I just realized the other day, as I was admiring a slew of silkscreen work by one Noelia Contreras, that I don’t think I’ve ever spent a week admiring this little gem of technique. So as I keep focused on fixing a couple snags that are in the way of getting the Spring issue off to the printer, let’s admire a some nice silkscreens and look at ways it can be used.
Noelia’s set seen here shows a number of applications for silkscreened clay. It works as a background, a foreground, a peek-a-boo ground (yes, I just made that up) and even to create singular objects to raise about the surface. I enjoy these pieces because they all have focal points, some more subtle than others, but it is more than just a swath of pattern. What I assume are brooches on the right side are probably my favorite designs because of the energy of their shape, just off-center focal point, and the couple of layers there that lead to a small spot of negative space. A bit of the cloth those will be set against will be framed in those negative spaces which integrates the brooch and its background. It’s a nice touch.
The silkscreen and patterns are the primary focus in these pieces, which can be a little tricky. Just using lots of pattern can make for weak design if the artist depends on it to be the sole point of interest. As much as we might like a pattern, it needs contrast and context, at the very least, to create strong design. Here there is a mix of pattern that invites the viewer to find relationships between pattern choices and enough contrast in other design choices, including those bold black outlines, to show the pieces were well thought out. You can see alternate views of most of these pieces on Noelia’s Flickrphotostream and in her website gallery.
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