Evaluation and reflection against assessment criteria

Evaluation

I revisited Part 2 heavily in the end – going back to the dissolvable film and sought to refine my use and application of it.

I did feel overwhelmed by the amount of paths I could have taken with Part 5. I enjoyed searching for a subject and making up a theme/concept from which to work from. I recognise that this, like most, is paramount to feeling engaged with my work and making outcomes that feel alive.

What went well and less well?

Using yarn wraps has been an eye opener for me and helpful in setting the tone and mood – through colour and textures.  I appreciate the importance of appreciating how I can extract colour from just about anything. I think it is the colour and yarn use that holds the whole collection together. Through selecting yarns and materials that matched my yarn wraps it kept me on some sort of track.

My yarn explorations didn’t go so well. I could have investigated them further.

But I  also noted the importance that even the assignment brief itself warns: to focus on a few things/techniques well.

I did feel overwhelm at times. There seemed to be so many ways and possibilities to go. The feedback from my tutor was helpful and yet I felt like I couldn’t do all the ideas justice in the time I had.

This did mean I stylised early – and I hit a momentary brick wall. My work began to get tentative and lacked the boldness that I know I can achieve when I keep the idea moving with energy. I spent a long time on studying colour palettes and making visual responses. Recording the theme is important but possibly this is also my ‘comfort zone’, which made moving towards initial translations into textiles a bit rocky.

There were many trials and failed experiments and I also felt the pressure of time. I had to come up with something that worked and I felt nothing was working the moment I transitioned from paper to yarns and fabric.

I could have made more in response to the artists I researched. I really wanted to investigate ways to imitate the woven pieces with copper by Reiko Sudo. I was aware that I have never woven anything before and decided at this point not to pursue the technique.

With regards to my strengths on the whole course module, I have shown an understanding for colour.

img_5256

I have developed my own ‘voice’, something that has not only been reaffirmed by tutor feedback, but I myself can see it in my drawings and approach to working. This has been a priority for me as as I am committed to making finding my artistic voice and skill and pursuing a career out of it.

 

I would like to spend more time addressing how my own voice and visual style connects to the work of others. I would like to learn even more about Nuno and Reiko Sudo and the new technologies they employ. I feel I only delved into this lightly in Assignment 4 and 5. Where does my work best lay? I have come to wonder if my practice is not more design concept based than anything else. Having said that, I know that it is vital for me to make work that has meaning and purpose for me. It cannot be merely a play on the formal elements. Or at least making sure that my source of inspiration has enough depth to me. I also wonder if I should focus on composition, concepts and design based work rather than ‘making’?

I would like to explore my painting and drawing and use them more to explore composition, potentially explore design work further. I didn’t appreciate how much I both enjoy the process and also find it vital in the creative process to help me think through and understand a theme. I  wonder if I should focus on composition, concepts, and design based work rather than ‘making’ textile outcomes?

 

Reviewing work against assessment criteria:

Demonstration of technical and visual skills – materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skill.

I think my textile work still has a long way to go in showing an understanding and refinement of techniques, however my drawing and visual recording has improved as I have widened my understanding of the purposes to it. I don’t have to finish and complete every drawing, or sample as I see it is part of a wider process.

It is hard to judge if I didn’t employ as many techniques as expected – it is an area that I am still new to. However, I also think the ignorance of many formal and traditional techniques allowed for some creative making and solutions in my outcomes.

I am glad I incorporated some screen printing into my work. Coming from a printmaking background I assumed I would use these techniques more over the course, but I didn’t. I think this is overall good, for it allowed me to concentrate on working with textile materials instead.

Although I don’t ‘create designs’ through preliminary sketches, this happens before, when I am making visual responses to the theme, and after when I am in the making and trialling of textile samples. I feel this way of working is relevant since translating ideas to textile can only happen effectively in the direct use of those materials.

