Exercise: Digital craft

Using my sketchbook and paper prints I explored printing, appliqué and destroying to enrich my digital samples.

With my printing samples I used a potato that I cut using my lino cutting tools. I cut a simple pattern similar to my ‘lines’ digital sample. I then overprinted some of my Rorschach repeats in acrylic paint to see what it would look like. I used black to begin with as well as white.


I think that this would work well with another simpler design but felt that with this one there is too much going on, also the printing takes over the design too much leaving the initial repeat as just a background pattern.


I also tried using a red colour similar to the darkest red within the image. I felt that this worked a lot better if used as an element of the design rather than an overall repeat, the only thing that I am not happy about with this is the message and the overall outcome. My Rorschach repeat is all about mental health the lines are from the mummy in my personal archive, the two for me don’t marry up and visually I feel that the darkness present within the Rorschach repeat is lost and the image has now become too ‘nice’.

I also started to explore the possibilities of appliqué and stitching. In my archive I had saved some pictures of trepanation, which was used to relieve pressure in the brain by drilling holes in the skull. In my sketch book I explored this idea with tearing and stitching.


Having used the imagery of the brain that I had found above, I realised that when isolated my Rorschach repeat looked quite brain like.


Using torn paper and stitching I overlaid torn paper holes as trepanation holes. I wanted the stitching to represent sutures but also the randomness, torment and horror of the procedure.

Happy with my idea and the sketchbook work I started to work on a fabric sample. I used a soldering iron on white cotton to give a sense of the skull with shiny black nylon thread to give a sense of medical stitching.

finished applique sample

I like the idea of deterioration so I also experimented with wetting paper prints and and tearing the edges. I also did the same thing but onto a found piece of wood using very dilute PVA glue. I left it to dry and wet it again when dry scrubbing the edges with a scourer. I drilled holes into this and stitched through these using threads and wire with rusty nails.



I really like both processes I feel comfortable working with the computer and enjoy the possibilities new technologies give us but have always loved the traditions of hand processes too. I think that the two can sit together in exciting ways and I would like the opportunity to explore further digital possibilities with sound.