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.

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ATV Part 5 Project 2 Building a response

Identity and present your colour palette

Following my development of drawings I have chosen these colour palettes inspired by photos and drawings from the marine environment.

Be inspired by an artist or designer

Lee Alexander MacQueen

I want to hold my hand up to being guilty of not paying much attention to fashion in the past. I always felt very removed from the culture of trends and catwalk collections. Clothing for me was about practicalities and what was available although I always veered to more unusual looks if I was exposed to them. Now having the internet we are exposed to so much information it’s possible to find designers that appeal to you or watch catwalk shows of the latest or past collections and even to see some of the processes involved in creating them.

During my research of these, MacQueen’s work really stood out to me. As I have said knowing nothing about him I did research only to discover sadly he is no longer here and that we shared a birthday. I also discovered he was fascinated by his Scottish heritage and his ancestors belonged to an area of Skye where my own came from.

I think his work was particularly inspiring as he broke boundaries producing his collections. You can see the commitment to the theme he is trying to convey. His catwalk shows were more like performance art and the outfits often made from unusual materials which produced reactions of shock and awe. He was certainly a master of his craft.

I am particularly drawn to the work created for his Voss Spring/Summer 2001 collection, the colours in the green outfits, the razorshell dress and the outfits made with mussel shells. Other things were the embroidery, the asymmetric cuts and the use of unusual materials as in the red microscope slide dress.

Fig.1. Alexander McQueen Spring 2001 Ready-to-Wear Fashion Show (2001)

Fig. 2. Alexander McQueen Spring 2001 Ready-to-Wear Fashion Show (2001)

Fig. 3. Voss, Alexander McQueen (2001)

Fig. 4. Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer (2001)

Fig. 5. Exotic Pieces of Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty Fashion

Iris van Herpen

Iris van Herpen is a Dutch fashion designer. Since her first show in 2007 she has continued to investigate and invent new ways of combining traditional and radical materials within her garment construction producing futuristic looking forms.

Van Herpen innovative approach has included the use of 3D printing as a garment construction technique and her work is almost a form of sculpture. In terms of research for this project I was particularly drawn to her ‘Water Dress’. For this piece she collaborated with Nick Knight who captured high speed footage of model Daphne Guinness being splashed with black and clear water. She then chose her final idea from one of the many images and heated and sculpted plastic to produce the dress.

Fig. 6. Iris van Herpen Water Dress (2013)

Fig. 1. and Fig. 2. Alexander McQueen Spring 2001 Ready-to-Wear Fashion Show (2001) At: https://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/spring-2001-ready-to-wear/alexander-mcqueen/slideshow/collection (Accessed on 30 Nov 2018)

Fig. 3. Voss, Alexander McQueen (2001) At: http://the-widows-of-culloden.tumblr.com/post/37041389700/pauvres-deactivated20140521-voss-alexander (Accessed on 30 Nov 2018)

Fig. 4. Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer (2001) At: http://bosconos.tumblr.com/post/93706683575/archivings-alexander-mcqueen-springsummer-2001 (Accessed on 30 Nov 2018)

Fig. 5. Exotic Pieces of Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty Fashion (2015) At: https://tommybeautypro.wordpress.com/2015/09/18/exotic-pieces-of-alexander-mcqueens-savage-beauty-fashion/amp/ (Accessed on 30 Nov 2018)

Fig. 6. Iris van Herpen Water Dress (2013) At: https://www.irisvanherpen.com/news/water-dress-shooting-with-nick-knight-and-daphne-guinness (Accessed on 30 Nov 2018)

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 Project 1 Research point 1

Part 3 of A Textile Vocabulary is primarily focused on colour mainly through observation, analysis and examination of physical media. Initially we are asked to research the work of some textile artists and designers.

Voyage Decoration

The company Voyage Decoration creates soft furnishings and wallpapers etc. They have a number of collections which portray different designs and colour palettes. The company has a signature watercolour look running throughout their work. They have a number of collections each one taking a small palette of colours and mixing it with a specific style of prints. The colour ties to the look of prints for example muted colours with traditional prints and vibrant colours with modern abstract designs or using more traditional prints and modernising the colour scheme by using a variety of shades.

Natural History Collection

This depicts botanical types sketchbook drawn pictures on a background of muted, natural colours.

Boutique Collection

This collection has a much more art and crafts feel, using much more vibrant colours with bold patterns depicting flora and fauna from the British countryside and Scandinavian folk art. The way the colour is used gives the designs a much more modern feel, modern checks and neutral wovens are also featured in this collection complementing the bolder pieces.

