Reflection and Review against Assessment Criteria

Written reflection

I found this assignment the hardest so far. The world of yarns was unknown to me in any depth, although I had spun a bit before. I found the research fascinating although have not written this up. I think one of the blocks I have on the research write ups is to do it with integrity rather than to ‘show’ an assessor that I have done the task. Some of the research I do is thorough, I read around and spent time on the internet clicking through websites and going off -piste. I don’t feel the need at that point to write things down or ‘discuss’ them. I do however need to consider hot to find a way to make this work for me. My instinct is to jot these notes down in a notebook rather than present them in a clear coherent manner on the blog.

I spent a lot of studio time at the start of the project trying to get my head around the making of yarns. I didn’t feel I was doing it right. It wasn’t until delving into knotting techniques in the Re-interpret exercise that I understood the potential more. However I was focussed more on learning the techniques and feel that I didn’t get to really explore the idea of ‘re-interpreting and re-inventing’ to its’ full potential.

I think my strengths here was that I persevered despite some real resistance at the beginning! This has been a huge learning curve, not necessarily in the techniques and creative outcomes but in terms of learning how I go about my own creative practice. The areas where I struggle, the ebbs and flows. Although I feel this assignment isn’t complete,  it has had a strong effect on how I approach my work.

What I feel is incomplete:

My research file – I have not written this up, although I did look into the research point at the start of this assignment, as well as investigate the techniques in Exercise 4.3 and research the yarn constructions in Exercise 4.5 Collage-inspired yarn

I have only just skimmed the surface in the tasks in Project 2:

I could investigate Exercise 4.3 further paying closer attention to the challenge to re-interpret the Rubens’ painting.

I would like to refine techniques that I have begun to explore further and to revisit Exercise 4.4 – Deconstructing colour as yarn. I thought there was more scope than I got to investigate. For instance I could have spent time not only manipulating and  deconstructing the linens but careful taking apart the threads and then plying them with others, or spinning them with wool to mix colours together in a subtle way.

I have not presented my thoughts and outcomes on Exercise 4.5 Collage-inspired yarn although I did work on this I have not written about in my blog as a post. I would like to spend more time research the yarn construction techniques and practice these more.

I have only temporarily presented my work so far in order to send to my tutor. I have done this in a simple A3 sketchbook loosely taping my yarns in the pages. I think my final presentation would look best on some bigger A2 boards so as to give the yarns full room to ‘drop’ down on the page.


Reflection on Assessment Criteria

Demonstration of technical and visual skills – I did refine my drop spinning technique and used you tube tutorials to learn macrame and braiding. Some of this criteria and it’s outcomes overlaps how I have responded to the demonstration of creativity.

Many of these skills shown are new to me and lack a refinement.

Quality of outcome – I attempted to ‘match’ yarn designs and concepts not only with colour/texture but also the overall ‘vibe’ of the source material.

I am aware that I didn’t use a sketchbook at all for this assignment! I didn’t visually ‘plan’ my yarn concepts which I have seen other people doing the course work through and show this in their blogs. Did this hinder my conceptualisation of ideas?

I observed myself working intuitively with the materials. A lot of the thinking was happening through my choice of which yarns and materials to select for each task.

Demonstration of creativity – I did get more inventive as I gained confidence in the tasks; for instance using plastics, netting, raffia.

Exercise 4.4 Deconstructing colour as yarn – I ripped organza, found a selection of materials that I felt leant themselves to the colours and lightness of the watercolour inspired palettes. I made decisions and experimented bearing this aesthetic in mind.

I began to experiment with the collage inspired exercise  ‘blindly’ working out how to create some of the effects similar to some of the yarn construction such as slit film yarns.

I could have pushed the boundaries further in Project 2 however I acknowledge that I was concentrating on gaining technical understanding of yarn concepts, of materials and of techniques. This took time and some ideas didn’t get to be investigated.

