During the art of the accident project I attended an etching workshop, further information can be found here, and as part of that workshop I produced a variety of hard and soft ground etching prints. These prints were based off my photography done at Brighton Beach as part of the art of the accident project. My prints were inspired by my close up photography of rusted and eroded metal, and the mark making within the etchings aims to convey the textured surface of those forms.
For assessments I made my collection of etchings into a book. All of the etchings within the book are the original prints. The book is hand bound using Japanese stab binding and has two covers made of copper pearlescent card. I choose to use copper pearlescent card as it is similar to colour and metallic appearance of rusted metal, furthermore I used this card for the covers of my art of the accident book, therefore by using the same material for the covers it links the two books together.
Above is a photograph my final perfect bound book’s front cover. The book is split into 3 sections of 4 pages/16 sides which are perfect bound together. The spine is then covered in slate grey book cloth, then 300gsm copper pearlescent card is attached to the front and back to become the cover. Below is a video of my final bound book, there are also photographs of the book spreads once bound, some of the spreads are made of paper, whilst others are acetate allowing layers of imagery to be built up.
Since having my group crit for the art of the accident project I have made several improvements to my book. I started by increasing the size of the book from A5 to A4, the largest size that a book can be printed at within my budget. I then added factual information to the book in order to incorporate type.
To successfully integrate type with my book I referred to my research for the grids projects. I then drew up several thumbnail sketches for layout designs. The process of researching layouts and then drawing up thumbnail sketches is what I did during the grids project, therefore I replicated it for this project as well as I believe it help me to develop my ideas better and faster.
Layout inspired by my grids project research, combining my photography with factual information about rust
Duotone image with factual information about rust
Another change that I made to my book was to edit my duotones. I felt that my previous duotones were too flat and did not fit it with the bright and textured rust photography that is also found in the book. To improve these duotones I started by cropping further into the images. The focus of my book is too look at rust in a natural settings, such as Brighton Beach, and then juxtapose that with industrial rust, such as my photographs taken at Portslade. Therefore for my duotones of Portslade I wanted to focus more on the mechanical and industrial nature of the machinery, so by cropping further into the image it focuses more on these forms. I then went on to increase the contrast in the duotones as well as change the colours to be more vibrant. These changes helped to improve the message conveyed by the images as it is more apparent not that the images are focusing on the industrial and mechanical forms. Furthermore the images now look less flat and fit in with the rest of the book consisting of highly textured photographs.
Finally I changed the font used within the book from Baskerville to Geneva. Baskerville is a serif font that appears quite old, I initially chose this font as I felt that an old looking font would represent rust well as rust forms over a long period of time on an object. However I changed the font to Geneva, which I feel better suits the book, as it appears industrial. Many of the photographs used within the book focus on industrial and mechanical forms therefore it felt more appropriate to use a Geneva as opposed to Baskerville.
For my final outcome I have decided to produce a book juxtaposing the bright and vibrant photography of erosion and weathering at Brighton Beach with the industrial erosion found at Portslade. Within this book I want to include sections of acetate with imagery printed onto the sheets, this was inspired by the book o.T. designed by Unica T and featured in Experimental Formats.
“The ‘o.T.’ book was created by silkscreening abstract collages onto large sheets of rigid perspex, which were then cut down to the final page size. The resulting book forms a series of fragmented images that when bound together build up into a deep and complex whole, broken only by three divider or chapter pages printed in solid yellow.”
The idea of building up layers of imagery suits my concept well as when objects erode and weather rust can build up layers on top, but also paint and materials can chip away revealing layers beneath, therefore the build up of imagery through a transparent material seems fitting.
Above I have begun to experiment with printing onto acetate. As acetate can only be printed on one side if I printed both pages of the spread normally the image on the right page of spread would be the wrong way round when the acetate was folded, therefore I discovered that before printing I had to horizontally flip the image on the right side of each spread. I also found that the acetate I was using was not transparent when folded and was instead foggy and misty, therefore higher quality acetate would need to be purchased for my final book.
