ATV Part 4 Assignment 4

 

A Yarn Collection.

I presented my work in a large A4 file. There was a lot of work to present and some of it was quite bulky. Before this work is sent away I will get another folder and make it into two books this way the work will be easier to look through. I have inserted a slide show of my yarn collection below.

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ATV Assignment 4 Written reflection

On starting this part of ATV I was slightly worried that I might find this section uninspiring. During my last video tutorial Pere and I had an interesting discussion and he suggested some artists work I might enjoy looking at. Having looked at their work I came away with lots of wild ideas as to what I might be able to achieve with yarn development. However following the brief to look back at previous work meant I had to rethink a little to fit with the pieces I had chosen to work from.

I feel I made a bit of a slow start with the first pieces, although I feel I did represent the texture and patterns of the initial pictures. I used a lucet to weave the random pattern which was a new skill to me and interwove it with wire. I used a flat weaving technique in Exercise 4.2 which was a slow process and I got a bit bored with it which I think is reflected in the work it produced.

Moving on through the exercises I used a variety of techniques to produce my pieces so by the time I reached Exercise 4.3 I had used a few of the techniques suggested. I opted to try macramé as it was something I didn’t know much about and associated it with planter holders from my childhood!

There are some beautiful pieces of jewellery made with macramé and it was very interesting to try out this new skill. It is something I hope to do more of.

Exercise 4.4 was where I feel I was at my most innovative. Using the watercolour palettes from the glass still life meant I looked at a number of translucent materials in an effort to find different processes to experiment with these ideas. Deconstructing methods consisted of cutting, punching, folding and melting. Some of these produced really nice effects and I was especially pleased with the embroidery threads that I encased in layered plastic sheet that was folded and melted several times, I then cut it into tiny pieces and joined it with translucent thread.

Assessment criteria

I think I have effectively shown a demonstration of technical and visual skills during this part of the course. I have learnt some new skills such as lucet weaving and some basic macramé techniques and I believe I have worked competently to show visual awareness, design and compositional skills. My yarn collection is presented in a coherent manner and I hope reflects and communicates my thoughts and ideas clearly. I feel I have demonstrated creativity in most aspects of this part of the course and I am aware of when an idea I have is working well and of where an idea is going to produce a piece which is not so inspiring or innovative. I am becoming more aware of my work and finding it easier to reflect on opinions, I enjoy researching ideas and it is something I do all the time, however it is something I will need to become better at recording in order to follow my idea processes. I am still keeping a lot of it in my head. I found some exciting information looking at how fibre optics and textiles are being produced and it is something I hope to go back to in the future.

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Assignment 5 Written reflection

My journey through A Textile Vocabulary has taken longer than I hoped. A year and three months since I started and like everyone studying part-time and distance learning there has been occasions when life has taken over and the studies have had to take a back seat. However they are never far from my mind and I enjoy working on my ideas whether it is theoretically or practically. I started out as a total beginner not even having much practical skills as far as sewing or other hand crafts are concerned and as well as doing the coursework I am constantly studying and researching techniques.

During this final assignment I have enjoyed the freedom of being able to produce developmental work with a more open, less restrictive approach to the themes. I have also enjoyed researching designers work that I find interesting and I am starting to see work I find inspiring and engaging in haute couture when it was not something I had considered before.

One of the hardest things about this collection was not trying too many different techniques. My head was full of ideas I would have liked to create but I didn’t necessarily have the skills to produce them and if I had taken the time to teach myself all of them I would never have finished. I liked the idea of creating a Nuno felted piece and a freeform crocheted and knitted piece but I have neither of these skills.

For my collection I experimented with a few ideas using heat manipulation. I tried techniques using a heat gun and steam. Using different items and wrapping them or using them to sculpt the fabric. Some of these were more successful than others. The light chiffon fabrics respond very quickly to the heat and make some great shapes which also produce interesting shadows when light is reflected through them. I would like to spend more time on this and would love to try techniques like Iris van Herpen used creating her ‘Water Dress’ where she melted a clear plastic and sculpted it.

Ideas

Finished sample

Now we are at the end of ATV I think my strengths lie in my enthusiasm to try new things and this has probably pushed me to experiment and research. I need to spend more time learning and practicing techniques including learning basic skills. As far as where I see myself heading in my own Textile practice, I’m not sure yet. If I was young and carefree I would apply to Iris van Herpen for an internship but I’m not… 😉

Demonstration of technical and visual skills

Reflecting on the work I have completed for this assignment I am content I have improved since starting ATV. I am becoming more comfortable experimenting with materials and techniques and I feel my ability to design and use composition has developed significantly because of it. My observation skills and visual awareness has always been a strength but I feel this is developing with every exercise and the constant research.

