Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Wonderful Typography of Evelin Kasikov

I need a bit of a diversion from the approach of my show and so I'm delighted to share with you the work of Evelin Kasikov.  Evelin is a typographic designer whose works are hand stitched onto paper.  She has developed a fascinating technique in which she uses  "typography, grid systems and design techniques to challenge the preconceptions of embroidery." 

Moving Image IV:  Floating Dots

This work is part of her Moving Images embroidery series.  Evelin explains the technique on her website:  

"I use conventional screen angles: Cyan 105˚, Magenta 75˚, Yellow 90˚ and Black 45˚ and prepare dot screens for cross-stitch. Works are stitched using cotton threads in CMYK colours, the intensity of colour depends on the number of strands used. The final outcome is a printed page created by hand." 

I love this image showing Floating Dots from close up to distant.  When I view any work in a gallery I always look at it from a series of distances.  This image gives us that advantage without actually seeing the image in person.  Evelin explains her intention this way:

"I attempt to create a series of motion illusions where a static image is perceived as moving. My intention is not to copy well-known examples but create new ones using three kinds of variables: colour, screen angle and cross size." 

The picture above shows a layer by layer breakdown of Moving Image II.  (click on the photo to see a larger, clearer image).

Here in glorious close up is a view of her layered cross stitch technique.  I think it is fascinating and fabulous.  I'm thinking of incorporating this idea into some of my works as another way of providing complex texture and depth.

The above work was commissioned by Kate Spade (a New York Fashion Store) for their Year of Color project.  Prints of this work are available via the Kate Spade website.

The images below come from the work Printed Matter.  Evelin says:

Printed Matter is my final MA project at Central Saint Martins in London (MA Communication Design 2006–2008). It is a project about craft within the context of graphic design. My aim is to bring together craft and modern technology and explore colour in three-dimensional form. The project is based on my original CMYK cross-stitch technique. 

It is a superb achievement.  The many, many hours invested in this project are evident in the fine quality of the finished artwork.

I love the exploded view on the left of the image on the right.  It gives a fascinating insight into her working process.

This page makes my heart skip a beat.

A progression of layers, an evolution of colour, shape and texture.

This work, Browsing Copy, I find particularly moving.  It was part of a project to make use of the copies of books that are in book shops for browsing, heavily thumbed through, but always in the store, never finding themselves a home.

Dezeen Platform (2 layers shown)

And finally, her playful stitched artist profile.

I hope you have enjoyed this insight into the work of Evelin Kasikov.  With only 2 days until my opening I am off to the kitchen to make a mountain of frosting which will adorn my mini cupcakes.

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

the Countdown Continues.....

Another busy day as my opening approaches.  First, here's a picture of the invitation (and yes, you are all cordially invited!).  Sorry about the quality of the picture, but I didn't get a digital copy (it was designed by the gallery), so the best I could do was a photo of the actual card.

Today's job was to make the display boxes for the greeting cards that I'll be selling at the gallery.  The picture below shows the boxes during construction.  I had no idea how I was going to make them, but somehow when I got to the studio and looked at what materials I had available the construction method just fell into place.

After this stage all the seams were covered with masking tape and the boxes were then painted.  I had some red/brown paint left over from my studio renovations and after a few coats they should (hopefully) have the look of Japanese lacquer ware (with a few lumpy bumpy bits where the taped seams overlap).  Anyway, they should do the job.  Making the 5 boxes took about 3 hours which left me with a few hours to do some stitching.  It's only been a week since I last did some embroidery, but if I don't get into the studio often enough I start to lose my centre of gravity (I'm sure all you stitch addicts out there know what I mean!).  As I tick off the tasks I have to do each day I get a little less stressed about the opening.  I'm hoping that on the night I'll just be able to let go and enjoy myself.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Show Preparations

It's less than a week until my show opening and I am still busy making preparations. Yesterday I baked 160 mini cupcakes.  The first batch - gluten free red velvet ( I have lots of friends on gluten free diets).

It took a LOT of red colouring to get it to this shade.

Yummy swirls of colour.

Dough in the patty pans ready to go into the oven.

Sadly, after baking, they were not as red as when they went in.  It seems no matter how much colouring you put in they tend to revert back to a chocolate brown (on the outside at least).  

