Art of the Accident: Etching Final Book

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.

Art of the Accident: Zine Workshop

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.

Etching Induction

In the print workshop I was inducted into the process of etching. We began by creating a hard ground etching onto a zinc plate. The process for doing this is as follows: file the edges of the plate at a 45 degree angle, polish the plate, rub the plate with degreaser, rinse the plate, dry the plate with a hairdryer set to cool, heat the plate and apply the hard ground with a roller, leave the plate too cool, scratch in your design, place in the acid bath for 1o minutes, rinse the plate and finally print. After experimenting with a hard ground we created another plate using soft ground, this uses the same process however the soft ground never sets, so instead of scratching the design into the surface a design can be traced on or an object can be pressed on.

Brighton Beach Rust Photography

For my hard ground design I scratched the photograph above freehand onto the plate. I chose this image as I believed the linear qualities of the texture would work well as an etching. Furthermore the imagery I chose was from my art of the accident project therefore my prints could be used as part of my materials and processes experimentation. I then played with printing the plate in black and orange inks, orange to represent the rust colour. I also experimented with printing onto newsprint, for my project I have been experimenting with the idea of creating a book printed onto transparent materials, as I couldn’t print a plate onto tracing paper or acetate I choose newsprint instead. This was a challenge as the paper was to fragile to be soaked in the water bath so had to be sprayed with a water bottle instead, however the print did turn out successful.

Below are my hard ground etching prints:

Hard Ground Black Ink Etching

Hard Ground Black Ink Second Print Etching

Hard Ground Orange Ink Etching

Hard Ground Orange Ink Etching onto Newsprint

Hard Ground Black Ink Line Work with Orange Overprint Etching

For my soft ground design I traced the photograph above onto the plate. I then used my fingers to create tonal areas.

Below are my soft ground etching prints:

Soft Ground Black Ink Etching

Soft Ground Black Ink Etching with a Hard Ground Orange Ink Etching

Soft Ground Black Ink Second Print Etching with a Hard Ground Orange Ink Second Print Etching

In my opinion my these prints were highly successful, especially the prints where I have overprinted black and orange ink, and hard and soft ground plates. Therefore I hope to find a way to incorporate them into my final book.

Grids Workshop

Exercise 1 – Proportion

 Josef Muller-Brockman and Dieter Rams are both designers who had systems and rules for approaching their work which would allow them to quickly produce good designs. Grids are a form of system that allow designers to effectively organise content for their work. The Fibonacci sequence is a system of numbers commonly seen in nature, with a ratio of 1.6 between the numbers. The numbers are as follows 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, etc. This ratio can be utilised to create visually appealing designs. The golden spiral uses fibonacci numbers to create a grid that is meant to be visually appealing, the impressionists were particularly fond of using this grid in their designs.

For our workshop we were giving a template with a 233 x 144mm spread marked out, then using cut up paper we had to create compositions within the template. The elements we could create using the paper however had to have Fibonacci numbers as the measurements for their height and width. This meant that all of the elements were using the golden ratio. Below are contact sheets of the spreads that I produced. I thoroughly enjoyed creating this and believe layout and spread design will continue to be an area of interest for me.

Exercise 2 – The Golden Section

Exercise 3 – Van De Graaf Canon 

Exercise 4 – Layout

To explore composition we were tasked with drawing a 9×9 rectangular grid, onto this grid we then experimented with the composition of text and shapes of varying sizes. Above are my experiments, initially we used only text of the same font size, then we went on to introduce a variety of font sizes as well as some shapes.

Overall I found this workshop particularly useful in helping to understand layout and composition, especially through the application of grids which I had previously not worked with before. This workshop will greatly aid me in my current project exploring the use of grids for layout design.

Vertical Project: Green Screen Workshop

On Tuesday the tutors ran a one day workshop on green screen effects, which they linked to our current project, the vertical project. However, in order to slightly distinguish the projects from another they set the theme of the workshop to be fake memories.

For the workshop me and 11 other level 4 students, a mixture of graphic design and illustrations students, grouped together and began brainstorming ideas. The idea we decided upon, inspired by the theme of fake memories, was the lies your parents would tell you as a child. The lies we came up with was getting curly hair from eating bread crusts, when an ice cream van plays music it means they are out of ice cream and when you eat apple seeds an apple will grow in your stomach.

