Modern Makers continues


Blog post by MM participant, Mary

View all of this project's blog posts 

On 16th May we arrived at the studio in disarray, but by 10:30 all four of us were together and ready for work. Our task was to use car leather scraps and cut outs to create a whole piece of fabric which would be used to create a jacket. We had the task of tacking rectangle and square shaped pieces of leather together in sections to a template. Each section was lined with a brightly coloured, patterned strip of contrasting fabric.  This was done to speed up the joining and sewing process of the final jacket. However, the tacking was still quite a long process and involved strength in order for the needle to be pushed through the template and layers of leather. 

These jackets are to be used in a different project from Orographic, this project is called “Beautiful Bones”. This project is for the Merchant Festival in Glasgow from 2nd till 12th August. It is based on the “Day of the Dead” and Alex Rigg’s creations have been inspired by the Four Horse Men of the Apocalypse, each one representing war, conquest, famine and death.  This was interesting to work on and see the project quickly develop before our eyes. It was also nice to be able to add to the project ourselves.  Working with leather was a first for all of us so we all acquired new skills. For our next visit we continued to work on and complete this task…the hours can quickly run away!  This day was slightly different however as in the morning we got the chance be shown round a professional screen printing studio, it was fascinating to see all the equipment used and the different effects that can be achieved. This was inspiring as we would be able to use this technique for our own designs in our own project, Orographic.

Road trip! On 4th June the team headed to Grey Mares Tail, in the Moffat hills for a steep and unforgiving hike. This trip was not so we could bunk off the first day of school since study leave but it was actually so we could begin gathering inspiration from the glaciated landscape and wildlife. We learnt all about the Golden Eagle and Peregrine Falcons, both beautiful, big birds of prey. You’d be surprised to hear that Golden Eagles will not take children into the skies, it’s all a myth. Phew! Anyway, after some bird chat and the chance to see a rare Fern, Oblong Woodsia, and an actual Peregrine Falcon on its nest, we began the climb up the crooked path. Tired and sweaty is an understatement, but, we made it. Amongst the fog we discovered that a large, wide lake was waiting for us. This and the fog created a mysterious atmosphere. We sat for a while, took in our surroundings and then began the walk back down. As we walked the fog cleared meaning we did get to properly see the landscape around us, enhancing our experience. The word of the day was “foliage” as we felt it described many of the things we saw. We spotted just as much on the way down as we did on the way up, in particular some Brown Trout and jewel-like blue Scarab Beetles. With a quick lunch we headed from the atmospheric hills of Moffat in time for our buses home.

The next day we headed back to Alex’s studio to brainstorm ideas and talk about what we experienced during our trip up Grey Mares Tail. First, we wrote lists of everything that stood out to us during the trip, including what we saw, heard, the atmospheres and the words we remembered. It was interesting to see how each of us interpreted the day so differently. Secondly, we repeated this exercise using a experience from our own past. Each one was entirely different and individual, ranging from inactive volcanoes and manic hikes to dog walks and social gatherings. This was again very interesting as we all had such great stories to tell! Imagery and specific words helped us all share each experience in detail.  We then migrated outdoors into the sun and yet again we stood amongst the wildlife and picked it apart trying to gain inspiration from tiny details.  The result was we had pages full of different words, images and ideas which we then weaved into a short story.  Creative story writing was very testing for us all and took us out our comfort zone but with the support of each other we did it. Each story was amazing as you could see that we had used our experiences to build them.  We then evolved our stories into drawings. Finally, from this picture we started to construct our first ever designs for Orographic. The journey of development was complete and it was really exciting for us all to move onto the next stage!