Monday, January 31, 2011

Response through Making

Another aspect of Material Expression is Response through Making.  Being responsive through the making process is similar to rendering a wall where the material tells you what action is required.  In the example of the calf leg shirt, the response was via sight when piecing the shirt together.  When stitching the pieces together, the response is via touch as tactile information is gleaned regarding the pliancy of the strips of leather when using it to stitch.  As the “situation talks back” (Schon 1983, p.79) the information is fed back into the process.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Leather Patina

Aged patina mentioned by busyman last week brought this back to my mind.  It's something I need to keep in mind when working with the material expression of leather.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Human Design project

Alexander Lotersztain has expansive and interesting thoughts regarding sustainability (ugh, I hate using that word!) and design, and is undertaking some interesting collaborative projects.  I dislike the occasional regression back to materials focus - i.e. the prada recycled tyre bag idea.  I'm sure that Prada could use their market influence more effectively than that!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

past and future

Notepad chair @ Droog news


Heidegger's thinging

Back around September last year, I came across an article in design philosophy papers by Anne-Marie Willis which opened up the perspective for my research.  The article, “Ontological designing” (2006) helps in expanding my perspective on the agency of consumed objects through the comparison of a tetra pack juice box with Heidegger’s thinging jug.  In the essay “The Thing” Heidegger’s jug gathers, holds and outpours a drink that gifts a shared experience (Heidegger & Hofstadter 2001).  Conversely, the ‘juice box gathers fruit juices and packaging materials from different parts of the world... it quenches thirst and nourishes, is not part of giving or sharing.. it designs individual consumption on the move...and drinking as an individualised, rather than communal activity’ (Willis 2006, para. 42).
This started  a chain of thinking and making around the ideas of what design gathers or in fact gleans.  More catch up on this subject to come! 

p.s. Peter Downton made the point, and I agree, that Heidegger's jug is more solid and of the earth - probably an earthenware jug, but this was the only jug I happened to have on hand at the time!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

surprise poppies

Back in early November a poppy plant bloomed which had self sown.  The plants from my father in law which I planted last year hardly grew at all, but must have at least sprinkled out some seeds from the couple of flowers they had.  This plant was a complete surprise - it must have been growing in a perfect spot as it grew to shoulder height!  Oh, and btw, it is an opium poppy, but an ornamental sub-type called papaver peoniflorum, which is a common cottage garden plant.
The first flowers were like beautiful big pom-poms, then there was a succession of lovely flowers.  The last flush of flowers were strange - pale pink and only lasted half a day.  I was lucky to get some photos of them!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Calf leg shirt

Back in August last year when I had a big hiatus from the blog, I was working on this leather garment following an example from traditional american indian clothing.  The important findings here related to material expression.  The natural shape of the leather has inherant information which guides the making and design process.  The neck part of the animal creates a shape similar to the head of a sleeve.  I named this approach "whole hide use" and differentiate between this and an approach of zero waste.  When this traditional American Indian method of creating garments was conceived, the concept of waste didn't exist.  Thinking in zero waste terms would be anachronistic.  Being in a headspace where waste doesn't exist or have meaning offers a very different way of looking at the problem.

Conn, R & Denver Art, M 1974, Robes of white shell and sunrise : personal decorative arts of the native American : [catalogue of an exhibition] Denver Art Museum, November 9, 1974-January 19, 1975, Denver Art Museum, Denver.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

The inaugural preserving party

I held a preserving party a few weeks back - the link here for the event on facebook.

It was a lovely day and something to think about for future projects - not sure how or when!
Pics here
And a little snippet below!

new year blog resolution

The blog has changed it's name and my new year resolution is to post on a regular basis.

I've been busy so far this year - I've been doing bits and pieces in the workroom, lots in the garden, more renovations and written a paper for a conference!

It's been so long since I've posted, so it will be a bit random.  A bit of catching up, and a bit of what's new here and there - whatever I'm feeling.

Just a few things that have been happening....weaving leather, growing pumpkins, rebuilding fences, picking plums, parsely and beans, growing zuchinnis....more to come!