I found I had to work through many ‘failed’ textile samples to get to somewhere near where I wanted to work from. I feel that my ability to decide and select which ideas to move forwards with is good and I can discard trials.

I feel that I have demonstrated a strong visual awareness, in the way I present my ideas (through photography, in my sketchbook and in presentation of drawings and samples). I record visually through a range of mediums and techniques.

The work in my final capsule collection I feel does reflect the qualities of the initial investigation into my theme.

Quality of outcome – content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas.

The capsule collection does show some cohesion and I feel that I have presented the idea soundly, using simple white card and basic labelling. The way I chose to record my ideas, and present these through a sketchbook and series of larger scale drawings shows confidence

I wanted to find the line between presenting ‘for assessment’ and having authenticity around the way in which I work. Ultimately I needed to remind myself that the course for me is a way of finding my own voice and confidence in my approach.

Demonstration of creativity – imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice.

The decision to find my own theme was for me a way of stepping further out into developing my voice. I kept an enquiring approach through how I might translate the ideas into textiles – I felt that many ideas didn’t work but I kept on trying and pushing.

I also looked widely for materials, using scraps from another artist’s bin and reusing food bags.

I went off piste when following the project task list. I read through the tasks and got a good sense of what they were requiring from me, but ultimately I chose to use this final assignment to push further and find my own style of working towards creating a capsule collection. By doing so, I felt free to explore in a way that felt right.

In working on textile samples, I think I was creative in my composition and arrangement of materials. By combining fabric and paper in samples shows an experimental approach. I looked to creating pieces which were very mixed media.

Ultimately, this criteria is a hard one to assess for myself – I feel I could have done so much more, but I did what I could in the time I had. I could have experimented with manipulation of fabric and paper even more, I could have investigated different forms of stitching and adding colour to my work through print and dyes. I could have looked to use weave and other processes to mimic some of the NUNO fabrics I found inspiring.

I would happily continue investigating the theme I created “Minerals & Fragments”.

Context – reflection, research, critical thinking.

I think by using my notebook more, it encouraged me to write much more reflectively as I went along. I wrote on bits of paper, or emailed my tutor with a question and I found that. would then write and explain the context in which I was asking.

It has taken me the whole course to find a way of using both an online learning log and paper one most effectively. The online blog allows me to consolidate some of my written thoughts. My notebook shows more critical thinking ‘on the go’.

I found it very helpful to look at more commercial based art. It helped for me to consider creating a capsule collection that could eventually translate into design ideas for  functional use.

It inspired me to use screen print and metallics, and as I worked towards sample 6, to consider composition and collage.

I read a little and kept thinking about the question “what is a surface”.

I have also appreciated the ‘reflective’ part of the creative process more. This has happened particularly in the last assignment whereby I realised that I needed to step back and look at each sample as I came to finishing it to see how best to proceed on to the next. I couldn’t ‘plan’ out the whole collection and had to trust the process much more. That was very scary as I approached the deadline. I understood how thinking critically (and this can also be in dialogue with a friend or tutor), can help remind what the focus of the task is.
Much of my thinking happens through making and through drawing. I found photography a vital tool as evidence of critical thinking. It allows me to stand back, arrange and rearrange the objects, or even the process that I happen to be recording and reconsider my intentions and aims.
Advertisements

Assignment 5: Capsule Collection

I will post the photos with details on how I came about each one.

img_5229
Sample 1

I initially screen printed the linen, stiffened it with PVA and lightly sanded one edge.

I stitched in to this to reflect the aquamarine, citrine and pyrite crystals. I also made a ‘yarn net’ which I lightly stitched on.

I cut a strip of linen, again stiffened and also used some paper that I had manipulated by crumpling it, painting it with gouache and then ironing it again when dry.

