Since completing Lesson 7, I haven’t been able to look at a potato masher in the same way. What was once a very effective and simply-designed kitchen tool, is now the inspiration behind my very first exploits into pattern design. I’ve heard so many times that “inspiration is everywhere” but now I really do believe it. Having a reason to look at everything that surrounds me from a new perspective, has been like turning the lights on. We all move so fast… rarely stopping to smell the roses or look up from the pavement but I challenge you all to ‘turn on the lights’ as often as you can.
To help us further understand the elements and principles of design, we first had to understand what makes good design. Balance, is at the core and it appears in a number of ways; asymmetrical, symmetrical, triangular and circular. When decorating and arranging furniture most of us stay safe with a symmetrical layout but asymmetry can add more interest and fun.
This study of composition would contribute to our pattern making exercise.
Semi-abstract and abstract design has never really been of interest to me… the many trips I’ve made to galleries over the years and even painting classes I’ve attended, I never really got to grips with it. I always preferred still life, life drawing and landscapes. So when the lesson started to talk of semi-abstract and abstract pattern design I was worried!
But I have to say it’s been one of the most enjoyable lessons so far!
Firstly we drew an accurate drawing of our man made object – my masher – and then studied specific areas of detail that appealed. In my case I was interested in the ‘masher’ bit and also the way the arms curved up to the handle. These drawings were then photocopied in different sizes to give plenty of choice when creating our designs.
Now the fun part! Giving ourselves ‘frames’ of little squares, 8cm x 8cm, we were to create as many different semi-abstract and abstract patterns as possible; tracing off parts of the realistic drawing using different angles, mirror imaging, reversing, chopping, slicing, extending lines, on and on. I have to say I spent every evening over almost two weeks doing this exercise. I found it so fascinating how so many different patterns and designs were possible.
I discovered a new appreciation for abstract design. Never again will I question why an artist chooses to represent a tree as a triangle, or lots of blobs on a canvas as a significant childhood memory. There is so much emotion, talent, vision and imagination that goes into abstract design that none of us should judge it or say ‘my two-year old could do better’ ; )
In one of my next updates you’ll see how I brought these designs to life!