Swash & Serif Submissions

A few years ago now, Ligatures YYZ started putting on an annual art show called Swash & Serif. It is meant to highlight text and its beauty. Artists and Designers can submit concepts or finished pieces for review by a committee for the opportunity to be part of the show. I have been lucky enough to show in the past three years. True to form, all three of my entries so far have been made using very different mediums, and I thought it would be interesting to share them here.


My first submissions was called "An Elaborate Joke". The area stitched is roughly 7"x9". I used coloured thread to embroider an ampersand in the font Comic Sans. For any non-designer-types, Comic Sans has become a bit of a joke in the design world, and pretty universally avoided like the plague. Alternatively, many designers and non-designers alike are drawn to the ampersand as a beautiful character, that can vary greatly depending on the font chosen. The idea was to put all of this time and effort into stitching something that nobody likes. To add to the unlikability of it, I filled it with a colourful polkadot pattern, and added a collar that can be found on some clowns. I can't even begin to estimate the number of hours spent on this, but I'm happy to report I'm pleased with the results.



My second submission was called "Fag Bitch". It was based off of a quote of a friend. She hated the term  "fag Hag" because it conjured unflattering images in her head. She no longer wanted to be referred to as such, and said she would much prefer the term "Fag Bitch". In this case, the term fag is being used in an endearing way, as well as the term bitch. Both words are used frequently to be insulting to gay men and woman respectively, and this was meant to subvert that. The unicorn image was a photograph I took, and then transferred onto a silk screen. It was my first attempt at silk screening and using a photo emulsion. It had its trials and tribulations, but all in all worked out in the end. I then drew the typographic elements by hand and transferred them onto a lino-block. I then carved the block to produce a stamp I could use to press onto the silkscreened image. The thing about silk screening, is that once it's set up, you want to make it worth while, so, I produced A LOT of these, and are available for anyone interested haha.


My third submission was my fist venture into both silicone molding, and using resin correctly (There is a long story here, maybe for another time). I present to you "Mmmmelty". To be perfectly honest, this idea came from me wanting to play with silicone molds and resin. From there I started to think of how I could use those materials to produce something for the show. I decided I wanted to use the clear quality of the resin to it's advantage. This meant it would end up looking like ice, and so I knew from there I would have it melt.
Side Note: I know it isn't melting in a way ice would, but this is an art piece, vs a design piece. I took creative license because I thought it looked more interesting. 
From there I landed on using the capital letter form 'M'. It is a very structured letter with no soft edges, which would contract nicely to the melting form. Once I landed on the concept I began to sculpt the form out of Roma Plastilina. Once sculpted I set up a two part mold using Smooth-On's Mold Max 20, and filled it using Castin' Craft's Clear Polyester Casting Resin. It took a few tried to make sure there were no air bubbles trapped, but I got a piece I liked. After pulling it from the mold, I then had to polish it using progressively finer sand papers, and finished with a clear varnish spray paint. I will probably talk about the molding process in more detail in the future as I continued to play with the silicone and resin.