I think out of all the samples, this one try to combine the most ideas and techniques. A clear reflection, I think that this is the first sample in a collection. Where some ideas have not fully formed, and where it is natural to want to bring everything along. I see this in my students many times. I can see how this can stem from a fear of letting the wrong thing- be it a colour, a material, a stitch, a yarn, a technique….. go.

img_5231
Sample 2

As I completed sample 1, I had already made a start on sample 2. I had begun to work on some dissolvable film, using yarn colours inspired from the pyrite yarn wrap.

Having worked on the stiffened linen in the first sample; I prepared various colours and sizes dipping them in a PVA/water mix, choosing a slate grey to work on for the second sample. I think there was too much going on in my first sample and wanted to get more focussed. I chose the pyrite and aquamarine palettes and drawings to respond to.

I can see that this sample is still tentative and restricted. There are elements that work – the edging and fraying, heightened bu choosing to sew the dissolvable film pieces on the edge of the fabric.

The colours and texture of the aquamarine are interesting and add a softness, but I think it could have covered more of the linen piece.

I added in some inked up netting too underneath – again the layering works but it is tentative and unsure. I think the size and proportion doesn’t work.

img_5234
Sample 3

I found more and more I was working on more than one piece simultaneously, or at least considering compositions for the next piece as I worked on the previous piece.

Sample 3 took a lot of time to create itself, as it brought lots of elements together which I had made but couldn’t work out the best form of compositions. It focussed on the copper bottle. I took muslin which I screen printed and then dipped in PVA.

I made fragments of stitched pieces with dissolvable film adding organdie ribbon. I also had sone screen printed tissue paper. I spent a lot of tine pinning and repinning the pieces. I wanted to create the length and direction of the bottle drawings.

img_5235
Sample 4

Sample 4 took the most time. I had begun working on the dissolvable film fish leather piece when I first chose to investigate the idea of using the technique in the capsule collection.

I have really mixed feelings on the success of this piece. In some ways I feel that there is a real strength to the juxtaposition of the fish ‘net’ against the softness and suggested marks of the muslin. The proportions work well to support this. There need to be a lot of the muslin – the space to counterbalance the intensity of the fish leather.

I stained the muslin to give a sense of the forms that I have painted in some of my earlier drawings.

I think this does reflect many of the qualities in my drawings. My main concern is that it is too literal an interpretation. Clearly, I ended up ‘replicating’ the fish leather piece and translating the whole thing into textile. Whilst I understand the capsule collection to be ore of an interpretation of the whole mood and theme of the work.

I knew this as I finished this piece and really considered how to revise my approach for the next sample.

img_5236
Sample 5

I went back to my drawings and wrote the main words of the qualities that I wanted to portray:

  • space
  • connection
  • fragile
  • strength

With this in mind, I sought to explore the negative space just as much as the fragments themselves. Instead of joining the ‘fragments’ to the edge of a base material, I joined them to other fragments. The only support used was a piece of white organdie ribbon.

To make up the fragments I used inspiration from the copper bottle, the rose quartz and the pyrite/citrine. Some of the tissue paper I had manipulated by painting gouache, layering it with PVA and other tissue paper scraps that I had screen printed on.

On reflection, I could have sampled further with different papers and ways to manipulate and lightly colour some of the tissue.

img_5245
Sample 6

Using more of the paper I had originally manipulated for the previous sample, I thought back more to the secondary drawings I had made, along with the designers I had looked at such as Tom Pigeon and Slowdown Studio. I had been focussing on texture and space, but thought I had missed out on creating some of the billowy, cloudy forms that I had painted of the pyrite and rose quartz.

I played a lot with the composition of this piece and it was by accident that I ended up placing all the torn paper and strip of hematite/tourmaline inspired black/blue netting on to a piece of folded pink linen. I folded it to get a sense of the shape and size I wanted as my backing -when I realised it created a softer more billowy look than if I just cut out the size I wanted.

I stitched straight in to the fabric once I had joined the top layer of papers together with stitch. At this point I kept ‘quilting’ the paper and fabric together to contrast with the softness of the linen and hematite/tourmaline trim. The papers themselves seemed to be able to hold both a fragility and strength by treating them with gouache and PVA, and crumpling the too.

