Finding inspiration for printmaking at the museum

I can spend hours wandering around the different exhibits at the National Museum of Scotland, sketching shapes and seeing a whole world of patterns in the different collections on display.

Art and Design galleries at the National Museum of Scotland
Art and Design galleries at the National Museum of Scotland

The Art, Design and Fashion galleries are my favourite place in the museum and have been since I was a student at Edinburgh College of Art.

Section of the embroidery designed by May Morris, 1891, and worked by May Morris and Theodosia Middlemore, for Melsetter House, Orkney, 1898 - 1902
Section of the embroidery designed by May Morris, 1891, and worked by May Morris and Theodosia Middlemore, for Melsetter House, Orkney, 1898 – 1902.

Whether it’s the floral design of a May Morris embroidery or the electric green, geometric lines of a Jean Muir dress, the colours, shapes and patterns held within the collections are often the starting points for my costume designs or illustrations.

Woman's dress, by Jean Muir Ltd, Spring 1980
Woman’s dress, by Jean Muir Ltd, Spring 1980.

This Sunday 13 November, I will be running two workshops as part of the Museum’s Make it at the Museum events. The morning workshop will be for families and the afternoon workshop will be for adults.

Workshop images from Mini Makers for 3 to 5 years olds
Workshop images from Mini Makers for 3 to 5-years-olds.

These images are from shorter workshops I ran at the museum with 3 to 5-year-olds last weekend; they loved selecting shapes and getting their hands dirty. 

Workshop images from Mini Makers for 3 to 5 years olds
Workshop images from Mini Makers for 3 to 5-years-olds.

The workshops this weekend are more in-depth and a little longer. They will take inspiration from the new Art, Design and Fashion galleries, exploring all of the shapes and patterns that are waiting to be discovered within them. I’ll encourage participants to start by explore the collections for themselves and we will begin by wandering around the galleries with our sketchbooks, talking about what we can see and collecting ideas.

Section of the Grammar of Ornament on display in Design For Living gallery
Section of the Grammar of Ornament on display in the Design For Living gallery.

We will then return to the studio to develop them into repeat patterns, using a variety of relief printing methods: from stamp making to styrofoam printing and mono printing. Participants will then be invited to make their patterns come alive through animation.

There’s still places left on the workshops, so I hope to see you there on Sunday.

Book Now! Families: Make it at the Museum
Relief Printing, Sunday 13 November 2016, 10:30-16:00

Book Now! Grown ups: Make it at the Museum
Relief Printing, Sunday 13 November 2016, 14:00-16:00

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