Quality of outcome

I think I have effectively applied my skills and knowledge to present my work in a coherent manner. This collection was rather bulky and adding my other project work and sketch book resulted in me having to send two parcels to my tutor. I hope my sketchbook effectively communicates my ideas. I feel I am still guilty of making leaps in my imagination and not demonstrating these ideas on paper. However I hope it is still possible to see my thought process with the work I have submitted.

Demonstration of creativity

I feel this is probably one of my strengths. My imagination is always thinking up ideas and I enjoy experimenting. However my basic skill set can’t always keep up but I am continually looking to learn new techniques and I am interested in all the new technology and what that could possibly mean for Textiles in the future. My personal voice is probably not that well established yet. I think I joined the course thinking I would like to create art quilts but with the continuing research I have looked at so many exciting ways of working I feel a bit like the proverbial child in a sweetie shop wanting to try everything. However I need to remind myself of time constraints otherwise nothing would ever get handed in.

Context

I feel through the development of my work I have continually reflected on it, following up with more research and reworking. I am always critical of my own work but I feel I am able to use this in a constructive way now. My confidence is improving and rather than being plagued by self doubt if something isn’t working I move on or make changes till I am more satisfied.

Assignment 5

The capsule collection

In this final assignment we are asked to reflect on the samples we have produced and consider the supporting work from the first two projects.

My capsule collection is based on the Nature’s Larder theme first explored in the Introductory project at the very start of ATV, however I have focussed on the marine environment this time. Looking at seaweeds and mussels.

During my research I was very drawn to textiles produced using unusual materials or those that were manipulated into unusual shapes. These fitted my initial ideas for producing a collection with texture and colour. I wanted the pieces that reflected seaweeds to also reflect movement as if you were viewing them underwater. During my sampling experiments I was excited by the shapes that could be produced by manipulating the fabrics with heat either through use of a heat gun or steam. I also wanted to see if I could produce a piece of seaweed inspired lace through free-embroidery which is another new skill I’m experimenting with.

The collection

‘Mussels’ fabric.

I wrapped mussel shells into the fabric and steamed it. I then hand painted to produce the detailing. I was quite pleased with this piece.

(Insert photo here)

Seaweed embroidered piece with scrap threads and free machine embroidery

Seaweed free embroidered piece.

I linoprinted a design and then drew it on soluble stabiliser which I then free embroidered. I didn’t dry this totally flat as I did with the test piece, this allowed it to dry in a curly and crinkly way.

Before the stabiliser was rinsed away.

And after

I was pleased with the way this turned out, but if I was doing this again I would maybe make the design larger as it shrinks when you wash out the stabiliser especially if you don’t dry it flat. I would also consider doing this again on chiffon or a similar fabric.

Seaweeds

Heat manipulated fabrics with a heat gun and sewn together. I wanted to give the impression of seaweeds under the water. I’m not as happy with this piece. I was most excited with the grey chiffon as I loved the shapes and shadows created by the heat manipulation. I feel I may have tried to do too much by adding several types of fabric.

Seaweed – Sugar kelp

This was made by manipulating clear PVC with a heat gun. I folded and sculpted the fabric as I used the gun. I coloured it with spray PVC dye after a failed attempt at painting with acrylics. I sewed the strips together to create the impression of fronds hanging together.

Seaweeds – Bladderwrack

A mixture of fabric that was wrapped around beads and steamed and crocheted chains which were stitched to a stretchy mesh that made me think of fishing net. This worked well, I think the mixture of fabrics worked together. The interesting textures complemented one another.

ATV Part 3 Written Reflection

At first I thought I might find this part of ATV challenging as I have diagnosed colour blindness. When I was younger during an eye test I was presented with a colourful book of circle patterns with numbers hidden within them. As I worked through the book slowly not being able to pick out the numbers I was told I was blue-green colour blind which was very unusual for a female! However working through some of the online resources has brought me to the conclusion it must be fairly mild.

Apart from this, other things I have learned from the exercises in this section are:

  • Working with neutral colours is much harder to match, the variations in tone are so subtle it is very difficult to precisely mix paint to get a correct comparison.
  • Textured fabrics also cause a similar problem. Depending on how the light hits them or the quality of the light can produce lots of tones making it very difficult to match.
  • Looking at the Old Masters painting and the ‘colourless’ glass showed me that by observing them closely the variety of colours and tones I was missing before.
  •  I am definitely drawn to colours you are more likely to find in the natural environment rather than bright, vivid colours.

