T1-MMT-P5-s1 Review – A beginning

Part 5 of the course brings together everything learnt so far, consolidating the good work processes developed. The nature of the final outcome is left open – single or multiple pieces, combining methods and materials, remaining experimental. I’m asked to start by going back to the beginning, reviewing samples and learning blog, looking for materials, techniques and ideas to explore further.

A collection of vessels

That’s my first choice in thinking / reviewing / researching. A Collection – composition of groups of items has been a recurring interest through the course. Vessels – a slight narrowing of focus from the universe of all objects. Vessels provide a boundary between inside and outside. It’s a starting point, open enough for all sorts of exploration.

www.pinterest.com/fibresofbeing/vessels/ is a new board with images from my research and also my own samples – after all they are are part of my research for this new collection.

At the end of assignment 4 I was very aware of going backwards in my sketchbook, so I’m starting with an experimental tweak to my work process. I’ve always used separate sheets stored in a “sketch box”. It gave flexibility of media plus the selection of a sample of work for mailing to tutor and assessors. Now I’m building a sketchbook as I go. Signatures are two sheets of A2 paper, folded to A3. I can sew and bind at the end – no blank pages to add weight and bulk, accommodating any extra or bulky materials at the same time. I’m hoping this will provide a framework for more consistent effort. I also want to experience leafing through a physical book, following progression, checking back on earlier ideas. How much effect will this have on my work?

This week I’ve focused on reviewing work from Parts 1 and 2 of the course, looking for material relevant to a collection of vessels, or to an alternate project idea. Annotated images of all sketchbook pages to date are included below. It’s a jumble of ideas rather than a flowing narrative – I see that as the point of this part of the process, generating lots of options. I’ve extracted a few specifics as an overview.

Properties to consider:
Scale
Shape
Decoration
Texture – reflections, surface, interior.
Inside / outside
Cast and recast (from print sample)
Variety / relationships. Use resin (or other), or shape or … as the link between elements?
Inclusions – plastic, plaster…
Materials whose properties combine/interact/change

Potential themes, alternatives (my current inclination is to follow the materials, but it’s too soon to be definitive):
Fragility ==> broken vessels; news(print) that is overtaken by events; trapped in amber
Traces, memories, shadows
Boundaries, order|chaos, transition
Recording disintegration
The space between (link to boundaries)
A captured moment (in amber/resin; or something broken…)
Escape
Empty vessels – a container for viewers’ thoughts or memories
A puzzle for the viewer. Get them to ask questions. Engage.
Use/suggest gravity. Impossible balance?

Materials and techniques:
Do I want a clear textile link?
Spikes and protrusions
Heat-treated fabric
Heat shrunk plastic
Bundles of hessian, maybe gathered with 3D pen. Stabilised with resin? Partially?
Polymorph – as vessel or as mold or inclusion.
Resin with all sorts of inclusions
Plaster
Composimold
How do my favourite new materials interact???

There are also ideas for presentation, research and sketchbook techniques. I will blog about specifics a work progresses.

p5-sketchpage 001 20160103

p5-sketchpage 001; 20160103

While the clay vessels of Brenna (http://www.designsponge.com/2012/07/diy-project-paper-clay-barnacles.html) are beautiful I am interested in the challenges of bringing more varied works together in an effective way.
p5-sketchpage 002 20160104

p5-sketchpage 002; 20160104

A page of possibilities for research and sketchbook work. More on the detail as ideas are progressed.
p5-sketchpage 003 20160104

p5-sketchpage 003; 20160104

A sketch based on Still life: apples and jar by Samuel Peploe (link). I like the repetition of shapes with the apples, combined with variety of shape and scale in other vessels. The combination of multiples with unique forms helps connect all the elements.
p5-sketchpage 004 20160104

p5-sketchpage 004; 20160104

p1-1f - accordion fold variation

p1-1f – accordion fold variation

An early pleat variation (21-3-2015) suggests a vessel form. Could this be captured using (dribbled?) resin? What if the paper had been printed before folding? The sketches above and on the next page were done at the time of the original exercise.
p5-sketchpage 005 20160104

p5-sketchpage 005; 20160104

Denise Lithgow felted vessel

Denise Lithgow
felted vessel

Steel wool or balsa wood (both using in folding) could be used as inclusions. What about projections? There’s a link to Denise Lithgow’s felted vessels (22-Feb-2014), but I want to stay with more experimental materials.
p5-sketchpage 006 20160105

p5-sketchpage 006; 20160105

Beginning to build up a library of shapes that I can use to experiment with compositions.
p5-sketchpage 007 20160106

p5-sketchpage 007; 20160106

Giorgio Morandi Still life

Giorgio Morandi
Still life

My rough sketches were scanned and adjusted in the computer. I then worked with layers in gimp to preview placements.
I was thinking about Morandi’s still-life paintings, the same shapes appearing again and again in different configurations, sometimes grouped very tightly. (A post about still-life including this example 31-Jan-2014.) That’s probably the origin of the orange used here as well.