As well as experimenting with printing onto acetate I also experimented with how acetate could be integrated into a book. The easiest way would be to bind single sheets together which could be done Japanese stab sewing, however in my book I want to include paper sheets with double page spreads containing full bleed images, therefore a perfect bound book would be more appropriate. A problem with this however is working out how to include both acetate and paper sheets in my book and how to order my content. As I also want to include full bleed images across spreads some of the pages within the book have to paper, therefore working out how to include both paper and acetate in a bound book was a difficult task.
After creating many mock ups I decided upon the structure above for my book. The plan above represents one section within my perfect bound book which consists of 2 sheets of paper with 2 sheets of acetate on top which is then folded in half, this equals 16 pages. The pale yellow in the plan represents pages made of paper and the pale blue represents pages made of acetate. The dark grey represents the back of the acetate which can’t be printed on due to the material being transparent. The bright yellow represents a page of paper that can’t have any imagery on, this is because that piece of paper would be visible through the acetate and would therefore interfere with the imagery printed onto the acetate. As I begin to organise my book content I can simply duplicate this plan to create more sections, therefore allowing more content to easily be added to my book.
Due to a change of plans at university the graphic design students were invited to join in with the zine workshop for the illustration students. We were given a handout with various book structures on for us to experiment with for our zines. Having previously made poster books in my book arts induction and for explain the unexplained project earlier this semester, I decided to create a zine that used french binding, a bookbinding technique I have had no previous experience with.
As graphic design students were not initially meant to take part in this workshop we arrived unprepared with no imagery or work to put into our zine. What I did however was take my monoprints which I had just created for my art of the experiment project, these prints I deemed unsuccessful as they lost most of the detail from the original photographs I was basing them on and therefore did not link clearly to my concept of weathering and erosion, however I still liked the marks made within the prints. For the zine I took the prints with the most interesting marks and cut the A4 prints down to a5 sheets of paper, cropping into the most visually intriguing sections of each print with help of my cropping tools.
For the prints to be french bound the a5 sheets then had to be folded in half, the A6 pages would then be bound on the long
edge opposite to the fold. What I discovered unintentionally about french binding is that it is a good binding technique for monoprints. When producing my monoprints I rolled out water based ink onto perspex, then I place paper on top of the ink and worked onto the back of the paper with pencil and charcoal to pick up the ink on the opposite side. By french binding my prints you can view the marks made on the back of the paper by gently prying open one of the folded pages to view what it inside. These concealed marks are visually interesting, show process and add another way in which the audience can interact with the book.
The style of binding I used to hold the pages together was Japanese stab sewing. I first used a boning tool to create folds in each of the pages, so that when the pages were bound the book could lie flat. I then drilled holes into the folded pages along the long edge opposite the fold. Finally I used stringle to sew through the holes and bind the book.
I found this workshop to be very helpful as it allowed me to take work that I felt was previously unsuccessful and turn it into a successful book. I did not initially think of moving these prints forward by using process however by creating a zine I’ve allowed the imagery to not go to waste.
Whilst in Portslade I visited the industrial port, at this port is a variety of industrial companies featuring a range of industrial equipment, such as steel works and cement works. Due to health and safety it was not possible to take photography close up of the machinery, therefore the majority of my photography is taken from afar with exception of one series of photographs where an employee was kind enough to grant me access to a steel works to take photographs of their steel up close. The close ups of the steel allowed me to take photographs of industrial erosion up close and capture the texture on the surfaces. As well as taking photographs within the steel works I took photographs from a distance of the machinery within another steel works and a cement works. These photographs feature the linear and cold qualities of machinery and contrast with the warm textural rust close ups.
The content of these photographs vary greatly from the bright and vibrant photographs that I took at Brighton Beach therefore I intend to experiment with juxtaposing the images from both photoshoots together, comparing natural and man made erosion and weathering within Brighton.
