ve seen for a long time.

Art · MMT - Part 2 - Joining and Wrapping · MMT - Part 2 - Project 1 - Joining · MMT - Pt2 - Pj1 - Ex5 - Forming corners and angles · Textiles 1 - Mixed Media for Textiles

Forming Corners and Edges

Inspired by my experiments with toilet roll centres I started looking around the house for other throw away items and came across an egg box. It took me right back to my childhood and Blue Peter and ‘here’s one I made earlier’ and that slightly deflated feeling I always ended up with when my inexperienced hands attempted to replicate what I’d seen on tv (without YouTube as back up either!)

I started cutting out eggy bowls and using sticks to attach more cast off items and eggy bowls.

I just followed my intuition and curiosity until I was happy with the mix of textures and colours. It was interesting adding some gentle colour that worked with the rather naff colour of the egg box and then I got quite excited making some interesting shapes inside the little cups and finding ways to use every surface so that the composition is interesting from every angle.

It’s a cute little thing and if I didn’t have to get onto the next project ASAP I might just have made a few more.

Art · MMT - Part 2 - Joining and Wrapping · MMT - Part 2 - Project 1 - Joining · MMT - Pt2 - Pj1 - Ex5 - Forming corners and angles · Textiles 1 - Mixed Media for Textiles

Forming Corner and Edges – working from a design idea

I’m sure it’s been said before (you know who you are :-))) but MMT is a lot of sampling and it does feel like sticking, cutting, fiddling for no reason. Why are we doing this without a theme? Why are we doing this without an end goal/project in mind? What the hell am I sampling for? Well? So once I’d got down off my ‘but I’m an artist’ high horse I realised it was all about working the brain, learning to demonstrate your ability to generate ideas and then talk about. Something that I am not very good at. Could this be why I am so reluctant? Why I’m being so passive aggressive about the course content and the requirements? Yet again OCA is pushing me out from my comfy corner and making me actually do something difficult and scary. Why is talking objectively and honestly about my work so difficult? Do I need fancy word? Does it matter if I use the same descriptive word twice in a sentence? Time to man up Harrison and just get on with it!

First thing I decided was not to be so lazy and to go back to my sketchbook to review what I had made so far, do any reworking and then actually follow some of the design ideas I’d thrown together in my sketchbook, see the whinging pages above!

You can tell I’m not really concentrating because I’m using big writing, swirling page filling, scruffy stuff, but hey we’ve all got to start somewhere.

After looking at the bud I did make some changes but I did decide to leave the other sample alone and the thinking part of my brain was starting to warm up. I particularly like this sample.

The angles are strong and solid and they allow me to display the interesting elements of the original pieces, which started life as my very talented friend’s C&Gs course samples. I can take advantage of Anne’s very competent colour choices to distribute the colours in differing proportions that I think work well (not quite sure at this stage why).

The pieces had originally been designed as a textured but flatish square that could be stored in a box ready for marking, it was particularly nice to be able to make them into a vibrant 3D piece that when hung looks interesting and different from all angles.

I’m still mulling over ideas that involve making much bigger structures based on this design. It could well be one of the designs that I consider for the final design project.

That’s, that all fully covered, I hope so then I went back to my sketchbook scribbles and thought how best to turn the shapes into something solid.

Loo rolls! Blasted things they are hanging about all over the place, we use tonnes of loo paper in our house so building up a collection of card board loo roll centres did not take very long at all.

I couldn’t quite believe that you could make anything so nice with loo rolls! Sorry about the mess in the background.

The spikes had to be held with elastic bands to keep them firm, the brads and the sticky labels were instantly solid and the wire gave a secure but more flexible join.

I can see this process being developed using painted and covered tubes, they could be spray painted afterwards or splashed.

There are so many different texture sprays that could be used to create an illusion of weight Rust-oleum stone textures or a metal finish. It would be easy to play with scale too.

I’ve had a play with my iPad to see if I could get an idea of what a larger construction would look like if placed outside, maybe as a sculpture in metal. It’d need some work to make a suitable surface, maybe by burning a pattern into the metal, or polishing the surface until it becomes reflective.

A good few years ago now I was very lucky to be able to go to Bilbao to see the Guggenheim museum. The metal encased building fascinated me and I fell in love with the way the metal tiles reflected the light and changed colour throughout the day and especially in the evening. I just kept going back and taking more photos!

Had to imagine it exactly but this sort of helps, even though my neat sculpture is now starting to look like a slightly crazy metal alien.

Not only have this little sample been helping me envisage more uses and projects outlines have been inspiring me to get to learn more about how I can sketch and draw with my iPad.

Last week I was stuck in Aberdeen airport for an hour or so, it wasn’t a problem, the Wetherspoons was warm and I had a glass of wine and because I had some time on my hands I created this digital drawing with the outlines as a foundation.

This has kicked off a bit of an obsession and a little bit of synchronicity and a casual brow in the Aberdeen Apple store had been booked onto an iPad sketch course, I’d highly recommend this, especially as it’s free.

Here’s the result of my layering and layering and trying out the different functions in the Procreate app.

I was meant to have written about 3 blog posts today ….. opps!