Friday, 1 April 2011

Parcel #1

For our first swap, Nicola has sent me a selection of lovely vintage finds:

Apart from being a find in itself, (beautiful weathered textures, worn packaging), I find this set instantly provides a strong platform for experimentation. Larger, (size B as the label says!), than the conventional hooks and eyes that you will typically find used in high street garments at the moment,could be interesting in terms of scale, composition and imagery e.g. the fastenings themselves might act as the main focus of any final pieces (links, chains etc.), work as larger scale abstracted prints by way of Nicola's branding technique or induced rust against natural, quality fabrics...Lots of scope for play...

Nicola has sent too, a second set of hooks and eyes. I like that these are very different from the first set which are already well rusted, quoted on the back as being, 'Finest Hard Steel Wire: Extra Japanned'. I like the phrasing of this product description. Having researched the term, I have found that, to have a 'japanned' exterior (derived from the tough, glazed finish typical of traditional Japanese pottery), means to have a heavily laquered finish similar to enamel paint and is meant to prevent rusting and any weakening of the metal. This degree of protection is interesting and will no doubt encourage further technical exploration of the juxtaposition between preciousness and neglect.

Brace fastenings. I think photographed as this little family they are beautiful. It might be interesting to expose each to a different destructive/emulative process to characterise different elements of mistreatment?

I love the spot of rust on the top left edge of the tape.

These clasps are also interesting objects in themselves. I find the contrasting textures and edges particularly inspiring - the teeth against the bound edge of the tape...

I wonder if it will be possible to make rusty or embossed prints of serated edging in an attempt to gain some control over our rather organic printing methods?


I think that the colour palette of these ribbons and tapes, in conjunction with the harsher textures of worn metals, will act as a pertinent reminder of fragility.

I am eager to experiment with the different textures of the ribbons Nicola has sourced - satins and velvets will produce some very interesting prints and create new 'affected' textures as a result of any rusting, branding or embellishment.

Suspender clips. I like that these, as objects, are static. Again, these will help in retaining control.


Pearl wire rings. I associate these wholly with Nicola's personal design work. They are so delicate and reflective, it was interesting to see Nicola abuse them so in her experiments with branding. I think it will be interesting to see how they emerge once stripped back, (I have a couple pickling currently).

So far, I'm having fun experimenting with compostition. I like the simplicity of building upon the obvious characteristics of the materials Nicola has sent me, (as above) and hope to play around with repetition and 'interrupted patterns' this week.


  1. First of all I must say that your photography of the objects is brilliant - I feel like I'm seeing them in a whole new light. The pictures of the different suspender buckles together immediately makes me think of display ideas for our final samples / pieces and I completely agree with your idea of different degrees of types of destructive processes used and displaying them together - showing the evolution of destruction.

    I wasn't sure how the pink fabrics and materials would fit into the project but none of the objects above look out of place so that is allowing me to relax my views of what materials "should" or "could" be used.

    I think that playing around with composition and just voicing our initial and immediate thoughts on each object / material is fascinating as so often at University I felt that an immediate reaction was wrong and we had to almost work backwards to show where the idea arose from.

    I am very eager to see how your experiments will turn out and what ideas you have as I am interested to see if you have similar ideas or use the materials in a completely different way to how I had planned.

    On Crafthaus I was recommended to check out jeweller Sharon Massey's work. I have come across her work before but it never occurred to me to look her up again. Have a look and let me know what you think!

  2. Just had a look at Sharon Massey's work - it is utterly beautiful! I love the repetition in structure and think that this is something that could work really well for us when dealing with multiples of the fastenings etc. And I notice that she has used wax in some of her pieces which is very interesting! Working with waxed cotton every day at work, I had wondered as to how waxed textiles and metals would react within the rusting process...we should play?!