Assessment according to course criteria:

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

I feel I have satisfactorily completed this assignment. I created a clear and well presented colour resource book. My page layouts represent visual awareness and good design skills and I have used a variety of materials and techniques to produce the book. I hope the variety of work displayed within the book demonstrates a good understanding of techical and visual skills. I feel I could improve on the watercolour studies as I don’t feel they are a good representation of my compositional skills as I have produced a palette of colours rather than a striped design. I got a little confused at the outcome I was trying to produce and it was only while writing my work up I realised my mistake.

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

I think the quality of my colour book is of a good standard, it is clear and laid out in a coherent manner.

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

This section probably allows least for demonstrating creativity as it was more constructed than the previous ones. However I hope I have demonstrated a level of creativity in the fabrics I have chosen, the extended layouts and the production of the colour book. The stitched front cover was inspired by looking at Ptolemy Mann’s work.

Context, reflection, research, critical thinking.

I’ve researched a number of artists and designers reflecting on whether their work appeals to me or not. I’ve used critical thinking as I’ve reflected on my own work and as I have worked through my learning log. I’ve also researched and trialled some colour research digital tools and resources, reflected on their outcomes and applied critical thinking to their usefulness.

ATV Part 3 Assignment 3

This assignment requires me to produce a portfolio of the colour work I have completed. It requires the work to be well presented in a interesting and professional way in a book format.

I had given quite a bit of thought as to how to do this as my tutor had suggested he would like to see something I had made rather than bought to present my work in. I decided to make a hand bound A3 portfolio with a hand stitched front cover. I bound the book with multicoloured waxed thread and cut a frame out of mount board for the front cover. This is a slide show of my finished work.

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ATV Part 2 Written reflection

I’m really enjoying the course so far, my main issue is fitting in the time to do it as I definitely spend more than eight hours a week on it.

I’ve enjoyed the paper manipulation I had no real concept of the possibilities of this prior to starting and I spent a bit of time on Pinterest looking at what was possible. To some extent this led me to choose the techniques I wanted to try out more than the original drawings informing the pieces, although I tried to keep bringing myself back to the drawings in an effort to stick to the brief. On reflection they probably did have a influence on my thinking on a subconscious level as when I returned to the drawings I could see where it was linking together.

My use of bark was something I decided to try as my tutor encouraged thinking quite broadly about materials and being experimental.

I find I spend a lot of time thinking about my projects and how to develop them in my head rather than in my sketchbook. This is something I need to work on. I have enrolled on an Art and Design course at my local college and I hope this might help my understanding of sketchbook development and let go of the fear of putting down ideas that are not fully developed.

I enjoy the research aspect of this course but I need to document it better and record more of it in my learning log. I intend to go back and review the research I have already undertaken and present a better record of it.

My technical abilities are somewhat lacking and I find I also have to research these as I go along. However this was a reason for starting this course as I have no excuses to stop me from getting on and doing something when I have a deadline looming. I am quite lucky as I am generally quite a practical person and can usually pick up skills quite quickly my issue is concentrating on the technique I’ve researched and not getting drawn into all the other possibilities I come across. I am looking forward to exploring them all!

Reflection based on assessment criteria

Demonstration of technical and visual skills

I am probably a little under skilled in my knowledge of materials and techniques but I am building on them all the time. I’m not afraid to try being experimental as I have no previous knowledge or assumptions to constrain me. I think my observational skills and visual awareness are good and my design and compositional skills are increasing.

Quality of outcome

I was quite pleased with the overall finished pieces as I had tackled different aspects of the brief with each piece. I chose very different base textiles for each piece and also used a variety of stitching techniques. The course encourages you to concentrate on the development of a process that allows you to create original work and I feel I have made a clear move away from the original source material. I have consistently used the previous work to inform my thinking on my next steps and I hope I have successfully managed to communicate my ideas and thought process. My presentation is more coherent than in Part 1.

Demonstration of creativity

I feel I have successfully shown imagination, experimentation and invention in at least two of the final pieces. The piece with the leaves is slightly more of a picture and if I had more time I may have added to this with layers of fabric. As for the development of a personal voice I feel I may be in the very early stages of this. I see too many interesting techniques I want to experiment with to feel I have a specific process yet.

