Gestalten Collection

To form, to shape, to create, to arrange.

 Printing onto wood has been something I’ve wanted to do for many years, but I needed a starting point. I just liked the idea of using an alternative to thread, adding a much bolder style to my work and the chance to explore / create different lighting effects.

The HAND exhibition at Manchester Craft and Design Centre (where I have my shop/studio) was a perfect chance for me to allow myself some experimentation time. A total of 49 artists used the HAND.01 table to create customised pieces of work which, when collated, formed a large mural representing the beautiful iconic gates at MCDC. I began earlier this year, giving myself free rein to just have a play and see what could evolve. I sampled lino techniques, painting and printing methods before settling on printing the sections of the design using hand cut stencils onto a sheet of beautiful Walnut veneer. I decided to use colours found around the MCAD building, including vibrant turquoise and copper to represent the red brick.

The Gestalten range was developed using all the knowledge I had gained from making my HAND piece. My inspiration comes from all areas, the things we see around us, nature, art, architecture. Though this project didn’t have a main inspiration or direct influence, my designs were created through hands on experimentation with materials and processes. This is how I tend to work, I have to just get stuck in. Working with the wood, rather than against it, I printed ideas directly, letting my instincts guide me and my designs developed organically. I printed many test pieces before I was happy with the shapes, colours and arrangements. Choosing colour combinations was so much fun and vital to the overall feel of the range. I am so pleased with the results. As in the HAND piece I decided to add metallic gold, copper and bronze elements as they pick up the grain of the wood veneers beautifully.

Each element was as important as the next when designing Gestalten. Considering what a light will look like turned on as well as off is extremely important to me. The colour combinations were obviously a major factor, choosing the right ones to complement the various tones of the wooden veneers. The method in which the paint was applied made a huge difference to the lighting effect given. Through all these considerations the printed designs in my new range overlap creating wonderful areas of shadow when the light is turned on, with the two colours merging to create other colours, hues and shapes.
The thing I love most using this process is that by varying the coverage and allowing the paint or wood beneath to show through in places, it gives a completely unique and one off finish to each shade.

The name Gestalten is a German word meaning 'to form', 'to shape' 'to create', 'to arrange’. Friends mentioned that they saw Bauhaus in the designs. The modernists are definitely a huge inspiration for me. Now that the range is complete I can definitely see how modernist ideals have unconsciously worked their way into my designs.
The range currently includes table lamps, lampshades and artwork in oak and ash and variety of colour combinations to be revealed this weekend.

The new Gestalten Collection will be launched this weekend at Lustre , Lakeside Arts, Nottingham. 11th-13th November. Due to purchase online soon. Stay posted.