It’s been too long— but I am excited to be back

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Hi everyone, it’s amazing how a conscious decision to take some time out over the holiday season can streeeetch into the New Year. I woke up today and thought ‘that’s it — it’s way beyond time to get back into the valued world of WordPress blogging.

For 2015 I have reframed the purpose of my WordPress Blog. Initially, I have used it to promote my latest Qershi cake toppers and illustrations, which is all very fine but I have more to offer than showcasing my work.

Another part of my life is dedicated to teaching and research in higher education. In fact, I have a PhD in the fields of graphic design and illustration. A huge component of my research involves reflective practice. Reflective practice is when a practitioner reflects on their process and final outcomes in order to enhance their expertise as well as ensure that the final outcome reaches the highest level of creativity and resolution. So as well as showcasing my work I will also include my personal journey throughout aspects of the process. The reflections will include but not be limited to my source of inspiration including people, nature, objects and urban landscape. In addition, I will discuss ideation processes, thoughts on development, and critiquing the final outcome.

Hibiscus Flower Cake Topper:

Above are two images of one of my latest wedding cake toppers. The design is based on the Hibiscus flower, which is commonly associated with Hawaii but are also native to Mauritius Madagascar and Fiji.

The idea to create a Qershi Cake Topper based on the Hibiscus flower had been in my mind for months before I finally sat down to create it. The process involved firstly, photographing a Hibiscus bush so that I could analyse the forms of the flower and leaves. Then I hand sketched (as opposed to using the computer) the form of each petal and the leaves until I am happy with a particular sketch. I might have up to six design sketches for the petals and leaves; from those sketches I select one that I believe will translate well using silver wire. My selection process is based on years of using silver wire to create forms and this knowledge has worked its way into my expertise and formed into what is known as ‘tacit knowledge’. We all have tacit knowledge, for example, riding a bike. Once you have learned the skill of riding a bike your tacit knowledge kicks in and you can ride without thinking about coordination, balance etc.

With the decision of the form of each petal in place I then used silver wire to create the three dimensional version of my sketch. Next is the process of combining each petal to create the flower and attaching the leaves. This process does not come easy and takes patients and time to create something that visually represents the Hibiscus. Sometimes, if there has been a two or more week break between creating objects with silver wire then things go very wrong and I have to throw my work away and start again.

In the case of this Hibiscus flower design I am very happy with the final product. I am particularly satisfied with the detail on each petal. I believe there is a good balance between detail and space, something that I strive for when creating Qershi objects. It is very easy to lose control when creating this type of design because the detail in each petal can take away from the overall form, which can lead to a visually confusing solution.

The final step in the process was photographing the Hibiscus. I cannot express how unbelievably difficult it is to photograph any of my Qershi objects. The difficulty is because of the nature of wire sculptures; in essence they are fine silver lines that are counterbalanced with space. The human eye can easily negotiate the form because we are designed to make sense of the things that we are looking at. However, the camera cannot discern in this way and captures all the detail while at the same time taking us away from a three dimensional world and into the flatness of the two dimension of a photograph. The two photographs above have been selected from at least 70 digital shots but they still do not capture the visual dance of light and space that you get when looking at the object in real space and time.

Oh well, one day I will have to have a shop so that people can pop in and see them for themselves.

Love Qershi xx

A visual response to the fast pace of life

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Recently, after another hectic day, I sat down with my iPad and decided to protest against the pace of life. I did this with pointalism, which is the creation of an image using small dots of colour. It began with laying down blocks of colour that captured the form. From then on in it was dot..dot..dot. The process certainly slowed my life down and I even experienced moments of anxiety when realising how many dots and how long this was going to take. But those thoughts dissipated with each further dot. This image is not amazing but it does represent a moment of impact on the pace of my life. I will now start another image and increase the number of dots.

 Love Qershi xxx

The key to photographing art objects is ‘patients’

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I am truly amazed by the range of challenges that my creative pursuits offer me. The latest one is Photography. As some of you know I am a graphic designer, illustrator and artisan and the expertise that come along with those disciplines demand a certain level of patients and attention to detail. However, the demands of those disciplines pale in the face of ‘art object photography’.

Of course, in complete alignment with everything I do, I have chosen to photograph complex wire sculptures whereby the negative space is greater than the positive. Therefore, the composition and lighting have to be carefully designed to enhance enough of the positive so that the viewer can identify the object while at the same time create a sense of drama and atmosphere of the negative space.

In the two photo’s of the baby elephant I have focused on the eyes first because it is human nature for us to focus on eyes, whether they are human or animal we want the eyes to be clear. Next I have attempted to bring the elephants ears into secondary focus with the intention of providing a visual descriptor/ hint of the animal and then your eyes should move to the trunk to reinforce that this object is in fact an elephant. Finally, your eyes should move to into the out of focus body area and into the bright white up to the soft green grey and then follow the same cycle of eye movement.

Love Qershi

Dragonflies and Butterflies

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Life has been tough lately. My transgender daughter is struggling with the unwanted attention that her gender can attract. It has become clear that a Transgender Woman is stereotyped as promiscuous, which she is not. The stereotyping extends to assuming that a Transgender Woman is dimwitted and superficial, which she is not. In fact she is a very innovative author and highly intelligent academic.

