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He felt his tortoise was not fancy enough so he embellished him with exotic jewels and gold. This is how Huysmans’ takes into account the need for luxury of his protagonist. He comes up with ridiculous ways of showing his wealth and need to be flamboyant. I was suggested within my feedback session to create this imagery and make it real.

The first image I have made is a simple layering of images using Photoshop. I have selected a tortoise shell photograph and placed several precious jewels on the contour lines. I then faded out the background with the aim to make it a little more realistic although I am not certain it actually works. Following on from this I took away the shell completely leaving me with the outline patterns. This design suddenly took form and became interesting and delicate. It has the lines of the shell without giving away too much about the origins. As always I was eager to make this into a pattern so I changed and flipped the image to see what I could create. I am pleased with how it look and for myself I am happy that I have not reverted to doing a rectangular pattern as I usually default to within my pieces. It reminds me of Indian patterns and jewels, another recurring theme in Huysmans’ book.

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From here I do want to drag myself away to producing pattern work and maybe look into something with more contextual meaning. However I can conclude this is a very successful experiment in response to such a thought provoking read. It has definitely inspired me to draw more upon natural design and book response by deepening the context within my work. It has also aided me in working again with Photoshop and layering design. This is a skill that I can take forward with me in my practice.

 

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