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By spending a lot of time on the Wimbledon college studio site, I like to use what is often around the area to where I am working. I collected a bunch of wooden leaf stems as I liked the slender bone like shapes they made when laid out flat. I wanted to try using ink with some alcohol I had brought in specially to see how it would affect the ink when mixed together. IMG_20141103_194525 Although not managing to keep the ink from dripping everywhere, the imprinting works well with the intention of making the drawing look like bones on a surgical surface. IMG_20141103_194545 Thinking of the stems as bones, and the surgical nature of laying them out on the table made me think of being at the doctors/a similar setting and having your eyes tested, or been shown an x-ray of your bones. So I printed the stems from the top ordering them from large to small. What really interested me about the stems? I started to use just the ends of the sticks to print with, and discovered they made very distinct marks onto the paper. So I started to make repeated lines of marks with a variety of stems.  Some of the marks started to look like the legs of insects, others like lettering from another language or like teeth from a variety of  decayed animals perhaps. I started to narrow down the stems which made more interesting marks and went on to use one stem per drawing.  I tried to maintain some method and control to working in this way, so I restricted myself to dipping the stem into the ink per new line that I started. This had a lovely tonal effect  in how the final drawing came out. You can also see a shift/splitting of the  inks and the alcohol as it gets fainter on the page. Through the repetitive nature of the drawing the outcome looks as though it is meant to be used as a knitting pattern. I I began to merge stems together to help make more interesting marks with the ink. I also combined that with dragging the body of the stem itself to create more of a layered and textural feel to the work. These were the last few drawings I made for this series, in theses I was beginning to think about the stems as lettering, writing in a new language with symbols of my own creation. But I also think about how this might work in a textile/knitted/more physically constructed sense too. hanging knotted drawings/texts.

‘stem’ series ink and rum on paper 297 x 420 mm

Textile-Artist-Debbie-White_nest   This is an image by the textile artist Debbie White, whose work uses the art of  knotting as way to construct pieces for an imaginary tribe as part of her concept behind the pieces.

So this could possibly be the next stage of where these drawings can go.

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