Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Dungeness, New Designs, and Narthex Painting

So, there's all kinds of stuff I have done over the last few months... most of which I wish I had written about, but have long since forgotten. I looked back through my photos and found some interesting things, so that's how I'll approach this. Photos help me to remember things. :-)

First, I'm going to go back to October to revisit my trip to Cumberland Island. The guys in my family took my grandfather there to celebrate his 79th birthday while the ladies stayed at home and enjoyed doing whatever it was they did.

There's all sorts of amazing things to see on Cumberland because it is 98% natural. There are only a few homes there, a handful of unpaved roads, and a few other assorted structures, but by and large it is a rather natural island. Wild animals roam the place and you are 100% guaranteed to run into one if you wander the island for a few hours. That's a WILD horse in the photo to the left, not your usual friendly Mr. Ed.

One of my favorite features is Dungeness, a mansion in ruins that was once occupied by the Carnegie family. I made one of my time-lapse videos of the place, which you can check out here. It's not the best one I've ever done, but it may give you a glimpse of it.

Here you can see me, my uncle, my brother, my grandfather, and my cousin standing in front of Dungeness.

I just wrapped a couple of design jobs for Central Presbyterian Church in downtown Atlanta. The church just celebrated its 150th anniversary and had hired me to produce a few items for them. The first piece I did was a banner. They had several produced, six or seven I think, and put them up all around the church. The church is in a rather busy area across from the capital building, so many, many eyes saw the banners. I took some time one Saturday afternoon back in the fall to take some pictures. I think they have since been taken down.

The second piece I did for them was a batch of greeting cards based on cut paper banners designed and produced by Ellen Phillips, an artist and member of Central Pres. Her banners are amazing! The first banner is a cityscape design (which was also used on the aforementioned banner). The second had a tree theme. And the third one was an active design with birds in flight. I took the preliminary sketches she had for these banners and converted them into a format suitable for printing. I laid out these designs on four different greeting cards. One card for each banner, plus one with all three on the front (pictured at left).

The third and final piece I did for them was very exciting to me. I remembered a technique called laser cutting from one of my previous places of employment. I had never done the technique myself, but was familiar with it. Basically a laser machine cuts a design into paper. By using a laser, instead of a traditional bladed die, you can achieve much more intricate designs. I realized that this process would be a great way to have a miniaturized version of Ellen's banners. At first I thought we would use this technique for the greeting cards, but that proved to be cost prohibitive. Instead the Central Pres. folks decided to get a small run of them to use as gifts for those involved in making their 150th anniversary celebration a reality. I scaled the three-up design to a larger format (18"x10"), tweaked the artwork for the laser cutting process, and then sent it off to the laser-cutting vendor. The resulting artwork, I have to say, was pretty cool. I hear that they eventually framed it on a maroon (one of the church's colors) matte board, which I was able to simulate with a maroon wall (see the photo to the left). All of the maroon areas inside the edges of the paper are actually holes cut out by a laser.

The narthex painting project I have been working on at my own church has finally been completed. I think it took around six months to finally finish. We had a great crew of church members working on it the whole time. I don't have any pictures of the finished piece, but the picture to the left shows it very close to completion. There are three stripes, representing the trinity, that run the entire length of the hallway. The wall is divided into sections, one for each season of the Christian year, each colored according to its appropriate liturgical color (By the way... the liturgical colors for Christmas aren't green and red. They are gold and white). Important days in the Christian year are denoted by some sort of icon. At some point I'll post more detailed pictures. Perhaps I'll even dedicate a whole journal entry to this project. After all that work I think it deserves it.