Monday, 27 July 2015

FABLAB - Course in 3d printing, laser cutting etc. at Plymouth College of Art.

FABLAB.  I was lucky enough to be able to take part in a 6 week course at Plymouth College of Art. The tutor, Ian, was brilliant, absolutely dedicated.  The course was intense, especially if you hadn't even set eyes on the computer programmes before.  There were a variety of levels of knowledge on the course.  I was probably one of the least knowledgeable!  It was a mind expanding experience if somewhat challenging.

3D printing is magical.

These are a few things printed by previous students

I was impressed with this one

And how does a 3D printer do this???

We covered milling, 

Ian walked round Emma with a camera and there she is, in 3D on the screen.  She can be turned, her back can be seen.  She is even hollow.  Amazing.

And here is the milling maching cutting a 3D Emma out of polystyrene like a winter snow scene.

We covered CNC engraving and finally laser cutting.  It was such a struggle to understand the software and then to import your image into the computer and prepare it for cutting.  Here are my attempts at laser cutting. 

'Dancing Sheep'  I loved this design because it looks like dancing sheep - and I love sheep.  Alas my 'bridges' which hold the design together were too small and bits fell out.

This was a stable silk, almost like cotton.  Here is the design before the cut out pieces have been removed.

This is the design for 'Cat'

'Cat'  Again, I did something wrong with the bridges.  You can see that isolated areas (which will drop out), have design within them.  I should have connected those shapes with the outside structure to hold it all together.

Here you can see the pieces falling out.  I then etched this design into white card.  I will certainly hope to use laser cutting in my work and am working on ideas for development.


Staff at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen are so good at changing our displays regularly.  Here are a couple of images of the display during my exhibition.

Several of these are now sold.  I love to alter the designs after each print run so very often they are one-offs.

Here are my scarves shown in their new presentation boxes.


'Zen and the Art of Road Tankers' was great fun.  Herewith posts of more Ikebanas which I did enjoy creating although I wasn't expecting my Anthuriums to die within 2 weeks.  I had been told they would last about 2 months!

 'Raindance', 'The Journey', 'Aliens' and 'Golden Sun' silk hangings.  I so enjoyed my travels to source imagery of road tankers and then to 'play' with them to enhance their beauty.  The perceptions of road tankers were never the same for many people and I didn't meet one nasty driver.

My lime green anthuriums with silk hangings, 'Breath of Dawn', 'The Sound of Rain' and 'Spirit', all created in meditation from sound only, a profound experience.  My sheep maaa'd and birds tweeted and cawed.  Pheasants squawked as they rose from the field outside my studio - and I represented them all in the silence, eyes closed.  The 'Zen' Masters do not work with their eyes but from their Soul Centres, according to my research.

Through another lime green Ikebana, my limited edition scarves with 'Planet', a silk hanging and 'Tanker Inside'

Irises form my Ikebana here.

I had so many lovely comments about my work and my prints seemed to go well.

'20's Swing', 'St. Louis Blues' two Limited Edition silk scarves (25) and 'Planet', a striking silk hanging where viewers saw different imagery within it; sheep, dancers, dandelions, monkey on the moon etcetera, an intriguing piece.

'20's Swing', a pure silk Deco inspired scarf, limited edition of 25, signed and dated with a signed dated and numbered certificate.

'St. Louis Blues' another pure silk scarf, as above.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

'ZEN AND THE ART OF ROAD TANKERS' Exhibition at the Devon Guild, Bovey Tracey 17th April - 7th June

'ZEN AND THE ART OF ROAD TANKERS'  And the exhibition is up, apart from the labels.  Big thank you's to Taja and Flora.  Putting up the exhibition was like a magic ballet with each piece appearing without too many hitches.  It opens tomorrow, 17th April.  The Devon Guild of Craftsmen is always worth a visit anyway having several galleries and a large shop.

