3 weeks in and I’m starting to get the hang of this tube commuting thing. Each day to get to work I have to get 2 tube trains to and from work. The lines I get are the Victoria line and Bakerloo line. My first train is always packed and just gets busier and busier at each stop, because of my hands I found out the hard way that I can’t actually hold on for as many stops as I need to if I were to stand all the way. Fortunately TFL offer badges for the disabled that they can wear to notify other travelers so that they give up their seat for you. I ordered this on Sunday as prior to this I had mostly been very lucky with getting seats so didn’t think I would need it however of course I have discovered I do. The application for the badge and card is rather simple and my little package arrived very swiftly. Luckily for me I haven’t had any problems using my badge and other commuters have kindly given up their seat for me. Once I get to Elephant and Castle my end station I usually take the lift up to ground level however one day I felt as though I was running late and there is always a queue for the lift so I decided to take the stairs. I was almost crawling by the top, I most certainly cannot walk up 124 steps no matter about run up them. A key lesson I think I have learnt here is that I shall not be climbing the Eiffel Tower anytime soon.
Another thing about the London tube is that when a tube line breaks it seems to take out several others with it causing ⅓ of London to shut down. Usually it takes me about 35 to 45 minutes from the second I leave the office to get home, however on this day the Victoria line was suffering “severe delays”. Normally I find this means the trains are more packed but I’ll still get home about the same time, but on this particular day it turned out between Victoria and Brixton has shut down due to a track failure in both directions. Then once I arrived at Oxford Circus, my interchange, a passenger alarm was pulled at Warren Street then another causing the train to be stuck in the station for 40 minutes and then extend my actual train journey by a further 40 minutes meaning I got home at 7pm.
As we do a lot of computer work at Amanda Kelly and there are 5 interns 4 of us have to use computers of designers who aren’t in that day. Often you find that the designers computers do not have mice, this means you have to control and edit with a graphics tablet. If you haven’t used used a graphics tablet before they can be rather disorientating the first time you use them, especially to draw. Most artists are used to looking down to wherever their hand is, watching their movements and their masterpieces appearing. However when using a graphics tablet you have all the freedom of movement of that of a pen whilst your actions are reacting on the screen in front of you. It can take some getting used to but now finally 3 weeks in I have fully adapted and can use it the same as if I had a mouse. I personally feel like this will be a very useful skill for me in my third year as it will allow me to enhance my sketchbooks and use more software that I don’t own but are accessible on the university computers. Generally I believe it will be a useful skill for my future career knowing and being able to use a graphics tablet for drawing, editing and all over computer activities.
As the designers are working on next season’s designs there has been a lot of tye dye featured on the catwalks and so they asked us to do some tye dying for them. Me and another intern did some indigo dying for them. Personally although I have tye dyed before I have never used chemical tye dying or indigo, my fellow intern however did a course in dying and loves indigo therefore why she chose it. So she showed me how you have to carefully mix indigo dye, leave it for a while before you then start dying fabrics. For this kind of dying you have to add activators in order for the dye be the most effective. When dying using indigo you must be careful not to stir it too much as you don’t want air getting into the dye, that will oxidize the solution and ruin the dye itself. Indigo dye works with oxidation, the fabric when initially removed from the solution is green and then oxidizes to become the beautiful blue colour you can see in the photos below. We dyed a lot of different patterns tying the fabrics into different formations to create different designs. As the designers wanted these for backgrounds or to generally enlarge for patterns these shall be used in designs that are then sold to companies which is very exciting so I’ll be keeping an eye out for if I see them in any shops I know. I found it very interesting learning about this different way of dying and how I could potentially dye my own fabrics for my final year, at the moment I only know how to use indigo dye however my fellow intern is quite happy to teach me about chemical dying and other sorts as well which could make for some interesting unique patterns for my work in my final year.
At the weekend my mum came to visit and we went to visit the famous Portobello Road market on the Saturday and then Greenwich on Sunday. When we arrived at Portobello Road I didn’t know what to expect but it was a very quirky, lively market with what I thought was an odd amount of silverware for sale but that’s just my opinion. There were stalls stretching for what felt like miles, the market just kept going and going but as we kept walking it didn’t get any less interesting with street performers including this headless pair you can see at the bottom, food, books, clothes, art and much much more. If you love a market this is definitely one I would recommend, with its wide variety of stalls stretching down the entirety of Portobello Road. Personally I will definitely be visiting this market again before I leave London. However on the Sunday we took a river boat tour down the Thames from Westminster to Greenwich which was great fun although a bit cold. Unfortunately we didn’t get to spend much time in Greenwich itself but the short bit of time we did spend there was nice and the area we saw by Greenwich Pier was very beautiful so worth a visit in my opinion.