Surface Treatment

#005 — Texture & Text as Form


When I'm not creating art or searching for an out-of-state MFA program, I'm assisting happy couples (and their mothers and mother-in-laws) create their dream wedding registries as a Wedding & Gift Registry Advisor. In the past two weeks, I've attended two training events to increase my product knowledge on home items like platinum-initialed fine china, hammered copper cookware, and Auto-iQ blenders. Fancy.

With a bag of training freebies that included a 4-pound Rowenta iron, I was inclined to photograph these items in a way that didn't look like white-background product shots. The slow exposure rate of a flatbed scanner allowed me enough time to carefully move a single item across the scanner's glass plate. The resulting images are unique distortions of textures and text that created new forms. 

The wooden texture above was created from a wooden pasta serving spoon that lacks a flat surface, so I did my best to align it with the moving scan-head. The top-right corner of the first wooden square appears to be outside of the scan-head's depth of field, which means the spoon either wasn't aligned or touching the glass plate--and that's okay. Personally, my favorite squares are in the row below!

Keep scrolling to view the rest of the squares, followed by a view of my process! If you're wondering, I photographed 10 items for this body of work:

  1. Shark | Ninja coffee mug

  2. Red raffle ticket

  3. Vera Wang Simplicity Indigo coffee mug

  4. Cuisinart Bamboo pasta serving spoon

  5. iRobot business card

  6. Rachel Ray red 10in skillet

  7. Blue raffle ticket

  8. Group SEB business card

  9. Crux copper-tone cup

  10. Rowenta Focus iron


The Process

Well, I have a simple process for you to try:

  1. Begin by scanning your object by moving it with the scan-head, which is the moving part of the scanner that emits light to scan. Typically, I scan items at the highest available resolution: 600dpi in this case.

  2. After you've opened your image file to make basic color or contrast adjustments, zoom in to compose and crop the unique details you come across.

The best part of this project has been about the discovery that comes with experiementing. Thank you for reading this far and viewing 61 images!