Following on my tutorial with the tutors I began to generate colour schemes using Adobe Kuler based on some of the photographs I had taken at Brighton Beach. During the tutorial it was noted that the photographs reflect Brighton well due to the bright and varied colours present, therefore the tutors suggested experimenting with colour through screen printing. After discussions with the screen printing technicians I found that it would be possible to experiment and create a final outcome in the time remaining due to booking the screen printing beds, however the idea of experimenting with colour still appeals to me.
The photographs above are all from Brighton Beach and our bright and colourful and mainly feature natural forms, therefore I could experiment with colour by contrasting the natural colourful imagery of the beach with industrial erosion and weathering. In the next week I plan on visiting Portslade, the industrial centre of Brighton and Hove, in the hopes of photographing industrial erosion and weathering as well as the industrial forms of the machinery present.
During a tutorial today with the tutors we discussed through the work I had made so far in the project, specifically my photography of rust and erosion taken at Brighton beach, and spoke about where I could take the project next.
OIL & WATER DO NOT MIX by Anthony Burrill
Screenprinting was highlighted as a possible process for exploration. From the photographs you can clearly tell that the images are taken from brighton due to its prominent bright and varied colour scheme, therefore layering multiple prints of my photos with colours picked out from my photographs could be visually interesting. It was also suggested that I could take inspiration from Anthony Burrill, who used crude oil from an oil spill to make a screenprint on environmental issues, and screen print using a solution made of rust. After doing research however I found that the process for making a rust solution would take weeks to get the amount I needed therefore this idea was quickly abandoned.
“The choice of font was very simple; I needed a heavy typeface to use the oil and sand mixture as much as possible. The corrosive effects of the oil and sand gradually destroyed the screen that they were using to print which resulted in the distressed, rough feel that communicated exactly what we wanted to say. It’s intentionally blank in its meaning, the point of the poster is how it was physically made.” – Anthony Burrill
Continuing with the idea of using screen printing it may be worth experimenting with contrasting the natural textural qualities of the rust with the shapes of the industrial structures it formed on. Portslade is a part of Brighton where there is a large industrial yard, therefore in the upcoming days I intend to visit the area and gather some photographs of the industrial rust and machinery present, this I can then contrast with the more natural and colourful forms of weathering found at Brighton beach.
After deciding not to continue with my photography of marks made unintentionally and intentionally in the studio by students I decided to photography erosion and weathering in a natural environment where the effects would be more unpredictable. Above are contact sheets of photographs I took whilst at Brighton beach. The photographs document the natural weathering and erosion of the man made buildings and structures.
I believe these photographs were far more successful than those taken within the studio. From these photographs I am particularly intrigued by the close up photographs of rust that I found on the metal bars beneath Brighton Pier. The colours and textural qualities of the rust would be interesting to experiment and play with using printing processes. It may also be interesting to explore juxtaposing the textural and natural qualities of the rust with the cold hard forms of the structures they were found on, combining texture and linear forms.
Mood board focusing on how elemental forces transform natural environments and man made objects
I created a mood board consisting of images I found online documenting elemental forces and the affect they have on natural environments and man made objects. The photographs include imagery of eroded natural forms due to wind and water, as well as rusted and aged metals. From these images I am particularly intrigued by the effects of elemental forces on man made objects. The combination of natural and man made results in unpredictable results and creates an interesting juxtaposition, for example in the top middle image the typography on the metal plate has been warped in unpredictable ways by nature.
Research into artists who have explored destruction, weathering and erosion within their work
I have collected work by a variety of artists which I feel embody the weathered aesthetic or embrace the weathering process. The two images on the far left are posters that have been pasted on top of one another and then ripped through, meaning parts of the posters beneath are visible, this creates unpredictable designs that blend both of the posters together. Other images I have included feature typography distorted through water, weathered prints, and broken typography, all embodying an aged or distorted aesthetic.
From these pieces of work I am particularly intrigued by the use of print. I enjoy using print as a technique for producing imagery as it can be unpredictable and allows for experimentation. Using a printing technique such as monoprinting would suit my work as it allows for textural and unpredictable imagery.