Thread Mania

My journey studying for the City & Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Embroidery


Posts Tagged ‘city and guilds module 1’

Making Coloured Pages

The first task for chapter 2 of my C&G module is to create a whole pile of coloured paper to use for the design tasks in subsequent chapters. The first step was to choose a colour scheme based on two complimentary colours. One of my favourite NASA images is of baby stars. This is a typical false colour image produced from x-ray telescopes.

NASA photo of newly formed stars

2.1.1 Newly formed stars (photo courtesy of NASA)

In these type of pictures newly formed stars are typically shown in bright cerise and remnants of super-novae are shown with a yellow-green.  So my colour scheme is a range of red-violets and a range of yellow-greens.

I have used this image as wall paper for about 10 years but have lost the correct attribution.  I would love to give the correct reference so if some reader can recognise this image in the NASA archives and let me know I will be very grateful.

Anyway, I have used inks and sponging to colour a range of A4 sheets of cartridge paper, tissue paper and portions of newsprint.  Producing these sheets was a lot of fun and very liberating. I have not “mucked around” with paint for decades. Sponging colour onto paper is a very tactile experience, almost as good as I remember finger painting in my kindergarten days.

One hurdle was actually getting the inks. My local art supply shop had tiny bottles of very expensive inks, and the bulk buy chain store did not have anything suitable. I asked my tutor Sian who recommended a UK brand and luckily I found an importer in Wellington. I am happy to recommend the Creative Craft Supplies folk, not only did they accept my order out of normal office hours, it was delivered very promptly.

My cerise coloured papers

2.1.2 Cerise papers

I also like the Brusho brand inks, a tiny amount of the powder goes a long way and it is easy to achieve tints as well as stronger hues. The colours blend nicely as well. Brusho inks clean off with water, well they clean off everything easily except skin! I had to really scrub my hands very hard to avoid going to work with dark green fingers! (I used plastic gloves for sponging the cerise papers)

My yellow-green coloured papers

2.1.3 Yellow-green papers

So here are my tinted papers, both the greens and the cerises… (all pages are A4 size)

The next task was to create a rubber stamp and use it to decorate some papers. I decided to use three points of the regular 9-pointed star for my stamp. However the making also caused a problem as none of our art supply or stationery shops stock any rubbers large enough to carve a shape into.  In the end I cut out a couple of pieces of very compressed foam rubber and glued them together.

My stamped coloured papers

2.1.4 Stamped papers

Here are my stamped pages, using cerise acrylic paint on both cerise and green papers. I produced patterns using both regular and random stampings, as well as seeing the type of shapes obtained by combining the stamped images.

I found that all-over repeats worked the best with this shape, especially when the shape was reversed in alternative rows, see the close up of the stamped tissue paper. Alternating reversed shapes also made a nice border, as can be seen on the light-green A4 paper.

A close up of one of the stamped papers

2.1.5 Close up of stamped paper

Grouping the stamped shapes in circles or squares did not achieve any nice patterns, I much prefer the random stamping on the lower portion of the green tissue paper.

Line Drawings from research images

The final task for module 1 chapter 1 is to make some line drawings from the images collected during my research.

The most common star graphic is the 5-pointed regular star. It is very easy to draw and makes a chubby little star beloved by advertising and religious/mystical folk.

Sketches from ancient star images

1.3.1 pentangles and ancient stars (click to see full page)

The 8-pointed star made from four crossed lines lends itself to all sorts of embellishments and elaboration. The four upright points can be joined to form a enclosed star graphic while the diagonal lines develop into ornamental “rays”

Of course we don’t have to stop at just four intersecting lines, there are many examples of star graphics formed from eight, ten or even twenty intersecting lines.

Stars can be made from intersecting shapes, the most common being 2-intersecting triangles forming the hexagram (aka Star of David, Seal of Soloman or Shatkona). There is also the quarter-group made from intersecting squares and the Star of Auseklis from intersecting pointed shapes. In modern times this star graphic is much used by quilters but it is an ancient European symbol of magic.

Star sketches

1.3.2 Stars from Intersecting Shapes (click to see full page)

Star shape from driftwood

1.3.3 Driftwood and beach pebbles star shape

The intersecting shapes do not all have to be of the same size, an interesting “star” can be made from intersecting rectangles or from sticks and stones at the beach.

My beach play made a shape about 40cm across, as can be estimated from the camera lens cap, lower left.

The Star of Auseklis (above) is also interesting as, like the pentagram, the elven star and the Star of Babylon, it is drawn using a continuous line. Both the elven star and the Star of Babylon are 7-pointed stars based on seven equi-distant points on a circle (septagram). The lines forming the Star of Babylon join every second point, while those forming the elven star join every third point.

There is a whole branch of geometry investigating the star forms made by intersecting lines joining equi-distant points on a circle.

four versions of regular 11-point star

1.3.4 Four versions of 11-pointed stars (click to see full page)

7-Points and 8-points provide two different forms, 9-points (the enneagram) gives us three different forms and 11-points (the hendecagram) has four forms.  Not only mathematicians are intrigued by the stars formed by continuous lines and over the past millennia many religious/mystical groups have taken various regular star forms as their logo or assigned mystical meanings to them.

Drawing the regular stars can be quite additive, especially while experimenting to see which versions are made from continuous lines. Two of the enneagrams and all four hendecagrams are continuous lines. See the full page for all my variations.

Moving away from simple star forms allows for an almost infinite variety of ornamentation and elaboration but having repeating elements allows us to still recognise these shapes as “stars”. The pentagram has many different anthromorphic religious/mystical forms as well for advertising logos.

I was intrigued to see the pentangle as a possible source of the Star Trek logo. The traditional compass rose is based on a regular 8-pointed star.  If the enneagon consisting of three overlapping triangles is made from three intersecting solid triangles we can get interesting knot-like effect. Very few star shapes have just three or four points, but the ninja throwing stars (beloved in martial arts movies) are an exception.

compass rose and enneagram

1.3.5 Elaborations of simple sketches (click to see full page)