ATV Part 3 Exercise 3.1 Gouache studies

The aim of this exercise is to help me collate, observe and record colour palettes from a series of textiles.

Part 1

I chose three printed samples with colour and two neutral textiles with texture or patterned surface. Using these we were required to use gouache paint and produce colour matching tests. I had not used gouache paint before and did not have a wide selection of colours therefore quite a bit of mixing and experimenting was required. Occasionally when I felt I had a good match only for it to dry and not be quite right. It left me wishing I had purchased a much bigger tube of white (a little hint for future students!)

Part 2

The second part of this exercise required choosing one printed sample and cutting a piece approximately 10cm x 10cm and extending it’s design. Then colour match the design using the gouache paint. I quite enjoyed this part and it was fairly successful but it is very difficult to reproduce the digitally printed colours accurately.

Part 3

This time choosing a neutral sample colour matching and extending the design. The sample I chose had a creamy white fabric with semi-transparent circles. The circles picked up the white of the background paper and when I initially started painting I was going to use the creamy colour then go back in with the white to pick up the circle design. I quickly realised this wasn’t going to work as the white gouache paint was not the same white as the paper, so I then painstakingly painted between every circle to make the sample work.

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.   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! 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. Accessed on 14 February 2018 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: (Accessed on 26 January 2018)

Fig. 1, BERRY, Ian. (2015) Searching for the faith and hope (soap). IanBerry [online] Available at: (Accessed on 20 January 2018)

Fig. 2, BERRY, Ian. (2016) Behind closed doors. IanBerry [online] Available at: (Accessed on 20 January 2018)

Fig. 3, STREEFKERK, Hannah. (2015) Reflection. Textile Artist [online] Available at: (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.


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:

(Accessed on 1 December 2017)

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

(Accessed on 30 December 2017)

ATV Part 2 Project 2, Exercise 2.4

Exercise 2.4 Developed and composed samples

Moving on to create two more developed and composed samples of stitching into paper. I firstly decided to take the layered tissue paper. I liked the way the creases in the layers looked like movement and I was considering the drawings of the leaves and how I could make a textural piece portraying the movement of leaves blowing in the wind.

My sketchbook work up

First I created a new base to stich into I used tracing paper as a backing then layered tissue paper I then sandwiched some rough twine and layered with more tissue paper this gave me a nice rough quality that looked like a tree swaying in the wind. I then stitched leaf shapes in various ways  to make them look like they had blown from the tree.  I was going to stitch lots more below the tree but this would have been too time consuming so I stitched in a piece of paper gauze making shapes to give the impression of a pile of leaves.

I was quite pleased with the way this worked out however it is a slight digression away from the brief to use our original drawings. This was more an idea that built up from the drawings through the process of the paper manipulation and onto the stitching.

My second piece was further to my previous interest in the dress detail. I wanted to create a geometric design with floral shapes intertwined. I drafted a rough design in my sketchbook and then proceeded to choose the sample of layered kitchen paper which was very lightly patterned already.

I used some of these markings to pick out and pierce through before stitching the floral shapes. I used a thin long stitch to make a hexagonal honeycomb design. I decided to keep this design black and white which brought focus to the stitch and pattern. I was fairly happy with the result however the amount of stitching detail is not quite balanced and could either do with less or more. If more of the white space was filled with a variety of florals or it was scaled back to include just one central floral shape. I think it would have been interesting to add an insect shape but I didn’t consider this at the time.

ATV Part 2 Project 2 Exercise 2.3

Exercise 2.3 Drawing with stitch onto paper

This is the origami crumpling piece which I decided to overstitch the edges to highlight and enhance it’s floral appearance. My drawings of the roses used long strokes to bring out the colours within the rose and I used some long stitches working from the inner folds to the top to try to recreate this I finished with some knotting inside the folds. I had to be very careful not to tear the paper and try not to pierce it to close to the nearest hole. Overall I think this worked well although if I was using this method again I would start using a different colour of tissue paper as it’s pretty unusual to see a green flower!

I used a long stitch in white wool to highlight these sections of this tessellated paper. I wanted to produce even lines that enhance its shape. I considered stitching other sections with black wool but decided on this occasion to keep it simple.

I took a piece of the card I had scrubbed the surface of and using gold embroidery thread I stitched some of the detail on the button. I used varying thickness to show areas where my lines were heavier and lighter.

