The recent workshops have been a good balance between precise and measured techniques and more expressive and free methods of working. Both have helped in broadening my approach to the exploration of my concept.
Paper-making & Marbling
Paper-making was a really interesting and satisfying new craft to learn. I made several sheets of paper and really enjoyed experimenting with adding thread, found imagery and text and combining pulp colours. Working in this way made me consider the potential for creating graphic puns, perhaps with a message in stark contrast to the ‘nice’ nature of hand-made paper. I also attempted to create a bowl shape by molding the pulp around a vaseline coated dish but it was unsuccessful due to being too thin and didn’t hold it’s shape when I tried to peel it off.
We were given an unusual self-portrait brief and had to record what we could see of ourselves, without using mirrors, recording a sense of motion and altering perspective. I really enjoyed this fluid and quite abstract way of working. The outcomes could be compared to David Hockney’s ‘joiners’. When I look at the images it reminds me of a drunken perspective, warped and wobbly so I would be interested to carry this forward into my concept work.
Dry Etch Printing
The process of dry-etch printing is much more forgiving and easier to fine tune than the other types of printing we have experimented with so far. With my initial print I didn’t feel there was enough contrast so I re-worked into the plate. I was disappointed to see little difference in the second print. I did however really like the technique of layering tissue paper onto the plate before printing which produced a collage effect. It would be interesting to use this in a colour splash style to accentuate drama within an image.
Here’s a link to some of the examples I looked at before embarking on my own etch: https://www.pinterest.com/angharadgraham/printing/
It has been several years since I worked in the dark room so it was great to return to it. My primary incentive when shooting the roll of film was to acquire reference material for my concept so I would like to explore beyond simply printing the images and make copies in order to work into them further with other media.
The two sessions so far have demonstrated opposite styles of working; the measured method, carefully plotting using shapes, measurements and examining the perspective. The second concentrated on a more expressive style, recording light, shadow and negative space using chalk and charcoal with our fingers. I enjoyed the more immediate way of working in the second the process however I don’t feel the results were as representative. We’ve been tasked with creating a self-portrait in one of these styles. I’m undecided which I will choose, I would like to explore both in time, but I think I will attempt the light/shade method and experiment with different lighting angles.
Initially the concept of typography seemed restrictive and uninspiring but as I explored further it was exciting to discover a way of looking at letters as shapes and forms and once I understood this I found it easier to be creative with them. I can see how this will be very useful for poster design and graphics work in future.
It also made me consider the style of typography associated with my theme of night-life and alcohol culture and so I went on to find examples of neon signs and night club logos. I feel that text or dialogue of some kind will be an important element of my work so this is something that it’s important to continue exploring.
Our introduction to colour theory will be useful when it comes to decorating ceramic work as there’s little room for error working with glaze. Considering the impact of colour combinations before finalising the designs will be essential.