Thursday, 24 February 2011

First decision made for Realisation

So, here I am, a week after my operation. I have not managed much in the way of work for the Realisation module during this last week, for obvious reasons, and still at this point I am very uncomfortable and can’t stay focussed on anything for very long (or sat in one position either!). Hernia repairs are not fun.

Anyway, whinge over, I have been thinking about what I would like to achieve, and have in place, by the end of this module. One of the things that I would like to incorporate into the remit of Whimsy & Quirk is to take pieces of vintage furniture and ‘tart’ them up, starting with the old Lloyd Loom chair that I have upstairs. The thought process is to paint the basic structure, recover the seat cushion in a textile designed and printed by me, and then add a cushion that works with the overall style of the colours and patterns used on the chair. I hope to obtain further supplies of chairs of this nature from Darwin’s Sales Rooms in Bedale, they specialise in auctions of house clearance furniture and knick knacks. It would be fantastic if I could have a range of different chairs – maybe designed specifically for bedrooms? – all brought back to life, in different colour schemes and pattern styles, ready for the show in September.

According to Lloyd Loom’s website (  consulted on 24/2/11) ‘Genuine British Lloyd Loom furniture is manufactured from woven twisted paper on a solid beech-wood frame.
Each piece – whether for conservatory, kitchen or restaurant – is individually handmade by craftsmen to your specification and can be in any colour you like.
Our furniture is tremendously strong and, unlike the cane and rattan furniture which inspired the original elegant designs, it will last a generation.’

The chair that I have, upstairs, is at least 40 years old, and may be older because it has brass caps on its feet. It truly deserves a facelift.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Lack of Focus!

Well, I think maybe I’m a little pre-occupied by my impending stay in hospital, because I am having great difficulty staying focused on anything at the moment.

Tomorrow I am meeting Michael so that he can brief me on the Realisation module, so I really wish I was in a more positive place and therefore able to tell Michael what I plan to achieve during the module – but I’m not. Whilst I’m in university tomorrow I plan to take a piece of acoustic foam with me and visit Julian in the workshops – I’m hoping that Julian will have the time to use the laser cutting machine on the acoustic foam to find out how well it cuts. The ease with which the foam cuts may help me to decide upon a direction for this module, although I still haven’t tried dyeing the foam!

Having done so much research into acoustics it would be very satisfying to do something with the information I’ve gathered during the Realisation module, but not if the final product has no aesthetic value because, after all, I wish to design surface patterns rather than purely functional objects.

I have looked in to coloured acoustic foam and it only appears to be coloured as part of a finished object e.g. a tile, rather than sheets of the material to be bought and worked with. But, at the same time, the fact that manufacturers produce an end product made of coloured acoustic foam implies that there is a method of colouring it. consulted on 7/2/11

In the meantime I have been working on images that could be used in the logo design for Whimsy & Quirk. I thought it might be interesting to have a few alternative designs rather than only one… but I haven’t made a final decision yet. As a starting place I have been using a circle as a template and just filling the space with different finishes and images. I have found this very therapeutic and have filled several circles, I have even been playing with overlaying one with another…

Some of the images work better than others but it may be possible to develop some of them into wallpaper/stencil/cushion cover designs too. I will be continuing with this whilst I’m ‘temporarily out of action’!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


We haven’t been briefed for the Realisation module, but I have decided to start thinking about what I hope and plan to achieve during the module. 

To begin this process I have been having a brain dump! I am a little confused because I have been researching and thinking about acoustics during my Creative Interaction module and I am unsure as to whether I wish to continue with that or return to my hand-printed wallpapers.

So, brain dump…

1.    Logo Design.
I wish to design a logo for Whimsy & Quirk ( The logo I have been using was just a temporary design and now it is time to give serious consideration to a definitive logo. This must be achieved in preparation for business cards etc are dealt with.

2.    Acoustic absorbers.
I need to establish answers to some questions in order to make decisions upon whether to move forward with this. a) is it possible to obtain acoustic foam in a variety of colours or only grey? b) is it possible to dye acoustic foam? I will have to attempt this if there are no other colours apart from grey. Further to these questions, and if I am continuing with this topic, I need to 1) find images of acoustically designed restaurants 2) reflect upon styles of interior and how to approach a combination of acoustics and spatial design for different restaurant styles 3) think about sharper and more contemporary patterns/images for use in the design of restaurant interiors – flowers aren’t always appropriate!

3.    Research up-cycling and recycling.
Another consideration for the Realisation modules is stencilling my own upholstery fabrics, making some 3d appliqué cushion covers and ‘tarting up’ old furniture. I have an old Lloyd Loom chair that I could start with.

4.    Manufacture of frames.
As part of my exercise in considering my options I am also considering making canvases based upon hand stencilled fabrics and 3-d appliqué, but for this I have to be able to obtain frames…or do I want to make them sound absorbers?

Further to these questions and considerations that I also need to give attention to such as 1) if I make canvases would it be worth putting a layer of acoustic wadding behind the fabric to absorb surplus sound? In what depth sizes is it available? 2) which textiles will work well with making canvas art? And which will paint well? hessian? wool felt? canvas? calico? I may need to do more experimentation. 3) what are the best fabric paints to use? in what size containers are they available? What are the different fixing methods available?

So, what am I doing for Realisation? Am I still doing hand-printed wallpapers? appliqué? furniture? canvases? or acoustics? I need to decide and then get on with it, as a matter of some urgency!!!!!!