I find this variant quite satisfying, with some interesting negative space beginning to develop. Overlap is limited – how much do I want a conversation between elements versus creating a new whole? It’s very flat, with no indication of a surface to sit on.

p5-sketchpage 008 20160107

p5-sketchpage 008; 20160107

Sample_p1-40 Bent

Sample_p1-40 Bent

Could bendy straws or wire enclosed in fused plastic be used to create vessels (11-Apr-2015)?
Sample p1-57 Detail

Sample p1-57 Detail

Sample p1-61 Shadows

Sample p1-61 Shadows

Plastic bits or other objects could be entrapped, perhaps giving opportunities to play with shadows and colour.
Sidetrack p1-13 Reverse

Sidetrack p1-13 Reverse

Polymorph could be coloured and molded into vessel shapes (21-Apr-2015). Could it be used to create molds or inserts for other materials (resin or plaster)?
p5-sketchpage 009 20160107

p5-sketchpage 009; 20160107

Another version of basic shapes, this time more decorative using various embossed and treated papers, all silvery. The background paper was chosen as providing a suggestion of a surface and some interesting colour and patterning in its own right.

Still a lot of focus on negative shapes. A much tighter grouping. There’s enough consistency and variation to provide interest and cohesion. The turquoise and silver is a classic colour combination that works well. I like this result.

p5-sketchpage 010 20160108

p5-sketchpage 010; 20160108

"Sketch" Photo 6

“Sketch” Photo 6

Photo 15

Photo 15

Sample p1-140 J

Sample p1-140 J

Polymorph, 3D pen and papier mâché ideas (16-May-2015). Marking and curling corrugated cardboard creates a good effect as the light hits the cylinder (21-May-2015). Could this be captured within a casting material?
Sample p2-28 Closed

Sample p2-28 Closed

Shadows and lighting are very important in my presentation. Sample p2-28 (27-Jun-2015) brought in light, ideas of transparency. Both materials were used later with resin. What could be done? I have thoughts of using carefully applied heat to shape a vessel, then trap/preserve/capture in resin. I note my ideas turn more and more to resin – I want to be careful not to make assumptions or close doors too soon.
p5-sketchpage 011 20160108

p5-sketchpage 011; 20160108

The sketch is based on an image of Gizella Warburton’s work (www.gizellakwarburton.co.uk/gallery-vessel-forms). A definite inclusion for the Research stage.
p5-sketchpage 012 20160109

p5-sketchpage 012; 20160109

A note from earlier research on Erin Manning, about folds and volume (29-Jun-2015). Something to consider in the vessels.

Sample p2-41 b

Sample p2-41 b

Sample p2-51

Sample p2-51

I am very interested in the shapes made with what I’ve been calling plastic horsehair (16-Jul-2015). Some very dynamic lines, claiming space. I like the idea of honesty in materials – showing them without artifice, but if possible at the same time getting people to see them differently. P2-51 has capture/escape, perhaps a frozen moment of energy. Insect mesh is another favourite material – definitely something to sample further. This was one of many posts where I wrote of showing a collection of objects.

Sample p2-57 detail

Sample p2-57 detail

The braid of p2-57 suggests a potential textile element. Make braid shaped over say balloon, pour on resin, remove balloon (may need a release agent). Could look great, but visually complex. Would need to think about how it works in a collection. Could the braid be embedded in plaster?
p5-sketchpage 013 20160109

p5-sketchpage 013; 20160109

Sample p2-70

Sample p2-70

Sample p2-72 bMany wrapped vessels 22-Jul-2015. The sequences leading to p2-70 and p2-72 are of particular interest. Lots of ideas of change, transition, deterioriation. Static objects telling of movement. The risk and thrill of destruction.
p5-sketchpage 014 20160109

p5-sketchpage 014; 20160109

Sample p2-73

Sample p2-73

Sample p2-74 Completed column

Sample p2-74 Completed column

More of the drama of horsehair in p2-73, claiming space in a different way to p2-74 (both 28-Jul-2015). It’s getting away from the idea of vessels, but that’s not set in stone (or resin ho ho) just yet. The importance of height and movement. If I use the horsehair can I leave some free, long enough to react to any air movement? (how do I get air movement?)
p5-sketchpage 015 20160109

p5-sketchpage 015; 20160109

I used photographs of three wrapped samples to create more digital vessel shapes. I couldn’t find a grouping presentation that pleased, so tried overlapping – first with colour, then monochrome. So much more can be seen when colour is simplified. I will need to be careful not to try to do too much in my collection. Leave ideas out.

T1-MMT-P5-s1 Review – A beginning
Part 5: A final piece
Stage 1: Review
A beginning

7 Responses to “T1-MMT-P5-s1 Review – A beginning”


  1. 1 JulieB January 16, 2016 at 6:57 am

    The ‘horsehair’ generates real energy wherever you use it. I love p2-41 b and also hope the wrapped/broken vessels from July make an appearance in your ideas development. Some real gems in your notes here – ‘amber’ and resin caught my attention.

    • 2 fibresofbeing January 16, 2016 at 10:33 am

      I feel I’ve got enough ideas to feed the next decade! So many things I really want to take forward. It’s going to be a wrench, editing out some favourites, but there’s a real risk of dog’s breakfast.

  2. 3 Lottie January 16, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Looking forward to where you’ll take this. It’s great to see the range from which you are going to springboard your ideas. Good to be back in 3D?


  1. 1 T1-MMT-P5-s3 Initial resin drizzle samples | Fibres of Being Trackback on January 31, 2016 at 3:05 pm
  2. 2 T1-MMT-P5-s7 Reflection – Part 5 | Fibres of Being Trackback on March 27, 2016 at 7:02 pm
  3. 3 T1-MMT-P5-s7 Reflection – Mixed Media for Textiles | Fibres of Being Trackback on March 28, 2016 at 5:02 pm

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