Archive for March 21st, 2015

T1-MMT-P1-p1-e1 Linear accordion pleats

Part 1 of the course looks at “ways of manipulating a range of materials as a means of discovering or rediscovering their creative potential” (OCA, p. 15). It’s also a chance to develop good working practices. There are five projects with a total of twenty exercises. We are asked to choose ten to attempt at this time.

I’ve chosen to start with linear accordion pleats. It’s the first exercise of the first project and appears to be very simple. I take that to be a challenge to push myself to find more, plus an opportunity to experiment with work method.

Here are notes from my first sample-making session:
Sample p1-1a. Printer paper, a4. Like the mini-pleat at the end. Unfinished business. Future connection point.
Sample p1-1b. Tried to knot -difficult. Like compression and release. Moves strongly into 3 dimensions.
Sample p1-1c. Refolded into narrower pleats.
Smoother in a sense.
Sample p1-1d. A bit easier to fold, although still stiff. Like the extra dimensionality, some flaring in the knotted area. Interesting shadow.
Sample p1-1e. Pleat of pleat. Not very interesting
Sample p1-1f. Views from front and back of sample. Fixed second pleating at fold points then expanded pleatss between. Getting complex, interesting shapes. What would happen if paper was printed (text or images?). Decided to stay on path for now. I find this sample intriguing – quite dimensional, insists on curving, lots of detail.
Recording, trying to focus on lines & shapes created. Felt tip on printer paper (the same as sampled). Not accurate or interesting.
Tried adding highlights and shading. Less accurate, less interesting – and the photo flatters it.
Tried again, this time on ~A5 pastel paper, Conte crayons, thinking about tones from the start. Not accurate, but got a sense of soft & hard folds, sharp and smooth, nested.

The above is a blow-by-blow account of the session, with outcomes recorded as I went – both annotations and an attempt to focus in on a sample and discover more through drawing in different media.

Looking for an effective way to sample and record, I had my tablet beside me, taking photos of the result after each sample manipulation. I could check the photos, crop them and delete duds straight away. Then I stored them with notations in Evernote as I went. See post 26-Feb-2015 for a bit more about the technology. When I finished the session I simply synced Evernote on my desktop machine. I saved all attachments (photos) and resized in gimp. Then a simple copy of everything into wordpress – this post.


  • We’re asked to record and show everything, and this really is everything.
  • Given the sampling was all one piece of paper, trying one thing after another, there’s no alternative to capturing results each step of the way.
  • I used to take notes on paper as I worked, then transcribe/interpret/summarise them in blog posts. I think the new way is quicker.
  • I like having the photos kept with the notes. I used to have trouble sometimes matching things up.
  • There’s effectively a level of backup just as a byproduct of the process (not that I want to rely on that – I’ll continue my regular backups separately)
  • Doing all this doesn’t actually interrupt work. The whole idea is to be thoughtful, attentive, in our making.
  • Cons

  • There are annoying lines of light interference in the photos. I don’t want to be running around taking photos in natural light – and it’s raining today anyway. I have multiple lights on my worktable and the combination isn’t working well.
  • It could all get rather tedious for anyone looking at the blog. Sorry, low priority.
  • References

    OCA (2014) Textiles 1: Mixed Media for Textiles Barnsley: Open College of the Arts

    T1-MMT-P1-p1-e1 Linear accordion pleats
    Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
    Part 1: Surface Distortion
    Project 1: Folding and crumpling
    Exercise 1: Linear accordion pleats


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