I haven’t posted in a short while as I’ve been busy with preparing to print my own William Morris inspired pieces. I’ve got a lot of photos and buildup work to show for this so I’m going to split it into several blog posts to break it up a bit and illustrate my creative process.
So firstly after researching William Morris and his work, I broke it down into colours and the amount of objects he included in his prints. I found that his colours were fairly pastel-like and there was roughly 3 or 4 different subjects that he worked with such as the birds, the flowers and the strawberries. From here I went round some of the Conservation & Restoration rooms at the university, looking for items like skulls or barbed wire because these were going to be the ‘subjects’ of my prints. I’ll include the photos we got rather than list them:
Photo Credit: Dave Bramston
These photos were fantastic to use as references, I took them into Adobe Illustrator and began to create vectors from them. After studying Morris prints I deducted that he didn’t include extreme amounts of detail and instead focused on using small amounts of detail with a good colour palette. So when I began to make vectors from these photos, I didn’t try to make them absolutely perfect with every bit of detail but instead just picked out defining bits of each object. Underneath are the results of that, for these images I just picked out colours I’d like to use in my final prints such as pastel tones. I was actually very happy with these images alone, I thought they looked like pop-art and I intend to use them in my future Moonshine projects.
I noticed in Morris prints that quite commonly he includes things like flowers and to juxtapose them I thought about putting barbed wire in my prints. It would also make a great reference to the Russian Prisons that are holding tattooed convicts I study. So rather than try to make some and then photograph them and make work from, I just wanted to get a feel for the form. I wanted to know how much the wire would bend, and how hard it would be to get shapes using it. So I just played with some wire and made some layouts to get an idea of how mine might look in my prints.
This was very basic and the only aim was to get a feel for the form, I did consider making barbed wire from scratch however I was limited by my target deadlines.
This blog post has been about the build up to making my design/s, please continue to the post titled: Printmaking. 2 to see the next bit of my process.