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 ;)

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Eek!

Holy crap guys, I haven’t posted anything this entire semester! Second year is busy!

I’m going to recap it once the semester ends and I get a bit of time. I have stuff to share! Mostly machine knitting swatches and stuff from the beautiful paper folding class we have, which I’m completely in love with. I promise to come back and share everything. If you feel like it you can catch up with me on the 365 blog, which I still upload photos to daily (well, almost daily..), it’s mostly homework and school photos I end up taking at 23:59 at home these days.

Also, the Etsy shop is doing well!

I’ve had quite a few sales already in the past few months since I opened. I love it, it makes me happy to share geeky love. I just hope I don’t get too swamped with schoolwork to be able to maintain it, I might have to take a break for a few weeks soon. And I plan to restock during break and possibly add some designs. If you have any geeky quote ideas to embroider gimme a shout :)

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.

nightstand make over after_1

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!

School things

I’ve not been around lately which I regret as I’ve grown to really like blogging here. I’ve basically just been doing a lot of homework. Nothing all that interesting of itself I had to come here to share, but here’s a brief overview so I don’t feel too sad about neglecting the blog.

We’ve had a model for the past few weeks in drawing class. Mostly working with charcoal and I HATE charcoal with a passion. But then this week we got to use ink, which I love, and a dry brush. For some reason, the assignment was to draw on a sheet covered with one A4 and then separate them, and fill in the blank rectangle and fill out the borders around the A4 with color. I’m showing it to you because I loved my initial drawing. I’m not so sure about the color, it’s my first time ever even touching color, and you can see I truly botched my proportions on both tries (and the poor face..), but I found it actually nice.

drawing

We have a class called “From 2-D to 3-D”, which is pretty conceptual work. I like it. The teacher is an artist, and we get to go for whatever we want under pretty loose instructions. We started from modeling an object from a drawn line and I made something spiky out of wire.  Next we had to create a surface (yep, it’s that vague) and I made this geometrical thing with lots of embroidery thread:

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And then I had to create a small artifact, and made this out of straws and acrylic paint. It came out looking like a minuature model of the emerald city :D

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And I made these textures out of leaves and sunflower, coriander and mustard seeds:

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Finally, a few weeks back I went to see a few textile-related exhibitions in Tel Aviv, the best of which (at the Tel Aviv museum of art) featured works by Sandra Backlund, a Swedish fashion designer who does amazing things with knits. I took pictures!

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Sandra Backlund

Incredible!

So that’s what’s been going on lately. Sorry to bombard you with all these non-related assignments. I plan to pace the posting and document more as we’re nearing the end of the semester – I can’t believe it, time just flies. Our works are supposed to get grander preparing for the final presentations and I hope I’ll have some interesting stuff to show.

Weaving workshop

For the sake of conceptual symmetry, and also because its OMGAWESOME and we just had it today, I took some pics (phone again – arrgh!) of the hand looms we got to work with today. It was SO much fun:

We only learnt the very basic workings of them and how to create a plain weave, I got to take home just the tiniest souvenir:

In the coming weeks we’ll get to actually work on them and make stuff, which is exciting. I love the mechanics behind weaved fabrics, it can get so intricate and so thoughtful and it’s really beautiful. I feel that by now I “understand” knits, I can look at knits and figure them out after years of knitting with all sorts of technique, but weaving is a brand new fascinating world. Woot!

Quick peek at the knitting workshop

Our knitting instructor took us on a short trip to the school’s knitting workshop and it was so awesome I had to share.

Just look at those shelves!

The knitting machines are really interesting, I’ve never seen one up close – sheer magic. Unfortunately we won’t get to knit with them this year.

I feel like I’m studying at Hogwarts! I’m so amazed this is school, full of yarn yumminess and knitting and art. I can’t understand now how I spent three years of my life in a school which was all textbooks and bio labs. Clearly, this is where I belong.

(All photos were taken with my phone, please forgive the quality.)