The rest is silence…

Until today, anyway. I doubt there is anyone out there still following this blog (if there ever was anyone!) but I am going to try to post more frequently again.

My post-degree confusion continued until fairly recently, so much so that I ended up making a piece (called ‘Moving On’) about it, which is on display at the NEC this week. I would love to include an image, but for some reason WordPress will only upload half of it, even after I’ve resized it, which usually fixes the problem. 
It is an 8 page concertina book/wall hanging, chronicling my progress from the mixed media work I did for my degree, through several months of chaos, to some sort of conclusion. 
The last of the tubes?
The emergence of a new idea.
 Ending with a clear sense of direction (maybe). You’ll notice that September’s weaving is still around,  although strictly speaking I think this is surface darning.
And no string in sight, though there is some paper and some T-shirt transfer paper, which is a bit plasticky. I’m not changing the name of the blog, though, that way madness lies.
Unfortunately this clear conclusion is a bit misleading, because I’ve been sidetracked by the second image in the sequence. 
It started with a photo of some of the tubes, which I apped about, filtering it a bit and adding some writing. I can’t remember which app I used to soften the image, but the lettering was added with an iPad app called Type Drawing.
Then I ran the result through my all-time favourite app, Decim8, and out popped those arrows. I’d already decided that arrows were a good symbol for ‘Moving On’, so, although I hadn’t intended to include a computer design in the book, I couldn’t leave it out.
I printed it onto some of Crafty Computer Paper’s prepared for printing cotton, and added some applique and some stitch.
Since then I’ve spent  a lot of time playing around with apps, trying to produce workable designs. (The nice thing about the iPad is that I can sit on the sofa and play with it, rather than huddling in a corner with Big Mac – though I will have to resume my battle learning process with Photoshop as there are things it will do that I have yet to persuade Paddy the iPad to do. Perhaps I just haven’t found the right app? 
‘Neuf’, the exhibiting group made up of my fellow ex-students, has an exhibition at Hanger Farm next month, (do come along if you’re in the area) which meant I had to produce three saleable pieces fairly quickly. Paddy to the rescue!
I started with this, made with inkpads and eraser stamps and inspired by Boro cloth. I put it into my second favourite iPad app, iColorama, changed it to black and white and tried out some of the 83 ‘glass’ filters. (I never saw the point of distorting filters until now!)
This produced several interesting images, which I cropped and printed on some more Crafty Computer Paper fabric (CCPF). I like these even better than the distorted tubes, and they certainly work better as individual images.
They are in the process of being embroidered and framed, and I’ll post pictures when they’re done.
Why am I wittering on about this at such great length? 
Because I’m bad at remembering what I’ve done, and lose notes, I’ve decided to use this very neglected blog to record my great thoughts on designing with an iPad – more for me than anyone else, as I suspect no-one else will care much.
So, what have I learned so far?
I’ve tried playing around with photos of things – lots of flowers, but also landscapes – but I haven’t yet produced anything I want to embroider. The ones which worked best were those which I mangled in Decim8 before i glassed them in iColorama. This one looks like a needlepoint design to me.
The designs I like best start with something quite abstract, which has a reasonable amount of white space around  it, like the Boro print above. This results in an abstract image which floats in space 
Black and white seems to work best too, although I have tried recolouring my Boro print in iColorama, with some success. This could be a patchwork design, or one for added stitch.
It is quite difficult to crop these images to a smaller size, so it would probably be best to start from an image of the same size, or at least the same proportions, as the final image. My frames for Hanger Farm are 10×15 cms, and finding suitable sections of the images needed some resizing and cropping.
When I’ve finished these pieces, my next experiments will start from prints or collages, or perhaps from photos of old works. Maybe my degree work can have a second life?
Over on my photo blog, Cheese Snaps, I’ve been recording some of the things iColorama can do, also as a record for myself. The only drawback to iC is that it doesn’t produce very high resolution images, but they are fine for what I to do with them.
It feels like cheating, but at long last I seem to have found a way to design things I like and want to embroider. In fact, after an on-line class with Karen Ruane, I’ve found two, and designing has become something I enjoy.

One thought on “The rest is silence…

  1. I’m for sure following your blog now) Thanks so much for a such wonderful post that made my day!

    The max resolution is 4096×4096 from iPad2. I plan a “save with size” very soon so you can save the images in higher resolution without losing too much.

    This post is now featured here:

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