|Ashley Wood and the World of 3A website has revealed some more details regarding their 1/6th scale The Invincible Iron Man figures.
According to his latest Q&A session, the figure will be available in four variants — Classic, Silver Centurion, Stark Industries Prototype, and Stealth. The Prototype version will only be available to 3AA members or those who’ll get the mega 4-pack display box edition.
The Invincible Iron Man will be on pre-order on threeA’s Bambaland Store this February so pricing information may be soon revealed as well.
I’m totally digging this “brand renewal” by Australian design firm Designworks. Created for the Benevolent Society, an Australian charity with a mission to “achieve lasting social change in society through building strong families and healthy communities”, it exudes a spunky, colorful exuberance that’s refreshing to see in today’s brand landscape.
“The basic idea is that when people come together change happens. In the wordmark letters are linked like a chain and their overlaying parts portray these moments of effective change. The colour system navigates through five brand pillars ‘Hope’, ‘Wisdom’, ‘Strength’, ‘Belonging’ and ‘Love’ while supergraphics create striking visuals.”
Instagram is a social network where you can share your life through photos.
The feature that has become so popular this application is the ability to make fascinating shots with several different filters.
@micheladic is the profile used for this research, over a period of twenty-one months (from April 2012 to December 2013).
The first graph shows the evolution of the photos published monthly in relation to comments and received in that same period.
In the second graph the photos are divided according to the day and time of loading, as well as to highlight the moments of greatest use of social.
The third graph shows the percentage of use of filters in relation to comments and likes received from photos where it was used that filter.
Data visualization made during the IUAV winter workshop.
Teamwork with: Federica Bortolussi, Elisa Cianferoni, Michela Di Cristina, Marta Signori.
This was a post I wrote for another blog, but I think it’s perfectly applicable here. Enjoy.
Sometimes I hear people comment that they’re just not that creative. I often wonder what makes them think that. Why would anyone be comfortable living with that idea? As a creative person who works with graphics all day, I’m here to tell you that everyone is, and has always had the potential to be creative, and I’m going to tell you why.
Creativity is not just pretty graphics or designs. Creativity is more than that. It’s multi-layered and multi-levelled. It’s relative, and we all can do it. Maybe we can’t all create pretty pictures, but that doesn’t mean you are not a creative person.
Each of us has heard a quote where at least one person has remarked “I have to write that down”. That’s because language can be beautiful. Words and phrases that are strung together like pearls on a string can be memorable if done with care. They roll off your tongue like they were meant to be together.
We’ve all read literature where the author’s abilities in word-smithing made the material enjoyable to read. Advertisers have known this for a long time. It’s called copywriting. They use it to write text for products and services that draws consumers in to read more and to buy the products. Since the forties, the big deal was writing slogans because they were bite-sized consumer information that were written to be memorable. Sometime, more often than not, they used humour to generate silly sayings like “where’s the beef?”, because as long as it was memorable, the consumers would buy. It didn’t even have to be grammatically correct.
Sometimes these phrases were so powerful they actually became part of the cultural lexicon. Here are some examples: “Don’t leave home without it” (American Express), “It keeps going, going and going” (Energizer), and “Good to the last drop” (Maxwell House). Slogans waxed and waned like the tides in the ocean, some lasting a generation or until events made them distasteful and others spanning multiple generations.
Language is like that. A well-written book is a another example of when thoughts and ideas are conveyed in such a succinctly perfect way that it’s more than just pleasurable to read. A well-crafted story is a thing of beauty. The point is that language, specifically writing, is an art form. Anyone can do it and with a little care and common sense, produce something that is memorable. It’s also the reason why some people, such as some politicians and presidents of large firms hire specially trained people who write many of the words that come out of their mouths. They recognize the power of words and want what they say to always be memorable and have some level of importance. That not exactly creativity, but they do recognize the word-smithing abilities of the people they hire.
Art form aside, creativity doesn’t have to involve art at all. Take the lowly potato chip. This now commonplace little demon of our waistlines was invented in 1853 by chef George Crum at Moon’s Lake House near Saratoga Springs, New York. Crum created the snack in reaction to a customer who continuously sent his fried potatoes back complaining that they weren’t crunchy enough. Crum sliced the potatoes as thin as possible in reaction, fried and salted them. His customer loved them and “Saratoga Chips” were born. Crum’s solution was a stroke of high-cholesterol genius and it was his creativity that got him there.
