Designing my “100 Hearts” piece

First Draft of my "100 Hearts" project

First Draft of my “100 Hearts” project

I found some pictures of Tynemouth Priory online to help me draft my design, and then went rummaging for pictures of vessels built on the Tyne that were in service at the time of the war.

Of course this is all entirely speculative; we have found Great Grandfather on a crew list of 1915, but unfortunately so far we haven’t found any images of the ship.  His crewmates include many local lads, of course, but also Danes, Finns, a Russian, and even other Swedes. There must be so many untold stories there…

Second Draft of my "100 Hearts" project

Second Draft of my “100 Hearts” project

In the first draft, I was still working on the idea of the gold cross being like the St George’s cross, and I was very disappointed that the Swedish flag almost seemed to vanish.

In the second, I corrected that misapprehension, trialled a vertical rather than diagonal division, and used a different vessel, this one slightly smaller and coming inward rather than departing.

Third Draft of my "100 Hearts" project

Third Draft of my “100 Hearts” project

I’ve also moved the Priory to the right a little so that there is rather more of a sense of balance.

In the third draft, I reinstated the diagonal, left the Priory shifted rightwards, and returned to the first vessel. I’ve also slightly enlarged the Priory.

As I look at these, I find myself thinking that the design rather resembles naval ship badges, so perhaps what I need to do is to shrink the whole design a little, tweak it a little more, and edge the circle with a wreath or rope motif.

So I’ve not finished thinking yet!


  1. The position of the flags I much better in the second design. I am also glad that you have enlarged the Priory. This is going to be a fine piece of art!

  2. Mam says:

    I like the last one very much. All those derricks are exactly right. Once you have shrunk it and encircled it, I think you are there. The shadow cast by the bow of the ship – if that could be replicated on the rope, you would have a 3D effect. What about the torpedo that missed!?!!!

  3. I love your new design Rachel! And how wonderful that you managed to find some information on your grand-father.

  4. I like your third draft – and as always enjoyed your talking through your design process.

  5. Carolyn Foley says:

    They are looking so good.
    Way back some of my family came from South Shields. He won the competition to invent the lifeboat, which is still on display there I see.

  6. Anne Armstrong says:

    Have you considered carrying the flags out to fill the heart shape?

  7. Lin says:

    The diagonal flags work much better don’t they. xx

  8. Lady Fi says:

    It’s coming along nicely.

  9. Catherine says:

    It’s great to see your thought process through this planning stage. And how interesting that the flag looks better with the diagonal join! I think I prefer the last design, will be great to see this come together.

  10. Sue Jones says:

    It’s almost there. Looking forward to seeing the final design.

  11. Susan says:

    Thank you for sharing each step of your design process. I enjoyed seeing the changes and reading what you were trying to accomplish. I do like the third version, but I’m imagining you aren’t quite done tweaking it!

  12. Sheryl says:

    Interesting process developing the design, not sure about the flags. looking forward to see the final idea.

  13. Terrie says:

    Rachel, you’re very creative. Looking forward to seeing the next stage.

  14. karen says:

    I really enjoy watching you at the planning stage. You are always so thorough.