Thoughts from the exhibition

Last Saturday was the big opening of the graduation show for Bachelor level Design and Master level Design, Child Culture Design and Business & Design at HDK, Academy of Design and Crafts, Gothenburg, Sweden. The Pattern Printer Project was of course found in the Master section of the exhibition, and will stay there until Saturday the 11th of June. Welcome if you find yourself in the area!

In the room you will find half the space papered with the Jungle pattern and the other half papered with the Rotation pattern. A wardrobe is papered with the Flow pattern and in there you will find a screen showing the patterns in Stop Motion Films. A section of the jungle pattern can be coloured in with pencils and on one part of the Rotation wall you can combine your own patterns with loose repeats.  

The room is papered with approximately 500 papers using only cornstarch glue as an adhesive.

It was a bit daunting, the task of covering the walls of this nice little room with four meters to the ceiling, the first time trying out the project in this scale. I live to tell the tale, and now I can share some of the wisdoms I learned:

1. It is nice to paper with such small pieces. Because the A4s are so tiny they are incredibly easy to handle. And you can always take a break. Put up a few, and go grab a coffee. Continue the next day or the next week. There is no need for massive preparations like with normal wallpaper. If the glue runs out, you just go and make some more. If the prints run out, go an print some more. To be fair it takes a bit longer to cover a big area, but on the other hand the process is so flexible that you can do it on those spare hours you wouldn't dream to start papering with normal wallpaper, and cover areas that you wouldn't think of covering otherwise.

2. Be generous with the cornstarch glue and don't freak out when the paper becomes uneven. No problem, it will turn nice and smooth again over night when it dries. You might need to go over some edges with a cornstarch glue dipped sponge if you notice a corner here and there not sticking to the wall as it should the next day.

3. Don't do this if you are a perfectionist! It will not be perfect. I repeat: the result will not be perfect. But it will be good enough. With so many small pieces there are bound to be mismatches along the way. As a whole it will still look good, and you will probably be the only one noticing those small incoherences. Close to the ceiling, it was hard to reach and the ladder was wobbly, so I stopped caring about matching the pattern altogether. I just started putting random pieces there to fill up the wall to the top. As it turns out it was too far away to notice from the floor anyway.

4. If anything goes wrong, DON'T PANIC! Just paper it over! This is the beauty of paper tiles compared to paper rolls! After the first day of the exhibition, I discovered that people had coloured outside the designated area on the wall and had started "enhancing"  on parts of the wall with green coloured jungle pattern. Easy fix, I just papered over it!

5. It might be an idea to plan were to but the animals on the wall. I did it by using Tac-it adhesive clay.

6. For God's sake! Leave some overlap when papering, at least when papering the jungle pattern. I cut the papers on the cutting lines at the top and left side of the papers. On the bottom and to the right I kept as much overlap as possible. This will give you some space for errors without the wall shining through by the edges. However, with Flow and Rotation I recommend cutting all edges all the way to the cutting lines or you wont be able to rotate them and experiment with their application.

It took about two days to finish the work, but of course it was worth it. Just look at these pictures from the exhibition!

And the finale: the obligatory before and after image.



Which one do you prefer?