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"craft" Tag


My associations with the Bird chair


Saturday, March 28, 2015

 

So many times I have seen chairs with an adjustable back; but I have never had any ideas where this design came from. To be honest, I was not so much interested in it, because I never liked it. However, when a previous tenant of my flat left a nice rush chair, which looks like a chair from the Van Gogh painting, I suddenly became more interested in it. I was wondering if I had this almost original Van Gogh chair, a chair of one of my favorite artists, or at least a copy of it.

a van gogh`s chair

Than I saw this rush chair at an chair exhibition and I was wondering again. I tried to get more information in the books and found out that this style was brought into fashion again by William Morris. I have never heard of his name before and became interested. I found amazing the way he looked at the world, how what he was making is directly connected to his perception of life.

Being under the strong influence of medievalism while studying Classics at Oxford University, William Morris became significant figure of revival of traditional British methods of production of the textile. He was also designing wallpaper, fabrics, the stained glass windows and so on. In 1861 William Morris and his friends from the the Pre-Raphalites have found  furnishings and decorative arts company Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co, which became later Morris & Co. Moreover, Morris was also known as a poet and novelist. In other words, he was a very versatile person and became a role model for me in some way.

Suddenly, reading some book about him, I found information that he was that person, who has created the first chair with an adjustable back, exactly such type of chairs which I did not like. I also found a picture of this chair ,which is called Bird, and was so amazed by it. How it is different from all the similar latest chairs I have seen!

a chair with an adjustable back william morris`s chair `bird` with an adjustable back

What I liked a lot is that feeling of coziness which this chair gives me. Of course it is very old fashioned and maybe too fancy and frilly, but to me it seems so comfortable and inviting. Usually, I prefer the use of minimalistic shapes and simple colours in art and design. But in case with this chair I feel like if I would have such chair somewhere in my old fashioned library, where I would have the same amount of books as Rijksmuseum does, for example, and where I could feel the specific smell of the books or somewhere on the attic, I would sit on it reading, thinking or just enjoying my sitting. It is making a special atmosphere for me because of the warm colors and a middle age pattern with a lot of small details. All its birds, fruit, flowers create a new world, when you look at it for a while. It reminds me myself at the age of 5-6, watching the illustrations by Russian artist Ivan Bilibin.

an illustration by Bilibin

They were also quite simple, but because of ornaments it was kind of imaginary traveling to the fantasy world for me. This chair gives me the feeling of infinite calmness. I think that only peaceful and calm person could create it.

While reading about William Morris, I realized that most of the times when I like some artist`s works a lot, I try not to read about this person and don’t see the pictures of his face, because sometimes his biography or facial expression ruins all my perception of his art and then I do not like it anymore. However, it did not happen in the case of Willam Morris and I still do not know why.

I found his art so organic and so suitable to his life, thoughts, home and even his face. I could not imagine another person doing such art. I also found him similar with one of my favorite Russian artist and writer of 19th century Konstantin Korovin, who was a good friend of Feodor Chaliapin.

a painting by Korovin

He is the second person of whom I was so happy to read, and who also, in my opinion, did not have any dissonance between his art and his point of view, which was quite similar to William Morris his ideas. Korovin liked the nature and he also was trying to make everything around him beautiful, thinking that natural beauty has a huge influence on people, their lives and behavior.

william morris konstantin-korovin

But continuing about Morris, I found his patterns for wall paper and  the book designs so elegant. Once he said: ‘I began printing books with the hope of producing some which would have a definite claim to beauty, while at the same time they should be easy to read and should not dazzle the eye……I found I had to consider chiefly the following things: the paper, the form of the type, the relative spacing of the letters, the words, and the lines; and lastly the position of the printed matter on the page‘.

a book design by William Morris

His book designs are so fairy and detailed, although not readable at all, at least to me. But it inspired me a lot and also reminded some of the old engravings depicting plants and animals. I felt like trying to do something similar, something really small and precise and I drew a silly painting depicting a beetle with a boy`s face. Of course it was not a serious work, but still after seeing William Morris`s works I had a lot of thoughts and ideas in my head, which I wanted to immediately realize.

