Paper Cutting and Round One of Installation

After the successful day of testing that our designs fit the brief and looking at how to unsure a professional outcome, all that was left to do was the post production stages of the project. This started with a full day of paper cutting and measuring in order to create a slick working process when we came to set up the final window display. When we initially measured the windows at Smash Bang Wallop, each measured 77cm wide by 200cm high. Therefore, as a team we agreed to allow for an overlay section, meaning that our panels were 80cm in width and then 250cm high as the panel will fall further than the standard glass frames. As mentioned before we are also using a mix of different pattern work so as when each of the panels cross one another both of the cut out areas can be viewed. The test work which was placed within the window as a mock up, were surprisingly useful as this meant that we were able to trace the successful areas without marking the Tyvek with pencil. The Tyvek, although when cut created a sharp crisp edge, had a delicate surface meaning that we had to be cautious when leaning to avoid indentation. Although the measuring was tedious, cutting the dinosaur and crystal palace shapes was rewarding as our design came to life.

To keep the panels from moving when the door is opened and to help up fix the paper to the ceiling, we planned a number of wooden batons to be glued at the top and bottom of each panel. This was my task over the bank holiday weekend, to cut and drill the wood to size so as we could then glue and fix these easily on site. Once the wood was drilled this meant that we only needed to screw these in place at the shop as the ceiling was wooden also (the material was soft enough to fix without drilling). The problems we encountered on the day of installation was actually getting all the parts there dry, as the weather was so awful and we didn’t know how Tyvek would survive the rain. Fortunately, it didn’t experience the English weather and we created a make shift studio in the children’s room at the back of the shop. This is where we glued the parts together using industrial strength glue, and prepared for the fixing. All ran smoothly and looked professional when hung to the ceiling. When the Tyvek was rolled, this gave some minor indentation and curving which we are hoping will fall out when the paper settles into position.

This is our blurb which will accompany the window

Hello.  We are a team of 2nd Year B.A.  Illustration students from the University of the Arts London, London College of Communication. Our project brief was ‘Through the eyes of the Window’. The design has been inspired by the heritage of Crystal Palace looking at both the Palace itself and the original dinosaur exhibits which accompanied the structure. The cut out shapes not only reference the glass structure but also the skin of the dinosaurs. Our overall aim was to bring together the history of Crystal Palace and the beautiful items within Smash Bang Wallop.

We hope you enjoy looking at it.

The plan is to now visit again next week to add Harry’s illustration hanging between the layers we created today and to film a small video representation of our window!

Below are some images which walk you through our process and a link to Smash bang Wallop’s Facebook page.




Smash Bang Wallop Test Day

IMG_4954IMG_4953IMG_4952Today we went over to crystal palace to place some test designs in Smash Bang Wallop’s window so as we had a good idea of which patterns work well together and the size that the cut out sections need to be. Of course the mock up pieces that we tested were on standard A1 and lining paper, but the material worked better than we had hoped! We were originally thinking that we would need to fix both the top and bottom of the panels to a hard surface, but the weight of the paper allowed the piece to fall without curling. Katie’s experiments created the best impact as they were two meter in length meaning that we got an accurate idea of how the final back drops will look like when installed. We decided to have three panels on the left hand side window which will overlap slightly. These will be made up of different cut of shapes inspired by both dinosaur skin and crystal palace itself. Although these are very different in nature, the geometric and organic lines complement each together to create an atmosphere which is reminiscent of the area’s heritage. The arched window will also have one panel which will spread across the whole space. This will be cut in the same way as the left hand side window so as the whole display and work together as one. This is yet to be discussed in full, but there may also be a possibility of placing another panel slightly in front to gain a similar overlapped section.

As a team we were concerned that the back drops would restrict the natural light entering into the shop, meaning that the interior would be darkened. However, the Tyvek that we have chosen to cut from has a slight translucency which means that when the light is shone onto the material, the fibers in the paper are highlighted and some light can pass through. As we have seen the pattern up within the space we now have the opportunity to develop our design work. We now know that the cut outs do allow for a passerby to view the interior of the shop, meaning as well as having larger negative space, we can form more intricate cuts.