Having said this, I do feel that my work and making does carry a personal voice. I can see ‘my hand’ in how I approach the exercises. I can see similarities and threads, a sensibility and sense of aesthetic that is running through my assignments.

Context – Using the macrame and braiding I felt were the right selection from my research. I returned to the neutral palette investigations and build on my yarn designs with my newly learnt knotting techniques.

I re-visited my spinning technique (which I had forgotten) through research and practice.

I am learning the importance to see my art practice as cyclical rather than linear. I persisted with certain ideas (again another new lesson learnt) even though at the time I thought it wasn’t working. I have discovered from previous reflection how important it is to persist, especially in times of resistance to certain exercises.

There is still more to be done in finding ways to write up what I am researching and reflecting. I have found using a notebook the best however this is not ideal for assessment purposes.



Assignment 2: Written Reflection and Review against assessment criteria

I began work on Part 1 18months ago and Part 2 last November so in the first instance I acknowledge that this assignment  has taken me a very long time to complete.

Here is what I have learned over the projects:

  • The importance of tutorials and having a dialogue about my process is of huge importance and heavily influences my work output.
  • I like to go into ideas and processes, exploring materials and techniques with more depth than I had given myself credit for.
  • It’s better to keep turning up and working on tasks, ignoring my inner critic and focussing on what I am doing rather than all the things I know I am not doing!
  • For Part 2, I particularly enjoyed the paper manipulation and sewing into the smaller samples. My interest waned when working on the more composed larger pieces. I think this is due to the pressure on myself that I had to create a focussed almost finished piece. On reflection it would have served me better to take the task less literally and work on however many more developed samples I wanted to. This would have probably kept my interest going. This is why I liked working on the paper manipulation library, the stitched smaller samples and the textile preparatory samples I made for Assignment 2.
  • Drawing and planning ideas out can be done in a variety of ways apart from literally sketching ideas. Using photos, layout and pinning up samples, selecting ones in particular to juxtapose together are also ways of drawing. I discovered taking photos of some of my inboards a good way to show my planning stages. These also influence my watercolour drawings where I make attempts to combine some of my selected images together.
  • I needed to break up the leap from paper to textile even further, spending a long time on playing with textile samples.
  • My understanding of drawing and recording has developed: I find that observing and looking at something, needs practice and for me sustained engagement. My drawings improved the more I got to know my subject (sounds obvious now!).
  • I do spend time thinking about my process and approach to my work and draw on my observations of this.
  • Folding and pleating fabric and making it go where you want it to go is so much harder than it looks!

My strengths are that I do have a strong aesthetic and can create samples and outcomes that show dynamism and delicacy. I do feel that there is energy behind the work I make and was very inspired and excited by the assignment. I recognise the importance of sampling and trying things out.

I certainly felt a frustration that I didn’t have the capacity to address all points, tasks hints and tips (that are in the course booklet) with the depth and focus I would ideally like to give. So much of my learning with this project is getting to know what my capacities are, how to make decisions and selections and where to prioritise my focus. I would like to spend more time further addressing the following:

  • Using a wider range of marks and tools in the same image/drawing sample
  • I also felt that I missed some of the point of the assignment and found myself not being very experimental with different forms of stitch? I think I might have stayed too ‘literal’ in interpreting the pieces as images rather than as textile samples.
  • Spend more time playing with layout and scale
  • Stop and look at what I am doing and ask questions half way, look at the back of the textile piece and be open to searching and experimenting with different stitch techniques – keep looking for different solutions to create textures with stitch
  • Annotating and articulating my reflections and thoughts through writing and the blog
  • Being open to drawing and designing ideas in different ways at the planning stages
  • Reading and looking at more artists, in more depth to gain a deeper understanding and to cultivate a better sense of enquiry and finding way to make links with my own work
  • Folding and pleating fabric and making it go where you want it to go is so much harder than it looks! This is an area I would like to explore and master more.

