Sunday, August 25, 2013

Earrings and Study in Geometricarama

I've got some new earrings in my shop.  These new wire wrapped dandies above...
And these old wire wrappeds.  They've been listed for a long time but recently expired so I refreshed them with new pictures hoping that would add some interest.  In general blue is probably my least favorite color besides hunter green but when I love a certain blue I really love it.  I love the blue beads on these.
I have a ton of new beads in my supply shop as well, but I am pretty beaded out at the moment so I will save photos of them for my next post and instead share with you a fun thing I did that is very helpful in learning all the controls and possibilities in photoshop through a creative, hands-on, experimental kind of way vs. a tutorial or instructions.  You'd be amazed how using a totally different and abstract subject with a totally different aim like this actually translates over into being able to manipulate jewelry photos better.  If you are a doodler type of person like me, you might find this right up your alley.

I started with a photo I took of some pages of an antique machine shop instructional book.  It's got all kinds of mysterious graphs and nice geometric lines.  You can see a plain page above,  and below, I snapped a photo of pages folded and then with a little strip of paper starts to get some more possibilities for manipulation.  It doesn't really matter so much what you start with though because it's all about manipulating later.  But the more intricate the original photo, the more complex the result will be.
book pages folded
with a line of stars

Here I just cropped, did contrast and filter stuff and mirror imaged it to form a pattern...

This is a mirror image of a cropped portion of the folded pages photo.  Note how the fold when multiplied like this gives a cool dimensional look.
Multiplying the images to form a pattern...I would love this pattern on a skirt in a really small scale.  It would look maybe like a traditional Indian motif but up close look all digital.  I love that.
 Inverted tones--I want to do a whole tarot major arcana with this method.  Reminds me of a tarot card somehow.
 With a diffuse glow and line scribbles.  This is actually only a start but I guess I didn't save the final version, darn it.  There's a really cool effect that happens when you spend about half an hour just scribbling circles with the smallest brush tool over something that has been diffused-glowed.  It starts taking on an organic looking fractal webbing effect.  You can really only see the beginnings of the effect above.  Wish I would have saved that final one.
Another one I would love to have as a textile print.  I'm actually starting to sew and I'm thinking I'm going to use some of these ideas as basis for fabric printing.  I have for so long been very interested in making clothes but strangely not in the actual construction.  My dream is to design them and have them magically appear.  That sounds so stupid.  But I am a little stuck with it all because this is literally the only thing I have ever approached from a creative standpoint that wasn't all about the process of physically making something.

I have a little insight into the issue now as I have been getting some supplies and reading a little to learn.  I have a LOT of psychological baggage around what sewing means.  I have this ridiculous brick wall built up in front of it.  Sewing machines have always been very awkward for me because I often use things in weird ways.  I used to think it had to do with right-handedness/left handedness, but it's beyond that.  It's a backwards/forward kind of thing that is hard to describe.  Just to give an idea--when I first started using a computer mouse, I had to turn it upside down to use it.  It was my instinct to use it in a mirror image way.  So I like machines and tools that are very flexible in the ways they can be used and a sewing machine is very rigid.  The time I'm spending on it now is pretty much to teach my body how to acclimate.

But there's also the memories of going into those horrible spiritless sewing stores as a kid and flipping through those big pattern catalogs filled with awful clothes. Nothing ever looked interesting or beautiful, and there didn't seem to even be anything pretty in the entire store.  Just boring, boring, boring--like a non descript church basement with a dropped ceiling and flourescent lights, a million folding chairs against a wall, faded construction paper cut outs of some bad lesson flapping on the wall.

Clearing the cobwebs is in order.  Or using the cobwebs.  A cobweb skirt, perhaps.


  1. Your earrings are beautiful and I am entranced with your patterns! What a very cool technique... I have the same hard time in finding clothing.. nothing of interest to me, and if it is, it isn't affordable. I would love to see these patterns on fabric... So beautiful and radiant.

    1. thank you Kim! I have some fabric pens and I may try freehanding some geometrically similar things on a skirt. I've been thinking about that today...

      I'll post it if I do!

  2. Photoshop's fun huh? Those would make awesome textile designs, maybe you could try batik. I'm amazed to learn I'm not the only one who attempts to acquire clothing by just staring at the wardrobe and waiting for it to appear. I'm soooo crap at sewing, I don't have the body for regular shop clothes and I don't have the budget to get someone else to do it, so I gotta either get rich, thin or good at following a pattern. Because I'm wearing the same things now I was wearing 5 years ago! (And it kills me.)

    1. I still have skirts I was wearing in the 80s. I don't have the body for regular shop clothes either, plus I hate regular shops. I'm a thrift store snob--literally only shop at thrift stores for clothes.

      Batik's a great idea!

  3. these are amazing! forget fabric- they look like posters to me- occult, esoteric graphs and figures... zomg, i'm drooling over the inverted ones, whatever you call it photonegative. not so much the last but the other black ones have me google-eyed. i wanna see the final result of the scribble thing you were talking about.

    1. I started doing more of the scribble thing to show you and I went too far. I'll redo it soon so you can see, though!

  4. Delurking to say, hello there!

    Great post full of random awesomeness. Did you know, you can print your own fabric with images you upload: Please please please make fabric.

    Hurray sewing! I used to call my version "improvisational sewing" in school; my teachers were considerably less amused. So now I try to cheerlead anyone who wants to sew. This site is great: It is the blog for Colette Patterns, and there's lots of photos and a tutorials section. She also wrote a sewing handbook and from what I've seen, it has clear photos and concise instructions.


    1. Oh wow--my friend told me about that site (spoonflower)a while ago and I totally forgot about it; thanks for reminding me. I will definitely get some fabric printed once I learn how to really use fabric correctly. I will check out the coletterie link as well, thanks.

      I'm starting with reconstructing some old t-shirts and figuring out darts and stuff. I always find I learn a lot from 'backwards engineering' too, so I have cut some old skirts and shirt at their seams to see how they look flat, and I'm going to use them like patterns. It's probably a weird way to start but I look at the patterns and it's like plans for the space shuttle. I know it will only work if I learn the shape fundamentals and machine dynamics first. Thanks again for the links. I'll post some clothing as it starts coming out presentable!

    2. Hm, where did my comment go? Sorry if this is posting twice.

      Backwards engineering is great. I learned to sew from patterns as a kid but only really "got it" when I altered clothes in high school. I still love going to Saks and Barneys and checking seams on high end garments.

      Your part about hating fabric stores is hilarious. When I was a kid I thought the fabric store WAS the candy store!

      Can't wait to see what you come up with. And if you do manage to sew an actual space shuttle, you will have my eternal admiration.

  5. Woooo...Love the metaphysical geometry! and all you can do with it...I favor cards, posters, screen savers....?? ;) Sweet. Happy to find your blog. Love your work, always! ;)