Today in the atelier we continued to revisit our experience at the Smithsonian Insect Zoo using clay and wire. We started by looking at photos and talking about which bugs we wanted to create, then we sketched out a design. In the process, we thought about and discussed which material we would use for each part. We consulted and offered feedback, and completed several drafts before proceeding.
We focused on different aspects: Sam and Rowan were really interested in the number of legs and achieving symmetry. Jossie and Margaret studied the position and appearance of butterfly wings from above and in profile. Kian focused on the overall composition and proportions of his stag beetle.
Everyone was happy with what they achieved, but we discovered that butterfly wings are tricky. Because they are so much larger that a butterfly’s body, and because the point where they connect is relatively small, it is challenging to conceptualize and reproduce, even when you’re studying a photograph or book illustration. Butterflies are so amazing, it’s hard to believe what you’re seeing.
The second group to visit the atelier focused exclusively on the shape and proportions of butterflies. We noticed the shapes and form, as well as the designs of the Blue Morpho that entranced everyone last week. Translating what we see continues to be challenging, which is great, because we love a challenge! We’ll continue to revisit this over the coming days and weeks.
At the end of our day, we had a special mystery guest: St. John’s very own Aletha Peters. In addition to her role at the school, Aletha is a clothing designer. She showed us several new ways to make patterns and explained the various ways that a pattern can repeat. After Aletha’s visit, we have a new lens through which to view the textile patterns all around us and we’re excited to create more designs.
by Lisa & Rachael
Pieces of Tucker Room experiences.