Hand Werk Pound Shop

Silence here for a couple of weeks. A busy period of making for Kids.Modern and for
Poundshop (opening tomorrow), a pop-up-experimental-shop curated by Household and Sara Melin. The shop space on Hoxton Street looks great, designed by architect Finn Williams and product designer Fredrik Paulsen. My contribution is an edition of 50 Hand Werk boxes, each containing a set of materials and forms, for abstract play.

Wood, plastic, ceramic, rubber, fabric. The components, mostly designed and cut to combine with counterparts sourced from school science lab suppliers for example, have a character that sits somewhere between board game bits, measurement tools, ambiguous accessories for clothing, for eating.

They sit and stack in a way which remembers systems seen for storing wooden flutes in the
Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, Scrabble letter lips, cutlery trays, test tube racks.

The sets each imply activity but there are no rules or guidelines supplied. Hand Werk is simply about sensibility brought about by mute play, by handling. No rules because the elements should be moved and moved again.

Boxed as seen here. The interior subdivisions point to an archival method. This process is as much for my own need for clarity and foothold in understanding form and intercompatible materials, to take then into a larger scale. The incremental marks help the pieces to speak to one another.
The black marks are inlaid, beginning a technique I would like to take back into furniture as a way of taking the design off upholstery and onto the wooden framework.

A set of silkscreened and overlocked mats, each with a sequential route.

And sheets that sit inside the box lid, as a placeholder for instructions.

These snaps gives an idea of the edition, with variance across the box contents. They were taken after a 'nuit blanche' of Saturday into Sunday, to finish for delivery. Impossible without the gritty, skilled help of Hannah Whitfield, Penelope Klein, Sally (of course) and my (irreplaceable) Dad.

Household's flyer.


Recherches Concrètes

The last two Fridays have been spent in the company of Mavis, Ben, Shahina, Rhett and Teal Triggs, from LCC's MRes Information Environments. Fed by Chris Roberts' fantastic stories of the hazily defined site of St. Giles, London. WC2-ish.

Each of the four has conducted an idiosyncratic research of the site, with results characterful of their own interests. Reminds me of Umberto Eco's empirical reader. Stranger-than-fiction-facts and lateral formal connections between high and low design are colouring up this most in-between of spaces.

These assemblies are my weekend in the wake of this information. Residual memory of the group's motifs, sentences, associations made visible, in order to provoke more handwork this Friday, when we meet.

So, these two, for example refer to sleeping homeless in the aisles of St. Giles. Others are less literal. The materials are my fumbling in and around architectural models without ever having made one. Trying to find a vocabulary more unsentenceable than that. A system just to express the gut-head response one has to buildings and spaces and ideas of both.

The off-key orangegreenyellow refers to the new ubiquity of Renzo Piano's Central Saint Giles building, studied by Shahina in particular. Since discovered what we believed to be powder-coated steel offering the colour is in fact glazed ceramic cladding.

So she and we discussed the keying in of these colours to vernacular desktop publishing graphic signage, an accidental but quite lyrical association.

And in general the imprint of a chromatic signature building on its environment.

The project, beyond this and our time, moves to Second Life, in conjunction with another study by University of Texas, Austin.

So it's important for some make-sense-of-it-making to take place.

And to be inspired by serious study of frivolous, ephemeral architecture. This beautiful colour-connected imprint of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Browns' Learning from Las Vegas designed by John Morgan Studio (2007).


Plate & Press

FYI, this is the 'Haiti' plate, as seen in a previous post, before inking. Documented at the nicer-as-a-plate-than-a-print moment.

And this is the neat little platten press used for plates of this size, which lives next to its larger siblings used for the 600 x 450 prints. All housed in Camberwell's peerless printmaking workshops.


Knits and Grids

First foray into design for knit; a little commission for Monica, aged 11. An open brief, as long as wayfarers were included! Sally knitted the design twice for both sides of what will be a bag. Shown here before assembly, after felting.

The knitting machine scans the design from an artwork, drawn with a chinagraph onto specific gridded waxy paper. We are sure knitting machines have evolved beyond this moment but this is what we use for now.

Here's the original drawing, using a grid re-drawn onscreen to match the scan paper. Really I've used this as a test-card, to get a feel for the colourways from the yarns and the onset forms once applied to the lo-res knit 'pixels'.

The forms were taken from an exercise I set a while ago, to explain basic image-type systems on a poster, using a modular grid roughly based on Wim Crouwel's classic for the Stedelijk.

So, I discussed reading...

...symmetry and asymmetry...

...hierarchies in form, colour and spatial arrangement...

...alignment of text and image components...

...and pictorial use of the grid.

The knit process is a warm foil for the simplestupid compositions, of which I have many. So will try more in a test card mode.