Susan L.

The Rebel Expanded Square

I really loved this prompt and exercise. In fact, it was so much fun that I purchased the Kindle book to read more on Notan and am enjoying it, in a slow and leisurely manner.

Initially, I started my expanded squares on an airplane, and this led me to do so with Adobe Illustrator which doesn’t require scissors, knife, glue, etc. Somehow that wouldn’t be too easy to do on a flight.  As I teach fashion students how to use the software, I thought it would be a good exercise of thought for me to figure out how to achieve the same actions with the computer. So, on to square tool, using the Pen tool and shapes to determine cutting edges, and then the Pathfinder panel to aid in cutting out the shapes. Lastly, I used the Reflect tool to mirror the cut-outs and then created a repeating pattern so I could visualize the imagery as fabric.. As you will see by some of the examples I’m including, it is pretty easy to explore an idea and take it all the way into a garment to get a real sense of how it looks.

Cutting Four sides shows you the same squiggled line taken from all four sides of the square.

Two Sides Only and Taking a Bite files show you other experiments.

Two Sides Only

Two Sides Only

Taking A Bite

Taking A Bite

Later, when back home, I took time to hand-cut an expanded square or two. The file Hand-cut1 shows you the result (sent via phone photo to Illustrator), and an example in a garment.

Breaking the Rules..

Now for the fun… I wanted to try and use some sort of shape for cutting that had an extra or hidden meaning. So, in thinking and doodling, it came to me that I should use a sound wave. Since Valentines day is just around the corner, I decided to use a line from an Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem… “How do I love thee, let me count the ways”. You can see the sound wave screen captured on my phone, and then the resulting square where I broke the rules by introducing a new color (red) and not reflecting one of the sides.

Of course, there was mind mapping again (which I enjoy), as I explored the various ways of breaking the rules. I would still like to explore more, but I am late with this as is. I would love to see how I could make this work with a triangle. And could it possibly work in some way with a circle? Obviously, there is still more to do.

But, as in life, on to the next challenge.