Let’s say you work with numbers seven days a week in a cramped cubicle on a crowded floor and when the five o’clock bell rings you can’t wait to get home. You’re not rushing to get out because you hate your job, but because you can’t wait to get home and work on your garden. Creativity doesn’t have to be what you do with your time, but the passion you feel for it. You could be a horrible gardener who unceremoniously kills everything you touch, much to the horror of your neighbours. But that passion you feel, that fire in your belly to get going, that excitement is a form of creativity.
You could be a golfer who has one particular shot that you’ve perfected, and everything else you struggle with. You could be a golfer who is an amazing putter. It could be the one shot that you can cut through like “budd’ah”, but you couldn’t chip your way out of a paper bag. Some might argue that’s just skill, but I would counter that it was your passion for the game that fuelled you to invest the time to perfect that shot. It was your creativity that helped you find the solution that worked best for you.
Passion learning is something many of us do outside of work. It’s a yearning to learn something unrelated to your day job, a personal pleasure if you wish. We’ve all heard of people who have taken cooking courses after work. Passion learning is directly connected to creativity. You do it not because you have to, but because you want to. That yearning is the start of the fire that will become a passion. You don’t have to be great at whatever you do, just have the desire. That’s also creativity.
Here’s another example: You’ve just invited a guy you swear looks like Fred Flintstone into your home to fix your fuse box. Fred stays an hour and a half and charges you what can only be described as “close to your mortgage”. You might be freaking at your bill, but what you may not realize is that, according to his co-worker Barney Rubble, the work that Fred just did for you, to any other electrician, is in itself a work of art. To you, you can’t see that level of workmanship because you are not an electrician. It’s something that is outside your scope of aesthetics. Sometimes, you can’t see creativity when it’s right in front of you because creativity is relative.
Forget the graphics and pretty pictures. Take a closer look at your own life and I will bet a mortgage payment, you ARE a creative person. Take a look at your accomplishments in your work life and I would expect you to see much of that was driven by your passion, and it was your creativity that got you there.
(PS. I take Visa.)
The word canvas does not refer to any specific material in the field of textile fabrics but is applied to a number of closely woven materials of relatively coarse fiber that are used for sails, tents, awnings etc. In painting, the term canvas generally refers to the material upon which artists paint, stretched across a wooden frame. It can be pre-primed or unprimed.
Linen is by far, the better-quality support material because of its strength and resistance to decay. Woven from flax, the weave can show throughout many layers of paint. Most paintings created before the 1850s were made from linen which includes almost all of our most celebrated paintings in museums today. Since that time, Cotton has replaced linen’s popularity due to low manufacturing costs.
Primed with an oil primer this is the classical standard for oil paintings made using linen. An acrylic primer which is less expensive than oil primer, can be used with either acrylic or oil paints. Linen is difficult to prime and stretch properly, but it offers the smoothest and stiffest painting surface, one with proven longevity. Typically, an artist would not use a low cost primer on linen because it is so expensive. It would be similar to setting a rather large, high-grade diamond in a brass ring. If you’re going to invest
Some of the qualities linen has that makes it so attractive to painters are:
- Linen is the most durable fabric to put paint on. Linen’s warp and weft threads are equal in weight so less susceptible
- to the expanding/contracting problems created by moisture
- Linen is very receptive to sizing and priming applications
- Linen retains its natural oils which preserve the fiber’s flexibility and keeps the canvas from becoming brittle
- Linen has a more “natural” weaved finish than cotton and is available in a variety of textures, weights and smooth or
- rough finish
Cotton is desirable because of its affordable price and its ease of stretching.
Much less expensive than linen, it has become the most popular support for oil and acrylic painting. A properly prepared cotton canvas has longevity similar to linen, and is more flexible and easier to stretch properly. However, cotton is considered too flexible for very large paintings and is prone to sagging.
It is possible to stretch cotton tighter than linen, without straining the wooden support, because cotton fibers stretch more easily than linen fibers. Although not as strong as linen, a heavy grade cotton can make up for it’s lack of strength with its weight.