a beetle with a boy`s face

I found out later (which was quite to be expected) that I am not the only person who was inspired by his book designs. So many people were trying to continue work in this style later. For example, such as the US artists Elbert Hubbard or W. A. Dwiggins, however some of them had not the best reputation. For instance, a daughter of William Morris called May believed that Hubbard was an obnoxious imitator of my dear father.

elbert hubbard`s book

It can be true, but I see Hubbard’s books more readable, although less decorative and precise. Anyway, I think it is not that bad, when one artist creates something inspiring for other artists, who start using or copying this style in their works. It just shows again the ingenuity of the inventor. Especially, talking about William Morris, who has definitely done a lot for arts and crafts in so many fields.

In this research it was very interesting for me not only to get to know more about some subject that was my starting point, but also to see how this subject brings you to something completely different. As I wrote, even if you have no desire of getting more information about something particular, this something can bring you to completely different field which can do affect you. It gives you this possibility to see the same not interesting from the beginning thing, but from the different angle, and then you are more into it.

I still do not know anything about the rush chair, but just because I started searching for information about it, it brought me to William Morris and now I know a lot about him and also about the adjustable chair, which did not had my interest before, but now.Now I know it’s story, I like it as a design product.

minding material


Monday, December 1, 2014

The exhibition The Future of Fashion Is Now [museum Boymans van Beuningen until January 2015] showed us an inspiring assortment of progressive designers with their newest techniques.

One of the many designers who participated in this exhibition was Iris van Herpen, who graduated at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Artez in Arnhem, the Netherlands. During her study she did an internship at Alexander McQueen in London and Claudy Jongstra in Amsterdam. Later, she began designing shoes for United Nude. An intriguing aspect is that she sees herself as a combination of a fashion designer and designer.
Iris van Herpen describes her own work as fashion where norms have no value and are being discarded. For her, fashion is a combination of craftsmanship and innovative techniques. It’s those techniques that really fascinate me in her work. Personally, I got really intrigued by the unique combination of materials and the technique with magnets she used to create the metal dress with, in collaboration with Jolan Van der Wiel.
On the other hand, the idea of using unusual materials such as wood and synthetics for 3D printing and laser cutting which eventually can be transformed into –wearable or non wearable– fashion, was a true eye opener for me.

 

Inspired by this project, I have pictured my own body in a plastic vacuum. Since this wasn’t possible with the vacuum machine that is available in school because of its size, I did thorough research on the internet in order to be able to build my own vacuum machine with the help of my father. Firstly, I made a mold out of plaster so that I could ‘pull’ vacuum from a see-through body. The heat got spread by a heater. In this way, only a small surface could be heated and I had no control of how the pvc plate would react to this. The consequence was that the pvc was about to burst or left air bubbles behind.

vacuum_1_900 vacuum_2_900

10912953_10203785246617845_1268682439_n

In the beginning I was quite disappointed because it didn’t go the way I expected it to. On the other hand, these little imperfections in the body actually do give some added value to the work. Having control over  your material can be handy, but as soon as you lose this, interesting and unique things can happen. This reminded me of the magnets that have a will of their own in the project of Iris van Herpen en Jolan van der Wiel.

 

Her growing metal dress from immediately had an impact on me when I saw it from a small distance. The dress presented in the museum was one of her latest experiments. The 3D printed dress lay in a bath and grows with the help of fluoride liquid and magnets. To develop this dress she asked Jolan van der Wiel, a product designer, for help. Because of her urge to constantly apply new techniques, she frequently works together with other artists who specialize in the handling of these certain techniques. Jolan tries to forget the mundane things in his studio and to trust and make use of his imagination. Just like Iris van Herpen, he is fascinated by the working of different instruments that offer him a platform to his fantasy.