Review against Assessment Criteria

Demonstration of technical and visual skills

I did employ a variety of drawing techniques in Part 1 and drew on my printmaking knowledge. I was pleased with much of my observational work although recognise now that I could have extended my marks and worked with a wider range of them.  I had only used dissolvable film and discharge liquid once before as a quick experiment so was pleased in how much my technique improved with each use.

I do work naturally and intuitively with my materials and processes and feel like my formal art background helps with the basics of colour, texture, line, composition.

Quality of Outcome:

This is possibly the hardest to evaluate and critique since I feel that the assignment needs further work. However I am pleased with what I have achieved so far. My last very unfinished sample still excites me with where I could take it, and I am pleased that I have had the boldness to value it enough as I could have easily finished it ‘for the sake of finishing it’. I feel this way there is a better chance of creating something of high quality.

What I need to work heavily on is drawing connections and noting my observations as I go in a more obvious way. I do use the blog more that just to log each exercise so I hope that with time I use images of my work and words to connect my thoughts together further. I know this will help me to refine and formulate new ideas.

The way I work is partly due to time constraints and I would rather ‘keep on top of it’ by posting more regularly. The flip side to this is that my posts sometimes lack the depth. They don’t articulate my decisions clearly. The blog behaves more like an online journal of thoughts in which I don’t spend time editing and adding to a post in order to make it ‘readable’ or to make sense?

I would like pin more of my work up and take photos of these. I feel this would be a good way to solve the problem. Then I can show drawings and samples and images which I feel all connect next to each other.

Demonstration of Creativity:

I think I have been up and down with this. Most of my paper samples are nothing groundbreaking and remain relatively simple in concept. My use of base textiles is varied and I think I did explore different possibilities – reaching the conclusion that both velvet and organdie can create soft/gentle/delicate outcomes.

I feel like I could have pushed the materials further, and I think this is one of the reasons why I stalled on my last piece. Trying to find the edge, and to take more risks.

I think some of my personal voice does come through – there is a playful and energised attitude that is beginning to emerge.


This is still a weak area of mine. Partly to do with the pressure to verbalise, articulate my thoughts and critical thinking. I know I do it, but it’s all in my head and I have not yet found a process or the tools that would work best for me to create a habit of putting it on paper/blog. I have a strong sense that this is very much linked to what I have previously communicated about keeping up a dialogue of my work. Hearing myself speak out loud to someone makes more sense to me. It is then so much easier to put some of these findings into words.

I am also conscious that I am a critical thinker but this has in the past also inhibited me from actually getting any making done, and it is vital to me that I establish  strong art making practice.


Consolidating a folio of drawings and a written reflection on Part 1

I chose nine drawings to send to my tutor for ongoing feedback. Five of them were from the work I did in Project 2, drawings of the blankets from the archive. I chose a mixture, ink, drypoint, collage and watercolour/pen ones:

I found drawing the blankets from the archive quite a challenge. Trying to record the textures, patterns on a cloth was hard and required a few different approaches. I learnt that I needed to be a lot more focussed and selective when drawing, as it’s almost impossible to process and respond to all the information I am taking in at once, I found it better to make decisions about my drawing. So some I focussed purely on the marks and patterns I could see. Others I found rearranging the fabric and not having it laid out straight was more interesting compositionally. Translating these marks into collage also required me to think differently. How to portray such fine textures and details? I had never thought of using collage in this way. I’ve only ever thought of in terms of shape and form. I have also turned to colour more, and investigated printmaking a bit.

I selected four from Project 3 looking at my flower studies.

Although I enjoyed collecting and arranging my own sources to record from. I don’t think I pushed myself as much in Project 3: Picking and Portraying. I had lots of initial ideas of really playing around with print, pushing the ideas of composition as suggested in the file, but due to being ‘on/off’ with my study time at present I found it hard to keep up the momentum. I think I played it safe/easy in terms of materials.

I really enjoyed looking at Blackadder and Askey in particular – but wondering how I could bring in some other elements. From the research points, I noticed how often I was drawn to and picked out the elements of composition as well as when artists made a bold visual response.