The second batch I made were banana (with passionfruit frosting).  All are now safely nesting in the freezer.  I'm going to make another 200 today - lime with coconut frosting and flourless chocolate with a rich chocolate ganache.  Then all I have to do is make the frostings a day before the opening.  I have a hair appointment and have left myself a couple of hours to frost them all before the show.

As the day approaches I am finding myself feeling less and less stressed.  Hopefully on the night I'll just be able to let go and enjoy myself.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

So, so busy

With only 9 days until the show opening I have been run off my feet.  Posting invitations, putting invites in stores and cafes, making sure all the right people have been notified.  Yesterday I had a photo shoot with the Mercury (the Tasmanian daily newspaper).  There will be a story in the Sunday Magazine of the newspaper (I'll post a link when it comes out).

Between now and next Friday I have to send more invites, bake 200 mini cupcakes for the opening, make myself a new necklace to wear, make a presentation stand for the greeting cards I'll be selling at the show. I also need to write an article for a textile magazine and put in an entry for the City of Hobart Art Prize.

I was planning on having a bit of a day off today, but there are so many things on my mind that I don't think that's going to happen!  I can't wait until the opening when everything is done and all I have to do is enjoy showing my work.  It's going to be a long week! Pin It

Friday, April 13, 2012

More Work in Progress

Today I finished the middle section depicting the river delta in the Turpan Depression.  This was a really difficult section to complete because it interlinks with the section below.  Whichever section I worked first was going to present difficulties as there are important landmarks in each section that help to proportion the work (I hope that makes sense!).

Here's how the whole thing is looking (more or less).  It's a very large piece and I am having difficult fitting all of it into one photograph.

Here's another attempt to capture the whole thing.  Click on the picture and you'll see a larger version.

Photographed from the right edge you can see a bit more detail and how the middle section fits with the top sections.

Detail of the right side of the work.  It was surprisingly difficult to work those meandering lines so that they looked random and natural.  Some worked better than others!

Interest is maintained by using various shades of relatively neutral colours.

This photo details the left one third of the work.  The brown sections will make more sense when the bottom portion is completed.

This photo shows the open weave texture of the whisper silk.

The line of black stitching near the top will be removed.  It was stitched to hold the whisper silk in place.  Even so, this fine, open weave silk fabric just wanted to fray at the slightest touch!

I probably won't have much time for stitching over the next two weeks leading up to my first solo show as my time will be taken up with distributing invitations and other organisational matters.  I'll post more about that as happenings arise.

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sometimes Creating Art is Just a Long Hard Slog

Having finished the upper section of my new work I found that I had not dyed enough colours to complete the next section.  I have spent the last couple of days sorting out this problem.  First I had to skein off some new silk thread of a 100 g hank.  Normally this is not a big deal, but whereas I normally buy my silk directly from India, this silk I bought from a store in Hobart (interestingly enough they buy their thread from the same supplier in India, however it seems my supplier no longer sells this particular thread so I bought it retail).  Because the silk had been on the shelf for some time and, no doubt, handled by many a would be buyer, the threads in the skein were somewhat tangled.  After many hours of patient (slow) winding and detangling (about 1/3 of the skein) I was able to wind the thread without too much trouble.  In all it took me about 5 hours to wind the 100 g of thread into smaller, dyeable skeins.

I then dyed the threads I needed which again took longer than I though it would as I had to make up new dye solutions for about 12 colours and then agonised over creating just the right shades I needed.

Here you can see the beautiful subtle shades I dyed drying by my wood heater.

Sadly the photos don't show the gorgeous lustre of the thread, nor the true beauty of the colours.

So, after embroidering for one and a half hours, the threads were dry and ready to wind onto cards.  I always wind very large skeins so that I am sure to have enough of any one colour to finish my projects.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Count Down to My First Solo Show

It is just 3 weeks until my first solo show.  It has been so many months of preparation it seems kind of unreal that the date is nearly here.  If you are in Tasmania the opening is on April 27 at 6 pm at the Goulburn Street Gallery.  The gallery website has me down for April 20, but that is a misprint.

I have 28 works in the show, 19 in the Flow Series and 9 in the Crop Circle Series.  For a sneak peak you can go and have a look at my website.

It's Good Friday, a traditional day of rest in our house.  The cleaning is done and the hot cross buns are rising before going into the oven.  Happy Easter to all my readers. Pin It