Here we are required to explore our assignment sketchbook work to produce design ideas in a small format before choosing one to develop further.
Most of my designs were done in Photoshop. I found this gave me a lot of scope to move components, change colours, resize, flip and so on without having to redraw by hand time and again.
I liked some of the patterns I had done back in the Prints Charming workshop so I cut another stencil and printed a sample to pin up and think about. From there I complied the picture to the right.
I liked the idea but couldn’t move forward and see it as a finished cohesive piece. The brief states that the finished sample is to be a large scale single design as a panel, a repeat pattern or a border.
At this point I visited the Parallels exhibition and saw the beauty in using one idea or shape to create multiple designs, the stripe in the case of Barbara Rogers. I went back to my sharks tooth (original picture right) and flipped, resized and overlapped it until I had achieved something I liked (top photo, top centre image) and continued on to create a mosaic effect and a symmetrical curve shape (way too much like an animal trap so that was discarded). I repeated the first idea as an all-over pattern in black outline and started colouring it. This was then enlarged and rejigged in Photoshop to give me a larger visual to work from.
Then I started printing.
Layer 2: Printing the first positive components. The charcoal grey was heavily extended (diluted) so shadows of the design below can just be seen. With such a difference in tone I didn’t want the darker colour to totally dominate.
Layer 3: Printing the second positive image – and adding life to the piece. The shapes were resized and rotated. The saturation of the brilliant pink has been reduced by the grey base layer.
I started cutting the stencils with a Stanley knife and steel ruler to get exact shaping and placement (my mathematical and precise nature were taking over) before remembering what Cath (Prints Charming) told us at the workshop. Hand-cut, hand-made, a little off-centre, perhaps a few not-quite-so-straight lines and the like give a piece its individuality and appeal. If you want something exact, straight and with a mass-produced appearance then laser cut and have it professionally printed by a machinist. So I moved to scissors and a slightly wobbly hand.
I should have stopped here but wanted to explore further……..
Layer 1: Printing the negative space. I dyed the lemon yellow lightweight silk first, especially for this piece. The paints really have stretched my nicely pinned out fabric. Colour is very intense as the photo was taken whilst still wet.
Both pieces are A3 size. They are colour coordinated to create different moods and to showcase the opportunities available when colour changes are made. This is designed as a repeat all-over pattern with no border. Each section has been repeated 5 times on the sample but as a unified design it is a 2 row pattern repeat. As you can see, the pink and the orange reversed shapes are placed high on the top row and low on the bottom. Below shows an example of what a larger piece may look like:
I see this as printed velvet (or similar) suitable for cushion covers. In a black or white leather sofa setting arranged with other plain cushions in colours taken from the fabric – pink and / or charcoal – it would look clean, uncluttered, minimalist and modern.
Add to the room a thick cotton twill covered foot stool printed with the same design. I think it would work well.