Sunday, 26 May 2013

Media Research

Using the collection of mail that greeted me after a weeks holiday seemed to be a rather uninspiring collection of stamps - so much now is prepaid black and white stamping. On closer inspection some inspiration popped up in colours that where within the body of the envelope, e.g. green lettering encouraging us to recycle, orange bar codes which process franking machines.  Including the cardboard box and tissue paper that had contained a 'fashion item' I also saved the bubble wrap and plastic bag that contained a brochure as I felt these could be used  for colouring and printing later in the module.  The link here: is a wonderful example of how words can be used as a colour chart.

There was a plus side to the initial disappointment it made me consider the wider concept of media that is now at our fingertips, through a computer keyboard, memory sticks or on our TV screens. 

The internet offers a mindboggling combination of sites that burst with images and text and the individual has access to a host of programmes, not least blog spots!  I have found a few sites which I will keep an eye on while doing the module:

Books that I owned got included in the recording process along with a couple of old Letraset sheets, which my father had used, it seemed a good opportunity to use them in the process of the module. 
Also included, a theme board - something  I make  each year in place of  New Year's Resolutions! These boards are very much grab the words that fit you mood and stick with favourite photos, each year a host of fonts appear!  While away in March a conference of the Baskerville Society in Birmingham was held where I was staying, amongst the  oldest font, 1757, have a feeling this could appear somewhere in the module - the name itself leads to images! and the British Library is another website to watch.

Writing implements and a letter opener were included to remind me of equipment used as much as the finished article.  The feather would be cut to form a nib and an address stamp could inspire me to cut stamps of letters in reverse! The boxed inks and the glass pen, seen to the left of the box, were purchased in Venice at Rivoaltus on the Rialto Bridge, a mecca for handmade leather bound books and beautiful pens, even the box is a work of art. A tiny shop but what a wonderful place. The other nibs and charcoal pencil were items found in my father's paint box. 

The serendipity of being in the 'right place at the right time' or seeing something that hits a chord is always a memorable moment and researching themes for this course keeps one open to such moments - one occured for me last August at a Red and White setter meet at a remote spot in the Cabrach. I found a publication of a local magazine,The Knock News and read an article about,  'Men o' Letters'. Filed away until I started Module 4 I contacted Steve Carroll, and he has kindly given me an image of his work to show here.  His website  His ability to capture the character of the 'sitter' from their name is inspiring, you will find more of them on his, 'My Type of People' page.

While visiting Oxford in March I visited the Bodleian Library exhibition, 'Love and Devotion -from Persian and Beyond'. I was particularly inspire by illustration that included text, not only for information but as part of the design on each page. 

With all of these images plus the work of Cas Holmes and Lois Walpole and the Distant Stitch Gallery for Module 4 it should be an exciting new journey ahead!

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