Encaustic Series by Vicky Reisima

The ‘Elements of Random’ series were conceived from my desire to combine the natural world with geometric patterns, highlighting the synergistic and beautiful relationship that can be witnessed between them.

This series of works were created in response to my desire to experiment with encaustic wax. After combining photographs with vector images in Photoshop, I went on to transfer the images onto calico fabric with the Intron Heat Transfer Press. Before fusing them onto wooden box frames, I couldn’t resist passing them under the sewing machine for old times sake. They are currently on display in the Can Print Exhibition in Hastings Community Art Gallery (Hawkes Bay, New Zealand from 21st July-02 August 2014), and available to purchase should you wish to have them adorning your walls.


Kathy Klein

Kathy Klein is the intuitive creator of these mandalas (sanskrit meaning – ‘sacred circle’) made from natures bounty. This avid collector of wild treasures tunes into the creative process in a ritualistic way – ensuring that her experience is both meditative and meaningful for herself and the people who adorn walls with her limited edition prints, or for those fortunate people who serendipitously come across them on their travels amongst the landscape. I am truly inspired by her desire to create in a ‘connected to cosmos’ way allowing the treasures to take their own colourful forms and energy, seemingly without a pre-meditated (excuse the pun) outcome. Her works are obviously linked to higher intentions and I am comforted to witness the actions of a kindred artist taking a profound step into claiming such. Klein has provoked me to really stand in my power as an artist who honors our co-creator in all that becomes manifest.

Kathy Klein is a devout lover of plants, animals, people and the divine presence within all.  She creates the danmalas by first centering herself in a meditative devotional space.  Next she gathers flowers and natural objects while her mind is kept in mantra, resting in the immaterial. Then, through an act of grace and giving to all, she allows the materials to fall to the will of creation patterns.



Retrieved on 26th November 2013, from https://www.danmala.com

Mister Finch

Mr Finch is the self taught creator of these whimsical storytelling creatures. He practices a sustainable practice by collecting objects and materials that have lost their purpose, not just an ethical choice but also because he loves the nostalgic and unique qualities of them, which is what I am drawn to in his works.

It’s a joy to hunt for things for my work…the lost, found and forgotten all have places in what I make.
Most of my pieces use recycled materials, not only as an ethical statement, but I believe they add more authenticity and charm.
A story sewn in, woven in.
Velvet curtains from an old hotel, a threadbare wedding dress and a vintage apron become birds and beasts, looking for new owners and adventures to have.

Mr Finch expresses his desire for meaning and fantastical whimsy, letting his creatures tell tales of merging into the human world by means of their physical materiality. As a storyteller and lover of stories, Mr Finch nourishes my imagination and inspires me to tap into the worlds that reside therein.

My main inspirations come from nature and often I return to certain ideas again and again.
Flowers, insects and birds really fascinate me with their amazing life cycles and extraordinary nests and behaviour.
British folklore is also so beautifully rich in fabulous stories and warnings and never ceases to be at the heart of what I make.
Shape shifting witches, moon gazing hares and a smartly dressed devil ready to invite you to stray from the path.
humanizing animals with shoes and clothes is something I’ve always done and I imagine them to come alive at night. Getting dressed and helping an elderly shoemaker or the tired housewife.

Images and quotes retrieved 15th November 2013, from http://www.mister-finch.com



Considering the Earth with Organic Architecture

Nature inspired art and architecture has always existed, and can be observed in history, from Ancient Greece to Art Nouveau.  Click on the images above to glimpse at a few of the visionary architects that I am inspired by personally.  Nature’s forms and structures give rise to unlimited ideas for many art forms – including textile and furniture design and the topic of this current project – architectural structures.

Organic is curved, organic is asymmetrical, organic is natural materials, organic is individualistic, organic is holistic.” Sidney K Robinson

Organic architecture is an ancient philosophical concept coined by Frank Lloyd Wright. Its term refers to a style of architecture that is based on natural forms of design that are sympathetic and promote harmony with the natural world and the physical, mental and spiritual needs of the human being.

