The beautiful man

The beautiful man

Friday 22 March 2013

New Beginnings or just another snowy day

I have been meaning to reconnect with my blog as I really enjoyed the process of capturing ideas and exhibitions and something i never imagined at the beginning of the process my thoughts.

When i began the blog it was the winter of 2009-10 which was very grim and as I sit watching the snow swirl around outside I am taken aback a little to that time and all that excitement of the MA and being allowed to return to studying for me and something that I would want to do.

So serendipitously I have been sent this link MMU Show 2011 and it enables reflection on where one has developed since that snapshot and where one wants to go next. I had been ruminating on doing a PhD but time seems to be sucked into my different projects which I will begin to share over the next few weeks. Lets hope the snow goes though.

Friday 30 November 2012

Back to blog posts........

I began this blog as a means of proving that I wasn't a technophobe and as a key tool when supporting students setting up in business or recording their thoughts for the HNC. Though it was really my critical diary for my MA. So without the enforcement of academic expectations I seem to have lapsed slightly. So where to begin.


Saturday 22 September 2012

Research Dissemination

As part of my HE work we have to undertake research work. So back to work and the second week I had to present my research practice along with several other tutors to our peer group. No pressure.

One of those late nighters later - I didn't fall flat on my face and my USB stick had saved the images in the right format. The presentation seemed to go well and it has given me the confidence to apply to present at more academic conferences and appreciate that the work I have done has value and relevance.

J Smith Esquire - Illuminated from Hot Heads Exhibition, Hat Works.

Back to Work

The shift from en vacance to day to day travail is often a tricky one......

From this:

to the M62 mmm.

But the key is looking for those bits of positivity.

fabulous Yorkshire skies.

Monday 27 August 2012


Whilst in the process of decorating I had to take a piece of framed textile down and was surprised when looking on the reverse to see I had made it 15 years ago. This created many trains of thought.

Felt piece made at Bankfield Museum 1997

I began my textiles journey when I moved to Yorkshire in 1996, initially in a morning adult education (remember the joys of those opportunities) then on a City & Guilds programme, I kept seeing pieces of felt and being eager to learn the process. I was fortunate to get a place on a weekend course at Bankfield Museum with renowned feltmaker Heather Belcher. A serendipitous time, June Hill was the curator at Bankfield at the time creating an innovative education programme and inspiring exhibitions. a great beginning on a new path.

Friday 27 July 2012

The Art of Exhibition Labelling

My wonderful and talented (step) daughter, Agatha kindly joined my volunteer status for the exhibition and agreed to get into my head to decipher what look the exhibition graphics should have.
As a designer one is always aware of how difficult it can be to get the information from a client as to what they actually want. We all communicate in different ways and miss communication often happens, we are all too aware of that facial expression if our reading is slightly off course.
So it was really interesting to see how differently the process can be with a relative who can be on the same wave length and has the same visual language reference points, it is far easier.

Agatha had seen the space when visiting The Finishing Touch so knew the constraints and what the space was like.

The Finishing Touch Introduction Panel
 We had a title - Hot Heads - Inspirational British Millinery and a mission to create a cutting edge exhibition so wanted the graphics and look emulate this but also not scare off regular museum visitors. Colour schemes were looked at and agreed quickly then it was the typeface.

Working in an art college and having relations in Graphic Design I understand the nuances of type to a degree, so I am fortunate, often one forgets that we are in a privileged space as many don't and graphic designers walk a fine line. I loved the font that was purchased for the logo, others were not so convinced.

Hot Heads Graphics  - copyright Aggie Bainbridge
 I am so glad that they let us stick to our guns and that I was dogmatic in that this was right for the exhibition look, as it does work in putting across what the exhibition is about.

A great result down to a lot of very hard work and late night emails as the quality of images wasn't always right and some images were over deadline, a few more grey hairs!! A huge thank you to Agatha as she was incredible in her approach and determination and her wonderful designs.

Noel Stewart panel - design Aggie Bainbridge

Next Stage of the Exhibition Process

Not the new exhibit, just more preparation.

Setting up Hot Heads was an exciting process, daunting in that we didn't have all the hats! Being on the phone to one of the designer's PR's to check for the arrival of the hats, to be told that they were about to be selected and could we send a car to collect them, (from London)! Was definitely a surreal moment, especially when working so well with other designers. All a very interesting learning curve.

What shall we put where?
 We had quite a few of the hats, just three designers absent. Good to evaluate afterwards as to how to do it better next time and manage the process in a different way.  Yet there will always be personalities to deal with.
so much to do

Karen Henriksen box of stunning headwear

A fascinating opportunity to look at other people's work

Working out the best cases for the work - Zara Gorman

Zara Gorman - sculptured wood

Checking the locations for Edwina Ibbotson

Close up of rolled fine straw flower - Rachel Trevor-Morgan