Dundee Print Collective – Edition 1

Sometimes it is nice to slow down. I think this is what I have enjoyed most about my recent foray into printmaking. I like the process. It slows me down. It slows the printing process down. This gives me time to think and a chance to figure out how I would like the ink to dry on the paper. Going through this printing process makes me appreciate and value my prints more.

I spent a few weekends last year in the print studio at Dundee Contemporary Arts, as I was experimenting with developing some print designs for the new Dundee Print Collective. The print collective set no theme, but there was a set format. So the print had to be specific dimensions, with one black layer and one optional further colour. It was busy in the studio, with a number of people in the newly formed collective working away – at various stages of the printing process. I developed two prints over a two different weekends and I have discussed them a little more below.

Love Sunny Days
With my Love Sunny Days print I started a quick brainstorm around this idea on the Friday and on Sunday I started printing… In some ways it is quite simple in concept and is a development of the first screen print I ever made in a basics class, where I chose to cut out the words ‘Love Sunny Days’. It was done very quickly and quite childlike in its aesthetic. However, at the time I was super happy with it! A year on, I still love sunny days and so decided these words needed a refresh and that was the base for developing this print. Simple really. However, there is definitely more to read into it if you want to.

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Fun A Day Dundee 2014

I have to confess – I have been thinking about FUN quite a lot recently.

The FUN thoughts first appeared when we decided upon our motto for the Dundee Sustainability Jam. They continued to lurk as Seaton Baxter took up the challenge to discuss this motto and whilst he spoke about a number of projects, he highlighted how much FUN actually exists in a number of words if you look for it: FUNgibility, FUNdamental and even FUNeral.

So it seems that if you look hard enough, you can find FUN lurking in some unexpected places.

Subsequently, thoughts of FUN have been drfting around my mind ever since. They are hard to shake, and as I have since volunteered to help organise this years Fun A Day in Dundee, they may be set to stay for the time being.

For the uninitiated, I have to warn that the Fun A Day project will be encouraging the people of Dundee to have FUN in January 2014… on a daily basis! We don’t mean to shock, so we think it is good to be honest about our intentions from the start. We want the people of Dundee to have more FUN!

Fun A Day dundee, 2014

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Design Jams in Dundee

I took part in the Global Service Jam in Dundee in March 2013. This was the first service jam I had joined in Dundee, although I had taken part in the Glasgow Service Jam in both 2011 and 2012. Plus during my five years of design studies (in Glasgow, Cologne and Paris), I was lucky to take part in a number of short week-long projects that had similar elements to a jam.


I think to really enjoy a jam you have to start the weekend with the right mindset, and you need to make sure you have charged your energy resources (that means get some sleep before and remember to plug in camera/ipad to charge at the same time).

My motto for the Dundee weekend in March reflected that of the Jam organisers and it was to have as much fun as possible – it was the weekend after all. I knew that the most successful projects I’d seen in previous jams were from people that didn’t spend hours talking about a project, but those who got out into the city to talk to people, who made quick decisions and gave themselves enough time to prototype a project well – even if based on a simple idea. Continue reading “Design Jams in Dundee”

Why You Should Join The Dundee Sustainability Jam

What does a weekend normally consist of?

  • Do you normally hike up a mountain?
  • Do you often cycle for miles and miles?
  • Do you drink until your head hurts?
  • Do you practice the art of doing absolutely nothing?
  • Do you shop until your purse is empty?
  • Do you eat until you feel sleepy?

Whatever the main activities in your one hundred odd weekends in a year may be is not really my concern… but what activity you are doing on the weekend of the 22nd to the 24th November is…

On that weekend, on those two short days in the 365 days that exist in a year. These are the days you should dedicate to a sustainable design adventure. That is the weekend you should make sure you are in Dundee. That is the weekend you should learn how to jam. That is the weekend you should join hundreds of people in over 26 countries who will be trying to save the world. It is quite a challenge for one weekend. It is something that would be difficult to do on your own in one weekend (although that shouldn’t stop you trying). However, most things are better with other people. So if you would like to join other people, who would also like to try to save the world through design, then you should join the Dundee Sustainability Jam.

Picture 52

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One Day I Jumped…

quick writing + quick drawing = fun

Last week I spotted that Rosie aka Illustration, etc was looking for a little drawing inspiration and I thought it would be fun to have some words suggested by me brought to life in pictures. Rosie was preparing to act as a live illustrator at a poetry and storytelling event – a challenge that required speed sketching, rapid thinking and sharp pencils skills; so Rosie challenged people to suggest something she could draw in 30 minutes to help her practice.

Illustration etc, rosemary cunningham, hazleR_06, illustration, speed drawing

I decided to set myself the same challenge – so set a limit of 30 minutes to write something. I thought it would be fun to feature something slightly whimsical. Rosie had just done a quick sketch about her time spent in Cologne (where I happened to be at the same time as her), so this got me thinking back to past days and the results ended up as a short collection of words called One Day I Jumped…
Jump, illustration etc, illustration, rosemary cunningham, glasgow

I really love the way Rosie brought my words to life. It definitely made me smile at the end of last week.

+ Rosemary Cunningham

Words & Images © Hazel Saunderson

Circle Time – Work in Progress

Last week I wrote about finding the loveliest invite to join Circle Time. Yesterday I took part in Circle Time. It was a brilliantly creative day that got me quickly working on creative projects, discussing ideas and really thinking about how you can manipulate the creative process through exciting collaborations.

I wrote the words below about Circle Time during the Final Round of the day – during which we had 5 minutes to create a final piece. I think it sums the day up perfectly.

