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Posts Tagged ‘creative process’

… this floral detail caught my eyes.

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Borders define and divide space. Depending on context, borders also complement and accentuate that which they surround. And that is the case with the four 19th century stained glass windows at Trinity Church designed by Burlison and Grylls, of London, England.

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The four windows, located along two walls, purchased by four different families in honor of loved ones, depict in rich dark colors six stories from the bible and other illustrations representing faith, patience, fortitude, charity and hope. While the stories vary quite a bit, from Stephen being stoned as the first Christian martyr to Dorcas wrapping her cloak around someone less fortunate, each is framed by the same bold floral pattern.

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In vibrant yellow gold, black and white, the borders create a sense of unity among the four windows, illuminating the stories across what could have been a very dark length of space. And they provide design inspiration.

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When designing merchandise based on stained glass windows, I tend to deconstruct and then reconstruct. As I sorted through photographs of these windows, I eventually found myself staring at just one flower. And then as I played in GIMP with that one flower it began to grow, and grow, and return to its original self …

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and this visual building would continue until something new emerged … a bold new pattern, derived from a wonderful sunlit border, that celebrates the original beauty, and reveals its own bright story in cloth, glass and ceramic.

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Merchandise bearing this pattern, including silk chiffon scarf and coaster, will soon be available at the gift shop in Trinity Church located in Copley Square. Meanwhile, see the church windows and their glorious border for yourself. Tour information available here: https://trinitychurchboston.org/visit/tours

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new cuff bracelet available at the shop at Trinity Church

The it I’m referring to is my creative process.  I was (and still am) one of those children who’d get caught staring off into the distance most often through a window. When asked what I was looking at or for, I could never really say. It wasn’t so much that I was seeking as waiting. At some point, not always, but sometimes, something would crystallize and I would see what I had not before. And its those little finds that I try to highlight in my photography or expand upon in my writing. The same sensibility holds true in the design work I now do.

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For years I’ve had the pleasure of walking past this window at Trinity Church, staring through clear panes, admiring how the light shines through the decorative glass and temporarily paints the floor inside. When surrounded by so many other rich architectural details as one is at Trinity Church, I began to take this lovely but comparably simple window for granted.DSCN7868

But one day I took respite by the window. I leaned against the staircase and simply stared outside.  Then, I don’t really know why except perhaps because the light dramatically changed in some way, I began to look at the window itself, as a whole composed of an assortment of geometric parts and that’s when I saw it. Or it found me. A pattern to play with or in this case to recreate using GIMP.

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The “new” pattern that evolved can so far be found on a cuff bracelet, pencil pouch and pen, all available exclusively at the shop at Trinity Church. https://www.facebook.com/TrinityBostonShop/

 

 

 

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I rose this morning intending to be quite disciplined. A cold rainy Monday. What better time to focus on (overdue) paperwork and organizing electronic files. Manilla file folders were at the ready as were a handful of new memory sticks. I decided to start with sorting images first … and that was my disciplinary downfall but creative uplift.

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detail from John La Farge’s New Jerusalem 

I chanced upon a recent photo I’d taken of The New Jerusalem, a magnificent stained glass window at Trinity Church in the City of Boston designed by John La Farge. It was a closeup of the jewels that sit atop the layers of painted and stained glass that compose the top panel of the window. All I had to do was figure out which memory stick to place it on. But somehow, perhaps because the jewels’ bright colored sparkling was in such contrast to the gray day around me, I found myself lost in their beauty and began to wonder … what if I

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And then there’s another what if and another what if until you kind of fall into a groove of playing … for hours! … with what’s evolving on the screen. Deconstructing and creating at the same time. Imagining what if this pattern were on paper, on a mug, etc. But mainly in the course of recent events for me, I wonder what if this design, or its next evolution, was applied to silk. Will it work?

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I don’t know yet. It’s a work in progress, and I have to admit I’m excited to see what will happen. I’ll be sure to share! 🙂 Okay, back to paperwork …

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For Somerville Open Studios 2012 (May 5 + 6), I once again have the great pleasure of collaborating with illustrator and collage artist, Zoe Langosy.  In this first of a series of interviews, she talks about her creative process, her muse, and how she decides which images to use for collage.

From creating garments out of shards of butterfly wings to using constellations to create cityscapes, I find Zoe’s vision to be quite unique and inspiring.  Click on the above picture to see what you think.  😉

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