Digital 'data from nature' are at the heart of what we do. From some 6,000 in our database - mostly of minerals, fossils and rocks - we show just three highly magnified images of agate and of quartz, followed by three 'digital paints' - less eye-catching, but perfect for transforming drawings, photographs and designs.
Despite the abundance of goods in shops and online, it is hard to find truly personal everyday things. With the digital revolution in production it is becoming increasingly easy to make beautiful, high-quality things ourselves - illustrated here are some of the possibilities we have explored, from mugs to rugs, scarves to architectural facades, iPhone covers to silk fish...
Photographs can be transformed into wonderful images in a few seconds by 'mineralisation'.
Mineral colours can be used to give new life to traditional repeat designs. Shown here are variations on 'Cherwell', a classic design for Morris & Co by John Henry Dearle. No two flowers or leaves are quite the same and the overall effect is reminiscent of the subtle variation of a wildflower meadow. These reinvented fabrics can even be 'hybridised' with similarly mineralised photographs, offering a dynamic multiplicity of scales.
Children's drawings have a magic all of their own and this can be given added life by 'digital painting': the examples shown here are by 6-8 year olds. We also use these as motifs to create repeat patterns for fabrics and wallpapers. A special website for children - Molly's World - and related tablet app - mollyPIC - will be launched in Spring 2017.
This beautiful design for a scarf was composed using flowers and meadow creatures drawn and 'mineral painted' by 6-7 year-old children at Woodside Primary Academy in Walthamstow. The scarf was printed in Italy on a sheer modal/silk fabric
Our 'logo-cat' Molly and her companion Patch came to life in our first project with a primary school and are now being developed as characters in a series of children's story books illustrated with 'digitally painted' drawings and based around adventures in nature.
From curtain fabric to upholstery, large-scale wall-coverings to tiles, rugs and carpets, digital design and manufacturing are transforming the possibilities for realising the original Arts and Crafts' ideal of the house and garden as a personal work of art. Richard Weston will be making regular changes to his own house and garden to demonstrate possibilities and Summer 2015 will see a new pond, patio and inflatable flowers (!) in the front garden and a 'Staircase of Curiosities' to store his mineral collection.
Inspired by Renaissance cabinets of curiosities this is a travelling exhibition and inspiring workspace for children made to be quickly installed in a shipping container using magnets. The padded silk 'stream and rock cushions' floor was printed using an image from the Siberian mineral charoite.
We are planning a second installation, an inflatable meadow, in which flowers based on children's drawings would rise from an air-filled plenum/cushioned floor. The three 'test' flowers amply confirm the potential of the idea.
These images are micrographs of 1-3mm wide areas of calcite crystals and are of such 'artistic' quality that we decided to designate them as the work of a forgotten Italian C17 master, C(arlo) Alcite - many visitors to the website are duly fooled! The 'drawings' are captured from the surfaces of the rhomboidal crystals, the 'watercolours' by taking multiple images down their sloping surfaces and then generating a focussed image. Although primarily a landscapist, the range of Alcite's work is extraordinary, from architectural studies to what is surely the first pizza in art. The images come 'straight from the microscope' with no digital 'manipulation'.
To see more, please visit www.carloalcite.squarespace.com.