Iris Van Herpen rocks my world

We went to see an Iris Van Herpen exhibit today in the Holon Design Museum, a very fine little museum that also looks pretty awesome itself:

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And.. well.. She is amazing and has been one of my favorite designers for a long time now (my current knitting project is inspired by one of her designs actually), so it was amazing as expected. Incredible details, materials, shapes.. basically just one work of art after another. I went photo-happy and all the close ups are just so pretty I have to share the results.

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And this was probably the best one. It’s just amazing up close.

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I have a portfolio!

So I’ve been neglecting this blog, sadly, having no time to stop and document things I’ve been doing. But this weekend with the help of my photographer friend I took photos of my recent projects and uploaded them all to a brand new shiny portfolio online, which I can now share here!

It’s over at http://nogasapir.portfoliobox.me/

Do let me know what you think!

It’s got some knitting stuff, some screen printing, and a few other things.

P.S: The service I’m using, portfoliobox, is AWESOME and highly recommended. I made this really nice and aesthetic site in no time, with ease, for free, and they are nice enough to let you use all the Premium Pro-user-only templates for free for a month! If you’re thinking about uploading any type of creative effort online you should definitely check them out. AND if you set up your account through this invitation from me, you and I will both get 10 more images to our upload limit ;)

London Laser Cut

This is quite possibly the coolest thing I got to do this year:

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Our Illustrator class teacher decided that instead of just mailing her our final project we should get it laser cut.  We could design whatever we wanted to have cut and I chose to do a map (lifelong passion) of London (see previous remark). I’ve loved learning Illustrator (And Photoshop last semester), and so I tackled the laborious task of outlining the map with glee.

I was going to try and simplify an existing screenshot from Google Maps, but that didn’t come out clean enough so I built the paths from scratch based on the screenshot. It could, of course, be more specific and detail blocks (like my inspiration) but I had time and cost constraints. I love it like it is.

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I got it from the laser cutting studio place like this, covered in tape, like a puzzle. I had to peel the tape off very gingerly (even though the cardboard is pretty sturdy) and let all the little pieces fall.

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I just love how it came out exactly like I saw it in my head. And laser cutting is just a gorgeous technology (albeit pricey). I feel like creating more things to get cut now, maybe try plastic or wood or fabric, and do intricate designs or typography or what have you. It’s just too cool!

Knit design it is!

I know you were on the edge of your seat waiting for the obvious news.. :) I’m going to  specialize in knits. Who knows what that really means though. And I still want to take print courses as much as possible and combine the two. We’ll see… :)

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(Image from Randi Samsonsen, textile designer from Denmark)

The sorting hat

A friend compared the meeting I had yesterday to being sorted into Hogwarts houses.

Each of us first years had to bring selected works from classes we had this year to show the heads of the textile department, so they can decide whether we specialize in knit, print or weave in the next three years.

While it’s presented as ultimately their call, I think they take our wishes into account. This threw me into a tail-spin this last week, being torn between my old love (All things knitting) and my new one (Prints! Stencils! colors!).

We won’t know till next week. They were very nice and excited about everything I showed them, and while they said I could be in any of the three (yay!) they were so thrilled with my final knitting project, that I’m assessing it’s 80% Knit – 20% Print at this point. I showed absolutely no excitement about weaving (although I’ve seen amazing things done in weaving lately) so I don’t think they’ll send me there.

I guess I naturally lean towards knitting since, after years of hand knitting as a hobby, I feel like I understand what can be done with it, and I feel like I can read the structure of knitted items. I’m a complete novice when it comes to machine knitting but I’m anxious to learn. And I especially fantasize about computer aided design and knitting softwares. (I’m a geek).

I think knitting is considered related to fashion, and weaving to home interior design, and I really don’t know which field I prefer, but I take comfort in the fact that this won’t necessarily set the course for my future. I can take electives in all three, and I can find myself working in one of the other practices, or possibly combining different techniques.

Still, I’m very anxious to find out which is it. Anything but Slytherin…

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50’s textile is funky

Tiny disclaimer – This is the first time since I began studying design that I stumble upon a bit of history that inspires me to write about here. Please bear with me as I haven’t fully researched the subject, I just did a very short and quick paper on it so this is more ‘oh look at the pretty!’ than an actual study in textile history.

In one of the new classes of the semester everyone had to pick one word with personal meaning, and the teacher gave each of us a different assignment based on what we chose. I chose “London”, and my assignment was to research women textile designers in 50’s era London. I didn’t have a lot of time so I didn’t hit the books (I mainly hit the search button on Google..) but I did use this wonderful set of pattern books from the V&A, a gift from my lovely coworkers. It was so much fun turning to my own private little library for school work, and it made for a quick source of photos as each of the books comes with a cd of jpegs – handy!

50’s era prints were bold, vibrant and fun, epitomized in the work of the most popular designer of the time, Lucienne Day. I love how the influence of modern art  is so apparent in her designs, specifically Joan Miró’s, one of my favorite artists. Looking at her fabric designs (that were mostly used for furniture) is uplifting. She really made home textiles an affordable form of art. A number of prominent women designers worked and transformed the field alongside her, and I briefly touched upon works by Jacqueline Groag, Mary White and Hilda Durkin in my paper.

