The Psychology Of Touch – My Artists Book

Finally we are nearly at the end of the semester and I haven’t completely broken down! There has been a tough few days especially when making my artists book, there are so many things that can easily go wrong. Measuring and drawing straight lines aren’t exactly my forte but I gave it a good go and I am quite proud of the result.

As the main theme of my prints is texture, I wanted my artists book to reflect this. I made my book the same shape as a carpet or wallpaper book so its as if my prints inside are the textured samples that are there to be touched.

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And with that my The Psychology of Touch project is complete –  a handmade sample book containing my textured prints. Even though it was quite stressful, I like that making a book was a requirement in this project as it really finishes off the prints and makes them look quite professional. That’s one project down, one to go!


Finished etchings 

Here lies my final two prints, they are all finally complete! Today I am starting to create my artists book to display these prints proudly in, but more on that later. This post is about my etchings. Etching was a new process to me this semester and it frustrated me at first as it takes a lot of patience that I just don’t seem to have. The process of etching takes a long time to get different depths of lines and textures but it is worthwhile. The printing process is also time consuming and you only get one print at a time, but the texture of etching was really well suited to my project. 

My first print I started this semester was my teddy bear etching. The concept behind this is again related to my tactile security theme- we like to touch and hold things to feel safe, such as a teddy bear. It is also related to my second theme tactile memory as the touch and texture of a teddy bear can take us back to our childhood when we too treasured such a toy. 


I then decided to add texture to this etching. I brought in a fleece, cut it and put it through the press with soft ground on the plate. This added a patterend background. My reason for using the fleece is that this material has been found to be delightful to touch. It gives us flashbacks of textures from our youth (security blankets and jumpers) and is also a texture that we like to hold to feel warm and safe.

I also used Aqua tint to add a background to this print and give the teddy shadow and space. 

The Teddy Bear Touch

My second etching is of a metal fence. I chose to draw a fence as it is related to the security aspect of my theme. 

I decided to add a texture with a plastic bag to add an eery atmosphere. 

I felt something just wasn’t right with this print so decided to print it in white ink on black paper which I feel gave it a lovely effect. I combined this etching with a seatbelt placed at the bottom of the print. This seatbelt also relates to my security theme and the use of an actual seatbelt in this etching adds to the tactile theme of my project. I laser cut the same fence design onto the seatbelt to add continuity to the etching.


Safety First

So there we have it, all five prints complete! I am currently finishing my artists book so will have this project finished for you all to see next week. 


Milk Face Imprints

My medium of choice for my Kinetic Art project has been milk. I love working with unconventional materials and techniques and when I found out about milk painting (and baking) it was right up my street. I have previously posted about my milk drawings and free hand milk movements but I decided to take it a step further (and weirder). I poured milk over my face, imprinted my face onto paper and then put the paper in the oven.

I then asked myself how can I take this further? So I decided that I could use these milk imprints to laser cut onto my big milk drawings. Firstly, I photoshopped the images so the laser cutter could read them.
I then used the images to laser cut onto my milk drawings (I will post about these milk drawings once they are finished) giving them extra texture and new depth.

 I felt the photoshopped images looked so strong on their own that I could also print them out and display them alongside my final milk drawing. I love the movement in the images and how they look almost cloud-like.

I will post again once these images have been printed and displayed in my studio. Only two weeks to go!

Screen Printing on a Fire Blanket

Hurrah, another print finished for my The Psychology of Touch project! This time I tried out screen printing onto material, that material being a fire blanket.

This piece again relates to tactile security, a desire to touch something to feel safe. The security being the blanket that protects us from the harm of fire and the tactile aspect is the texture of the fire blanket.

I also combined the theme of tactile memory by using a scanned image of my cable knit jumper to screen print onto the blanket. Knit is a texture that can take us back to our childhood, to a time when our grandmothers would hand knit us a jumper or a scarf.

I used the colour red as it is a warm colour so relates to fire and danger. When we touch something that is red our brain actually believes it is warm even when it isn’t so this relates to the warmth of fire.

I then cut the fire blanket and put it behind paper that I had previously scorched and burnt. I like that this is also tactile and shows something that fire has destroyed but the saviour (the fire blanket) shines through.

So here it is, my third print finished! Only two more etchings to go (and an essay and an artists book) so I will keep you all posted on my finished pieces!


Feel My Heat



We are now in the final weeks of this dual project semester so you will probably see me posting a lot more as I begin to complete my works.

For now I will focus on my Print and Printability Project – the Psychology of Touch. I have been moving between all of my prints and the different techniques so much that I was starting to get worried that nothing was getting finished. However all of a sudden here I am with nearly all of my prints finished in the same week, multi-tasking eh? So for this post  I will focus on my prints that involved embossing.

I was inspired by Langland and Bell’s minimalist embossings to try out this medium and I loved it!


Langlands & Bell

You can emboss anything you want as long as you can print it on acetate. I have been amazed this semester at all of the different technology that is actually available to me for free so why not try it out while I’m still learning.