Circle Time Make1

Circle Time was the concept of Rosie Barthram and Becca Clark – aka Rbbc Projects. It took place in the Art Hub by the Sea in Kirkcaldy, which is essentially an empty shop that has been taken over for creative community use. The day started somewhat haphazardly. I found my car battery dead, so I had to rouse my sister and her boyfriend to help push the car out the drive and jump-start it in the rain. After a quick blast of energy it came to life and I dashed through the rain to Kirkcaldy to join the circle… Continue reading “Circle Time – Work in Progress”

Bill Thompson – How to work in a world of makers

Bill Thompson visited Dundee last week to discuss how people are working in a world of makers. Bill started his lecture by introducing us to his 3D printed mini-bill, which he later divulged had been crafted in a womb shaped scanner & 3D printing unit. This intriguing project was created by digital agency Developing Dreams and Brighton based Italian artist Emilia Telese and was recently showcased as part of The Brighton Digital Festival. Bill stated that it is exciting projects like this that make him question what will happen in a world where 3D printing is readily available. It is this type of project (that encourage the public to interact with this brilliant technology) that help to promote the idea that in this new world of makers – a very important role for the maker is also to be a sharer.

bill thompson, dundee, lecture, djcad, makers, bbc, journalist

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Linotype: The Film

I recently watched the Linotype documentary. This feature length was released in 2012 and is essentially a film about the linotype machine. In fact, the director and producer Doug Wilson did a great job of ensuring this film was also very much about the fascinating stories of the people who know how to work this machine – the operators.

It was an education for me. The Linotype was called the “Eighth Wonder of the World” by Thomas Edison, it revolutionised printing and society. However, I didn’t really know what the linotype was before I watched the film, but by the end of the film I wanted to own one!

Just brilliant and I would encourage all designers to watch it. It gave a real insight into the history, the craft and the beauty of the linotyping machine.

I think watching it re-affirmed a few things for me:

  1. It is important to collect the stories of people and things. To be able to ensure that items that had/have a massive impact on the way the world works don’t disappear from history without a reasonable record of how they existed. BUT it is important to do this in a captivating way, that excites people about the past and doesn’t bore.

  2. Some people have incredible minds. Minds that can create incredible things. This film made me wonder in awe at the brilliance of the brains and engineers that created these incredible machines – that mechanically look like one of the most complicated machines ever.

  3. You have to believe in your ideas. It took the inventor, the German clockmaker Ottmar Mergenthaler, 10 years of extremely hard work and a number of attempts to build a linotype machine that worked. However, it revolutionised the printing industry. Not only that, but it went on to change the literacy rates in America and change the way that people consumed information forever.

I think the most poignant scene for me was near the end. When the owner of a linotype machine, Joel, who had been a linotyper had to get rid of his machine. After failing to find a museum who wanted to house it or anyone else to take it in – he had to take it to the scrap yard. So Joel stands in front talking about the machine, whilst the brutal force of the bulldozer crunches this beautifully crafted machine in to lots of little bits behind him, until it no longer resembles the brilliance that it once was. All the importance of the machine that is built up over the course of the film, all the value of these machines is crushed before you – as their value in current day is more easily found by the mass weight of their scrap metal. Somehow you have to laugh at this scene, otherwise I think it might make you cry.

Today, very few machines are still in existence. As I write this on a computer, in Google Drive no less, I am all too aware of the reasoning behind this loss in value. The speed at which technology (and our consumption of it) is moving at such a pace – it is often incredibly hard to keep up. Let alone, to take the time to reminisce in the craft of these machines.

However, there is some incredible beauty in the industrial heaviness of these Linotype printers and the skill it took for the people to power them. People who didn’t master how to use the machines until they had worked with them for years and years. It is an impressive kind of dedication.

Farewell etaoin shrdlu

+ Linotype: The Film

PARKing Day in Dundee 2013

Can a parking space in a city really only be used by a car? A good question to consider. If you pay the parking meter – can you just take over the space?

In San Francisco in 2005 Rebar Studio set up a single parking space as a park for a day. This has now evolved into a global movement – PARK(ing) Day – where thousands of artists, activists, designers and citizens temporarily transform city parking spaces to show how ordinary public spaces can easily be re-imagined. On the 20th September 2013 Dundee joined a host of cities worldwide in a celebration of the city space, when students from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design designed a number of installations for PARK(ing) Day. So carry on reading to explore the fun areas that popped up in Dundee.

Parking day, dundee, 2013, scotland, city, spaces, design,

Play Don’t Park crafted a space for people to play! Their motivational signage ‘PLAY’ was salvaged from a recently closed swimming pool and their installation of play cubes were covered in colourful doodles & drawings from the days visitors. Continue reading “PARKing Day in Dundee 2013”

Having Fun A Day in Dundee

Towards the end of 2012 I saw a wacky poster advertising something called Fun a Day in Dundee. It was bright and colourful and unlike most other graphics that I had seen floating around. The poster encouraged me to think of a creative project that I could do every day in January and join a pop up exhibition – I promptly emailed the organiser Morgan to let her know I would like to join the fun. I decided to cut one word from paper each day – real crazy fun that would allow me to explore paper cutting a little.

Fun - Day 2

At first I hadn’t really made any specification for choosing what the word would be each day and words came easily for the first few days (although they were pretty simple), day one was fun and day two was sunshine. I quickly discovered that one of the nicest elements of paper cutting was the increased potential they had when photographed with light directed at them. Light made the paper glow, shadows loom, negatives became positive and spaces filled with light. So quite quickly the daily process became more than just a paper cut…

Fun - Day 4

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