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Pattern Design III. Workshop with Malús Arbide.

June 2016.

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In our visual experience there is a natural drive towards the identification of structures, in recurring forms. This allows us to recognize an order and a rhythm, which extrapolate our life experience and reassure us.

Neurologist Oliver Sacks wrote: "Throughout human history there seems to have been a need to exteriorize and to turn these internal experiences into art (...). It is possible that these structures have ended up forming part of the artistic iconography and more specifically of the applied arts ". We find them in Arabic art, formalized through the 17 forms of symmetry, in the 3D effects of medieval motifs, in the Aboriginal paintings of Australia or in the spirals of psychedelic art of the 1960s.

Pattern design is the artistic practice dealing with the creation of repetitive graphic structures, which are then applied to all kinds of surfaces through a variety of printing techniques, in order to offer the illusion of an infinite visual multiplicity. It can lead to a variety of results, become work material within an artistic process or materialize in an array of everyday objects. We will see many of them, but in the practical part of the workshop we shall focus on the pattern conceived for the textile medium.

As a frame of inspiration and knowledge we shall study the work of painters and sculptors of the 20th and 21st centuries who also created textiles; together with other examples of textiles that emerged from the collaboration between artists and scientists and, of course, designs by professionals as well.

Objects, landscapes, abstract schemes, textures, geometry ... are all elements present in nature or in our environment that are part of the graphic resources used both in plastic creation and pattern design. Thus, a drawing, painting, photography, infographics or their combination constitute the basis for the start of our design project.

The workshop will consist of an important practical part, in which each participant will develop their personal design projects, from the initial idea to the preparation for reproduction as a finished product through industrial processes of printing and stamping. We will use both traditional painting and drawing techniques, as well as digital ones via PhotoShop and/or Illustrator.

There will also be a technical part, complemented and extensively supported by visual examples and sample materials, which deals with processes currently available to produce printed textiles and other printed surfaces.

At the end of the workshop, and as the last phase of the project, each participant will obtain a linear meter of their design printed on fabric.
Geometer Antonio F. Costa will introduce the subject of plane crystallographic groups from a scientific perspective to the participants of this workshop.

Access the full video of the lecture here:
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First sessions of the workshop, when we began to work with manual tools to understand the basic mechanism in the creation of a pattern.
At the end of this process, we printed each participant’s design on fabric. This is the moment when we opened the fabric roll and evaluated the result.
Exhibition of the printed patterns created by the artists participating in the Workshop.