So as I’ve mentioned  before, my theme for this project is the Psychology of Touch – tactile memory vs.tactile security, so for my first print I decided to emboss a gun. I then screen printed a bag on top of the gun to look like the gun is hidden inside the bag.



Packing Heat

I chose the colour red to represent danger but also because our sense of touch understands red as a warm colour so strangely we can feel heat off it even when it isn’t there. This means the owner of this bag is in fact ‘Packing Heat’.

This print relates to the tactile security aspect of my theme – we all like to touch things to feel safe, whether it be a blanket, a loved one or even a gun. The gun represents a need for security but the embossment and the texture of the bag makes it tactile.

My second embossment actually came from producing the gun and feeling it for myself. The texture reminded me of the wallpaper my Great Grandmother had in her flat, it’s called Anaglypta and is a textured wallpaper usually in a floral pattern that I loved to feel and push my nails into when I was young.


Anaglypta Wallpaper

This nostalgic feeling I got when touching the gun embossment is exactly what I want to capture with my tactile memory prints – we can often conjure up memories by the texture of something that we felt when we were younger. For this print I decided to create my own Anaglypta embossment.

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After doing this I decided to combine the tactile security side of my theme and screen printed a block silhouette of two people hugging that I had drawn. Holding our loved ones makes us feel safe and can also be a tactile memory reminding us of previous moments you may have held each other in such a way.


Hold Me Again

So here we are, 2 out of 5 complete. I am still to make my artists book that I will present the prints in but that is a problem (and a blog post) for another day. For now I will celebrate that I have actually started to complete some work. Hurrah!

3D Printing

So I decided to venture into DJCAD’s MakeLab and try out something completely new to me, 3D printing. As my theme is kinetic art I wanted to capture the illusion of movement in a still sculpture. To do this I made a 3D scan of my friends head.

The 3D scanner didn’t read my friends hair as it isn’t a solid mass so I had to remove the back of her head to be able to manipulate her face. I duplicated her face and stretched it to give the illusion of a shaking head.

I then had to use a different back of head from a previous file the MakeLab guys had. I had to then try to join my friends face with this back of head which wasn’t easy and the joins were visible.

I decided to print the image anyway and I could work with it once I had it . These machines are amazing and print layer by layer, mines took 4 hours to print.

Once printed I removed the excess “scaffolding” and then sanded down the joins to reveal my first ever 3D print.

This print is quite small so I hope to print it bigger and maybe have a series of them at some point. 

Tactile Art (The Psychology of Touch)

I noticed I haven’t been posting a lot about my print project on here and felt it was time to not just update you but to keep myself in check. I plan on posting my prints as I complete them but as I am moving between pieces they are all still in the ‘work in progress’ stage.

So for now I will explain the theme behind my prints – Tactile Art (The Psychology of Touch).

We all learn about the world through our sense of touch. We are curious, exploratory and inquisitive. So why is it not the norm to touch art? Besides the oils in our fingers ruining a masterpiece, not a lot of art is made to be touched. Art encourages a connection of emotion but why not a physical connection as well? In previous projects I have created art that can be touched but for this project I aim to create art that creates feelings of emotions by the look and texture of it.

Tactile (haptic) memory reaches into our childhood evoked by the slightest tactile stimulus or tactile fantasy, thereby making tactile art ‘communicative’. We have all been seeking the sense of tactile security since birth with our mothers bodies- before we could see, smell, hear or taste.

This feeling of  tactile security is what I have focused on for my prints.  I have concentrated on items that make us feel secure eg. a fence, gun, duvet, teddy bear, seat belt. I have mixed these items with textures that conjure up childhood memories eg. the texture of fleece, a woolly jumper, grans anaglypta wallpaper. I want to provide memories by not just the feeling of texture what the aesthetic of it too. Stay tuned for the development and finals of my prints.


Laser Cutting

This week I took the opportunity to learn how to use the laser cutter. It is amazing how artistic you can be with this machine, not only does it cut through material but you can also draw onto it, including paper! For practice I decided to scan my ‘Milk  Men’ I have previously posted about, and laser cut them onto wood and paper.

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I also tried ‘drawing’ with the laser cutter on paper which gave a beautiful effect on black print makers paper.


I love mixing different techniques so I have decided that I will combine laser cutting with milk drawing and the blow torch effect from my previous post. These things take practice and don’t always work but its all trial and error. First I used the blow torch on my wood laser cuts which worked quite well but when I tried putting milk on the wood and baked it in the oven it didn’t show up greatly, but that could make it more interesting.


I also tried using the blow torch on the black paper laser cut which didn’t have much effect and then put milk on the paper which did show up but wasn’t quite what i wanted (I guess I still don’t really know what I want but ill know when I see it.)


So now is the hard part, deciding what I want to do with this to create a final outcome. Wood? Black paper? White paper? What image should I laser cut? So many questions unanswered that I need to figure out. Only 4 weeks to go! Any observations, ideas or comments are very welcome.