Design Challenge Four: Michele Rosenboom

Primary Print - Dream Catcher - 12"x12"

Primary Pattern - Dream Catcher - Detail

Secondary Pattern - Aiming High/ - 12"x12"

Secondary Pattern - Aiming High/ - Detail

Secondary Pattern - Aiming High/ - Detail

Michele Rosenboom, textile designerDesigners are notorious for having their “head in the clouds”.  It’s inherent to who we are to believe that the impossible is possible, and to look for solutions that aren’t immediate or obvious.  Simply put…we’re dreamers.  For this challenge, we were told to let our imaginations soar, so my attention turned toward the idea of dreams.

While I was designing, I was thinking of waking dreams, particularly at this point in my life.  With graduation behind me, I’m attempting a career shift and starting a freelance design business…exciting and uncertain things.  “Up in the Air” couldn’t be a better description for me and how I feel right now.

My first print is called “Dream catcher”.  Feathers have been popular lately and I wondered why I haven’t seen them in combination with the dream catcher form.  The design of the webbing is a circular pattern that is recurring in nature and incredibly beautiful.  A few man-made occurrences of this form that I can think of are the pattern on the pavers in Piazza del Campidoglio near the Roman Forum and the BP Logo.

“The power of Limits: Proportional Harmonies in Nature, Art & Architecture” by Gyorgy Doczi.

Piazza del Campidoglio via wikipedia

Quite early on in the process, I knew I wanted to incorporate the dream catcher form somehow.  It’s not a dominant element in my final print, but that’s OK.  It was a point of inspiration that led me to more.

“Dream catcher” contains an assortment of abstracted bird-like elements that move in and out of space, swirling along dark clouds in the night sky.  Feather and bead-like forms radiate around the dream catcher motif.  I decided on a darker background because I often feel thoughtful and quiet when looking at the night sky.  Doing so always gives me perspective and makes me think “big”.

The coordinate to “Dream catcher” is named “Aiming High”.  It’s a smaller scale print that was developed from one of the many elements found in “Dream catcher”.  The Native American Art influence is more apparent in this print.  It’s a modern, geometric print that is strongly impacted by changes of color.  Even though it’s a set repeat, it generates some interesting optical movement vertically.  It’s a good compliment to “Dream catcher”, which is more of a scattered, freeflowing print.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Shoot for the moon…If you miss, you’ll land in the stars.”  I hope “Dream Catcher” and “Aiming High” got you thinking about your dreams…hold on to them and keep working hard to catch them!

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2 comments on “Design Challenge Four: Michele Rosenboom

  1. Fred Malven on said:

    Michelle– As creative “product,” your methods are right up there with your surface design; you should write a book. I’ve looked forward to your sidebar discussions of your work the way motion picture goer’s of times past looked forward to their favorite serial adventure movies. In this case, your use of dream catchers is doubly fascinating. Your “Dream Catcher” is a reminder of how the simplest of things, physical artifacts– indigenous crafts, in particular– can capture, and subsequently retell, the stories of lives. Here, the geometric forms are reminders of the quilting roots of this episodic experience (“Repeat:…”) and the “tools” that are some emblematic of its practice. Again, though, your translations establish a pleasant distancing from their literal origins, Michele.

    Like you, I find it interesting how strongly Native American crafts and culture, ancient through contemporary, have signaled the the forms and motifs of modern design. Beadwork and lacework have arguably made stronger prototypical contributions to modernism than any other culture (I’m reminded, in particular, of the arts and crafts flat work of Mackintosh and Wright). So, it’s “Aiming High” that captures my art deco and modernist favor. Thought-provoking. Beautiful.

    What nice work. F

  2. Michele Rosenboom on said:

    Fred – I always look forward to reading your reactions to my designs. Thank you for sharing them!

    It is always a challenge to distill all of my thought and research into a clear, concise message, so inevitably, important parts of my thought process are edited out. So, I’m delighted that you mention the similarities between modernism and Native American Art! I was also impressed by this when I was researching my topic. For example, the current chevron trend can be seen in their artwork very clearly. Abstracting forms from nature is universally appealing across time and culture…as is evident by the timeless appeal of the work of FLW, Josef Hoffman, and the like! Good stuff.

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