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.

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Assignment 4: 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 3: Reflection and Assessment Criteria

Part 3 had been a whirlwind. As always, I wish I could spend more time than I have on the tasks.  I feel that I am reflecting on this at a point where it is 80% complete. I would like to return and update these reflections once I complete the colour book.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed studying the colour in the Rubens painting. I would have happily spent more time on that, playing around with the different ratios of colour. It had so much depth. The more I looked at it the more I could see different colours and tones that I hadn’t picked out before. I have certainly gained more knowledge on the use and application of gouache and watercolour, the properties of colour mixing.

I have sent my incomplete book to my tutor. Despite picking up the pace a lot more in this assignment, I have still found it very hard to be bold with my selections. Learning how to choose what is priority to get everything done within the time allocated. I felt like I wanted to do more, explore more and play more, particularly with the yarn wraps and the collages.

So I would rather hand in the ‘book’ as is, since I am interested and excited at the prospect of considering presentation and layout. I have learnt that this part can often go unforgotten, and something I am clear and would like to focus on just as much as the making and the researching is how to communicate all that. I want to consider what are the moods of the colours I am presenting and what would suit best. I didn’t want to rush it for the sake of it. I feel there is a lot to learn in this area.

I have found it challenging to pick out my strengths here as I feel it is so unfinished and incomplete. I think some of my collage work has some interesting elements. With almost all of the tasks I found it imperative to try them out a few times. To do more than what is asked for as the first ones are often trials/getting it out of the way so to speak. More confidence is gained by trying this out, knowing that not everything hinges on one idea/experiment being ‘successful’. I am also learning to follow my own interest and voice. For instance although I did paint out some colour ‘swatches’ to use, cut and rip up. I was much more drawn to using found papers, old magazines or old art pieces.

To summarise what I feel is incomplete.

I have not:

  • written up my research on artists (Research Point 1)
  • Made and bound the book
  • Stuck in my work and added labels, considering presentation of themes, aesthetic and layout.

Reflection against assessment criteria

  • Demonstration of technical and visual skills – as I worked with the gouache, my understanding for its’ properties improved. The yarn wraps became less awkward the more I did them. My watercolour work needs some refinement and painting out stripes I realised I left some gaps in-between.
  • Quality of outcome – although there is no finished book I think there are the beginnings of communicating my work with some sense of coherence. There is an emerging format
  • Demonstration of creativity – this is probably strongest with the collages, especially the monochramatic and multi-coloured study. There is something about both that I have found to be my strongest pieces and I look forward to seeing how I can present them as a certain mood.
  • Context- some of this has occurred in the making. I have found making notes the best way rather than only rely on the blog. The blog allows me to summarise, but as I am working and making and experimenting many decisions are being made that are not noted or articulated other than in the way they inform my next decision