Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Something clicked..?

My good friend Joyce leant me her SLR to have a play with- admittedly I didn't get too adventurous with the manual settings, but it made a nice change.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Top of the morning t'ye!

A few months ago I was bought a teeny tiny top hat (/fascinator). I'm not entirely sure why, come to think of it. It was a cheap, bright red, with a rhinestoned ribbon corsage, not really my thing. I stripped the whole thing down and gave it the patchwork treatment with additional lace ribbon trim and feathery frivolity!

My friend Tira, saucily sporting it..! Like any good hat, it got passed around the party.

By the way, if you a fancy a closer look at some of my other customized apparel click here for my Cut Out and Keep profile. Nice little site for sharing DIY projects ranging from knitting to interiors to cooking. I accept no responsibility for wasted evenings on there..

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Woollen adornments of the head

It may not seem terribly impressive, or even seasonally appropriate, but god damn it, this is the first knitting pattern I've ever followed to completion..!

Please excuse the daft photo- still, it could be worse..

Here I am oh-so-saucyily sporting a crocheted acrylic beret whipped up on the coach to London a few years ago. I was simply messing around with a 8mm glittery hook and some chunky yarn, and before I knew it I had something large enough to shove on my head (just..!). It even has the little stalky bit on the top. Needless to say, it hasn't had many outings.

Another coach crocheted creation- this time on my first 10 hour National Express. It met its end shortly after in the bottom of my waste-paper basket. Still, practise makes better, right?

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Feel the Steel!

Yesterday I acquired my long yearned for vertical tragus, my first surface piercing! I couldn't for the life of me explain how the bar was inserted (if you imagine a staple shape), but the procedure was comparatively painless, if a little longer than the usual. I'm very pleased with the result, if a little nervous about rolling on it in my sleep..

Within the constraints of money and my own wussiness, I am a bit of a piercing junkie! I think my low pain threshold actually adds to the sense of accomplishment- I'm usually so nervous I spell my own name wrong on the consent forms. I know it's not everybody's cup of tea, and I get the impression that some of my friends and family hope it is something I will 'grow out of', but I hope to take all of my modifications to the grave with me! Even though the majority of my piercings sit in my ears unnoticed under my hair, I find it comforting knowing that they are there. And of course, a small kick comes from knowing the names of all the nooks and whirls.. ears are truly wonderful structures!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Print Preview..

Here's a quick sampling from my final Applied Arts module, sticking with the theme of 'everyday objects'. Not that the bulk of my work particularly responds to this..

I thoroughly enjoyed the image making process as a chance to embrace my Illustrative streak. I'll admit my motif's are far cutesier than anything I've produced before, but I'm pleased with the energy and character from cutting and pasting abstract mark marking. I've never generated imagery in this way before, and it's certainly something I will try again! It was a challenge at first, but some printed textures and brush strokes lent themselves perfectly to the subject matter.

I've since completed my 6 tea towels, although am currently lacking in photographic evidence. These are my merely printed papers, with view to collaging together layouts for patterned lengths (croquis) later on. This was also a handy way of familiarising myself with my colour scheme.

I got rather sick of my tortoise pin cushion towards the end of the module! Gazing inanely up at me with oh-so-quirky mismatched eyes..! The 'shell' was collaged from printed patterned wall paper, and the needles from fork prints.

Check out the button hinge detail!

Tumbling safety pins motif; I'm fond of the contrast of line work from collaged paper cuts and chinograph pencil drawing.

Final dyed linen and cotton grounds.

And two whole days spent in the dye lab trying to obtain those shades. Fun Fact- 'The Dye Lab' is an anagram of 'eternal despair'. Suffice to say, mixing dyes is a trial and error and supremely demoralising process!

Seriously, I nearly dyed in there..

My heart's not in it..

Presenting, my 'fibre arts' module! I didn't take it terribly seriously initially (well, who does in the contemporary gallery..?) however with a little inspiration and a healthy dose of obsessive compulsion I was rather taken with the medium.

Initial samples of knitting, weaving, braiding, coiling, knotting and twining..