Context

My research and critical thinking skills are fairly well developed and I may just need to show this better by my official recording of it. I need to improve on my reflection skills as I sometimes feel uncomfortable voicing my thoughts and opinions.

ATV Part 2 Assignment 2

Stitching: Placed and spaced

As the final section of Part 2 we are asked to develop three stitched textile works building on from the paper explorations. I wanted to further experiment with the bark I had stitched into before, but I wanted to explore different ways of merging it with my stitched work. Upon considering the stitches I used to embellish the origami crumpling flower I wondered if I could work this type of stitching to create a work with the bark.

My initial thoughts in my sketchbook.

I used a piece of heavy upholstery felt that I had held onto after a bed delivery. I then glued the bark in layers leaving a section empty where I would stitch into. My idea was to build up a moss and lichen surface as you would find growing on the tree. I actually purchased a little florist moss which I was going to use to build it up but in the end I preferred using my stitches to build up texture. I used a mixture of french knots of varying number of loops, I cut through stitches to create fluffy, hairier types of moss and I used a mixture of greens and greys to build it up. Where there were some splits in the bark I added a few sections of brown cut stitches. It was fairly labour intensive and took longer than I had expected but I haven’t really done embroidery before only cross stitch. When I was younger the embroidery kits bored me as they didn’t give much space for doing your own thing! However I really enjoyed doing this piece and I was quite pleased with the work. I’m afraid I didn’t stick to the suggestion to stick with material that possess relatively traditional qualities for this piece but I do think this piece could be used as a basis for a wall covering if it was manipulated using digital means it could be repeated and stretched.


Moving on with the natural theme when I had originally taken leaves in the Autumn from the Japanese maple I had decided to try and preserve some with the possibility of using them in my work at some point. I preserved them in a mixture of glycerine and water which meant they held a slight flexibility to them and didn’t dry out to much. They didn’t quite retain the bright red colour but had dulled down to a purply brown colour. My composed paper sample of the leaves blowing from the tree worked quite well and I wondered how I could transfer this to material. 

I took white cotton and tried to watercolour it with my Caran d’ache neocolour II pastels. I wanted the sky to have a muted colour scheme. I was trying to replicate the colours you get in a wintery skyline when there is a break of sunlight through the grey clouds and a glimpse of the blue sky. I wanted to use stitch to create the wind trails and applique my leaves into the picture. I initially thought I would use a sewing machine to accomplish this but after a bit of experimentation I realised I would need to learn more about machine embroidery techniques. I was actually glad this happened as hand stitching it meant I had more control and could play with the length and density of the stitch, giving the desired effect of the wind blowing and changing strength. I used white and grey threads to give the impression of cold. I stitched the leaves onto the piece after considering placement using a stitch that followed some of the veins much like I had in one of my paper samples. I used a similar shade so the stitching blended in.


My third piece was inspired by the paper tesselation and the geometric patterns within the dress drawing and my subsequent paper pieces.I was quite interested in this and the shapes that could be produced. I had continued some research into this and wondered about the possibility of fabric being manipulated in this way. I was interested to find the fashion designer Issey Myake had produced collections using this style, (Issey Miyake Origami Fold 132 5 Eco-fashion line Reality Lab, 2011). This inspired me to find out how I could try this in some small way. I discovered a piece of footage (Get Fabric Pleated, 2015) where a company called Ciment Pleating explained the process in how they pleat fabrics by using a steamer.

I first had to make two molds from Kraft paper which I had several mistakes but eventually produced two pieces.


I then sandwiched a piece of white polyester between the two pieces, refolded and clamped the three layers together.

I put it in my oven at 160 C and put a dish of water in the base of the oven and left it in for 15mins. After removing it I waited till it had cooled totally before holding my breath and unfolding it. I was delighted with the result.


My stitching on this piece was very simple. I tried a couple of different ideas firstly stitching floral patterns and also using shiny embroidery thread which didn’t work well with the fabric or the drape. I settled on a basic line of stitching to highlight the zigzagging lines. I then stitched it into a tube, I liked the way the fabric draped. I think this could be developed it would make an interesting cuff on a blouse or similar. I like how it distorts the traditional floral pattern on the original fabric it gives a very different appearance to the fabric.

Issey Miyake (2011) [user-generated content online] Creat. Cliklab, 19 Feb 2011 At: https://youtu.be/4gdxhNnytSs

(Accessed on 1 December 2017)

Get Fabric Pleated (2015) [user-generated content] Creat. Stitchless, 6 June 2015 At: https://youtu.be/TtgaQhNDSxw

(Accessed on 30 December 2017)