Iris van Herpen_ferroJurk Iris van herpen_FerroJurk 2

One of the instruments he uses are magnets. He creates a mixture of synthetic and metal that transforms by the help of magnets in order to create his own, unique chairs. The magnet grabbed Iris van Herpen’s attention, what resulted in a collaboration. Together, they developed a way to transform metal by using magnets so shoes and garments could be made from this. They used the same technique as Johan van der Wiel (graduated from Rietveld Academy’s

Designlab in 2011) did to design his chairs [x]. JvW_black-gravity-stool They made a basis mold, the form of the dress or shoe, and ornamented this with the synthetic magnet mixture. Subsequently, when the mold is solid, the magnets continue to do their job. They determine how the form eventually will look like. The attracted force designs the shape and after that the plastic hardens whereby the form stays permanent. In this way, thousands of divergent forms can originate and every product has a truly unique aspect.

magnetenjurk_950

They practiced this technique in real life situation in the Boijmans museum. Underneath the 3D printed dress, different magnets are hidden. Above the dress, the fluoride liquid drops down, falling on the dress. Through the magnets, the liquid sticks which makes the dress grow layer by layer. Therefore the name ‘growing dress’.

SONY DSC images-5

Furthermore, without the fluoride liquid, the dress is made out of synthetic that is 3D printed. This is a technique that we continually see coming back in her designs. A 3D printer is a device that creates arbitrary three-dimensional objects based on digital drawings. The material that is used builds up layer per layer, such as the Ferro fluid process. With this technique, Iris van Herpen is able to accomplish sculptures that are impossible to make by hand.

 

Next to the 3D printer she also makes use of a lasercut machine. This machine makes it possible to cut or engrave different patterns out of different materials. These patterns are being outlined on a computer program like Illustrator and Autocat. I recently used this technique as well. The only thing is that you need to have good knowledge of material. Is the material elastic, is it going to melt because of the heat?

iris-van-herpen-ice-dress-2

The laser cut literally cuts the pattern or the figures with a cropped laser. On the basis of the material you coordinate the data for the machine. How deep does the radius have to go? How fast? Is it supposed to go slower somewhere, for example in turns? I personally experienced this when doing material research for the making of my bodysuits. Some materials work a lot better than expected, others are being destroyed completely by the heat. Now I know that table foil is a perfect material to cut and ribbed cardboard is completely useless, while I expected the opposite.

 

bodysuits2_1100

 

Iris van Herpen and Rem D. Koolhaas, the face behind United Nude, both agree that the border between fashion and design is tremendously vague. Together, they try to make the impossible possible as not everything has to be easy. One of the first shoes they developed together is the ‘Iris van Herpen x United Nude 2.0’, a limited edition made out of patent leather. The big secret of the weirdly formed shoe is the balance between the heel that is curved to the front and the gravity. This shoe was a big challenge for the both of them, but also for the wearer. United Nude was founded with the idea of breaking the conventional rules of designing shoes. The rules don’t have to be broken, they just tried to simply ignore the rules. The higher the heel, the bigger the challenge.
Speaking of challenges, Iris doesn’t only pushes boundaries in the shoe world but also in the fashion world. Here, we also see that she applies techniques that are being used in the design world. She wants to experiment with material and shapes.
This is something I also try to do myself, processing unusual materials while keeping the pure visible. In photography, I try to apply as few Photoshop techniques as possible. In my opinion, Photoshop is only there to corrugate, like for example the contrast, a disrupting line or adapting a color. Thus, I made a triptych in which material is central. In front of the camera, someone held table foil, which actually did all the work for the photo. I could have Photoshopped a nice little effect, but for me it’s all about experimenting with different materials.

table-foil_1100

Iris van Herpen doesn’t like following the rules blindly and decently too, that’s why she doesn’t think wearability is important for fashion. Because of this reason, she is able to use materials like synthetic, metal and wood, that can be transformed and cut through the help of her favorite techniques, namely 3D printing and laser cutting.

/

 

Just like Iris, I like working with unusual materials, and that’s why her work has a definite impact on me. She inspired me to dare to use different materials and techniques and made me step out of my comfort zone. So the main difference between all the other shown designer pieces is that the Ferrofluiddress is not at all a static object but it is a growing piece of art. Iris isn’t only a traditional designer who only works in fashion, but an artist who converts her experimentation into wearable sculptures.