For our green screen short film we decided to focus on one lie as the film could only be a maximum of 1 minute long. The lie we chose was when parents tell their children that if you eat apple seeds a tree will grow in your stomach. To visually convey this we created several vines (which consisted of cut out paper leads threaded onto ribbon), and our short film would involve one member of our group eating an apple (a prop made of card), and then having vines appear and grow from her stomach (which would be controlled by other team members wearing morph suits). To utilise the blue screen we made a cardboard cartoon outfit for the team member to wear on top of a morph suit with a flap in the centre to conceal the vines which would soon appear.

Currently our footage is being processed and compressed by their tutor who ran the workshop. Hopefully soon the footage will be returned to us so that we can edit and add sound to our work.

Introduction to Book Arts 2

After my first introduction to book arts during semester one I became extremely interested in the practice, which led to me signing up to the optional book arts workshop this semester. This workshop taught two new bookbinding techniques; simple japanese stab sewing and multi-section sewing using French link stitch.

Simple Japanese stab sewing

The first binding technique we tried was simple Japanese stab sewing, which is used for binding single sheets. This techniques involves binding pages and covers that have already been trimmed, together by sewing through holes drilled through the pages and covers.

Simple Japanese stab sewing

When using Japanese Stab Sewing there is a variety of sewing patterns which can be used, or you can create your own patterns. Below are some examples I have found of interesting Japanese stab sewing patterns.

The second binding technique we learnt was multi-section sewing with French link stitch and kettle stitches. Multi-section sewn books consist of small booklets of pages which are sewn together, this allows the book to lie flat when opened unlike Japanese stab sewing. To create our books we sewed together 5 booklets, each made of 4 pieces of A4 paper folded into a booklet to form 16 pages. To sew together the booklets we used French link stitch. Once the booklets had been sewn together, the book was pressed and then the spine was glued whilst the book was weighted down between boards.

Multi-section French link and kettle stitch sewn book with book cloth spine

Multi-section French link and kettle stitch sewn book with book cloth spine

For the covers we had two options, to either create a wrap around soft back cover with a spine scored into the material which was going to be used, or to glue book cloth to the spine and then a piece of card to the front of the book and one to the back to act as covers. For my book I chose to create a book cloth spine and attach two separate covers.

French link stitch and kettle stitches

French link stitch

Example of French link stitch

Introduction to Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects

Early in the year I attended an introduction to motion workshop where we editing footage using Adobe Premiere Pro. Today I attended a short introduction to Adobe Premier Pro workshop which focused more on how to use that specific software package, where as the introduction to motion workshop focused more on video editing. The workshop also introduced how to use the software Adobe After Effects.

Premiere Pro is for video editing and you can use it to compose original work, After Effects on the other hand is for creating animations and can be used to create original artwork. Both software programmes are project based, therefore all assets must be saved in the same folder to maintain the links.

We began the introduction with looking at Adobe Premiere Pro. We looked at how to get our photographs safely off the camera, how to correctly format our projects and how to import our photographs into the software. The we began to look at the uses of some of the keys terms, something we had not previously covered in the introduction to motion workshop. The tools we looked at was the ripple edit, rolling edit, slip and slide tools, all designed to manipulate how footage, images and audio are positioned on the timeline. Finally we looked at how to render our final outcome in Premiere Pro. We looked at how to test render a small selection of footage from the film, which is useful to when working on large projects, as well as how to fully render your film with the correct formatting.

Once we had covered Adobe Premiere Pro we moved onto Adobe After Effects, a software that was completely knew to me and one that i was eager to learn. Throughout the course so far I have worked on many projects that I would have liked to have created animations for, however I lacked the skills and found learning the software by myself to be a very steep learning curve, therefore this workshop was perfect for my interests.

We started by looking at how to import assets into the software, still single images and a sequence of images, and how to place them within the workspace. Then we began to look at how to manipulate those assets by applying position, scale and opacity effects. Finally we looked at applying effects that changed the visual qualities of the imported assets, such as linear colour key and compound arithmetic. Finally, like with Premiere Pro, we covered how to render our final animations and make sure that they are correctly formatted.

Overall I found the induction extremely useful as it was handy to recap on how to use Premiere Pro and learn more about the tools, but what I really found useful was learning about After Effects. After Effects is a particularly difficult piece of software to self teach due to the fact that it is so fast and is used for a variety of purpose and formats, therefore a concise induction into the software aimed at beginners has helped me to understand roughly how it works, and hopefully I can now continue to self teach myself the software a lot easier.