Here are some of my favorites:

Calyx, 1951, Lucienne Day's most famous and sought after design

Calyx, 1951, Lucienne Day’s most famous and sought after design

Herb Anatomy, Lucienne day/Heal's, 1956

Herb Anatomy, Lucienne day/Heal’s, 1956 – So Miró-ish!

Coppice, Mary White/Heal's 1954

Coppice, Mary White/Heal’s 1954

Jacqueline Groag/David Whitehead, 1952

Jacqueline Groag/David Whitehead, 1952

Nightstand Makeover: Fabric Decoupage

I’ve got a full week of total freedom, since the last exam finished and till the new semester begins. It took me a few days of staring at the wall, watching Doctor Who and eating cookies to get back into crafty DIY mode. The apartment has seen no improvements since school began so now it’s time to prettify it a little.

First stop: this piece of salvaged furniture a neighbor threw out, which I’ve been using as a nightstand.

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There wasn’t much to do with the sunken top, but a few drops of carpenters glue helped strengthen the corners.

And then – the make over. All it took was paint (left over from a school assignment – yay for fully exploiting existing resources!), Mod Podge (Gloss-Lustre) and cotton fabric for the drawers.

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This was the first time I did decoupage with fabric and I used many tips from this tutorial from Lolie’s Abode.

The steps for decoupage were as follows:

1. I traced around the drawer tops and cut the fabric with a few cm extra on every side. I made sure the placement was alright for the three drawers.

2. I found it especially helpful to spread a thin layer of Mod Podge on the cut fabric and letting it dry before gluing it to the drawers. The Mod Podge stiffens the fabric and makes it easier to work with. I also made sure I chose a thick non-transparent fabric to begin with so I wouldn’t have issues with the wood showing beneath it. It didn’t bubble at all which was a relief. On the contrary, the Mod Podge made all the creases and lines disappear and I didn’t have to feel guilty about not ironing the fabric first.

3. I used Mod Podge to glue the fabric onto the top of the drawer first and let it dry, then cut around the excess fabric to leave only a thin border, just enough to go over the edges.

4. I glued around the corners and the back one side after the other, folding the corners as neatly as possible. As a first project, I would recommend you don’t do as I did, and pick a rectangular surface with straight lines. The curved part of the drawer was tricky. I let go of any hope of the fabric looking nice and neat on the inside. I clipped the fabric so it would stretch better, and used my fingers a lot to pull and stretch it over the curve. I think all in all I did nicely but it was the trickiest part of an otherwise easy project.

5. I spread another layer of Mod Podge over the fabric front and edges (over the corner folds especially) to seal it. As I said my fabric didn’t bubble at all so I didn’t need any extra layers to smooth it out and once was enough. I also didn’t sand it afterwards. I’m very pleased with the finish. I think the fabric choice is crucial here so if you use a sturdy cotton fabric you’d be okay.

I only wish I’d dealt with the sunken top but otherwise I’m very happy. It was a poorly built little piece of furniture to begin with, one of those things people throw out and you just collect for your student apartment, but now it’s brighter and happier and it’s something I made, so I’m very fond of it.

I hope to get some more DIY done before the end of the week. And next week – new semester, new classes! I’m excited. Mostly because we’re going to have an embroidery class and I’m very much into embroidery and already have all the materials and tools. So watch this space for more school madness. Remember to sign up for updates via email or RSS down here at the bottom of the page or follow me on Pinterest!

Embellishing Ikea: DIY with Washi Tape

My mom and I made two trips to Ikea within a week a while back, working quickly to fill gaps in my new apartment before school began. While I love Ikea’s prices and that crisp clean minimalist look of their basics, my head was already full of ideas (and pin-board full of pins) for making the furniture we buy my own. I started reading up on how to paint laminate furniture but it’s a bit of a fuss and I’ve never done furniture painting in my life, so that’s a job for another day when life isn’t so hectic.

And then I came across a box of washi tape in my local art supplies store.

It was addiction love at first sight.

I decided to give my brand new Lack table a facelift. I used four washi tape rolls, two of every kind. Actually, I first bought only one of every kind, as photographed, but then I ran out towards the end… Don’t be me, buy more than you think you’ll need!

I taped long strips in alternating color, and used that long black strip of paper you see there as a guide for the spaces.

Clear tape at the underside keeps the ends from unsticking (the glue on the lighter tape is pretty weak).

I was thinking of coating the table, but I like the fact that I can change my mind and just take the strips off and replace them if I want to. So far it’s holding up very well. Believe it or not, I removed a few wine stains with a wet washcloth and they left not one mark.

That’s it! super easy, mega fun. I really recommend taping random things with washi and If you do, please show me. I need more washi ideas. And more washi tape!

So that’s the craft I’ve been working on, it took time with the beginning of school interrupting there in the middle. I have a few more Ikea ideas so if you’re into that sort of thing feel free to sign up via email or follow me on Pinterest to keep tabs, the links are here at the bottom of the page. It might take me a bit more time between posts now but I promise to keep it up, I’m loving this blog thing way too much to quit it.

Have a great week!

Knit shop window in Verona

This is lovely:

It’s a shop window in Verona, Italy. I got sent those pictures from friends travelling, so sadly I can’t tell you the name of the shop or what it sells. Let’s just admire the pretty and think about knitting a lampshade then.