11 Mar 2012

Man versus machine - part 2 the results

So after a suitable pause to build up some excitement and tension here are the results.

Let me know what you think, can you tell the difference? I can't, they are certainly food for thought, though ultimately I enjoy the process of cutting by hand rather than the process of creating vector files, but you may see some more machine cut birds sometime soon, as I have some plans so watch this space....

© Claire Brewster 2012

© Claire Brewster 2012

© Claire Brewster 2012

© Claire Brewster 2012

10 Mar 2012

Man verses machine - part 1

I recently got the chance to cut some birds using a Zund machine, which for those not familiar is a large flat be machine that can cut paper and card using a blade. The machines are used for making signage, cutting vinyl, and making architecture models.  It has some advantages over a laser, particularly when cutting paper as you don't get the burnt edges, though a laser can cut more materials.

Anyway it was interesting to see what the results would be.

First you have to start with some vector files, the machine has it's own software and the images are opened with in that.  The machine is very complex and you have to make sure you set the knife to only cut the depth of the material that you are cutting.  It is very fast and a little bit scary.

Here are some photos of the machine in action.  I will post the results later.

5 Mar 2012

Questions, Questions, Questions - Why maps?

This might be cardinal for you © Claire Brewster January 2012

This is another question I get asked regularly, which deserves some thought.

So why maps - they are something I have always collected and been fascinated by.  They offer the opportunity to dream and to travel the world from the comfort of your own front room.

Maps just seem to lend themselves to making art work.  The patterns that are created by the contour lines, the road markings, symbols and colours are so fascinating and when they are abstracted out of the map and turned into a bird become so feather like.  I spend a lot of time looking at the maps and working out which bit is best and will work best with the bird.

I also love the the quality of the printing and the paper that you find with old maps, modern printing whilst obviously quick just doesn't have the same quality and life.

I am also very passionate about the reusing of materials, and re-appropriating things that have lost their original purpose and in the process giving them a new one. 

Paper maps are becoming redundant because we mostly use satnav's or google maps now, they are much more immediate and very up-to-date though often not so accurate.  The thing with paper maps is they make you see the bigger picture, where as satalite navigation is much more focused on the route you are taking, which can lead to all sorts of problems as we blindly follow them, without noticing that they are not perhaps taking us on the best route or leading us somewhere we shouldn't be going.

Maps for me are integral to the process of making work.  I also love the hunt, the adventure of not knowing what I am going to find.  I cannot control the sources, I can only use what I can find which is all part of the creative process for me.

I hope you are enjoying this series of questions and am always happy to answer any questions on my work or the process.
The Green Green Grass © Claire Brewster February 2012