Loved Dundee Design Festival 2017

I’ve loved Dundee Design Festival 2017 it’s provided me with inspiration, professional development, place to work, networking and nourishment for me and my practice – just what I needed!

Here are some highlights

Pecha Kucha, with a line up of 13 interesting speakers, my favourites were Leanne Fischler and views on consumerism and the mesmerising sound of Panda Su.

Creative Dundee created a WRKSHP space for designers to work during the festival.  I used for for a couple of days which was great to be part of the whole event as well as tap into things happening.  With Make/Share round the table, I particularly liked the passion and perseverance of Steph Liddle with ceramics.  Great to hear Brian and Mark from McGinaly Bell architects on the start of the journey imaging what the West Ward Works could be in the future and Biome Collective and the creative, interactive and varied work the gaming collective get up to.

My Make/Share was about the process of creating the 12 hand printed patterned illustration wooden panels for last years Dundee Design Festival chatted about the initial conversation with Sion, mind maps, sketches, screen printing, tests, decisions I had to make including the happy accidents and many late nights to pull it off!
There was lots of things take part in, dicsuss and hear about.  Print City was amazing, I love screen printing and the giant 3d shapes really created a interesting space to walk around and loved that the community had a part to play in the creating the visuals.

I chose a blue triangle for Silent Monitors, where the colours and positions were decided by people opinions of how you felt on how your data was being used.

I ate popcorn and drumstick lollipops while watching Graphic Means film brought to the festival by D:Screening.  The documentary was on the history of graphic design production, I didn’t realise how technical it used to be, I bet folk are happy with their apple macs now, even through I’m more of a cut and paste type of person!

Discussion of Why Should we make more with the cool brand Trakke, historic and very profitable Johnstons of Elgin, Clare Cooper and designing aides for the elderly and the inspiring Fi from Make Works.  It highlighted my feeling that we are consuming too much and really should by things that you love with a quality to last or be repaired.

The building is such a great space with the real industrial feel with the exposed pipes and extractors, faded painted lines that separate area and the lovely sunshine shining streaming through the coloured windows.

This worked well with the simplicity of the bright tables legs created by Old School Fabrications showcasing the Factory Floor exhibition bringing together a collection of makers, materials and machines from Orkney to Detroit.  Great to see the links with music and design as well as technical advances of the Ninewells x DJCAD radiotherapy mask and familiar faces of Hilary Grant and her beautiful knit patterns.

There was so much more to see from family workshops, talks, demonstrations, DCA shop with exclusives from Tom Pigeon and Whimsical Lush, tours in the building and factories in the area, Mak Lab workshop, Factory Floor Exhibition, live recording of Creative Chit Chats with a range of questions – looking forward to hearing them!  Not to mention the cool opening night with delicious cocktails on the opening night! Loved the colour combination of the new branding by Sooper DD and Fleet Collective.

Well done to Sion Parkinson and the team that brought it all together!  For more info on the Dundee Design Festival 2017 follow the link.

Drawing with Stitch workshop for 11-16 year olds at the DCA

lg_11-16s-Drawing-with-Stitch

I’m running a 4 week block of Drawing with Stitch for 11-16 year olds  at the DCA.  Where we will create cool tote bags.  The course runs from the 25th April from 6pm – 8pm for 4 consecutive weeks.  I’ve designed this to learn some basic hand sewing skills and also to encourage participants own creativity creating unique outcomes.    Looking forward to meeting all the budding new designers and seeing their creative results.  Block needs to be booked directly through the DCA box office and more info here.

Being a textiles and surface pattern designer I’m always using lots of ways of markmaking and stitch adds a lovely quality of line.  I love decorating surfaces in images, patterns and words.

Here’s some some of my stitch samples below

 

 

LK DCA 3

Here are some of the young peoples creations, they worked so hard over the 4 evenings learning new stitches and creating a tote bag

ladybirdbag

owl in progress

owl bag

Laser Louise at the DCA

I’ve spent the weekend at the DCA print studio, learning how to use the laser cutter with tutor Jenny Smith.  It was an excellent course and I loved all the endless possibilities it can offer.

Louise Kirby - laser cutting, kiss cutting, generating lines

Laser cutter in action

Screen shot

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a lot to take in, but Jenny was great at explaining it step-by-step; and there is a maximum of 4 participants so you get lots of one-to-one advice as well as seeing other artists at work and helping each other out.  Jenny showed samples of her artist books and other samples.  I tried out paper and wood and other people tried perspex and canvas.  Jenny Smith is based in Edinburgh and is offering a laser cutting service or classes via her site The Edinburgh Laser Cutting Studio; or classes are available at the DCA in Dundee.

Engraving on the laser cutter from my photo

Laser cut test on card

Kiss cut test piece