After Effects Experiments

I’ve been getting to grips with After Effects recently. This title sequence is the result of my initial experiments. It’s a bit flashy but was a good excuse to get my head around some aspects of animating in After Effects such as working with 3D environments.

What Is Textiles? 2013 – Edinburgh Exhibition

Kalopsia Collective - What Is Textiles? exhibition edinburgh

What Is Textiles? – Edinburgh Exhibition

I will be exhibiting a number of my embroidered works next week as a part of Kalopsia’s one year anniversary exhibition at Gallery Seventeen, Edinburgh – What Is Textiles?

An exhibition that sees Textiles as a distinct artistic practice, that opens up the debate on “What is Textiles?”

Private View: Friday 18th of October 6pm-8:30pm
Open: 18th-23rd of October 10.00am-5.00pm
Location: Gallery 17, 17 Dundas Street, Edinburgh

Kalopsia Collective presents an exhibition that explores the nature of textiles – an exhibition that shows a range of work from weave, print, illustration, knit, graphic, video installation, sculpture, metal, embroidery, performance art, fashion to ceramics.

Showcasing innovative and exciting textile creations by a range of creators from around the world. What is textiles to you? Is it the touch, the pattern, the movement, the sound, the smell, the process, the making, the feeling, the thinking, the colour, the history or the space? Come and join in the debate and explore the idea and pushes the boundaries of what Textiles can be.

The exhibition will feature work by by Yvette Estelle Jeffrey, Hollie Ward, Eldi Dundee, Katie Rose White, Sarah Pouros, Keren Shiker, Joanne Randall, Leyla Rodriguz, Nina Falk, Kay Steven, Samantha Wadham, Samantha Coe, Magdalini Eftoxpoulou, Tim Kloed, Eileen Thomas, Spike Dennis, Vanessa Larsen, Camilla Wordie, Adam Robertson, Rachel Lobban.

Rachel Maclean’s Videos

Rachel Maclean's Videos

Rachel Maclean’s Videos

I think Rachel Maclean’s videos are my new favourite thing! At first glance they appear to be sugar coated kitsch videos featuring cats and unicorns but they’re a hell of a lot creepier than that.

Many of the videos clips that I’ve watched explore aspects of contemporary popular culture including TV, film, music and internet memes. Over the Rainbow (2013), for example,
invites the viewer into a shape-shifting world inhabited by cuddly monsters, faceless clones and gruesome pop divas“.

I’m interested in process the artist has used given my own recent foray into video works. LOLCATS (below) was shot entirely against green screen and I’m assuming that much of the backdrops and scenery were animated in with After effects. My own first attempt at green screen filming was an altogether simpler affair.

The costumes and make-up that the artist has put together for her videos are also hugely impressive. I find that they sit somewhere between Japanese Kawaii kitsch and the more terrifying costumes from the Mighty Boosh. Interestingly the artist is the only actor or model in any of her videos.

There’s a clip from LOLCATS below but you can view more clips of Rachel Maclean’s work on her website:

keywords: rachel, maclean, rachel maclean, art, artist, videos, video, kitsch

Acrylic Embroidery Experiment

Acrylic Embroidery Experiment - contemporary craft

Acrlic embroidery Experiment

I’ve been considering new ways in which to play with embroidery as a process which led to this little experiment. I had the opportunity to undertake an introductory session on a laser cutter at the start of the summer. I’d been keen to try out the machine so that I could see how it works and what it can do. Whilst I already had a good idea in theory I find that it’s much easier to get a grasp of how I might use a material or process when I can try it our for myself.

For this test I simply set the laser cutter to cut a series of holes in a sheet of clear acrylic so that I could run some stitches through it. I picked the clear acrylic because of the depth I figured it would give the stitches what with being able to see the front and back simultaneously. I’ve also got some mirrored acrylic that I would like to test in a similar fashion.

I’m not sure whether I’d return to the laser cutter however to perforate any acrylic for future embroidered work. I think a free hand drill would give me a little more freedom.

Fibremen 3 – Ukraine Exhibition

Fibremen 3 - Scythia, Ukraine

Fibremen 3 – Kherson, Ukraine

I’m delighted to have had my Baba Yaga embroidery selected for Fibremen 3; an international fibre art exhibition of contemporary and innovative fibre works submitted by men. The exhibition, organised by Ludmila Egorova of Scythia, will take place in Kherson, Ukraine this October/November.

The Fibremen exhibition is designed to broaden the awareness of male fibre art and consider their works within a broader context of art history. The chosen art works created by artists from 10 countries. Unique individuals, they all have much in common – skills, talent, vitality, intelligence. They are often entering competitions together with women textile artists and show their art works publicly. They have worked hard and let their creativity flow outside their studious. They create breathtaking, inspiring works that touch everybody. Their art works is a result of vigour commitment and determination. Main objective of this exhibition is to promote works of male textile professional artists. – Ludmila Egorova

Quite fittingly, given that this exhibition is to be hosted in Ukraine, my Baba Yaga embroidery is based on an old folk tale from Eastern Europe. Baba Yaga was a witch who is described as a ferocious looking woman who flies around in a mortar, wields a pestle and dwells deep in the forest in a hut usually described as standing on chicken legs and surrounded by a fence constructed from human bones.

In the tales a young girl, Vasilisa, is sent to Baba Yaga by her wicked step-mother on what seems like an innocent quest to retrieve a needle and thread. The step-mother however hopes that Vasilisa will upset Baba Yaga and be eaten by the witch.

Exhibition Dates: 23 October – 5 November 2013
Location: Kherson, Ukraine

For more infromation about Fibremen and Scythia Textiles visit their website:

Running with Wolves – Cardiff Design Festival

Cardiff Design Festival

On Saturday the 5 October 2013 the Pack of Wolves invite you to join us and come ‘Running* with Wolves’ as a part of Cardiff Design Festival.

we invite you to design your own wolf mask and in a manner akin to a ‘Flash-Mob’ join us in Bute Park from which point we will proceed through the streets of Cardiff to our Den for a social get together.

If you wish to join us ensure you locate the Pack at Bute Park by 6.00pm. You won’t be able to miss the Alpha wolf waving the Pack of Wolves’ flag!

In order to get you started we have provided some free mask templates that you can download from the Pack of Wolves’ website and print out for yourself. If you would like a little help in designing your mask why not sign up to one of our mask making workshops on Saturday afternoon. These are being led by our wolf cubs – Illustration students from Cardiff School of Art & Design. You can book a place at one of these workshops below.

Of course if you wish to design your own mask from scratch then feel free – let your inner creative beast loose! Why not check the Wolves’ blog for some inspiration?

You don’t have to be a creative wizard to take part in Running with Wolves but you do have to turn up in a wolf mask!

Keep an eye on the Pack of Wolves’ website or follow us on Twitter for further information and updates.


keywords: Cardiff, Design Festival, design, Caerdydd, Festival, arts, illustration, Flash Mob, flashmob
*when we say ‘running’ what we really mean is a light jog**
**When we say ‘light jog’ we probably mean a brisk walk

Hand Embroidered Unicorn Jumping Jack Puppet

Hand Embroiderd  Unicorn Jumping Jack Puppet GIF animation

Hand Embroidered Unicorn Jumping Jack Puppet

I created this puppet from some white woollen fabric and cotton thread. The fabric is stretched across a wire frame that it’s stitched to in a similar fashion to the way in which stumpwork embroidery is constructed. The limbs are jointed using a simple French knot stitch and then activated at the back using a simple string mechanism as is used in traditional jumping jack puppets.