Monday, June 15, 2009

Design en masse, or.....painting by numbers

"1.Mathematics is the language of numbers.
2.Everything around us can be represented and explained by numbers.
3.If you graph the numbers of any system, patterns emerge.

Therefore, there are patterns everywhere in nature."

I am currently involved on a work order that requires design on a large scale, all of which is completed in fine bookbinding leathers,hand-lettered, and hand-tooled.
Volume dictates that I commence and complete a number of designs at the same time, deliver, and start the new batch.The brief dictates, that I must have designs that use the expanse of the front and back covers,concentrating interest on the spines,incorporating art-work form dust jackets, and or my take on the given subject.
Templates are made of the covers, with the spines drawn in , and the designs are penciled onto a lightweight paper.Where necessary the template is tooled over, and blind impressions made, in preparation for onlays.
If there is no Graphic lettering onlaid, care must be taken to leave enough room for the title and author.
Gravity`s Rainbow is a good example of the procedure I now follow.
I started as always with a vague concept(gravity`s rainbow=parabolic trajetory something involving curves, scientific, mathematical drawings etc....)On the first one I made a very basic spiral pattern, using a grid of concentric circles.
Making a design using parabolic curves would be too technically demanding for the time frame.
After looking at a lot of mathematical drawings etc...I decide to do segmented circles,with tooled lines that cross in the shape of a curve(poor mans parabolic curve!!`ish).
I knew the materials and colours I was going to use - the craqueled goat from the last post.
Once I`ve got my idea, a template is made and the pattern drawn out, and tooled onto the cover using my basic set of fillets and gouges.
However, as is wont to happen occaisionally, I came unstuck half-way through,didn`t like the way it was going and didn`t think I could save it.
I begrudgingly continued, and then realised that it kind of worked.The lesson I learned then is that in that situation, it sometimes pays to just grit your teeth and see it through to the end,despite what your instinct might tell you.
It is not finished yet......
Gravity`s Rainbow (no.2), is part of a batch of 10-15 I hope to have ready shortly
I think its probably enough of the craquele though...right??

If you are interested in Divine Proportions, golden sections, rectangles, and spirals...or Pythagoras,Archimedes and might try

"Geometry of Design" (Kimberly Elam)

It examines the existence of divine proportion in many things from seashells, to the human body, and some architecture.I have found it usefull.

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