Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Exploring The 3rd Dimension!: Prologue

For the past few years I’ve pretty much exclusively worked in a digital medium.  My designs start with hand sketches, which are scanned in and finished on the computer.  I’ve made these finished images manifest as paper prints, clothing, jewelry and device covers.  All of these are basically 2-dimensional applications - flat images.

But I recently watched several episodes of a PBS series called “Craft In America”, which profiles artisans working in metal, textiles, clay, glass and more.  I was suddenly struck by the fact that it had been awhile since I’d actually hand-painted any personal work (I have done some freelance projects), or created anything from physical raw materials.  My work had become almost purely cerebral – a vision in my brain translated into reality through minimal action; mainly the miniscule motions of manipulating mouse and keyboard.

Not that this technique does not result in satisfying work…I have settled into this medium for a reason – it allows me to very precisely develop my ideas and imagery.
But watching these artisans play with raw materials and work with their hands to create unique pieces got me itching to do so as well, to try new things and learn new skills.

I’ve long envisioned my designs in 3D.  Flat pictures are wonderful things, but imagery that has mass and presence, that interacts with shifting light and shadow and perspective has an extra dimension of fascination – literally, a 3rd dimension – of depth and substance.

So this realization and inspiration has sent me on a ravenous survey of new possibilities.  Projects I’d been contemplating, but had not followed through on have been brought back out into the light and reconsidered.  Various materials and techniques are being re-explored, new ones discovered, and possibilities of combining these established mediums in new ways pondered and planned.

The potential of blending the digital and the traditional, technology and hand craftsmanship has my little brain cells bursting with ideas and new avenues of inquiry that drive me to quest into unfamiliar territory, or revisit past investigations with new eyes.

My mind has been researching and studying, following breadcrumb trails through the internet, examining the properties of various materials, studying the work and techniques of other artists, watching how-to videos on YouTube, checking books out from the library.   

I’ve done a bit of experimenting with materials I had on hand, or could acquire locally.  I’ve sloshed some plaster around, stole tools from Dore’s workshop to try my hand at carving it. I’ve lugged a 25 lb bag of clay home from the art supply store and slapped that around.  But these things haven’t given me quite the result I’m looking for. 

But I’ve got some ideas I think will work, some new skills to acquire and materials to test. I’ve got allies I can collaborate with to help bring my visions to life.
I’ve ordered some more exotic supplies (and resisted ordering many, many more tempting ones).  Experimentation in earnest awaits only the FedEx truck’s arrival with my box of goodies.

I find myself a bit jittery and impatient. 
It’s exciting!  And frustrating…this lack of immediate gratification.  The Muse demands ACTION!
But I suppose this is a vital aspect of the very arena I’m delving into – the need for raw materials to start with. The necessity of a step-by-step process which physically shapes the formless into form.

This path requires patience. 
Waiting is.
Creation will be.

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