Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Found Blog: Pattern Observer [ Michelle Fifis ]

Short review of:
Pattern Observer by Michelle Fifis.

[ http://patternobserver.com/ ]
Nope, this is not in any way related to The Guardian's Sunday sister paper The Observer.
This site is clean and friendly and I can guarantee the posts are consistently interesting, even the post on children clothing trends perked my interest.
Also an interesting point mentioned throughout the blog and particularly in Fifi's choice of post of the year, that specialising in a certain area of textile design/pattern design can be a good thing.

Michelle Fifis's favourite post of the year 2012:'My favorite post of the year is "Filling The Void in Today's Textile Design Marketplace" because it is a message that I have been thinking about for years, but never put into words. This message has become my "raison d'ĂȘtre" and fuels the posts that I write and the courses that I craft. I have a true passion for helping fellow designers and I love seeing their dreams come true.'

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The photos used are nice and sharp, they don't have those irritating weird tints some of my photos have and they often show interesting camera angles as well as clean but interestingly texture/patterned backgrounds to the subjects, like the wooden table on these.

Through its awesomeness (-_- I know it's not a word) and knock on the head of a nail brilliance I have realised something, photographs taken of golden things, white things, slight shimmering things and yellow things are very hard to pull off in a way that makes them look good on photo. But here, they have won again, together the worker bloggers have managed to get these photos where they look slightly blurry and shadow tacked and make them look interesting - is it just me? Because you know a lot of 'creative types' are always going oh that is so interesting, or that line is beautiful etc.

As a group they keep eyes open for posts or topics posted that are linked to other posts. The team researches what they post. Textilers like Noa Weil Raviv, whose stitching and washes of colourful paint become relevant to what my work is becoming interested in.
Its briliant to have an insight into the pattern and textile world of design - especially when its through a blog that sustains a commentary on other makers, designers and textilers alike.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Borrowed Book: Art Nouveau Floral Ornament in Colour - part 2

1st post of the year! :D

Review of:
Art Nouveau Floral Ornament in Colour by Verneuil, M. P. and Fry, C. R.
Publisher: Dover Publications

Bearing in mind this book is a book of patterns and ornament illustrations I will be reviewing it physical make up as well as what it has inside. 

To view snippets of the book go look at the post under this one or here is the direct link.

This book is quite well put together and not at all a weighty thick thing to carry around - always a good thing

I'm very used to pattern books and have found recent such books are overtly simplistic in their layout, in that a full page contains one pattern, but here the layout is imaginative and well planned. 
Firstly there is a thick white border around each page, this isn't new nor is it revolutionary but all pattern books should have this - it helps when comparing things against a neutral ground - makes the pattern clearer, hence the art world and its white cube way of displaying art work.
Then, there are often at least 3 to 6 panels of varying sizes on each side of each page. These panels are in all sorts of shapes and have a nice thin border between each of them - again giving room for the images to breath. This works well up until I get to the pages with 6 images on them, then I felt the patterns were cluttered and that there were far too many. This applies to page/plate 5 amongst others. Each side of a page had patterns on it.
Some panels on a page weren't given enough white space to help separate areas, perhaps a slight error on the authors part? Referencing plate 25 (above plate) here.

The paper itself is impressive, it has very little signs of ageing, with just the edges of the paper browning - most likely where the glossy like finish doesn't cover.
The paper is a good 90-100gsm I think and the book itself was made in mind for people tracing over the images with a sheet of paper on top, however it would be difficult to do so under a light box to get a clearer image  - this is where the blank page, image, black page image, kind of thing comes in handy. I'm sure they would have had light-boxes commonly around in the 1970s, for certain they had glass windows. Around which this book would have been created.       

The book has the signature mark of the early days of Dover Publications, detailing that the publications have taken as many measures as possible to ensure the book would age without discolouration of the pages and fading of colour and so on.
It sticks true to what it says which is refreshing. 

The colour palette for the entire book is constant, in that it sticks to a certain kind of range of colours that are a bit dull but still in places bring out individual parts and pieces of ornamentation. This style of colouring is a reminder of the Art Nouveau period, accurate kinds of colour palettes and some more information about this period can be found at a blog post at colourlovers/colorlovers 

To buy a copy of this book I would recommend you try your local bookshop first, or maybe check out your local library.

Verneuil, M. P. and Fry, C. R. (ed.) (1976) Art Nouveau Floral Ornament in Colour. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.