'SPIRIT'' 'BREATH OF DAWN' and 'THE SOUND OF RAIN' are three hangings created in meditation from sound.  I opened the doors and windows to my studio.  My pet sheep crowded around the double doors to their field at the back.  I could hear soft maaa's as they cudded contentedly.  Silk prepared, I surrounded myself with a selection of brushes and tools and often incompatible dyes.  Once at peace, I was astonished at how the sounds were isolated and magnified.  Without opening my eyes, I 'painted' the sounds; a little wren who invades my studio, crows diving on a pair of buzzards, a lone pheasant, and found that the marks I made looked a little like the birds.  And some like the maaa of my lambs.

From left to right, Round disk, 'TANKER INSIDE', an image of the making of a huge tanker where enormous sheets of stainless steel are rolled and joined to make the body of the tanker, the birth.  Then '20'S SWING' and 'ST. LOUIS BLUES' two New Orleans inspired black and white scarves with an Art Deco feel.  These scarves are Limited Edition, (25) signed and dated with a signed and numbered certificate.  I love them and am going to have one myself, very unusual as I never wear scarves!  Finally, 'PLANET'. a special silk hanging with a question, 'What do you think it is?'

'BIRTH OF CHOCOLATE'.  Road tankers carry liquid chocolate.  This hanging is so simplified from its complicated beginnings, milk, white and plain chocolate with a touch of orange.

'DESTINY' and 'ONENESS'  Again two pieces greatly simplified

'TANKER PURITY' and 'TANKER INSIDE''  Tanker Purity shows a beautiful white tanker coming straight out of the paint shop, as pure as an Anish Kapoor sculpture.

FRAMED PRINTS:  'TANKER MYSTERY', 'THE BEAUTY OF THE TANKER', 'AND THE TANKER ROCKED' and 'AND THE VODKA FLOWED'.  Tankers being strangled by their pipes like a huge serpent.  I followed many tankers and all of the drivers seemed to love their jobs.  I asked one where 'dead' tankers go as we don't see them in scrap yards?  He said, 'Oh, those go to the third world where they are cleaned out and then they carry vodka'.  Noooo.  'Not yours?', I said noticing that he was carrying toxic waste.  'Oh yes', he said, 'They just give them a good clean'.  I haven't drunk vodka since but I am guessing he was teasing.

My first ever Ikebana!  in front of 'ALIENS' and 'GOLDEN SUN' two silk hangings inspired by ginormous backs of tankers in Whale Tanker's yard, one, stainless steel and the other rusted mild steel.

My Ikebana creating beautiful shadows.

Ikebana with two other hangings, 'RAINDANCE' on the left, where shadows appeared of a 'cat' and then a 'mouse' with a trailing stainless steel tanker wheel, falling like rain.  
Then, one of my favourites 'THE JOURNEY'. As I travelled on the motorway at night, often to Bath Spa University or Falmouth where I did my Masters, the rear lights danced like butterflies.  I loved the image of the shadow of branches on the back of the tanker.  An old crone leans over a cot obviously containing 'Rosemary's Baby', the Devil incarnate!

Sunday, 1 March 2015


I have had unbelievable difficulties in creating a presentation box for my scarves. My print table is littered with paper cutouts of boxes of varying sizes, all recommended by box companies, galleries, etc. but my scarves just wouldn't fit. some were long, some too deep. Eventually, I found a size I liked and which seemed to be right for my scarves.

Then I created so many designs, finally choosing this one - but the company templates only went up to this size and I had to reduce the image considerably. But, I like it better. I like the ambiguity of it. Some like to look at it with the name across the top and others, like me, see it down the right hand side with Made in England at the bottom. Job done - for now.

Now working on a new card.

Greetings cards on their way.

'Cosmic Tankers' pure silk crepe de chine scarf in newly designed presentation box

'Cosmic Swirls' beautiful silk scarf in it's new presentation box.

Silk Scarf with no name - yet

'Cosmic Swirls' scarf to be treasured with presentation box.