Thursday, September 15, 2011

Starting the Architecture Challenge

Last Friday night's excitement has calmed down, gradually being pushed aside by a growing interest and flashes of inspiration for our next challenge.  I wanted to play with another hand-carved stamp again, so I looked through my photos of the Ladd & Bush Bank's architecture.  I decided to experiment with this image:
My selected architectural motif
Cropped: a smaller section to work with
 I opened the cropped image, rotated and resized it in PhotoShop Elements, then applied different filters.  The one I liked best was under Sketch, called Reticulation.
[Reticulation:  an arrangement resembling a net or network  (in photography, reticulation is the process of fracturing the film for creative effect).]
The reticulated image

 I printed out the reticulated image and darkened the lines with a fine-point marker (left, below) to make it easier to trace onto tracing paper (middle, below).  The traced image was placed face-down on a Speedy-cut block.  I re-drew the lines on the back of the tracing paper, which transferred the markings to the block.  With linocutting tools, I cut/carved the image into the block (right, below).
Three steps of the process
 A sponge brush was used to put a thin layer of fabric paint on the carved stamp, then the design was stamped onto fabric and heat-set with an iron after the paint dried.  Here are a couple of samples I stamped:
Image stamped onto fabric
The architectural motif I began with has been slightly morphed into a more abstract design.  Now I have to decide if I like it enough to use it, and if so, how to use it in a 12" x 18" design challenge.  This is the incubation period, a time to be patient and not to make a rushed, forced decision.

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