Portfolio

Creating a portfolio that is cohesive, easy to navigate, organized, and descriptive is really important in documenting your work.  I struggled with the ePortfolio website and creating a gallery of some sort that would break the different projects apart.  Over the summer we used ePortfolio and for some reason the layout of my summer portfolio and my portfolio now are complete opposites.  I think the layout of my portfolio from the summer was much cleaner and separated the projects into their own gallery.  My portfolio now opens straight into a list of the images without any galleries or sub-galleries.  I think the best solution to this will be to continue my portfolio from the summer so all of my work is together.  As soon as I have it up and running I will post the link for feedback!

12″ x 12″ box

We have been tasked with constructing a box or envelope type container to hold our 12″ x 12″ color studies.  I contemplated how I wanted to approach this project and decided that I would construct a wooden box because of the durability and longevity of the material.  I considered other mediums such as foam core, bristol, and chipboard but ultimately decided that wood would be the best decision for me.  The material really does affect the craft of the finished product.  To me, this project really demonstrates attention to detail and overall craftsmanship.  I chose maple as my wood type because it is a harder would that will not chip as easily as oak and has a unique grain pattern.  I struggled with the dimensions because I did not originally connect the dots that the box would have to be slightly larger than 12″ x 12″ in order to hold 12″ x 12″ paper, but I think I have resolved that issue by creating a pattern and lining it with a border.  My box is almost complete and I am excited to see how the finished product turns out!

Woodshop

Projects that involved using the woodshop used to be pretty intimidating for me, but recently, I have felt more comfortable using the tools and machines available to us.  After our cube exploration in the woodshop, I have gained a greater understanding of the machines and when it is appropriate to use each one.  I think the only way to feel more comfortable and gain a stronger understanding of the table saw, sliding table saw, planer, etc. is to go into the shop and use them whether it be on a scrap piece of wood or on a project.

Importance of iterations

Design is a process and is never complete without multiple iterations.  I’ve learned that it isn’t about the first idea you have but the development and exploration of that idea.  Recently we explored color with screen printing.  The prompt was to only use three colors, two for the screen print and one for the paper color.  Chris mentioned to me that it was important to try how colors layer on top of each other and to experiment with foreground and background by doing the lighter color as the lamp base and then try it as the highlights.  I learned that screen printing blue on yellow creates a different effect compared to printing yellow on blue.  Without this experimentation, I don’t think I would have discovered how color layers.  After our initial pin up I was not satisfied with my print because of the quality of the way the ink kind of bubbled on the paper and how it didn’t stand out or pop, so to speak. I went back to the screen print lab this morning and used the same colors, yellow, orange, and blue, but changed the layering of it.  I tried a brighter hue of blue and pulled the screen with a different squeegee that had a square end.  I also pulled the yellow base layer twice to achieve a solid yellow that didn’t have blue show through.  I did the same for the orange highlights and found that the color was much brighter and cleaner.  I didn’t realize how much of a difference this would have, but it really did make the print more successful and I would not have discovered this without going back into the project and trying more iterations.

Water Colors

Water colors are a tricky medium.  I discovered through our project to create a color wheel through artificial color how hard it is to mix red, yellow, and blue to get secondary and tertiary colors.  I discovered that using the palette of water colors isn’t accurate when mixing colors because it is very difficult to reproduce and mix evenly.  Water color tubes proved to be much more accurate in mixing colors because I could control how much of each color was added before distilling it with water.  Green also proved to be a challenging color to create because blue dominates yellow, so finding the right combination of the two proved difficult especially while preserving the brightness.  Another discovery I made was the effect of a white background compared to a black background. I found that the black background actually brought out the vibrancy of the colors rather than making the dark colors feel darker like I originally thought.  In comparison, the white background kind of washed out the colors in my opinion.

Halation – is it real?

Our recent discusssion about color and the effect of halation has had me wondering, is halation really real or is it just made up? I can see it in a color gradient but when inserting the colors on a picture i loose the effect of it.  I think the trick to putting it in an image is being able to have the colors that are next to each other on a gradient next to each other in the image.  Also, since halation occurs at the border between two colors, there has to be reasonably large sized borders to really see it. So maybe halation has such specific criteria that if it doesn’t fulfill each and every item, it isn’t completly apparent to the viewer. This link describes the criteria pretty well.

Wood Joints

I never realized how many different options there were to join two pieces of wood other than a butt joint.  After our technical drawing discussion, Martha mentioned that we need to consider how the butt joint would affect or detract from the hierarchy and focus of the cube and also that it is one of the weakest joints.  This didn’t occur to me that I had this corner construction issue until I talked to Mark in the woodshop.  He asked me how I was planning on joining the corner and I thought wood glue was the answer, but he said that it wouldn’t be very effective because it would have opposing wood grains glued together.  Mark suggested that I look at the Joinery book by Gary Rogowski in the shop.  I found so many different options and possibilities that would be sturdy and effective in connecting two long-grain pieces.  I would definitely recommend spending some time looking at the book but in the mean time here is are the scanned pages of the table of contents with the name and image of each type of joint.
Wood joints

Critiques

Part of being a designer is an evaluation of your work.  Someone might absolutely love it, another might hate it.  But that doesn’t mean you have to take every idea or suggestion.  It may be something as little as changing the material that changes an opinion about a design.  After hearing the critique of a piece of work, it is up to the designer to go back and re-evaluate the design intention, assertion of interest, and how and why it is or isn’t successful.  Critiques aren’t meant to be a negative experience, but provide helpful feedback to challenge the way the designer thought about an element or principle of design.  I know some people dread the day where everyone puts the work up that they have become so attached to and it’s hard to hear someone say that it isn’t working for them or they don’t see it, but personally, I enjoy hearing different ideas and suggestions that maybe I didn’t think of before.  Critiques are a necessary part of the design process to strengthen the finished product.

Blogging

Writing out my thoughts has always been hard for me and blogging is definitely the perfect example.  There’s something about putting your thoughts out on the internet for everyone to see and read that isn’t quite my style.  Keeping up with a weekly blog is definitely a struggle for me, but as a designer I know that it is so important to document my thoughts and ideas.  While this can only get easier each time I post, it is definitely going to take some time to get used to.