Couture Collection 

Taking inspiration from the catwalk this collection continues to draw on influences from the natural world. These are conveyed in modern fluid pieces blending shades of colour with metallic and embroidered sequin embellishments. I particularly liked the Alchemy Lustre Collection. It uses shades of sapphire, amethyst and moonlight and I loved the mix of colour and prints, especially the Galatea print which is a dreamscape of irregular horizontal stripes digitally printed on velvet capturing the original painting.

http://voyagedecoration.com/fabric-collections/couture/alchemy-lustre/galatea/

http://voyagedecoration.com   Accessed on 12 February 2018

Mary Katrantzou 

Is a fashion designer who studied architecture before graduating in textile design and fashion. Her graduation show in 2008 which featured trompe l’oeil prints of oversized jewellery on jersey-bonded dresses took the industry by storm and immediately secured a place for her in this field becoming known as “The Queen of Print”. She has had an enormous influence in this medium using digital printing to experiment with print in a way that fine arts and other methods can’t.

The complicated prints often take days to create, she uses a very varied and daring mix of colour and pattern. Vibrant, multi-coloured, bold prints. Geometric prints, bold florals and nature-inspired shapes mixed with stripes, polka dots or checks.

Her Spring Summer 2018 Collection is inspired by childhood, an idealised view on it but a child’s imagination is the only limit. Her collection is a creation of bold, vibrant colour like a child’s colouring pen collection mixed with shapes, fabrics motifs and designs summoned from remembrance of childhood, she uses digital printing techniques enabling her to engineer a three dimensional quality. The colour and design being interdependent to the desired outcome.

Key piece Look 37 from her Spring Summer 2018 Collection 

This piece was obviously inspired by painting by numbers. It is a voluminous dress with bold, oversized florals which are coloured brightly with some sections of the design left uncoloured. It is a fun design, not something I would choose to wear, it is a little bold for me! 

https://www.marykatrantzou.com/collections/spring-summer-2018/ Accessed on 12 February 2018
Ptolemy Mann

Ptolemy Mann is a contemporary textile artist and designer known for her unique and colourful hand woven artworks and textile designs.

She emphasises her work is underpinned by colour theory. Her collection of flat weave rugs explore geometry and colour inspired by the Bauhaus movement. Her signature hand dyed and woven techniques have more recently inspired commercially produced furnishings and her unique approach has brought her craft into the 21st century. She uses her trademark ikat techniques to blur the edges of the vibrant colours in her Copper and Silk light shades, but her ability to branch into more commercial industry is underpinned by her profound understanding of colour interaction.

www.ptolemymann.com Accessed on 14 February 2018
www.ptolemymannrugs.com Accessed on 14 February 2018

ATV Part 2 Research point 1

Ian Berry

Ian Berry works solely with denim he receives donations from all over the world as well as neighbours leaving bags of them outside his door. He uses the washes and fades in the denim to create the most amazing pieces. Each piece within his work is cut from the gradient of the shade within a pair of jeans and this is what helps create the painted, hyper-realistic look. He also has to acknowledge the direction of the warp and weft as he cuts his pieces, following these lines and the direction the texture of the denim takes. In all, a very time-consuming process.

His work often depicts a lonely or less glamorous side of city living.

Fig. 1. Ian Berry (2015) Searching for the Faith and Hope (Soap)

Often even when viewers are within touching distance of the work they don’t realise they are looking at many layers and shades of denim jeans.

Fig. 2. Ian Berry (2016) Behind Closed Doors

Hannah Streefkerk

While looking for artists that used mending in their technique I came across Hannah Streefkerk, her work really resonated with me especially after using bark and leaves in my last pieces.

Her work is nature-oriented, she finds inspiration within her natural environment from water and land formations. She uses her understanding of these natural structures and patterns and uses her own stitching and crocheting style to create awareness of environmental problems by ‘mending’ nature.

She often exhibits in the great outdoors which brings its own challenges having to carry her equipment and walk some distance to the place. She also says although she enjoys the challenge of working like this she feels sometimes in awe of her surroundings and feels that her work will never be able to compete. However she states, “When I’m long enough in that place something will show up in my head, and that feeling is fantastic. But to really create site-specific work is the best and hardest work I know.” (Daniel, TextileArtist, 2016)

Fig. 3. Hannah Streefkerk (2015) Reflection

Daniel, Textileartist. (2016) Hannah Streefkerk: Mending Nature. At: https://www.textileartist.org/Hannah-Streefkerk-mending-nature (Accessed on 26 January 2018)

Fig. 1, BERRY, Ian. (2015) Searching for the faith and hope (soap). IanBerry [online] Available at: http://www.ianberry.org/home/searching-for-the-faith-and-hope (Accessed on 20 January 2018)

Fig. 2, BERRY, Ian. (2016) Behind closed doors. IanBerry [online] Available at: http://www.ianberry.org/home/behind-closed-doors (Accessed on 20 January 2018)

Fig. 3, STREEFKERK, Hannah. (2015) Reflection. Textile Artist [online] Available at: https://www.textileartist.org/hannah-streefkerk-mending-nature/hannah-streefkerk-reflection2015-plastic-sheets-sewed-together-with-yarn-the-kristals-are-placed-around-a-small-pond-on-the-island-ameland-the-netherlands (Accessed on 26 January 2018)

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.