Sets and Variables I & II is based on exploring the use of a simple geometrical motif and its compound version in compositions. A MOTIF is defined as being a simple figure (a theme) that is repeated in some manner. COMPOUND MOTIF: The compound version of a simple motif is simply the opening up of spaces in the simple motif so the ground shows through in those spaces.
It is the responsibility of each student to think about which shapes & combinations of shapes could become new fresh motifs, to draw up many, many ideas in their sketchbook, and then, to actually cut out and sew together as many black/white simple motifs as possible. After making samples of simple motifs, compound versions of each of the simple motifs should be made. Making both these simple and compound motifs out of fabric will enlighten the student as to which motifs are both visually effective and which are easy to sew together. The size of the motif samples can be approximately 8” x 8” up to 12” x 12”. Keep black figure on white ground on the first round; make the reverse of each also with white figure on black ground.
On the morning of the first day of class each student is to have all of their motif ideas pinned to their work wall, with simple and compound versions side-by-side. At some point, the student will be expected to choose one of their motif ideas and love this chosen motif enough to work with it throughout all given design exercises during the week. The chosen motif will become the set; then variables will be added as part of each timed exercise. Figure/ground composition, value and color usage will be emphasized at all times, so each student must come prepared with the very best assortment of values, in solids, (commercial or hand-dyed) in as many color families as possible. It is important that the range of values includes very light colors, medium lights, mediums, medium darks, and darks. This class requires very individual thinking and total concentration, and is meant to be challenging! The method of working will be a journey about discovery and will require an attitude of risk-taking! The design exercises will stimulate thinking and hopefully help to develop more individual work.
• Students must come prepared with motif ideas!
Note: All design exercises will be done in solid colored fabric using machine-piecing techniques. Each exercise will result in a composition. Keeping a sketchbook with excellent notations will be vitally important throughout the workshop; therefore, it is required that students bring a digital camera and a small digital printer (such as the Canon Selphy printer) to use as a tool for keeping track of works-in-progress. Since students will be pining work as it progresses onto the wall, they should bring at least 2 boxes of fine but short ball-head pins.
These two workshops are best taken in sequence as a two-week class in intermediate composition... or if this is not possible…you can enroll in one week or the other.
Sets And Variables I & II: Using A Simple Motif & A Compound Motif
Sets and Variables III: Using a Linear Motif