Sketching with the 3d pen

This was made for me. This is what I have been waiting for. I can sketch in the air, I can lift my writing off the page. I can see what my writing looks like on the reverse. I can stitch, spiral, construct – this 3d pen and I could get obsessed with each other. To have suddenly found a medium that responds to my ideas intuitively. I am not having to force wire to twist itself together, I haven’t got to make a thread stitch curve when it wants to be straight, I can lift my idea off the surface the moment I want to. I haven’t got to wear safety gear and go to the workshop. This is like soldering and welding and wire work and crochet and sculpture and writing all in one. I can lift my ideas literally off the page…

Practice 1: writing on the page then lifting the words up and off the surface to allow them to fall back to earth in a crumpled pile. Practice 2: a simple scene draped with words.


Practice 3: writing the words, lifting the words, what goes on behind the words.


Practice 4: Are the words falling out of the page or has the page sprouted from the words? A poem composed on the page, then pulled off and allowed to tangle and hang and knot, this is then united with the folded layered prayer flag I made ages ago at the Cas Holmes’ workshop with some of the fabrics from Sheena. Now the words can our out of the pages. This is so freeing and so open to exploration and I am very very excited by this. Text, writing, composition and sculpture and textile surfaces and colour – this is a very happy place.


Changing to an almost neon yellow requiring black background to photograph. It is really hard to capture the 3d form in these shots as the plastic filament is so fine. Practice 5: plugged into my headphones, eyes shut, music of choice on and paint away, like a conductor the music moves the body and hand and pen. This is like painting with light. If I held a light in each hand and danced in the dark and this motion was captured on a camera this is what you would see – the only difference is I made this tonight. Immediately. Kandinsky moved the music to the canvas, what he heard he painted so we could see. What I hear I paint so you can see but you can also trace the sound through space, I am no longer confined to sketching on the page.


Clever clever – even if this is just used as the ultimate sketching tool for me, it can be used to plan what I may one day be able to form from steel or glass or stone. This is the ultimate extension from my wrapping – I can wrap the space with my movement frozen in time. I can capture sound in the space. What I can see and feel when I hear I can now show you far more clearly.



10 thoughts on “Sketching with the 3d pen

  1. Love the use with text.
    I’ve found it gets very brittle and many of my samples have crumbled. A few options I’ve tried – don’t care, have got what I wanted from it; pile up and heat into an interesting mass; dribble over resin.

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    1. Ah! Is that what you used in MMT? In my ignorance I thought you had a 3D printer/copier and had designed the work on a computer as I have no knowledge of these things.

      Useful tips for the future care too thank you.


      1. I did a couple of classes and played with a 3D printer and related software. Interesting for manipulating and distorting forms. But it was the 3D pen that really got me excited. So many possibilities, such freedom!


  2. Actually, I really, really like the idea of making words that will physically crumble to nothing after a while. The yellow ones look like silly string with substance. I, too, think I might need one of these.

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