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.