Design inspiration, little clue it's motorbikes.

Where do your ideas come from?  I'm often asked this when I exhibit my work or sell my kits. My answer is that designing takes a lot of looking!

An ideal holiday for me would be one where I do not have to look at anything except my book and my immediate surroundings.  Sounds a bit severe but when you are sponge for the tiny details and a swooner for the huge scale a rest from the internal shouting with excitement voice of "that could be...", "that reminds me of....", "I need to photo that" having a complete break is a joy!

Of course being an absolute nosey parker of detail never really impedes my day, I love it.  Another thing that I love is motorbikes.  Whilst speed, coolness, exhilaration and knee sliders all contribute to my love of the two wheels it's the design that I love the most. To be more specific the design of the details.  Fitting the bike name into a tiny space with stylised fonts, the rubber designs on the handles, the petrol tank inlet that looks like a t shirt or a smiley face, its all there on bikes and its all been thought out.

I live in Birmingham near to the old Lucas factory, Lucas Industries was a manufacturer of motor industry and aerospace components.  On a recent visit to the National Motorcycle Museum (not my first or my last!) I saw the word Lucas on the headlights of many a classic bike.  I always love seeing a word that relates to the industry of Birmingham, when I was in Bogata in Columbia I was treated like royalty because I was from Birmingham and so was the coin press in the local museum!  But anyway back to the matter in hand, head lights.  So many different designs, so much nuance of light direction.  

Bending down and looking with scrutiny is the absolute norm at the Motorcycle Museum so no one batted an eye when I stared to gaze intently at the array of headlights.  Taking photos, of course, because my photographic memory is not what it was. That is frowned on a bit but needs must!  I came away with a vast array of examples of Lucas headlights, in fact remember that tv series back in the eighties that celebrated different skills and one person could tell the make of a car by the sound the car door made? No? Okay imagine it. I think I could go on that show with my now almost encyclopaedic knowledge of Lucas pressed glass headlights. So much design in one component.

"All great Tina, thanks for taking us on a seeing journey but where did it lead?" Well I think that knowledge and interest do not have to lead anywhere but hey I'm writing a blog about ideas so of course it does!

I first used my new found knowledge to create a little bit of mixed media, low relief printing using stitch.

I then used it to create a tiny bargello project.  There will be more of this but on a larger scale.

I then took the blocks and created a Norweave pattern that reflected (ha, ha) the design.

Finally I went full on glitter with this new bargello design!

Okay so if you are still with me you'll see that from one tiny detail I've managed to create a whole new raft of patterns and workshop ideas, some of these you can already find as kits in the shop and some will be used later in the year.  When you see something and it interests you take a snap, you never know what ideas it will foster!

Until next time

Tina