Screen Printing Induction

20/01/2017

Coating

  1. Choose a clean trough with no damage that is an appropriate size (within the area of the mesh)
  2. Clip on trough ends
  3. Hold trough in the palm of your hands with your fingers resting on the trough ends
  4. Pour an even amount of photosensitive solution throughout the trough
  5. Coat the back of the frame first
  6. Start 1cm from the bottom of the mesh
  7. Tilt the trough until the emulsion touches the screen
  8. Progressively stand whilst applying the emulsion
  9. Stop 5cm from the top of the screen, remove the angle of the trough and carry on moving the trough upwards for the remaining distance to ensure no drips

Drying Cabinet

  1. Place screen frame side up on the ridge
  2. Coated screens at the top of the cabinet, wet screens at the bottom

Cleaning

  1. Rinse the front of the screen
  2. Remove the unexposed emulsions from the back of the screen
  3. Can use a rag to remove any emulsion that won’t come off
  4. Rinse the front of the screen again
  5. Use a window wiper to remove any excess water
  6. Put back into the drying cabinet

Designing

Screenprint Design

For my design I used a photograph from my transmogrify contact sheet. As our final prints would consist of 2 or 3 colours we were recommended to choose images that could simply be split into 2 or 3 layers, therefore I believed that the simple geometric forms and monochromatic colour scheme of this image would make for an effective print. To get the image ready for print I made the image grayscale, increased the levels and printed it onto acetate as a 300dpi TIFF file. For the next layer I traced the black forms from the initial image onto acetate, I draw these forms on roughly with black ink to create texture. For my final layer I made simple lines onto another piece of acetate to highlight some key forms in the image.

Printing

  1. Fix the frame into the jaws
  2. Screw the bolts onto the corners of the frame
  3. Check the snap and adjust as needed
  4. Attach squeegee, make sure it is in the centre of your design
  5. Adjust the angle of the squeegee for printing and flooding
  6. Register
  7. Adjust the table if needed
  8. Apply a generous amount of ink (printing ink should be 50% paint, 50% mixing medium roughly)
  9. Test print
  10. Make any adjustments
  11. Can use screen filler to fill in any holes in the print on the screen
  12. Print
  13. Flood after each print to prevent the screen from blocking
  14. Don’t flood on your last print
  15. Wash the screen, squeegee and any other materials

Introduction to Darkroom Photography

scan-2

My Final Black and White Print

23/11/2016

Whilst studying my Foundation at college I became interested in darkroom photography and it became an important part of my projects, therefore I was excited to finally be inducted into the darkroom at the university. Although I was familiar with the process the induction was still interesting as I got to learn the printing methods that they use at the university, also I learnt what was achievable within those facilities which will allow me to experiment more with my work in the future.

Using found negatives we spent the day using the projectors to develop a successful 10 x 8 inch print. The negative I chose proved to be a tough negative to work with due to the high contrast erasing some of the details. This meant I spent hours experimenting with exposure times and, dodging and burning the print in order to achieve the detail and contrast I wanted. Although tough to work with, this print helped me revisit some of the skills I had learnt months ago and forgotten. I also began to familiarise myself with the facilities, as at Brighton they use a machine that develops, stops, fixes and dries the prints for you, where as previously I had done all of these steps manually. Also we used contrast filters within the projectors which I had never used in my work before.

Introduction to InDesign

11/11/2016

Adobe InDesign is important in graphic design and illustration for producing publications and other printed material. This workshop not only equips me for producing my own publications and printed material in the future but also helps me in producing the  ‘Learning the Ropes’ typography archive that I am currently working on and which has to be produced in Adobe InDesign.

We started by setting up a new document and becoming familiar with the different options that can be adjusted; intent, facing pages, columns, gutter, margins, bleed and slug. Once the document was set up we became familiar with the pasteboard and adding, moving pages and placing images. To add content to the pages we first looked at type which has many different options available, more than the other Adobe softwares. For producing typography you have control over the font, font size, colour etc. like most design software however you also have control over the leading, tracking, kerning, vertical scale, baseline shift, skew, overrunning text and paragraph formatting.

Colours are another important part of the software as you can mix and add colours to the swatches palette , however for more accurate colours you can use the Pantone system which is mainly for text or large blocks of text. To use the system you can purchase different swatches books from Pantone for different stocks of paper, you can then select the colour you want from the book and enter the Pantone number into InDesign which will then select that exact colour on screen. This ensures that when you print your work it will be the same colour as it was in the Pantone colour swatch book.

Out of all the software introductions I have been to so far I have found this one to be the most useful. I started this introduction with no knowledge of the software, where as with the other introductions I was already familiar with them to some degree, and left feeling confident with using the software independently to produce work which is essential considering its importance to my course.