Tuesday, July 30, 2013

White on color

For tonight's pattern postcards, I colored the cards with solid blocks of color and then drew on the surface with white pencil.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Boots and Cats postcards

More from my 365 days of Pattern Postcard Project. Tonight I reused my boots and cats stamps.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

More postcards

I made a few more pattern postcards tonight to send out. There's still more if you'd like to sign up!

I will not sell or retain your address. This is only a fun project to promote 365 Days of Pattern and to share artwork.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

365 Days of Pattern Postcard Project: First Look

Today I started creating the first postcards for my 365 Days of Pattern Postcard Project. I'm finally using my Copic markers, as well as some smelly markers I bought at the University art co-op years ago. I had fun making the feather pattern below. I started with smelly markers, then made everything fuzzy with a blender marker. The end result was a bit dark, so I came back over the top with a white pencil. I really like the effect.  I also made some persimmons. They make for such a great graphic and I love the red orange color. In printmaking class we had an ink with this color and its name was "fire red."365patterns postcard art mail pattern

The green shapes are feijoas, a south american fruit I learned about while traveling in New Zealand. The cross-section of this fruit has such a cool shape and I thought it would make a great motif. 

365patterns art pattern postcard mail

If you would like a lovely pattern postcard sent to you, please sign up here. I'm going to do thirty of these and send them all over. I already have a few to send to Thailand!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

365 Days of Pattern Postcard Project

Isn't snail mail fun?

I have an upcoming prompt in my "Make Something 365" book to do a project involving postcards, and I thought it would be fun to send art postcards to my fans. I'll send free, handmade postcards to the first 30 people to sign up via the link below. (Yes, I will send overseas, but I'm going to limit that to no more than 10.)

In exchange I ask for a small favor: please help me promote my blog. So please like my facebook page, or share one of my posts on a social network, and I'll mail you a lovely card.

Click here to sign up for a 365 Days of Pattern postcard!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Theory of Tiled Patterns

Over the last few days I've put together a short video demo on the theory behind rectangular repeat tiles. It's my first instructional video, so I'd love to hear your feedback. I plan to do more that touch on more of the mathematical background, but I wanted to keep the first one brief.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

Tiling on a Video

Tonight I made a short film on making repeats based on my "Tiling on a Torus" post. It needs a bit more editing, but stay tuned! I'll post it later this week.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Color variations

Lately I've been thinking a lot about color theory, and I even have ordered myself a bunch of books on the subject. Tonight I recolored the "dazzle camouflage" tile several different ways. It's remarkable how much color can change a piece.





Saturday, July 20, 2013

Fire vs. Water

Here are two contrasting repeat tiles I made for my Skillshare classs. I drew the images with a stylus, then touched them up in illustrator to make the repeated forms and add values.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Flames tile

Tonight I've been working on a tile repeat with flames. I'm using the same concepts as in my post "Tiling on a Torus." You can see the gridmarks where I'm trying to make the line connections smooth.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Pollen & Rain

I made a couple of patterns tonight from a drawing. The first one reminds me of pollen, the second, raindrops.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Tonight I played with grids and making repeats in illustrator. Here's what I've come up with:

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pollen and circles

Here's another pattern doodle I made. The knobby shapes one reminds me of pollen.

Monday, July 15, 2013


I'm taking another Skillshare class on pattern design. The first exercise was to work with contrasting ideas.  Here's a page from my sketchbook.

This particular class is free, and self-paced. You can join here: Introduction to Surface Design: Creating and Mixing Patterns

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Napkin pattern

Today's prompt was to draw on the napkin at a restaurant and leave the work behind. I drew this abstract pattern at a delicious dinner at Hopdoddy Burger Bar. Hope someone enjoyed it :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

365 Days of Pattern is on Facebook

I've created a facebook page for my blog in attempts to promote my posts more on facebook. Please take a look and "like" it: https://www.facebook.com/365DaysOfPattern

Featured Artist: Susan Rodriguez of Ceramica Botanica

Today’s guest artist is Susan Rodriguez of Ceramica Botanica, who makes servingware with fun, retro patterns. Susan is from San Antonio, Texas, and she shares her background and techniques today. Be sure to also check out her etsy shop and facebook page.

mod patterns on ceramic plates

A: What’s your background?

