Work done for City and Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Embroidery with Distant Stitch.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Certificate Module 4 Chapter 1: Media Research

Here goes with a new module.  I have always been fascinated by stationery and can spend hours browsing around paper, pencils, pens, folders, etc and so I'm in heaven with this chapter.

First we were asked to collect some media items such as paper, paper clips, stamps, envelopes, sticky tape, etc.

4.1.1   A collection of stationery
It was suggested that some coloured items could suggest a colour theme later in the module and so I had that in my mind while searching.

I became fascinated by the insides of business envelopes and found that each company seemed to have its own pattern: for example, my bank used numbers, other firms used their website address, circles, zig-zags, cross-hatching or brick patterns.  The colours reminded me of men's business shirts being a cool mixture of pale blue and grey.

4.1.2  A selection of envelope insides

I had fun playing around with them.  My arrangement reminded me of patchwork and I tried cutting them into strips and weaving them together, arranging parcel labels on top to add interest.

4.1.3   Collage of insides of envelopes and parcel labels
Next we had to look for examples of stationery structures.  I looked around for what I had at home and tried drawing them.

4.1.4   Some stationery structures
The next section of Chapter 1 was one I felt I could go on for ages: researching lettering.  I collected some text from headings in magazines and junk mail, and arranged them to make an alphabet.  I arranged them in the same way as the letters on a keyboard.

4.1.5  Cut out alphabet

I was enjoying the "ransom note" style and so tried it also to write the sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."  which contains every letter in the alphabet.

4.1.6  "The quick brown fox..."

I noticed while cutting out letters that many of them came from junk mail and adverts and the same sort of words cropped up often.  The power of advertising to force us into buying is something of which I have a particular dislike and so I couldn't resist putting the words all together in another collage.

4.1.7  Adverts  (Sorry "only" became unstuck and slipped and I didn't notice until I was posting it.)
I was interested in the patterns that words could make, especially when they are rotated and flipped then over-printed so as to hide their meaning.  I had fun on Facebook playing around with text boxes, typing the "The quick brown fox .." sentence and altering size and position to make patterns which would disguise its meaning.

4.1.8  Word and letter patterns

4.1.9  This close-up makes some of the words readable
I looked around the house for different samples of lettering, photocopying a marriage certificate, a precious letter saved from 1947, a letter from Auntie Dodie when she was in her 90s and postcards and invitations.

4.1.10  Samples of lettering

I looked online for some alphabets and collected a few samples.

4.1.11   Samples of English alphabets

4.1.12  Samples of international alphabets

Finally, I was really interested (and a bit surprised) at how many old-fashioned stationery items we had around the house, from an old Imperial typewriter, to a dip pen, tin of pen nibs and even some genuine sealing wax!  The tin of pen nibs on the back bears the words: "They come as a Boon and a Blessing to men, The Pickwick, the Owl and the Waverley Pen."


I made a collage of "the way we were".  The "Stephen's Scarlet Writing Fluid No. 451", with its cork stopper, is several generations old and still usable!

4.1.14  "The way we were"

I've enjoyed this chapter and the new module.  I shall probably do some more research.  I have just bought a couple of second-hand books, one on runes and another on calligraphy, but haven't had time to read them properly yet.  No doubt they will give even more inspiration.

Time spent: 8 hours 45 minutes.