Friday, May 8, 2015

The Gossip Column with Taheerah Atchia No. 2 | Geometrics


BLOGLAND, May 8 (w&w HQ) - Critical acclaim and favourable interest in its inaugural issue sees trend-reporting feature, The Gossip Column, return with its second investigative issue into emerging trends in the papercrafting industry.


Hi there everyone, and welcome back to another issue of The Gossip Column!! It seems the first issue of this feature generated quite the buzz and we really enjoyed reading all of your comments on last month's article! We also saw you all take on the first challenge with relish and there were some truly amazing entries and winners!!

If you missed last month's article, here's a quick recap of what The Gossip Column is all about:

The Gossip Column is a brand new, monthly feature, with trend reporting and challenge and giveaway all rolled into one! Heading up our new feature is our columnist Taheerah Atchia!

Each month, Taheerah will bring you an article, hot off the press, featuring a trend of some sort. Her write-up could feature trends reported from anywhere, not just papercrafting! As a part of the article Taheerah will also bring you some projects which interpret the chosen trend into papercrafting in some way - before throwing down the gauntlet for you to do the same! This exciting take on a challenge will still bring you the chance to create projects featuring your favourite w&w goodies, and the chance to win prizes too! But, more on that later!

Without further ado, let's dive straight into the second issue of The Gossip Column! We'll now hand you over to our Gossip Columnist, Taheerah!

I have a confession to make: I love it when art and science combine.

Two seemingly disparate left- and right-brained disciplines needn't be poles apart, as one might expect. Art stimulates the cerebral, just as science inspires with its innate aesthetic. Nature favours beauty on the scale of grand design - the swirl of a galaxy's spiral arm precisely following mathematical ratios; just as the artist might wield his or her brush seeking to tame their muse with similar fervour.

Geometry in action in nature - spiral galaxy

Art and science combine perfectly in a discipline known as Geometry, and this fascinating branch of mathematics is the subject of my scrutiny in this month's article.

Geometry classically has its roots in Ancient Greece, where a mathematician named Euclid[1laid the foundations of the subject as we still study it today. However, the use of Geometry has been seen in art that pre-dates Ancient Greece, with Mesopotamian Art featuring shapes such as triangles and circles on their pottery[2]. Islamic artists embraced the beauty of this branch of mathematics, intertwining the repetition in geometric designs with the depiction of the infinite nature of God.

So what about geometry inspires, and how has the manifestation of this area in art changed as times have progressed?

As mentioned, Geometry is no Spring chicken in terms of its emergence in art. Traditional use of geometry has focused on its symmetry and tessellation. Tessellation, by the way, is the mathematician's tool of choice when generalising to higher dimensions[3] (NB: that source is *definitely* 'extra-credit' reading!), but I digress...

A geometric pattern featuring symmetry and tessellation

As the ages have progressed, the use of geometry in art has moved from the traditionally beautiful, to finding its expression in more daring trends. Think Art Deco, 60s Mod and so on[4]

50s checkerboard geometrics in fashion. Image courtesy of Elle (L) and Ranrah (R)

Fast-forward to today, and geometrics continue to dominate as a trend across fashion, home decor, and papercrafting alike. Graphic design is teeming with modern, angular fonts, logos, packaging - you name it. Our previous fascination with the ordered and symmetrical has taken on a faceted angle, with leanings towards more abstract and minimal representation of shapes - interrupted only by other manifestations such as colour blocking and strong patterns...


Home décor...

Graphic design... 

It is plain to see that our hearts and minds alike are drawn to the geometrical. We can see it applied in the clean and minimalistic designs that are typical of modern interpretations; the abstract and the ordered; traditional and timeless. Our eyes and our minds are soothed by clean lines, ordered shapes and repeating patterns. Versatile, ageless and trendy - this design staple continues to reinvent itself with the ages and shows no signs of ever disappearing.

That's the beauty of mathematics. *wink*

So, with that near overload of the senses from all that inspiration, I couldn't help but see a million different interpretations when it came to using this trend in my own work! I was mostly drawn to the modern, abstract and minimal look that we've seen emerging this year:

My first card was inspired by the repeating patterns you can generate with geometrics:

Isn't the pattern fabulous?! I used just the large diamond image from My Precious and just stamped repeatedly to my heart's content!

Look a little closer - see anything else? I wanted to play on the idea of optical illusion with geometrics so I 'hid' my tiny sentiment for eagle eyes to seek out! I used sentiments from The Write Stuff: Picture Perfect, selectively inking one of the sentiments to give the 'be'.

My second card is bigger and bolder, with a spot of colour but still keeping that minimalist look:

I busted out Scenery: V for cheVron, stamping the largest chevron off centre repeatedly to create something more mod and with added interest. I added a single outline chevron and sentiments from Bubble Talk to complete this masculine design.

With my next design I wanted to really stretch my creativity and come up with something entirely original:

I drew a grid on my card in pencil and then drew some geometric shapes of my own to make an abstract pattern!

I added some touches of real gold leaf for some opulence, choosing to add them in an 'organic' way rather than in precise shapes/positioning. This reinforces the consrast between the geometry and accenting. I added a sentiment from Bubble Talk to complete the look.

I realise all of the above designs are very minimalist, and to be honest that's where the inspiration pieces took me. However, I wanted to round up with a couple of more 'typical' cards for me to show you that geometrics needn't be consigned to stark, modern, masculine looks!