S: I really came late to art. My first exposure was a basic design course in college. It was amazing, liberating, eye opening, and so fun. I was staying up all night working on projects. Then I continued taking art courses and received a BFA in ceramics.

tray and small bowl with flower design

A: What are your inspirations?

S: I love vintage textiles and architecture.

raindrop plate set with diamond pattern

A: How did you get started designing patterns?

S: I have always been attracted to patterns and had the instinct to include patterns in my work. With pottery there is always the form/ surface dilemma. You develop the skills to create a pleasing piece and then you must find the perfect way to treat the surface. The surface treatment will make or break the piece. It took many years of experimenting for me to get to my current stenciling technique.

set of three dishes

A: How does your medium influence your work?

S: Working on a three-dimensional object can be tricky, but it is also a jumping off point. I love seeing how the scale or shape of the image can alter the look of the end piece.

raindrop bowl

A: Can you please describe your work process?

S: I no longer do sketching, instead I grab paper and my scissor and start cutting. It feels like drawing but with scissors. I make all my pottery by hand building. I roll out slabs of clay and build with the slabs or use slump molds to form the pieces. The surface are made by taking the paper shapes I have cut, arranging and securing them onto the unfired bowl /platter. Next I paint 3-4 layers of underglazes or stains. After letting the underglaze/stain to dry I can peel off the paper stencils to reveal the pattern. The pieces must then be fired in a kiln two times at 2000 degrees.

using magazine cutouts to mask shapes before glazing bowl

A: What are your essential tools?

S: Scissor, junk mail, catalogues for paper and my kiln.

tools of the trade: scissors and magazines

A: Thanks for sharing! It’s really fascinating to see the works in the unfinished state.

I’ve collected a bit of Susan’s work at various craft fairs, and I love using it for parties. It’s so fun and colorful! Here’s my collection.

ceramicware used as a party setting

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Pattern things

My 30 day trial of illustrator is nearly up, and I've learned so much in the last month (Yes I will be investing in the newest version, it's pricey but totally worth it). I've been converting a lot of my patterns into vector graphics, which means they won't be all pixelated.

I also found a good site for converting my work into phone covers, laptop skins, etc.: Society6. Because I have to do lots resizing my images to the correct dimensions for each item, I can tell they take image quality seriously, and I wouldn't put my work on anything second-rate. I love caseable, and have two of their cases, but they don't make it so easy to open your own store, at least for small artists. 

Patterns are so utilitarian, and I love the idea of making art that people can wear or incorporate into their everyday life.

Here's a link to my new Society6 store
And here's a link to my Spoonflower store. I keep adding new stuff, so check it out :)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Hex Spiral

Tonight I used Illustrator to make a pattern based on a hexagonal tessellation. This story is best told with pictures:

I'll have to convert it to a square repeat to get it into Spoonflower. I'll have to do some thinking about that tomorrow.

Monday, July 8, 2013


Live Tracing a jpg to make vectors:

Offsetting the pattern to mend the seams:

Now I have a vectorized repeat tile. I can make it huge!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Finished Starfish

Today I cast my sea star in Sterling silver. Here is the piece with sprews attached.
Here is the piece after some initial filing and cleanup.
More polishing:
The underside:
I blackened the piece after everything was smooth.
The final step was to buff it with a jewelry cloth.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Lost Wax Starfish

This weekend I am taking a class on Lost Wax Casting at Creative Side Jewelry Studio in Austin.  I decided to base my design of an image from Ernst Hackler's Art Forms in Nature

The design is an ancient relative of the starfish with a cool flowery pattern all over the body.

I even textured the underside. I love two-sided jewelry.

Here's my piece with  a wax channel connecting to the piece ("sprew"). The piece will be put in a tube and filled with a plaster-like substance. Once this is dry, we melt out the wax, leaving behind space which we can fill with metal. Tomorrow's class we'll do the metal casting. Stay tuned for more :)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Dazzle Repeat

I've updated my dazzle camouflage pattern into a vector graphic repeat using Illustrator.



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Mona Bear

Tonight I made a spoonflower print inspired by my cat. I took an old pic of my cat, which I had previously turned into a drawing, and tonight I turned it into an illustrator repeat.

a photo of my cat ramona
a drawing of my cat ramona

Here's my work making the tile.

making a repeat tile in illustrator for pattern design

Here's the final repeat:

cat maine coon ramona 365patterns pattern meow

I also uploaded it to Spoonflower. I think it will make a nice giftwrap or bright fabric.