- For both oil and acrylic painting, an acrylic gesso primer is generally used
Cotton duck. There are 10 grades of cotton duck which distinguish from one, the most heavy, to ten, the most lightweight. The grades refer to the weight and thickness of the cotton duck, and are standardized across most of the textile industry. Grades are assigned on the basis of how much a piece of fabric of a specific size weighs. Individual traditional names for each grade are still
used by some people, but they do not have specific grades attached.
Typical cotton duck for artists are:
- #8 Extra-heavy: difficult to stretch)
- #10 Heavy: stretchable but requires strength)
- #12 Medium: typical weight for paintings)
- #14 Light: easiest to stretch, prone to ripping under tension)
Students should never use linen unless the quality of their work and skill is comprable to that of a top selling artist. Even some of the most established artists don’t use linen as a support due to its price. This material also demands you use the highest grade primer and oil colour, which adds still more to the cost of linen.
There is also a PDF version of this post. Download it here.
Now you know.
PAPER is one of the oldest supports used by artists. It was first developed in the 2nd century CE in China, it has become a mainstay of communication from writing to visuals and is an integral part of our life. The following are points every artist and designer should be aware of in regards to to its maintenance and proper care and handling. At the end of this post are some useful terminologies that explain the meanings and purpose of specific paper terms.
Deterioration of Paper: Causes and Prevention
The assumption is often made that if a paper is 100% rag, it is also acid-free and permanent But this is not necessarily so, and the reasons require some explanation. It is also assumed that an acid-free paper will not deteriorate, but acidity is only one of several factors which act on the destruction of paper.
The internal factors which affect paper deterioration are established during the manufacturing process. They are: type and quality of the fibers, sizing material and the presence of acidic compounds. A paper described as 100% rag is made of cotton fibers, cooked and beaten into a consistency papermakers call rags. The beating process causes cotton fibers to interlock, thus creating the paper’s strength. Cotton fibers are nearly pure cellulose.
In order to assure fiber bondage in the presence of moisture, most papers undergo internal sizing. The sizing determines the paper’s resistance to water penetration and abrasion, creasability, finish, porosity, printability and surface bonding strength. This is accomplished with a number of different agents, such as rosin, animal glue and gelatin, starch, modified celluloses, synthetic resins, etc.
At one time, sizing was done primarily with rosin, held to the fibers by an astringent crystalline substance called alum (aluminum sulfate). Alum introduced acid to the previously neutral fibers. For a 100% rag paper to be acid-free, it must be sized synthetically, or with a process which requires no alum.
The potential permanence of paper is the responsibility of the manufacturer. In order to ensure this, the following ingredients should be excluded from the papermaking process:
- Ground wood fibers
- Concentrations of iron
- Copper minerals
- Alum/rosin sizing
- Residual bleaching chemicals
- Acidic compound
The symbol pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration of a water solution and substance, and denotes if it is acid or alkaline. A substance with a pH value of 7 is neutral. Acids have pH values below 7 (1-6). Alkalis have pH values above 7 (8-14.) So-called permanent papers are weakly alkaline, with a common pH from 8-10.
Most permanency specifications call for a paper with a pH of 6.5 or higher. An acid-free matboard, for example, has an actual pH of 6-7. If there are no residual alkaline salts in the board, it may become increasingly acidic with time. To increase longevity, the board can be buffered, a process which adds in an alkaline earth carbonate (e.g. calcium carbonate) at the pulp stage. Buffered boards have a pH of about 8.5 and an alkaline reserve of approximately 1-3%, and thus have
more potential permanence.
While pH is the most crucial internal factor responsible for a paper’s permanence, it should not be considered alone. Pulp type and quality, initial sheet strength, sizing agent and alkalinity must also be checked to ensure paper permanence.
Besides the internal factors inherent in the papermaking process, there are also external factors which contribute to the deterioration of artists’ papers, such as light, temperature and humidity, air pollution and insects. Paper, like all organic material, is subject to the conditions under which it is used and stored. Therefore, the longevity of works of art on paper, given that the quality of the paper is good, is ultimately the responsibility of the artist and the collector. Due to the expense of handmade, acid-free and buffered paper products, it is certainly worth taking note of the paper enemies which reside within our homes, studios and galleries. tight. With all other factors being equal, works of art on paper will last longer if kept in the dark. Since they cannot be enjoyed and appreciated without light, it is wiser to think of ways in which direct light, with the irreversible chemical changes it imposes on paper, can be minimized.