 

“I find beauty in the continual shaping of chaos, which clearly embodies the primordial power of nature’s performance”
–Iris van Herpen–

 

1-2-3-:^)


Saturday, April 5, 2014

ppp1

 

Jumping around through these images in Designblog,

back to essay this title ’1-2-3 Jewel’ caught my eyes.

An essay about jewelry? Cool, lets check out.

Not only its pretty graphic design and pinky pinky makes you happy, the content is really good.

For me hand made jewelry is unique, you can feel so much more than mass manufactured accessories.

And it’s always a great gift option for special occasions.

It’s so nice to read about the graduates, after spending so much time in Rietveld and staying in the Jewelry department.

What is their understandings or maybe personal relationships and reflection on jewelry.

To see how they find their own way through different approaches, experiments and observations,

finally to see where they are standing now.

 

ppp2

 

Are you an artist or a craftsman?

Are you making wearable jewelry or object for contemplation?

Does it matter? Does it not matter?

Sometimes I pass their department several times a day when I have to go to workshops,

then I start to guess how many people are working there on their table now:

Glue, hammer, burn, bang bang.

Pretty in color and form. Another jewelry is born.

 

ffff

 

I get excited by old stuff.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

 

an old and very shiny little bowl to drink from.

wear a simular creation on top of your head.

a cup with a lid.

another hair accessory from horn, gold and diamonds. fancy stuff. this is a ring. with something like a lock inside. if you do not read dutch you can only emagine what it is for. it looks mechanical. porcelain parrot. no purpose.

a glass model of a big and powerful canon!

for making coffee. made from silver and bone. this is a shiny container for sugar. these are for storing liquid.

i do not know what this is. but i know i like it. someone was ment to drink from this. h 38,0cm × b 61,0cm seal ring. nice. very very old.

this is a porcelain monkey holding a snuff box.

this is for serving gravy. lots of it. this is a cup for something. another knife for food. even older than the first.

this is a tiny eg that can open. and close. finger ring. from back when diamonds where a little rougher. this is a jar with dead stuff from the ocean.

 

Old things are exiting because they are old. These things where made because it was possible, with the aim of perfection. carefully created with perfect skill. looking at beautiful things makes me smile. In the old days, rich people acquired these artifacts, because they could. To show off, and to create a visible distance from the people who couldn’t afford the decadent lifestyle they represented. A similar trend is still present today.  Nowadays they buy overpriced modern design or old and rare stuff, but the concept is the same. Being able to surround my self with beautiful things, of which the design has no practical function, is a privilege, that I enjoy very much. Even if it is just for the time I am hanging out in a museum, or in  a fancy place of someone else. I am fascinated by old things because they are old and rare. They come from another world. One that I can never become a part of.

 

violin. most likely with a crappy sound. watch. this is a glass. it is nice.

this is jewelry. for wearing. it is also a whistle this is a wooden dog. for no purpose.

9 bottles for expensive liquid. in a box that fit!

pocket watch. a whole lot of detail on 5cm. a mug. this, i think, is for storing cutlery.

old and thin container for liquid. pretty cabinet. very locked. this is where to put the salt for the table. there are 2 of them. some one had 2 of these.

birds cage. for tiny bird.

old, heavy and shiny. for tea and coffee. this container is either for soup or potatoes. it is 1 piece of a very much bigger set.

really old guns in a box that fit! put hands in these. to show you dont need to use them.

a little, old, sculpture of a grotesque monster. no purpose. fancy snuff box. made of solid gold. very old and very expensive table. could possibly contain all my belongings. one in each drawer.

items from the collection of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

 

HAND MADE


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

 

on April 18th DesignResearch visited

 

 

“HAND MADE”

 

and researched the relation between craft and design

and how craft does relate to art and design….

 

to see all >click< for latest essay’s

by G_Group students

 

“Hand Made” is an exhibition organized

by museum Boymans van Beuningen,

taking crafts as its principal theme

 

more info

 /site Design.nl /site [Metropolis M [Dutch] /site Boymans van Beuningen


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