Friday, 18 August 2017

Matisse in the Studio

Matisse in the Studio is the follow-up exhibition to Matisse and his Textiles - it was worth the 12 year wait. Yay. It is on at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, until November. These exhibitions are ususally globe-trotters, so who knows where you can catch it next.

Matisse loved his objects, and they informed his work. Here, you can see them side-by-side. Some, like a favourite chocolate pot, surface again and again, over decades. A Venetian shell-like chair, African masks - it is an intriguing reveal to see the actual object and how Matisse interpreted it in his work.

Of course, in his later years, Matisse did his paper cut-outs. It is fascinating to see the system he used to plan them. A string horizon line, then shuffle the pinned painted paper shapes, until the perfect arrangement was achieved. 

Can't complain about "exit through the gift shop", either - good choice of cards and fridge magnets. (Often you go to an exhibition, and the postcard you were hoping for is absent.)

Monday, 14 August 2017

Paper Parties, by Erin Hung. Review.

Over 50 paper projects for the perfect party

By Erin Hung

Pavilion Books, May 2017

Hardback, £16.99

ISBN 978 1911216254

Star rating: ***1/2

This very appealing papercraft party book, by designer/entrepreneur Erin Hung, is filled with simple, inventive makes. Most of the projects are smile-inducing ideas that are not difficult to execute, ideal for the fledgling paper crafter or the time-challenged party-giver. (The projects are given difficulty star ratings, but there are none that require consummate skill or even much previous papercrafting experience.)  There is plenty of variety – pleated paper, paper flowers, fringed projects, modular origami, and a few template-dependent creations.

The format of the book is LookBook upfront, step-by-step how-tos in back. There’s a reduced-size template section, too. This format is user-friendly – perfect for having a browse over a cup of tea. The how-tos are clear and conversational, with friendly project intros. 

In the first spread, there are ginormous sweet wraps  - bigging up or miniaturizing often works a treat when it comes to papercrafting party makes! The Ice Cream Cone Messages, with fluffy scoop of tissue paper ice cream on top would be ideal for a kids’ party, as would the oh-so-simple Ice Lolly Party Invitations. There are sweet and simple ideas like the You’re a Star Card – a shooting star depicted with fringed tissue paper (good timing with current Perseid star showers). Some of the ideas are ideal kids’ crafts – like the Cupcake Anemones (fashioned  from pleated cupcake cases), and the Astronaut Messages (spaceships with a message payload). The projects show an appreciation of colour and texture, and yes, plenty of glitz. A good mix of papers are utilized : tissue, giftwrap, crepe paper, print, plain, metallic.

There was an instance where I hoping a photo prop would be an project. The cake stands for the mini-doughnuts  (Doughnuts about You project), made up in card,  would have been a super template-based papercraft. 

There’s an excellent Floral Basics tutorial, to get you up to speed on paper flower-making. This is accompanied by several fun follow-up projects: A Floral Letter (new take on the jumbo initial trend), Flower Power Party Poppers (supercute fun floral  fancy dress for regulation-issue bottle-shaped poppers), Frida Kahlo Flower Crown,  Floral Bomb Pinata, and Giant Flower Decor.

The hardcover format of this title makes it a very giftable.
Note: I was given a review copy of this title.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

The Art of Folding, Vol. 2, by Trebbi, Genevaux, & Bounovre. Review.

Design without Boundaries
New trends, techniques and materials
By Jean-Charles Trebbi, Chloé Genevaux, Guillaume Bounovre
Promopress, April 2017
Hardcover, £27.99

Star rating: *****

Welcome to the folds! This title, written by and for design pros, has awesome design clout and appeal for all. It is a (folded) box of delights. Folding innovation is very cutting-edge in the design industry :) – only recently there was a NASA callout for clever ways to fold a satellite! The power of origami has been given its due and is a massive current design influence. The scope of this wonderful, highly–illustrated book is pan-craft and global. It is a follow-up to a previous volume (The Art of Folding, Vol. 1), but stands alone on the strength of its content. 

The Chapters are Art, Decor and Scenery, Fashion, Furniture and Lighting, Architecture, and Innovation. Each section showcases the work of innovative designers, who discuss their influences and impart know-how. At the back of the book, there are several models for you to fold, including an origami-folded letter and a snail-like self-closing box.

There is something for every folding fan :D - do you like the lighting in Scandi noir thrillers?, Fortuny –style fabric pleats, sculptural origami, clever flat-pack furniture, trendy pleated-paper Christmas ornaments? Angular pleats or graceful curves? It is all here. And there are genius innovations – like the Christope Guberan’s Hydro-Fold Wet Folding machine, a printer-like machine that moistens folds to enable easy pleating.

 If you are fascinated by folding, this wow-factor title is for you. 

Note: I was provided with a .pdf file of this title.