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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