Caelan Sparrow


Bachelor of Design Textile Design Print Design Digital Print Technology Digital Fabrication

The ‘Magno’ project aimed to explore the microscopic world that we cannot see and to highlight unique qualities of the smallest creatures and plants. This project focused on the manipulation of images photographed through the lens of the microscope to digitally capture snapshots of the living organisms at a microscopic level. The work applied a modern graphic aesthetic generated through a blend of photography and Adobe Photoshop. The resultant imagery informed the digitally printed textile collection. The main focus behind this project was to create bold and vibrant textile designs which explored colour, texture and the microscopic world. The prints were used to make a cohesive clothing and scarf collection, ready to be worn by the everyday consumer with a modern-day psychedelic twist.

This project ‘Magno’ aims to explore and understand a range of digital making techniques through the development of a print collection based around the microscopic world we cannot see. The inspiration for this project began by taking a step back from the chaotic world around us and looking closer at the smaller world in front of us.  The source collection process was an integral part of the design inspiration; the selection of different insect and plant species for examination under the lens of the microscope. The materials collected focused on small flowers, aquatic plants and insect bodies due to the presence of texture and coloured pigmentations.

From this source material, the design process narrowed these inspiration elements to focus on a mixture of texture, colour and shape. Positioned under the microscope photography captured the hidden design aesthetic.  After a multitude of photographs to illustrate the many design options, the project shifted to a digital platform to edit and adapt the images using Adobe Photoshop. This method of transference of photographic imagery into a digital platform allowed increased creative freedom through the exploration of different print manipulations.

Applying the gradient map tool, colour tones were altered to increase the solidity, tone down pastel versions, or blend into the revised chosen colours. This design process allowed an efficient exploration of a wide array of colourways and outputs. Creating designs with colours that had a strong contrast and created almost an optical illusion to the print designs was a huge focus of the final practice.

The print collection ‘Magno’ consists of six designs created from the microscopic images of a bee’s wing, seeds from a flower and two different flower anthers. Three of the designs applied natural-based colouration focusing on browns, greens and oranges to resemble fire. The other three are based more around a psychedelic aesthetic with purple, pinks, oranges and yellows. The digitally printed imagery forms a range of garments and accessories.  The six cotton lycra tee shirts and three paris chiffon scarves play with positioning, colour, transparency and scale of the printed designs.