September 3rd, 2013
Earlier this year (which feels like eons ago) I bought a small sketchbook with the intention of getting into drawing again. I’d intended to do it at least once a day but quickly discovered I didn’t really have the time to dedicate to it regularly. Last week I took a break (one where I just allowed myself free time to do whatever I wanted) and managed to pick things up again.
I think of these as doodles rather than drawings, mostly because they are not “for” anything other than the process of creation. They suit my obsessive nature as an artist, and I think of them as meditative drawings. I was curious to discover this is actually a thing.
It is very calming to draw without intention. I often start with a very loud mind and slowly it will quiet the more I draw. I have the same experience when I cut paper.
These are just a few of the doodles I created last week. I’m hoping to maintain doing these types of drawings as part of my practice going forward.
August 20th, 2013
Over the summer months I’ve gotten into sewing, purely out of a desire to spruce up our apartment. I’ve had a few little projects in mind for ages but until recently I didn’t have my own sewing machine.
For home improvement project number one I wanted to make new slip covers for the throw pillows that came with our couch. I’ve always disliked the fabric, but rather than buying new pillows I decided to sew covers and choose a fabric to add more colour to the room. Dressew was my source for the bold yellow fabric I came away with.
I sewed them without a pattern but found some ideas online to use as reference. Anne advised and assisted me with the sewing as it’s been a really long time since I’ve used a sewing machine. We finished them in about an hour and a half.
The slip covers were the gateway project that led me to buying a sewing machine of my own, because I knew I wanted to make more things. I went with the tiny and inexpensive SY sewing machine from Ikea because I’d read a review that recommended it as a good starter machine.
And the next thing I knew I was sewing curtains for the bedroom, once again using fabric sourced from Dressew. As with the pillow cases I did not use a pattern. I kept things simple with minimal detail, and sewed together the patterned fabric with a white backing to block out light. My hanging solution was to purchase curtain rings to clip to the top and not have to fuss about with something more complicated.
I still have so much to learn about sewing, but at least I am learning as I go. I have another project in mind, still sticking with simple straight lines, but eventually I hope to tackle making my own clothes.
July 30th, 2013
Last week I booked a time slot at the Laser Cutting Cafe to try out having some of my paper cut work fabricated into other materials. I took two files with me to experiment with and came away with some very lovely results.
Since my previous visit to the Cafe, Derek (the owner) had acquired an even larger laser cutter than the previous two he has on site. It has a larger bed and a more powerful laser, and this is the machine I worked with.
Here you can see the file of my artwork on-screen. To create it I scanned the original, cleaned it up in Photoshop and then converted it into an outline using Illustrator. The highlighted bit indicates the area where the laser is currently positioned as it cuts.
I created two version of this piece using different materials. One is cut into an 8″ x 8″ wood cradle panel, and the other is etched into the surface of a piece of white mat board. I sized the artwork smaller than the original and I think some of the pieces that make up the word were a bit too tiny for the laser so there is some fine detail missing. Overall though, it is amazing to see this work translated into other materials.
The second artwork file I brought with me was the one I most wanted to see. I scanned one of the repeating crescent paper cut designs I’d created last year for the culture crawl, and chose a piece of 20″ x 12″ bamboo board to cut it into.
Watching the laser cutter reproduce something I’d made by hand was pretty weird but exciting. It took about half an hour to complete because the design is so intricate, and the material is fairly thick.
The finished piece is fantastic and so very beautiful. It smells a lot like a campfire, even days later.
I am so pleased with this experiment because it confirms a few ideas I’ve had around translating much of my work into other more durable materials than paper. The possibilities are endless.