Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Working with words

Teaching takes a lot of preparation and all the recent teaching episodes have meant that a lot of time in the studio has been about preparing handouts, gathering resources, sorting out timing for the workshops, building up powerpoint presentations to accompany the talk and making mock-ups of books to make sure they work! Then on return, there is the massive unpacking of everything and putting away of everything and filing of notes etc etc.

So there was a little sigh of delight as I looked about me, checked over my shoulder and realised I could spend time in the studio just making something.

I have mentioned previously that I have found making and creating hard since my mum died and I am still finding my way back; but I gave myself the simple goal of just working with words.  That's it. No major issues; no exhibitions to enter; just work with words.

So here are some of the things I played with over the weekend.

Nothing glamorous, but I wanted some letters that were 4cm high and 20cm wide. It took me AGES to get the R right - still not sure; and the S is a little bit far away from the D but c'est la vie.

I wandered back to the office and photocopied them until I had a full page of words.
I kind of love the results of photocopying - clearly there is something in that which I might just explore another time. An easy way to get multiples for sure!

Must admit I am a bit of a fan of multiples and repetition and this is clearly doing it for me.

Lots of very slow work tracing and lining up...

Then I got to play with some ideas of reduction - firstly against a light grey background.

And then against a darker grey book cloth

And then the two beside each other.

I moved onto more cutting! All a bit mad but good fun. Slowly, slowly, I think I made my way towards a resolution and a way to achieve what I want to achieve. But I'm not yet 100% sure.

 I really enjoyed the quiet time in the studio - following up this idea, planning the next steps, sitting and cutting, tracing and testing. It was good to have  goal - working with words - but no preordained outcome.  I have ideas about where it is all headed and would love to pull it off, but am not really pressuring myself about it. I think its about making and creating and exploring and helping my hands and body and mind remember I am a maker.


  1. Once again, a wonderful post. I especially like "cut only the dashes" ... had to zoom in to see if those were stitches.

    But I'm also liking the notion of getting one image just so and then leveraging that with technology. Working smart ...

    1. Thanks Liz - it was a very satisfactory time! I enjoyed the simplicity of working with just one word and then trying to work out ways to express what I wanted to. The multi photocopying thing was great fun! I know students probably do it all the time but I had never thought to do multiples like that before! Go well.

  2. You are most definitely a maker.... you always make me want to do something too! Such clever ideas here Fiona, all gestating and evolving gently as you explore. Love the way your mind works and found a quote the other day that appealed to me and might appeal to you too. From that wonderful but immoral letterer, Eric Gill, who said 'Letters are signs for sounds' Speaks volumes to me.

    1. Thanks Lesley - you are kind. I love those words of Eric Gill - I immediately had to think upon them (and they may appear as a Thursday Thought one day - hope that is OK). And thanks for being confident in me as a maker - I lost my confidence there for a bit, but this was such a satisfying time - deeply satisfying. I almost feel as if I'm back...go well.

  3. I love this work, given me ideas of my own. Super clever to cut those tiny dashes. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Lovely to hear you love the work Beverley - I am enjoying it immensely. The dashes are quite fun too!


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