Light has visible and invisible effects on paper, both of which can cause embrittlement and eventual deterioration. The most obvious visible effect of light is bleaching-the whitening and fading of paper color and some of the colors used to create the image. All light fades works of art on paper and fading is not reversible. Less light means less fading, and not no fading.
While this is occurring, invisible damage is also taking place. The ultraviolet rays in sunlight and fluorescent light cause chemical changes in the paper and accelerate the process of fading. Most of the light energy entering a room is converted to heat, but the minute fraction which is absorbed by paper is responsible for a process called photocatalyzed degradation. Paper which has been sized and exposed to dyes, pigments and dirt is vulnerable to complex photocatalyzed reactions. After oxidation occurs, the fibers in the paper are broken down until they are too short to stay bonded and embrittlement ensues. The effects of deterioration initiated by light will continue even after the paper is removed from direct light.
To minimize the effects of light, consider the following tips:
- Avoid hanging pictures on a wall directly opposite windows, since the light there is greater.
- Use louvered blinds or translucent curtains to moderate or redirect sunlight during the brightest hours.
- Rotate the position of your pictures around the house every year to decrease the chances of fading.
- Never work on, or hang, pictures in direct sunlight.
- Cover your fluorescent lights with protective sleeves which filter out radiation.
- Replace your picture frame glass with ultraviolet-filtering Plexiglas.
- Varnish paintings with picture varnish containing a UV-absorber.
These two factors work as a team on the destruction of paper. Evidence proves that the lower the storage temperature of paper, the longer it lasts. The useful life of paper is approximately doubled with every decrease of 10° F. For homes and studios, temperatures between 65°-70° F are optimal Relative humidity is the ratio of the amount of moisture in the air, at any temperature, to the amount required at that temperature to saturate the air.
Current research suggests that paper will last the longest when kept at a relative humidity of 45%. Ranges of 50-70% are considered acceptable for private homes and studios. Some climates may require a winter humidifier and summer dehumidifier to maintain this standard. If humidity is too low, it can cause the desiccation and eventual embrittlement of paper. Too much humidity accelerates the growth of mold and the internal decomposition of paper. Mold is nourished by sizing and paper fibers, and can also feed on the binders used in pastels. The presence of rusty-colored patches indicates that foxing — chemical action of mold on the metallic salts in the paper due to prolonged, high humidity— is occurring. Exposure to direct sunlight for 1 hour, or enclosure in a closed container with thymol crystals for 2-3 days, will kill mold. Thymol is a fungicide, available at chemical supply houses and some drug stores. Since thymol softens oil paint, it should not be used on oil paintings.
While low temperatures are best suited to the storage of paper products, consistency of temperature is critical. Temperature/humidity fluctuations, called cycling, can often be more detrimental to paper than consistently high temperatures. Cycling weakens, and eventually breaks down, the fibers of paper by causing expansion and contraction due to water contained within it.
Changes in temperature/relative humidity should be minimal (10° F and 10%), and gradual. Some ways to prevent mold and minimize deterioration due to heat and humidity are:
- Maintain the lowest, most consistent temperature you possibly can between 60-70° F.
- Keep humidity between 45-70%.
- Avoid hanging pictures on the outside facing walls, especially if they feel cold or damp.
- Avoid framing pictures directly against glass or Plexiglas without a spacer or mat, as this provides an excellent surface for moisture and mold.
- Dust framed pictures regularly, as airborne mold spores are contained within dust.
- Keep frames away from the wall by inserting small cork squares in the two lower corners of the frame. This creates good circulation and reduces chance of mold growths.
- Avoid leaving pictures in a closed room or house for extended periods of time without some form of circulation or dehumidification.
- Never hang pictures over a heating register, air duct or fireplace.
Large urban and industrial areas promote a process called sulfation, which occurs when flue gas constituents (water, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, etc.) react to form sulfuric acid. Sulfur dioxide gas is absorbed by paper, where it reacts with moisture to create a destructive sulfuric acid problem within the fibers. This is called acid hydrolysis — the reaction of an organic compound with water in the presence of acid. This process breaks down the cellulose, causing discoloration, embrittlement and disintegration of the paper fibers. At normal temperatures, it occurs very slowly, but at elevated temperatures, the process is greatly accelerated. Sulfuric acid does not evaporate or leave the paper, even after removal from the contaminated area.