My next card is far busier and definitely embraces its feminine side:

So very pretty! I used the Cover Model: Multifaceted Cutaway die to impress the design into some watercolour paper. I'd inked up the plate with Versamark ink first so that I could heat emboss the lines with sparkling gold embossing powder.

I watercoloured the panel then die cut that massive 'hi' using the In a Word: Hi Cutaway. I then die cut several more of the word from watercolour paper and adhered them all together to provide the die cut with some height, before adhering it back in place. Again playing on the idea of optical illusion!

I wasn't done with watercolouring yet, and broke the paints out again for my final design:

I watercoloured a panel of white cardstock then stamped and heat embossed the faceted heart from the True stamp set. I added a sentiment from My Precious and completed the card with some layers and splatter!

So, now that you've had a history lesson on geometry, a feast for the eyes spread of inspiration images, and some of my own creations to further inspire you, I am delighted to bring you this month's Gossip Column challenge!

Your challenge is to create a project which uses geometrics in a creative way! Make the geometric element the star of the show! As you know, I like to stretch your creativity, so I'm asking you to think outside the box and push your use of geometrics outside your comfort zone! Pick a style that's new to you, or use your geometric supplies in a different way, or perhaps even design your own geometric design like I did above! I will be looking closely for originality as well as execution when it comes to picking winners, so dare to be different and show me what you can do!

Winnie & Walter have a plethora of amazing products featuring geometric designs (including some truly awesome products in their latest release!) so you should have plenty of options when it comes to putting your creations together! But if you don't have any of our products which feature a geometric design, don't fear! We've put together a special collection of digital designs especially for this month's feature, which you can use to participate in this month's challenge! 


As you can see, we've kept versatility in mind, with lots of different designs! Perhaps you could even use the grid design to help you draw some of your own geometric art like I did! *wink*

The Rules

  • Create a brand new project which uses a geometric element as a part of your design
  • Post on your blog or to an online photo album. Ensure you link up to this challenge post in your blog post
  • Extra credit will be considered for projects which use the geometric element as the main focus of your design, and/or for a creative and original use of the geometric element
  • You must use at least one Winnie & Walter product for your creation. This can include our free digital products too!
  • Link up your creations to this post using the Inlinkz below. Please use the link to your actual post rather than the link to your blog
  • You can enter as many times as you like!
  • The deadline for linking submissions is Monday 25th May at 11:55pm CST. 
  • I will select one overall winner ('Gossip Queen/King'!) and two honourable mentions ('Hot Gossips'!). The Gossip Queen/King will win $30 credit to the w&w store, and the Hot Gossips winning a $15 credit a piece!
  • Winners will be announced on the following Friday (29th May).

Are you ready to put your gossiping skills to the test?! I can't wait to see your creations!!

Just one more thing before you go! We would love your feedback on The Gossip Column and the challenge, so please do leave us a comment on this post! Each and every issue of The Gossip Column will focus on something different and we can't wait to bring you the future issues if you love this feature!

'Til next time, Gossipers... !


Further Reading:


  1. Taheerah, thank you for all the background in Geometry - which was not my favorite class in High School by any stretch of the word! I may have done better had I found my love of paper-crafting back then!! Love the Gossip Column, the inspiration photos, and your gorgeous cards! Ican't wait to play along - of course I'll be wearing my [virtual] crown!
    =] Michele

  2. FUN!!!!!
    What awesome inspiration!

  3. Love this new challenge format, Taheerah! Your challenges are unique and challenging. Very fun to play. I also like that you are clear with the rules and expectations. And thank you too to W&W for being so generous with the prizes, it is nice that you have several winners. I also like that you require W&W products to be used. Can't wait to play with shapes this month!

  4. love this challenge!! looks like fun :)

  5. love the article and the cards are fabulous!!!!!!!

  6. Taheerah, always...always love your use of geometric shapes in your inspiration pics. I am always facinated by how we can create multiple looks with just one single element. Awesome artical.

  7. What a fabulous way of combining science with art ..Love the way you have incorporated the various geometric shapes in your cards..Especially the first and third card's are just brilliant ..Love this challenge :)

  8. Taheerah, amazing challenge and incredibly interesting post! I love your explanations and the history you gave and I adore your first card! I can't wait to play along!!

  9. Another wonderful column! Loved reading it. So sorry I din't get to play last time, but will do my best this time!

  10. Great article, and your samples are fabulous! I especially love the first card made with the diamond, so cool!

  11. Taheerah, once again you've blown me out of the water with your incredible creativity!!! Your cards are funky and fabulous!

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  13. Always LOVE to read your column! You are like a good editor that substantiates and illustrates every statement.
    Being myself a sucker for geometry, I will be entering this challenge for sure. Thank you for the great, and free, digital designs, since I don't own any Winnie & Walter products.
    Your cards are fantastic, the first one blows my mind!

  14. Dang, you've really outdone yourself, Taheerah! This post is amazing! The inspiration pictures are fab, and your cards--wowza! I love how you've shown so many different approaches to geometric cards. :) Totally inspiring!! The digis look awesome, too!

  15. What a post, Taheerah! I LOVE those photos you pulled together.

  16. I really enjoyed all of the information and photos that you shared in a this post, as well as the first challenge. It really emphasizes the reason for the challenge.
    Thank you!

  17. Thanks for the great Geometric Digital images. Had to give a try for the challenge. Awesome post by Taheerah!

  18. thanks for these fun images to color!

  19. Evidence shows, however, that both societies trusted in an afterlife, established a unique writing structure and excelled significantly in the arts and sciences.
    Mesopotamian culture


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