Throw the Dice

In response to my research and learnings in previous posts and a month of delving into the topic of ‘Pattern Universe’, I designed my outcome on such musings. I was incredibly provoked by the evidence that nature and the entire universe is so deliberately created in pattern. So these images are the 6 sides of my object design. Using two of technologies that I have been taught over the past month (screen print and Adobe Illustrator), I created a 3D object than combines my passion for pattern, textiles and print, with an Indie Craft flavour complimented by an Einstein inspired philosophical twist (see previous post). I was completely in my element creating this, and I look forward to further exploration with an ink and thread pairing.

Using a found foam cube from my son’s bedroom (and yes he gave me permission to use it), I machine sewed these 6 dice sides together and covered the cube to form the dice. I was challenged by a few logistics in the process. Firstly, deciding how to feature the dice dots as a darker fabric, which was resolved when I found scraps of grey blanket in my fabric stash, before then, I was going to use black acrylic felt. Because the other blankets were pastel colours however, I am pleased with the contrasting result that they grey gives. It is a softer, more complimentary contrast than what black would have been. Secondly, if I had more time and resources to fulfill this brief, I would have preferred to have designed 6 differing patterns, all displaying elements and features of nature that we come across. This way, when the dice is thrown, each side would have featured a distinctly different pattern. In this case, the only thing that really changes from side to side is the colour and layering of inks and the spots of grey representing the numbers in nature. Still, it is a result that I am content with. My last and final challenge occurred when I didn’t think that my fabric prints were going to be large enough to cover the surface area of each dice side. I had underestimated the nature of fabric and it’s tendency to shift and warp out of shape. What began as a square did not always remain a square.  I considered having to slice the foam cube down in size with a sharp knife,  but fortunately, the fabric squares warped back into shape after a little encouragement from myself and the sewing machine.

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My greatest success with this work is the matching up of top and under layers of printed blanket squares, and how when the top layer is cut away, the grey darker print is revealed with the same corresponding detail of the pattern. An alternative option was to applique the grey dots on as a top layer, however the concept of revealing a hidden pattern underneath interested me more so, especially in relation to the project theme that I have discussed prior.

I am proud to have created a piece that is reflective of my values of repurposing and bringing old things back to life in a new form. I have been making crafts in a ‘practical’ sense for many years, and finally I get to label this piece as a work of art as well. I am grateful to all the crafters and artists around the globe for paving the way that has merged the two together, inspiring me to now do the same with confidence.

I also express my gratitude to my research artists Hanna Werning and Kahori Maki, for inspiring me  in this process. Both women are very talented and unique in what they do.

If I were to refine my outcome, I would go back to the stencil making process and make the pattern image an A2 size so that I can be more flexible with the printing stage.  In addition, I would create 6 different patterns representative of more aspects of nature, ensuring that each side had a different outcome in throwing the dice.

Further exploration with pattern in general would follow the concepts of Earth, Fire, Air and Water Elements in nature. Using Illustrator Pen Tool to draw the individual units as I had done in this brief, I am curious to discover the possibilities of patterns to be found, and the various forms that come from combining similar elements in nature with each other.

Passion for Pattern

After creating a the ‘Patterns in Nature’ to use in this months project brief, I went on a side path to explore how I could manipulate the pattern and its elements on Adobe Photoshop.  These are my most successful outcomes in the short time I had to side track, and the results left me feeling really excited and curious about delving into further experimentation outside of this project brief. I am intrigued by how pattern simply evolves in it’s own way given the chance to do so. Photoshop and Illustrator have enabled me to experiment with just a few of infinite possibilities.  In a lecture about Patterns in Nature, I was told that as artists we need to understand patterns, as they are the order and structure of all things connected.  Patterns provide us with knowledge and familarity, which is why I feel so passionate about pattern in all its forms from nature or otherwise.  We find patterns in language and mental processes, mathematics and science, sound, music and technology, human and animal anatomy, in natures cyclical seasons. It is no wonder then, that we are drawn innately to pattern.  For more about pattern and how we perceive them, check out Jason Silvas clip  ‘To Understand is to perceive Pattern’

Patterns in Nature

drawn pattern created with pen tool in Adobe Illustrator

drawn pattern created with pen tool in Adobe Illustrator

As a part of my current project titled ‘Pattern Universe’, I am exploring patterns in nature and in culture, both of which I am deeply interested in.  The early days of my project have seen me sitting at the computer, exploring the pen tool for the first time in Adobe Illustrator. The individual units that make up this pattern represent the four different elements of nature: air, water, fire and earth at the same time as displaying the five fundamental patterns we find in nature: branching, spiral, explosion, packing and meandering.  I intend to use this free-style pattern as a stencil for screen-printing in a few days.  Watch to see how it evolves as nature itself does.