Other major pollutants include industrial smoke and particulate matter, photochemical oxidants and haze, motor vehicle emissions, solar radiation, temperature inversions and sodium chloride (prevalent in coastal areas). Solid particles found in polluted air accelerate the deterioration of paper. Dust and grime are abrasive to the surface of paper. In the presence of moisture and in combination with the acid droplets around dirt, they promote a corrosive process which penetrates the fibers as well. Many compounds are not dangerous themselves, but they promote paper deterioration because they form acids when they mix with atmospheric moisture.
If you live in the urban environment, the only way to combat air contaminants is through an air conditioning and filtration system. While it is initially an expensive outlay, air conditioning with proper filtration will reduce restoration costs and capital losses of objects, and prove a good investment in time.
Paper contains ingredients, such as gelatin and glue sizing, wood pulp and flour paste, which are appealing to insects. Cockroaches, silverfish, termites and woodworms are the most common destroyers of paper. Silverfish love dark places and can make nice little homes inside frames as they nibble on sizing and wood pulp. Termites and woodworms like anything made of cellulose, as well as wood, so a rag paper picture in a wood frame is susceptible. Cockroaches can cause damage to paper by eating glue sizing or any painting media containing sugar.
To help prevent infestation of harmful insects:
- Clean picture frames regularly.
- Never store works of art in dark, damp places such as basements or attics.
- Use screens on windows and doors to minimize insects.
- Use powdered or aerosol insecticides if signs of insects appear.
Useful Paper Terms
Acid-Free Paper: Paper that contains no free acid. Acids have pH values below 7 (1-6). Alkalies have pH values above 7 (8-14). Specifications for an acid-free paper range from 6.5 to 7.
Acidity: The state of a substance that contains acid. Paper becomes acidic from the ingredients used in its manufacture, from the environment or both.
Alum: An astringent crystalline substance used in rosin sizing to hold paper fibers together and responsible for introducing acid into the paper.
Archival: A term describing the use and collection of government or corporate documents. Agencies that govern large archives, like the Library of Congress, set standards for their curation, called “archival standards.”
Bast Fibers: Refers to a group of fibers commonly used in Japanese papermaking, including flax, gampi, hemp, jute, kozo and mitsumata.
Buffering: A process that neutralizes a paper’s acidity over time by adding an alkaline substance, like calcium carbonate, at the pulp stage. Buffering helps reduce the acidity of paper over time.
Cold Pressed: Mildly textured surfaces produced by pressing the paper through unheated rollers. Generally considered to be a surface between rough and hot pressed.
1) Wood frame resting on or hinged to the edges of the mould that defines the edges of the sheet in handmade papermaking.
2) Strap or board on the wet end of a paper machine that determines the width of the paper web.
Deckle Edge: Natural, fuzzy edges of handmade papers, simulated in mouldmade and machine-made papers by a jet stream of water while the paper is still wet. Handmade papers have 4 deckle edges, while mouldmade and machine-made papers usually have two.
Durability: The degree to which paper retains its original qualities with use.
Esparto: A grass from North Africa which makes a soft, ink receptive sheet (Basingwerk contains esparto.)
Fibers: The slender, thread-like cellulose structures that cohere to form a sheet of paper.
Filler: Generic term to describe the nonoxidizing clays or minerals added to the pulp at the beater stage to improve paper density.
Finishing: Term used to describe the cutting, sorting, trimming and packing of paper.
Gampi: A bast fiber from the gampi tree used in Japanese papermaking to yield a translucent, strong sheet.
Gm/m2: The European measure of weight for artists’ papers. It compares the weights of different papers, each occupying one square meter of space, irrespective of individual sheet dimensions.
Grain Direction: Direction in which the fibers of machine-made paper lie due to the motion of the machine. When machine-made paper is moistened, the fibers swell more across their width than along their length, so the paper tends to expand at right angles to the machine direction. Handmade and mouldmade papers have indistinguishable grain directions.
Handmade Paper: A sheet of paper, made individually by hand, using a mould and deckle.
