I began this part of the course by reading through the whole of section one. After reading all of the exercises I felt that this assignment could be very time consuming if I wished to try to explore every possible outcome for the ten exercises I was asked to choose. I then made a quick sample of each exercise just so that I could more easily envisage what the exercise entailed.
From this early work I found that there were a couple of exercises that I didn’t feel I wanted to pursue – straight pleats and crumpling – and also that there was one exercise that I couldn’t seem to manage at all. Rotational pleats are all supposed to come from the same central point, but I couldn’t seem to manage to make that happen.
I then set aside a fixed period to get these samples completed. I felt that this was the best way for me to approach this work as otherwise I would end up doing the samples here and there and there might be no progression from one sample to the next as I was picking them up and then leaving them for a while.
Sample making results
The samples I feel could be taken on to further sampling are detailed in the ‘MM Part One – Sorting’ Post.
There is no detail in the course notes as to what these samples are ultimately for. This first assignment as far as I could gather was to create a collection of samples that could be used for future work. As this was the case sorting the samples was a little difficult as it was not certain what they would be used for.
As such I have chosen the samples above as I feel they could be taken forward to make interesting prints or surfaces for future work. Also some sections could be removed and used to make patterns in their own right.
Links between research and practical work
I found it very useful to look at the names in the course materials and compile some research before I started this assignment. From my last module it was noted that I didn’t research quite enough. This first assignment has shown me the value of looking at other people’s work before beginning my own. I would not have thought to do this before in case I ended up making their work over again but with the help of ‘How to steal like an artist’ I have been shown how others work can inform my own and how not to just re-make another’s ideas.
Hoxton Cladding, Giles Miller Studio, was a great help with the work creating flaps. They showed that by creating shadow or reflecting light, images or motifs could be made in a sheet of steel with small tabs cut in to it. This was not as easily reproduced in paper but the cladding did give a spark of an idea to pin the sheet cut with flaps to the window and use it to cast shadows on another sheet of paper in front.
Cutting one edge seemed to offer very few opportunities for samples. However after reading Supersurfaces this gave me a good starting point to approach this exercise. I have recreated some of the ideas in that book but in turn this has led to me creating my own samples.
Shadows seem to have been a feature in the items of work I chose to look at for the artist’s suggested to research. I have tried to use this idea in my work, shadows formed behind creases or pleats or between layers in a sample would lend themselves well to creating linear patterns from these three-dimensional samples.
Repetition of single, smaller elements was also present in many of the examples I chose to research. This can be seen in my samples where many holes have been punched out of a single sheet of paper or many flaps of similar size and shape have been cut into a sheets surface.
Demonstration of technical and visual skills
The materials I have used for these samples are relatively low-tech – copy paper, tissue and crepe paper make up the majority of the samples. However I feel that by the treatment I have given them I have made their surface much more interesting. I have also used the properties of these materials to good effect. Crepe paper has good tensile strength so raised sections can be made in it, rather than punching holes through it. Also heavier weight paper, such as cartridge, will hold the shape of the tool used to strike the surface giving a textured surfaced that could be used to print from or form other materials around.
Many of these samples have holes or marks across the whole surface of the paper. Viewfinders can be used on these samples to isolate areas that may have more interesting compositions of holes or marks that could be scaled up to make larger samples.
Quality of outcome
Progression from one sample to another can be seen in several sections of this work. Most notably in the stitched samples on the large sheet of cartridge paper and the cutting, one edge samples. Each of these sets of work starts with a relatively simple sample, such as straight stitches. This is then built on to give more complex samples.
Demonstration of creativity
Many of these samples work well by themselves but by layering samples more shadow or contrast can be seen. This is true of the flap samples where light filtered through the flaps, onto a sheet laid over the original sample, gives a more diffused line at the opening of each aperture.
Combining incremental and twisted pleats was not required by the course notes; these were listed as separate sample types. By combining these, a less uniform sample could be produced.
Puncturing samples with tools to yield holes was a useful technique. Thread could then be worked through the holes and patterns formed. Tools could also be used to punch out small pieces of paper from sheets, such as those removed with the unrolled coat hanger. These pieces in themselves can then become samples in that the shapes they create can be taken forward to inform new patterns or motifs.
But not quite puncturing the paper also gave interesting samples. Crepe paper has a stretch in to that takes some force to puncture through completely. By not tearing through the crepe paper surface indentations can be made that when viewed from the reverse of the paper, appear to stand up. Shadows are then cast around these raised sections adding contrast to the shapes.
The photographs of each paper sample can also become samples in themselves. Photographs of each sample in its entirety were taken but I have found that the photos taken of the details in a sample or of a small section that are the most interesting. This takes the scale away from the sample so a small indentation in, say, the crepe paper sample, when photographed up close can look like a much larger mark. I enjoyed experimenting with the camera in this way. I put down a grey cloth on which to photograph each sample, this contrasted well with the mostly white papers I had used for the samples. However I struggled with taking pictures of the samples side-on as I didn’t have the cloth raised up to form a background for these shots. In future I might designate an area for photographs where a set-up of this sort could be made so that I could photograph samples in a more three-dimensional way.
In this work I was able to combine the research undertaken in Stage One as a starting point for sampling. I can now see the link between being able to combine research into my work and not just copying ideas from others. I also feel that my method of working builds on this research to give a good selection of samples.