Overall it was a successful trip, meaning that we can now figure out the technical issues such as how we will hang the paper from the ceiling+ we now have an extended deadline which is always a bonus!

Wake Up Call Stress


The Wake Up call brief is something which seems to be happening in the background at the moment however this is a project which I need to get more involved with as we approach our second deadline. Print club on a Wednesday is a way of advancing our knowledge of the printing facilities on offer at the university. I am trying my best to become more involved with these different processes so as my practice isn’t just contained within my pencil case and comes as a result of using these traditional methods in my own way with my own content. Print club has made me understand that printing methods and concept do not run separately as taught in workshops but the methodology is a major part of the success of an image. The basis of my Wake Up call project is to look at the secrets within old London architecture and to find those details which are often missed through the hassle and bustle of the crowds on the street. I also want to look into the stories behind each carving and statue as there is so much beneath the surface that we do not fully appreciate when passing by. The image which I am obsessing over slightly at the moment is the stone carving which is above street level on oxford circus. The image contains a cherub figure as part of an empty mirror. It seems slightly un easy to have a mirror facing out to one of the busiest junctions in London, but without any reflection or expression on the figures face. I have tried to research into the motive behind the symbol however there doesn’t seem to be any information (if anyone reading knows please comment!). Anyway, my intension is to make people be more observant to their surrounding as I bet only a small percentage of the people shopping in the district could even place the carving. Therefore, I am making printings on a large scale and creating repetitions to emphasize the importance of these details. I have experimented with lino cutting as the essence of cutting away into a material allows me to understand how the stone statues were originally made. It also allows me to look at a new style of working in which I can layer and repeat imagery easily.

The Lino that I had bought from the college shop caused me a few problems trying to get a clean print and therefore I am going to repeat this process with smaller tools to get a higher level of detail, but to also try a woodcut as I will gain a print of the wood grain along with my indented markings.

Update on Smash Bang Wallop Window Display

In order to visualize how our designs will look in the shop window I have made a small model with cut out representations of the window space. This meant that I could place and layer all my designs on a smaller scale before cutting larger samples for the actual installation. This also made me realize that the orange and blue acetate experiments blended into the background and were not as effective as I had once hoped. The only way that they could be used is by layering white shapes behind to allow for a base color. Coming from these experiments, I believe that the way forward is to pitch paper cut outs as we could have a range of these falling within the depth of the window. Although the acetate was successful on a smaller scale, the only way we can realistically use these is by creating a series of window stickers. This could create something which is quite confrontational and may confuse the audience when trying to view the promoted products. A further problem is the reflective surface of acetate along with the window glass, this could be a problem when trying to see through to the shop but to also see the drawn stencils on the surface.

We had a meeting with Liz the shop owner on Tuesday lunch time to discuss and share our ideas. Our group has been working separately to generate a wide range of ideas which we could then combine or let the shop owner pick the most suited to her brand. It was interesting to see that we had a lot of ideas in common as we had all used the history of crystal palace as a main starting point. All our experiments included cut out sections which seems to be the direction we are intending to go. Liz preferred the organic shapes of the dinosaur skin rather than the geometric of the crystal palace. She explained that although geometric lines are trending right now she believes that the organic shapes are more interesting and fit with the essence of the shop to a greater extent. As we met at Morley College this meant that we also got the opinion of her tutor and some useful technical tips. If we are going to create large window hangings with cut out areas, there needs to be support at the top and bottom of the piece so as the material doesn’t bow in the center. We were also introduced to a new material, Tyvek, which bubbles when heated. This bubble is similar in nature to that of the dinosaur skins I was originally inspired by. The material is used in construction sites, and therefore is extremely sturdy and will hang straight even when part of the surface is cut away. The plan is to have Tyvek as the main material and to bubble this is some places, and to cut out the organic shapes in other areas. The material has a slight translucency in which you can see the fibers of the paper. This will give an extra effect when the light shines on the surface and could create patterns on the inside of the shop is the light is intense. We also want to add Harrys illustration on certain areas of the hangings so as there is a narrative within the display. The products of Smash Bang Wallop will sit in between and behind the series of hangings in which only certain parts will be revealed to the passersby.

Please excuse the quality of the images below! if you have any ideas which may help us further please leave a comment below, Thank You!