I finally learnt some fancy crochet stitches! These were an absolute job to whip out, far less intimidating than they look, thanks to Debbie Stoller's 'The Happy Hooker' (I can't recommend the 'Stitch 'n' Bitch series enough, great instructions for beginners!). My coach driver remarked on my sampling "I cannae believe you're sat there crocheting!", to which I naturally replied "Yes, while listening to heavy metal". Small things, yus?

A few early visuals- first time I've incorporated collage in this manner, pleased with the effect. Though at this stage I was very aware that my vision was rather exceeding my skill base..

This sheet was more of an excuse to get my handmade dip pens a whirl. Knitting lends itself rather well to line drawing.

The finished organ! Having designed these complex, juicey, knotted forms my actual work seems very tame. My tutor and I discussed scale- she envisaged an entire environment made from these visceral organ/ plant hybrids. I would have liked it to have been much larger, with braided trailing tendrils, however time was very much an issue, as was my actual competence.. I was horribly aware that I could only produce knitted squares and rectangles, which is why the majority of the forms are crocheted in the round. However, a knitted rib was perfect for suggesting a trachea-like structure. I would love to continue this theme in constructed textiles, possibly creating wearable art.

The actual assembly was a typical 'Kat' style 1 hour before the deadline job, I was absolutely terrified I wouldn't be able to pull it off! The magic happened as soon as I'd pinned the pieces together.. admittedly I wasn't expecting the finished piece to be so damn cute!

It turns out there is a fair amount of anatomical knitting knocking around! This piece is from an exciting Graphic Designer (I know! 'Exciting' and 'Graphic Design' in the same context!) and Art Director by the name of Sarah Illenberger. Be sure to check out her sex survey 'Die Sex Umfrage' for some witty visuals and darn right ingenious use of cacti.

Knitted brain by pychiastrist Karen Norberg- anatomically accurate and colour coded this majestic creation resides in a museum for educational use.

Ben Cuevas is an incredibly talented man! He exhibits his knitted pieces as installations, often accompanied by sound and video pieces. The skeleton deserves a closer look..

D'aaaaw who thought a digestive tract could be so darn cuddly?

I feel the need to hold this heart as a newborn child.. or perhaps a pair of bagpipes

Monday, 28 March 2011

Got wood...?

'Outcomes', or developed experiments for my Visual Studies module... whatever that was supposed to entail. My understanding of the project was as an experimental drawing unit with the theme of 'kitchen' and 'shed'.. so naturally, I flirted with both. I LOVE tools- stop sniggering over there..!- and it was with great satisfaction that I purchased my very first tool box complete with soldering iron! Ahh, Wilkos..

Next purchase- electric drill for experimental embroidery!

I seemed to get very mixed results with the iron.. On one hand I was able to achieve a surprisingly delicate marks and subtle gradients, and yet the blades on the grater are somewhat clumsy and naive by comparison. More on cheese graters soon..

With an hour before hand in I was looking desperately around my room for something small to put in the corner- a bottle cap, excellent! Unfortunately, my fine taste in beverages left me with the ultimatum of the Hobgoblin mascot, or some fiddly script with a Celtic motif.. The grain of the wood made it tricky to put in subtle curves and convey the weight of line as I would have liked, but I don't think it was a bad attempt, considering I am terrible at most forms of Calligraphy..

The nail and thread drawings were inspired by/ shamelessly ripped off the incredibly talented Debbie Smyth.. check out her installations! I love the organic flow of the loose threads, this would be fabulous to translate back into a line drawing.

Another pyrography sample.. Not a great technical drawing, terribly composed (check out the collision with the handle of my Swann and Morton) but I'm still amazed at the level of detail I was able to achieve. If I wasn't in such a hurry to get this handed in I would have chalked in guideline and drawn a few preliminary sketches.. I've got so lazy on the design front recently, slap on the wrist!

And here is a lady who does a far superior job! I stumbled across Canadian illustrator Genevieve Dionne in 'Illustration Play'.. lovely book! I console myself with the fact that she has a proper tool for the job.

Hur hur, tool..