Thursday, 21 July 2011

Even more massive update!!

So, where on earth did the last 2 months disappear to? I have lots to tell you about but the difficulty is putting it all into some sort of order… I seem to be busily chasing my tail in circles whilst putting out various fires (please forgive my mix of metaphors). An example of what I mean is… on Sunday 17th I planned to spend the afternoon stencilling patterns onto the sweeties for my ‘Sweetie’ lamp. These are the small but time consuming jobs that I never seem to have the time to get on with. Before I started painting I checked on line, to see if there were any emails or messages, and noticed that (the company I planned to use for printing my business cards and postcards) were offering a 30% discount on printing until Wednesday – and that is why I spent the afternoon designing and ordering my business cards and postcards instead of stencilling! Another fire put out, because I did need to get on with ordering the business cards, but I still haven’t started the other job.

My Wallpaper* magazine arrived on Friday 15th. It is the handmade issue which has my cover design on the front. I am so proud of it, and it looks so good, that I haven’t removed the plastic wrapper. It may get spoilt if I do! Since I worked on that design they have offered the opportunity to do something similar. This time it is their 15th anniversary which coincides with the 150th issue. The design options were to select any of the 150 past front covers for your copy of the September 2011 issue or a front cover cut up into sections and each section can then be filled with the same section from any of the 150 covers. I chose the second option and am now eagerly anticipating my next magazine cover arriving soon.

And now for updates on where I am with all my projects…

The Chair

The chair has now been painted. This has taken longer than anticipated which is due to two different reasons 1) I ran out of paint and then had to wait for some more to come into stock 2) Because I was using spray paint I preferred to paint outside and, the good old British summer being what it is, I had to wait for a dry day with little wind… this was quite a long wait. I now really need to get into the print workshop and print my fabric.

Sweetie Lamp

The size of the sweeties I receive is limited by what is available at the time of collection – a down side to collecting waste materials from manufacturers is the dependency upon their work schedules and therefore availability or non-availability of materials required. I would like to obtain mainly the smaller sized sweeties but they seem to be the size that is least often made.

For this reason I have been looking at other ways in which I could lay out the sweeties to make a lamp…

I am planning to start with a table lamp rather than a standard lamp. And have been painting the sweeties. I am using a combination of Farrow & Ball paints, half used tins of paint and discontinued lines of paint that would otherwise be skipped.

I have decided upon this layout for the first lamp – it is quite a traditional shape for a lamp base but I think that it will be a quirky and interesting lamp once I have finished. After I have completed this module I will develop this range and add other pieces of furniture to it. I will also look at the possibilities of incorporating my acoustics research into this project and making the sweeties more of a feature with a hidden purpose!

I do plan to make an occasional table to sit the lamp on – this will added to the combined look at the design exhibition AD11 in September.

Whimsy & Quirk’s Website

The website is still under construction, but is up and running, do have a look and tell me what you think. The address is still and my email address is

Having used a package website I had thought that the uploading of images would be simple and had planned to include some animation on the website. But I could not get my images to behave as I had wanted and they kept moving over the page, so for the time being I have opted for a more simple approach. This will, in turn, allow me the time to develop additional pages on the website rather than focusing on one page. At this time there are 4 pages – home, gallery, blog and contact. I plan to add this update to the new blog on my website.

Graphics Tablet

The theory behind this as a good one but, in practice, wasn’t great. It will take time to develop the co-ordination between hand and screen, time that isn’t currently available – so my new toy will have to wait until I have finished university and therefore have fewer pressing deadlines.

The Design Show

We have started having meetings about the show. It is a group consisting of Fine Artists, Digital Art and Designers and Future Designers. The meetings are not comfortable and I wish that I didn’t need to attend – I hate confrontation. I do understand that everybody else has worked equally hard and want to show their work in the best possible way – but not everybody seems to appreciate this.

As things stand at the moment 2 Fine Artists will have a floor of the building each, 7 Digital Art and Designers will have a large room between them and the 13 Future Designers will have a landing and a smaller room between them! So much for my planning how I wanted to lay my work out for the show. Ah well, c’est la vie! Hopefully we will find a way of juggling the space so everybody gets the space they want or need.

Business Cards

As I mentioned earlier I have now ordered my business cards and postcards, I didn’t place a large order but I wanted to have a few handy and ready for the exhibition. I have ordered 100 cards with 10 designs, so I will have 10 of each design. I have only ordered 20 postcards and in the end only managed 9 designs, so there will be an odd number of 2 of the designs! I am looking forward to seeing them in real life.


In an effort to complete as much work as possible, before I get to the point of panicking, I have completed 3 designs that I will have printed on the large format printer at uni, they will each be printed in a 4 metre run to show how my wallpapers would look when digitally printed. I am really looking forward to seeing them all at the Show. Interestingly, I went in to uni on Monday 18th to do an update to my interim presentation, the thinking behind this was to show the other Future Designers what I am doing and also permit me to see what they are doing. Not many people turned up because the uni email system was off at the weekend! Whilst there Michael mentioned the possibility of encrypting my images and selling the password, so that anybody, anywhere in the world, could buy my wallpaper designs and get them printed locally. This would save incurring prohibitive delivery charges. I think that this is a brilliant concept and I will research this, and the need for a ‘Users Licence Agreement’ – this would need to be a legally binding document so there may be a lot of expense involved, but it would only need to be written once. This is very definitely serious food for thought.


I am still working on converting my designs into stencils. 2 of the designs are complete and ready to take to the workshop to be cut out by the laser. The third design has a lot of small detail and may not be finished in time for the show in September. Obviously once it has been drawn it can be cut out as many times as is required.

My thinking is that stencils, though initially seeming expensive, are generally cheaper than 2-3 rolls of wallpaper, they can be painted in colours of the customer’s choice rather than mine, they can be re-used in another room or colour and they also offer a creative person an opportunity to individualise the design to suit themselves.

I think that that is enough catching up for today and I will definitely make the effort to write again, and sooner! Although in reality submission is on 14th September which is only 8 weeks away, so I shan’t make any promises. ;)
Talk to you soon.

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