 

Assignment 5: Playing with fragility

I read an article in a Textile journal – I am unable to reference it here unfortunately as cannot find it again. It was asking the question that my tutor has previously asked me in a feedback report – to consider what ‘surface’ really means. What is material? Even in her last report ( I had to send my work off for this assignment before getting it finished in order to meet the deadline) – there is the question that maybe I could even use paper in some of my pieces.

With this in mind, I have returned to experimenting with dissolvable film, and using light fabrics such as muslin, netting, organza ribbon and tissue and parchment papers.

As I have worked through the project, I am becoming interested in the tension between strength and fragility. I think the objects themselves explore this:

  • the crystals can seen fragile, shiny, delicate – and yet they are a hard rock!
  • the copper bottle is strong but has also been bashed and hammered into shape.
  • the fish leather in it’s original state as fish skin could have been torn and broken and yet through the tanning process has become deceptively strong.

As I turn to making small ‘fragments’ I pin them to larger base fabrics. Thinking about how to attach them, How to put them together.

Assignment 5: Moving towards resolving

Having tutor feedback,  I am getting the idea to make sure I communicate clearly my intentions with what I am working with almost to exaggerate everything.
So for instance many of my samples are themselves ‘fragments’. They are off cuts from other pieces of work. I share a studio space with others, one of whom make costumes for reenactments. She has bags of bits of linen and felts.
As such I don’t even think about the ‘base’ piece itself, sometimes the size has already been dictated.
Responding to the point that I must emphasise the qualities of my samples; I already started sanding and heavily fraying some of my edges this afternoon. Many of my early visual responses I described as unfinished, suggested, trailing.. I don’t feel therefore that the final samples all necessitate strong highly defined borders.
I also went back to drawing to play around with ideas.

From my earlier experiments with stitch, yarns and netting concepts, I went back to the drawing board and played with composition ideas.

My tutor also advised I consider how to create fine pieces and then find ways to join them together. She suggested I look in to the fagotting technique which I did and experimented a little with in my book.

Quite soon I remembered the work I had done in assignment 2 with dissolvable film and immediately investigated the possibility of using this technique in a more refine way.

My tutor did point out that my work was perhaps a little tentative and stylised. I agree with this. I feel like I have to push for resolution if I want everything finished in time to send off by mid September.  However I feel like I totally restricted myself into a corner by stylising. There’s a fine balance I am discovering between playing and experimenting and then refining work to a more resolved state!
 I hope that as I work through the capsule collection, this opens up more and shows ore experimental risks.

Assignment 5: Looking at the work of others

Ferm Living– Based in Copenhagen but working with artist makers worldwide creating collections of furniture, lighting and accessories. They describe their aesthetic as ‘ avant-guarde shapes and striking details.

I found some of their work mimicked the concept of ‘minerals’. How paring down simple shapes and repeating them are an effective way to translate a ‘vibe’

Terrazzo Wallpaper - Grey 1
Terrazzo Wallpaper

Tom Pigeon – A Scottish based husband and wife duo who set up a design studio to design and create the sort of products ‘they themselves would like to win and live with”.

Some of their prints are incredibly simple. Again a testament to the power of shape, colour and composition.

Cobble Pair
Cobble Pair

Slowdown Studio – I love the whole concept here. Based in L.A, but collaborating with artists worldwide.  The aim is to promote beautiful and functional works of art. I have always been interested in this combination. So much so that I have felt my own conflict between a Fine Art and Applied Art route. This way of working with artists, who could be painters, illustrators and/or designers allows for these to worlds to collide.

They even run a Slowdown Art Competition once a year, with finalists winning having their designs on the woven blankets.

Looking at the artwork, much of the aesthetic here is based on bold compositions and use of colour. Some are abstract whilst others have more of a narrative to them. Often humorous and bright.

