Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Research on the beach

Baltic sea

Oh, I love to be on the seaside…and I love to swim in the sea… Only this summer I did not get there quite often enough. That’s why I will dedicate the next chapter to the beach.

Baltic coast 2

Scandinavia and especially Baltics states have great beaches. Very few tourists know that and that’s why those splendid expanses of sand, pine trees, and shallow and tideless sea are left mainly for the locals.

Baltic coast

In the Nordic cities during the summertime you will be lucky to meet a native- they all lie down on some secluded beach, watching swans and taking a dip in the lovely warm and gentle waves.

Empty beach house, Baltic coast

Empty kiosk, Baltic coast

This remote beach by the Baltic sea is one of my favourites, because of its great architectural features, beach kiosks and beach house from the 60s. Sadly no one looks after them now.

Brighton Beach

I have been to some beaches in Britain too, mind you. One has to be a real hero to go swimming there. The sea is ice cold, you can only take a few steps and already you are in deep and furious water, plus the sharks( although toothless basking variety, still scary).

sandy beach

Abandoned mouse on the Baltic beach

I have collected some lovely research from the beaches I have been to. You might argue now that this is not a proper research, as you cannot use it to design something. Well- one can use those images as a research for a fashion shoot location, or a colour scheme or a mood… or something like that.

Brighton beach inspiration

Brighton beach

Brighton beach chairs

Brighton beach chairs 1

I took some nice inspirational pics on Brighton Beach, including some wall paintings and a lonely stack of beach chairs. Later on I developed those chairs into actual print design. It is not quite finished and I have not used it anywhere yet.

beach chairs 1

But at least I have proved you, that one can really gather some good research, while lazying around on the beach.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Joining the dots

dot pattern

A few years ago I designed some fabric prints for no other reason but pure fun. I started designing by making some large dots in the Photoshop, then I printed the dots out on paper and cut the paper to strips, then glued the strips back together in no particular order. Finally I scanned this glued up picture back in the computer and played with it some more in the Photoshop.

dot pattern on dummie2

The result was chopped up dot pattern with a handmade feel that I liked a lot. I dug this design up again this June, when I was making some digital prints in London and got a small sample printed on cotton canvas. I must say I was very pleased with the print on fabric.

childhood dress

A Few weeks ago I came to my native Nordic homeland. One day, when rummaging around the attic, I found a suitcase with my childhood clothes. There was also a dress with big white dots.

childhood dress 2

When I looked at it more closely I got a little shock as the pattern was very similar to what I had designed: chopped up strips of dots! I swear I had not seen this baby-dress for a very long time and I did not remember the pattern at all!

Strange things those childhood memories- they stick in the subconscious and then pop up when you do not expect that at all. You may think you have invented something new and fresh or think you have a great taste, but actually it all comes from your childhood. Or does it?...

New faces

new tribe brooches

There are now some new members to the Tribe jewellery family: brooches with funny faces, made from metallic silk and all kinds of metal bits and pieces as eyes, noses and lips.

Someone said they look quite 80s. To me they look cubist with a punk twist. At the moment there is only three, but there are more in process. Hope to put some for sale in my Etsy shop soon.

making the tribe brooches

Tribal brooch making is such a great activity for those moments when you are forced to sit and wait, like being on the airplane or on the train. Or working in a shop and sitting behind the counter and being a bit bored. That’s exactly what I had to do last Saturday, so I took my brooch making implements and bag of hardware with me, spread it all over the counter and managed to do quite a lot of stitching of eyeballs and noses.

Those brooches look really good on gray tweed- I already tested them on my jacket. At least that’s one reason to look forward to September and cooler weather.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pressing issues

press buttons 2

Yesterday I went to a wholesale place to buy some press buttons. They have become to play an important part in my jewellery making, I just cannot do without them at the moment. You can create a beautiful “ribbed metal sausage” that just looks SO good in necklace or earrings.

So here I am cycling down the street, completely happy, bag full of newly bought press buttons of all sizes and suddenly there’s an open gate. Quite unusual in that area, so of course I glance in. There’s a lovely old wooden house, flowerbeds and attached to the fence- tens of metal car wheel covers. They look almost exactly like the press buttons I just bought! It’s like a little sign from the Lord of the Press buttons, telling me I did a right thing buying so many of them and using them so much.

Now I just have to turn them into lovely necklaces and hopefully everyone will fall in love with them!

wheel covers 1

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What the students did

This spring I started monthly fashion course- and workshop in my studio.

During the workshop we wander with students into different areas of design development and research and in the end we will put together a small collection. Some students have even managed to design collections containing 15-20 outfits and all this in 15 hours!

tatjana 1small

tatjana 2small

Here are some toiles and rough designs from my student from last week's course, her name is Tatiana Epishina.

britta 2

Britta töö

Here are some toiles and designs from my student Britta Ratas.

Pictures on the right hand side are collages made in Photoshop. They should give a rough idea of the silhouette, proportion and the look. Exact details of the design are still to be worked out.

When I studied in London’s Famous College of Arts and Design, I saw many people around me designing not on paper, but directly on a tailor’s dummy. Some people had bags full of second hand clothes that they cut into pieces and then used them to create something new and interesting and in the end they took a photo of it.

To me it was all new, as in my Native Land nobody worked like that. It was also a solution to my problem- I wanted to create all kinds on interesting shapes and cuts but did not know how. Designing on paper simply drove me nuts and the result was in my opinion boring.

anu toiles college 1

So I kept an eye on my coursemates, learned lots of their tricks and then developed those into my own technique, which I use now most of the time. It includes draping fabric or garments on the dummy and taking lots of pictures during this process. Later I use the photographs to Photoshop together a rough lineup of the collection or just use them as a source of research when sketching down my designs.

IMG_3714 small

First I was very scared of draping on a dummy- what a waste of fabric if it all goes wrong! So I took a small dolly that artist use for drawing and did some tiny toiles. After that I suddenly became vary brave and now I do not need the tiny dolly any more.

3 toiles small

Here’s some experimental toiles from my college days a few years ago. I use this technique now to make completely wearable things.