Recently, I have designed and created wire sculptures of butterflies and dragonflies and in the face of being predictable I am honouring my daughter with these creations as they represent her transition. The butterfly signifies transformation, grace, growth and elegance. The dragonfly represents, maturity and depth of character, which are the qualities required to transition from one sex to another.

Love always, Qershi  |  www.qershi.com

Dragonfly Butterfly

The emergence of a new technique

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The past few days, or perhaps it has been weeks or even months. Life has been difficult. I have a daughter who once was a boy, she is beautiful, delicate and at times very, very fragile. Her fragility and the impact of a harsh world on her- breaks my heart. My tears drain my strength so I reach deeper and deeper within me so that I can be of some help. It is creativity that provides the self nurturance, it provides the space for me to gain perspective and then to breath some hope into her life.

What truly amazes me is that in the midst of harshness and struggle I create illustrations and sculptures that are so ‘delicate’ and dare I say ‘feminine’. I am amazed because I never considered myself as a feminine but rather more masculine in my approach to life. However, my creative work does not lie but exposes a softness in me that I am beginning to surrender to.

Here are a couple of draft illustrations that I have created on my iPad. I am developing a new technique one that is more spontaneous than my usual highly detailed almost OCD refined digital illustrations. The iPad has offered me a digital medium that is spontaneous and very close to the traditional approach of coloured pencils on paper. It will be a style that will support me to illustrate a Children’s book in a relaxed and mediative state providing relief from my other more intense approaches to creativity.

Once I have defined my new style I will be using it to illustrate a Children’s book titled “The Dawn is Nigh”. I will post each page of the book until it is complete and then I will bind it into a Children’s book App and offer it on iTunes.

Love Qershi xx

Joy to the World: Kinetic Christmas Card

I love to illustrate and if I am not sketching on paper I am drawing on the computer or on the iPad. Recently, I was searching through my sketches and it became clear that over the past (many-many moons) I have drawn thousands of images. I draw from my imagination, and I am often amazed at the seemingly endless number of images that are floating about in my head.

I have now completed the second and final card of the Angel themed Kinetic Christmas Cards.

(PS: My apologies if the link isn’t working- it has been very pernickety today)

Finally! My digital Kinetic (with movement and music) Christmas Card

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It has been one of those weeks. One drenched in brain twisting technical issues. But, due to shear determination I have completed my first digital Kinetic Christmas card.

I have coined the term ‘Kinetic Illustration’ based on the style of movement and music that I have integrated into the illustration. Here is as static image and a link to view the animation.

Link to Kinetic card: http://www.qershi.com/#!kinetic-christmas-card/cdxp

Love Qershi

Kinetic illustrations are digital images that are embedded with movement and music.

Kinetic illustrations are digital images that are embedded with movement and music.

Love, romance and memories #1

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Jacaranda Tree

I love the Jacaranda tree and I live in a street that is lined with them. Right now the Jacaranda’s are covered with a mass of purple blossoms. Each time the wind blows hundreds of tiny blossoms fall to create a purple carpet under each tree.

The Jacarandas transform my humble street into a location for romance. Visitors both international and local stand in the middle of the road to take a photo in order capture the moment. Recently, a bride and groom stepped out of a white limousine and posed together under the trees.

The Jacaranda in bloom entices couples to linger and to dream. Their beauty somehow signifies hope and the prospect of happy times.

The Jacaranda in bloom takes me back to my husband and my first home, the home that my baby girl was born into. It was a tiny 1920’s cottage with colorful leadlight windows and oak floorboards. The back yard was tiny and right in the middle was a 30foot Jacaranda tree. Each spring the Jacaranda would bloom and then cover the entire back yard with purple blossoms. Many happy memories were made sitting under the Jacaranda tree.

How not to create a Christmas wreath

I have been very busy designing and developing a Qershi Christmas line. What I did not expect was how long it would take to create my first design: a Christmas Wreath. I have calculated that it took around 40 hours (I have an inner smile at my own ridiculousness 🙂 The lovely part is that it was a wonderful journey and whoever buys it will have a piece of me and not to mention a Qershi bargain.

I will be launching it in my Etsy shop tomorrow. Below is a sneak preview.

love from Qershi : http://www.qershi.com

Silver wire has been twisted and twirled to create a sparking and delicate Christmas Wreath.

Silver wire has been twisted and twirled to create a sparking and delicate Christmas Wreath.

Busy creating and making

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I have been a little quiet on WordPress over the past few days and that is because I am in the creating and making cycle. My wire sculptures and illustrations are very time intensive, which means disappearing into my creative world for at least 6 hours a day. I am not complaining because the time spent in my imagination is wonderful. The physical world disappears and I enter a very gentle and nurturing space that is dreamlike. My husband and daughter have become used to me disappearing into my imagination and have stopped trying to engage me in conversations because I simply do not register their presence. They do not take offence anymore, which is a relief and recently I have noticed that my daughter now escapes into her imagination (she is an author).

Below is a snippet of my latest illustration that has a Christmas theme. I am only providing a snippet because it is not complete and the next stage involves kinetic movement, which is also time intensive but a lot of fun.

Before I go I would like to acknowledge ‘you’ (WordPress blogger) for your intelligent, thoughtful and respectful comments and support. I am on a few blogs and WordPress shines above all others.

http://www.qershi.com

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