Architecture historian Pevsner (2011) has called Wright “the Greatest American Architect to date” and “a poet of pure form”. (p. 166). His numerous works as a prolific designer, had a dynamic and rhythmic style that successfully emphasized the contrast between rectilinear and curvilinear forms. They comprised of open plan spaces, flowing into outdoor living, bringing the inhabitants closer to their natural surroundings. He revolutionized the then typical ‘box’ style of the current domestic home by creating contrary interconnecting spaces with expansive horizontal lines, replicating the landscape where it stands, that contributed to the calming and reflective qualities of his designs.

A well designed ‘organic’ building will feel better and freer. (Pearson, 2001)

The re-emergence of ‘organic’ design stems from the post- industrial world, which sought to bring back and celebrate traditional ideas of living in harmony with the planet.  Understanding the science of nature and her forms, allows artists and designers to consider what is possible in creating work.

The complete architect is master of the elements; earth, fire, light and water. Space, motion and gravitation are his palette; the sun his brush. His concern is the heart of humanity. He of all men, must see into the life of things; know their honour. – Frank Lloyd Wright.

Wright knew how to place form within space in a holistic manner. With consideration for the natural surroundings and the highlighting features that Nature gave the site, Wright would design the structures, gardens, terraces, and even the furniture of the cosy interiors to compliment each other, so that the entire home would become one organic, living entity with its land.

Wrights “Falling Water” is one of his most famous houses, that demonstrates his ability to create feelings of space and freedom. To read more about this National Historic Landmark click here.  Although in contemporary western homes, we see open plan living as a commonality, for his time Wright challenged the stereotypical designs of 20th century domestic home in America. It wasn’t long though before he made it possible to provide low-cost and even small scale homes with the same organic and holistic intentions to many  – the dwellings known commonly in America as the ‘Usonian House’.

One of the other free thinkers of the post-industrial world, Fritjof Capra is an advocate for a holistic approach to understanding the universe and our place in it as human beings. Capra is a founding director of the Centre of Ecoliteracy, a non-profit organization dedicated to the education for sustainable living.  I admire his contribution to contemporary society and hold his values and the concept of the organic architecture in my mind, as I consider my creative development in this module of Visionary Structures.

“Above all, organic architecture should constantly remind us not to take Mother Nature for granted – work with her and allow her to guide your life. Inhibit her, and humanity will be the loser” – Kendrick Bangs Kellogg.

Aaltonen, G. (2008). The History of Architecture: Iconic Buildings Throughout the Ages. London, UK: Arcturus Publishing Ltd.

Delana. (2013). If Wrights Falling Water was a Tree House. Retrieved June 26, 2013, from Web Urbanist: http://weburbanist.com/2012/03/17/if-wrights-falling-water-were-a-tree-house/

Falling Water. (2013). Explore: Timeline. Retrieved June 26, 2013, from Falling Water: http://www.fallingwater.org/explore?to=2

Kliczkowski, H. (2003). Complete Works Gaudi. Barcelona, Spain: Loft Publications.

Pearson, D. (2001). New Organic Architecture: the Breaking Wave. London: Gaia Books Limited.

Pevsner, N. (2011). Pioneers of Modern Design: from William Morris to Walter Gropius (Fifth ed.). (P. Todd, Ed.) Bath, UK: Palazzo Editions Ltd.

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.

Screen printing: An exploration

Once I had my pattern outcome decided upon, I set to the task of screen printing it. I immersed myself into two solid days of experimenting with colours, textures, surfaces and layering of ink. I wanted to use colours that would compliment my final outcome (which I haven’t revealed yet of course), so I stayed with medium and light tones in aqua green and blue, violet and raspberry. I intended to always layer two tones on top of each other, to give a more interesting and complex design and visual effect – and it resulted in a shadow effect having the appearance of the ink hovering above the surface. I experimented mis-matching the layers which although made for an even more complex design, but I preferred the above stated effect, so I stuck to the original plan to off set the top layer in a different shade of colour. I could have spent days playing with different papers and images to print onto, but I needed to step into the next stage of the creative process, by printing finally onto fabric.  I chose vintage woolen blanket scraps to print onto, because I am a lover of textiles and fibre art. Recently I wrote about The Indie Craft Movement, and expressed how inspired I was by the many contemporary artists and designers who use old school crafting techniques and materials in the modern context to express themselves artistically.  I decided then that I would like to explore this approach in my own practice, and this project brief was the suitable place to do so. These are a few pictures of my samples, that were not so striking in colour. The other prints that were a success have now evolved into the final outcome, which I will post next!