High Alpha: A nearly pure form of wood pulp which has the same potential longevity in paper as cotton, linen or other natural fiber.
Hot Pressed: Smooth, glazed surfaces produced by pressing the paper through hot rollers after formation of the sheet.
Kozo: The most common fiber used in Japanese papermaking, it comes from the mulberrv tree. This is a long, tough fiber that produces strong absorbent sheets.
Laid Paper: Paper with a prominent pattern of ribbed lines in the finished sheet. It is accomplished in handmade paper using a screen-like mould of closely set parallel horizontal wires, crossed at right angles by vertical wires spaced somewhat further apart The same effect is achieved in machine-made paper with the use of a “dandy roll,” positioned at the top of the wire in the wet end of the paper machine.
Linters: A general term for pre-processed pulp, cotton or wood, purchased in sheet form. Cotton linters are fibers left on the seed after the long fibers have been removed for textile use. They are too short to be spun into cloth but can be cooked and made into paper. Stiffer and more brittle than long-fibered cotton, linters produce a low-shrinkage pulp good for paper casting. They cannot produce a paper with the strength of cotton rag. Wood linters are called hardwood or softwood depending on grade.
Machine-made Paper: A sheet of paper produced on a rapidly moving machine called the Fourdrinier, which forms, dries, sizes and smooths the sheet Uniformity of size and surface texture marks the machine-made sheet
Mitsumata: A bast fiber used in Japanese papermaking that yields a soft, absorbent and lustrous quality.
Mould: The main tool for hand-papermaking, it is a flat screen that filters an even layer of fibers through it to form the sheet In western papermaking, it is accompanied with a wooden frame called a deckle.
Mouldmade Paper: A sheet of paper that simulates a handmade sheet in look, but is made by a slowly rotating machine called a cylinder- mould. The machine was introduced in England in 1895. No mouldmade are made in the U.S.
Permanence: The degree to which paper resists deterioration over time.
pH: A measure of the hydrogen ion concentration of a water solution and substance, denoting acid or alkaline. A substance with a value of 7 is considered neutral.
pH Neutral Paper: Paper made with any kind of pulp having a pH of 6.5 to 7.
Plate Finish: A smooth surface found on paper that has been run under a calender machine one or more times.
Ply: A single web of paper, used by itself or laminated onto one or more additional webs as it is run through the paper machine.
Pulp: A general term describing the beaten, wet mixture of stock used in making paper, whether its contents are wood, cotton or other fibers. Also called pulp finish.
Rags: Processed clippings of new cotton remnants from the garment industry for use in high quality papers.:
Rag Paper: Paper made from fibers of non-wood origin, including actual cotton rags, cotton linters, cotton or linen pulp. Rag papers contain from 2-100% cotton fiber pulp.
Rice Paper: A common misnomer applied to lightweight Oriental papers. Rice alone cannot produce a sheet of paper. Rice-straw is only occasionally mixed with other fibers in paper-making. The name may be derived from the rice size once used in Japanese papermaking.
Rough: Heavily textured surfaces produced by minimal pressing after sheet formation.
Size: Material, such as rosin, glue, gelatin, starch, modified cellulose, etc. added to the stock at the pulp stage, or applied to the surface of the paper when dry, to provide resistance to liquid penetration
Sulfite: A term for pulp made from wood. Depending on how it is processed for papermaking, it can either be acidic or neutral in pH.
Surface-Sized: A term applied to a paper whose surface has been treated with a sizing material after the sheet is dry or semi-dry.
Tub-Sized: A term applied to a paper that has been surface-treated and/or impregnated with a sizing material in a tub-size press.
Vellum Finish: A slightly rough or “toothy” surface on a sheet of paper. Waterteaf – A paper with little or no sizing, like blotter, making it very absorbent If dampening is desired, this paper can be sprayed with an atomizer.
Watermark: Design applied to the surface of the paper mould which causes less pulp to be distributed in that area and results in the transfer of the design to the finished sheet
Web: The continuous ribbon of paper, in its full width, during any stage of its progress through the paper machine.
Wet Strength: The strength of a sheet of paper after it is saturated with water.
Wove Paper: Paper with a uniform unlined surface and smooth finish, generally made on a European style mould with a woven wire surface. Most papers produced are of this type.