Hanna Konola: Holloway Throw

One of my favourites is British surface pattern designer Tom Abbiss-Smith:

Tom Abiss-Smith: Benjamin throw

Reiko Sudo

Founded NUNO in 1984 and known for pushing the boundaries in Textiles. I first discovered her when looking at yarn designs. Eventually led me to buying the book “Structure and Surface: Contemporary Japanese Textiles” by Mathilda McQuaid, 1999.

Her work combines using the master traditions against cutting edge new technologies. Her whole approach is inspiring since she recognises that all work, even failures, can inspire and/or create new work.

The two examples below I feel could connect to my investigations in to copper/metallic/shine.

The materials appear to have a fragile quality to them and have yet been through a process of heat in “Jellyfish” and the use of copper – the very same used in telephone wires to weave the second “Copper Cloth”.

I wonder if I could experiment with copper thread, to create a similar look.

Reiko Sudo – Jellyfish – 1993 (screen printed and flash heated)
Image result for reiko sudo copper cloth
Reiko Sudo – Copper Cloth – 1993

A complete antithesis to the above more commercial based design, is an artist who I have been following on Instagram; Willemien de Villiers.

Her work come from a fine art concept background. I was initially drawn to her on an aesthetic level, I found (surprisingly to me) that some of my personal colour palette in my work seemed to be use a lot of pink tones. I have wondered about this ‘unconscious’ decision, which is where I have looked more deeply into de Villiers’ work. She tags much of her work under    “feminist art”, “subversive stitch” and “pink art”.

Willemien de Villiers: Before the Beginning

I find the compositions and layering, and texture and marks made through stitch have depth. As I have worked through the projects, I have pondered more and more on the reason behind my choices. Be it colour, composition, material etc. Although I enjoy the playing and combination of formal elements, finding meaning in the work I am making is just as important to me.

Assignment 5: Initial textile ideas

I am finding it SO challenging to resolve my experiments and as per usual feel like I still need to explore more possibilities and compositions, delve more into yarn creations; however I am conscious of my time and he need to get all work ready and sent off really by mid September.
Here are some photos of some of my development:
I am using different coloured linens, some paper like parchment paper.
I find both work better for me if I ‘treat’ them with PVA glue to stiffen them.
I have worked heavily with the diamond style stitching as I I find it works well suggestions he texture of the fish leather, copper bottle and suggests a stylised/ geometric form that creates crystal compositions.
I am at times combining yarns when stitching.
I also want to keep playing with screenprint, possibly on a smaller but repeated scale.
It may be that 1 or 2 of my outcomes may end up being trims, so as to allow for intricate stitching.
I m also interested in the ‘line’ that keeps coming up, like a boundary/the strong edge of the fish leather:

Despite turning up and working, I don’t know where I am going or what I am doing! It feels like I am in the dark. I am observing how this must be part of the process. I feel very much like I am following breadcrumbs. There are many possibilities and ways and avenues to explore, yet there is a fine line between going for all of them and then losing focus.

 

I have found cutting out interesting and continuing on from the concept of  ‘fragment’ I am looking to use any scraps.

I’ve used the brown paper bag that my croissant came in. I liked the ‘waxy’ parchment quality. It echoes something about the copper bottle – something a bit bashed or crumpled. By playing with layering, I have observed how using negative space through cut outs allows me to incorporate another fabric underneath.

I knew that I needed to consider yarns too. I revisited assignment 4 and remembered how much I enjoyed making the flat type yarns.

I attempted this using the yarns and fabrics from my yarn wraps.

I din’t think these worked well and didn’t reflect the qualities of the theme.

It did help to continue thinking about how best to combine colour together through materials and yarns however.

I thought about the diamond style stitches and researched how to make nets. Using this, I created a ‘net’ out of wooden yarns which I thought might have more scope with being incorporated into more resolved samples.

img_5145