Here I took crumpled tracing paper and stitched an outline of the leaf shape and some of the vein markings. I had to stitch carefully as the tissue paper is transparent and the back stitches needed to follow the same lines as the front. The paper was very fragile so I created holes with a needle first before sewing.

Here I looked back on my drawings of the mended areas of the shawl. The mending was very haphazard and jumbled. I had this great wool in the cupboard which had pieces of long and short fuzzy pieces in it. I decided to use it to lace a couple of the pieces of punched tracing paper together. 

This is one of my experiments using bark. I decided to highlight some of the natural markings within the bark much like I had with the crumpled tissue paper. Using shiny embroidery thread in colours mimicing the bark I hoped to stitch highlights into the areas of interest. This gave me a couple of issues as the bark splits easily giving horizontal tears. I held the bark in layers by using webbed tape that you generally use for plastering walls. It was quite useful as it gave a surface much like a cross stitch fabric would and helped to hold the stitches.

This piece was folded tissue layered with tracing paper and trying thin and layered stitching. I had been looking at the drawing of the detail and some of the areas have almost dotted or dashed lines where they are very fine and some of the floral shapes are very bold and dark which I tried to show by using a thicker long stitch to colour the area in. This is my sketchbook drawing prior to trying this.

I think this would have been more successful on fabric. The paper breaks down when you add to much stitching.

ATV Part 2 Project 1 Creating surfaces Exercise 2.1

Project 1 Creating surfaces

This part of the course builds on the folio of work I have created in Part 1. I will be carrying out exploratory work to enhance my skills and methods of sampling I will need to direct me in the creation of textile samples. I will use my original drawings to inform some of my initial ideas but I need to be aware to move away from the source material as I start my journey of interpreting them into my own work.

Exercise 2.1 Selecting

From my inital folio of work I have chosen six drawings to work from

I have chosen this drawing of a button because I think the mark making effectively shows the detail. 

I like the bright colours and the use of line in this drawing. I feel it conveys the curving organic shape of the rose.

I have chosen this drawing as it is colourful and it has interesting patterns and detail.

I have chosen this ink drawing as I think the intricate detail is a very interesting visual quality and it could provide lots of inspiration.

I like the colours and composition of this drawing

ATV Part 2 Project 1 Exercise 2.2

Paper manipulation library 

As a complete newbie to this I hadn’t really heard of paper manipulation so my initial reaction was to have a look around the internet to see what it meant by “manipulation”. I discovered lots of interesting ways in which paper can be used to create art and so I felt inspired to have a try at a few ideas.

I started by choosing some papers to work with by thinking of some of the qualities these bring to mind.

Tracing paper – light, airy, translucent, filmy, shiny, sheer, thin

Cartridge paper – durable, long lasting, strong, crisp,

Patterned kitchen paper – delicate, layered, fine, lacy, soft

Brown envelope – strong, tough, hard wearing, heavyweight 

Tissue paper – fragile, thin, opaque, soft

Starting with my leaves picture it inspired a paper sample of layered tissue paper. I felt the tissue paper represented the fragility of the leaves. I also manipulated a piece of kitchen paper which had patterns it was soaked and then squeezed flat and dried quickly in a pocket which helped it not to break up. I am pleased with the lacy fragile texture with tiny holes in it. It is reminiscent of the holes in the leaves as they start to break down.

Both of the rose drawings made me think of soft layers so I created some samples using tissue paper and kitchen paper. The kitchen paper I tore into strips and layered overlapping each strip. With the tissue paper I used an origami crumpling method which consists of folding and twisting and was inspired by the video on YouTube by Eric Gjerde (2013). I was really pleased with the effect this produced. It was a very organic shape and quite flower like. 

The collage of the shawl brought to mind a few different techniques. I created some woven paper samples, one with an even weave using cartridge paper and another using tracing paper and brown paper. In this one I positioned the pieces in an orderly manner to begin with and then in a chaotic manner on the second half. I was thinking how the woven shawl had worn and the weave had broken down while doing this. The shawl inspired some more pieces. Using the design as a starting point I scored cartridge paper in a paisley style pattern. I had to be careful not to cut all the way around the shape in order to leave paper to try curling sections of it. I liked the curls of paper and the raised appearance this gave. Other patterns within the scarf were made up of dots of colour and this inspired me to try piercing patterns into a piece of light card. I used a folding and tearing technique which reminded me of being a child at school when we would make paper snowflakes using a similar method. Remembering the worn and mended area of the shawl I used tracing paper to imitate the worn lighter areas of fabric. I tore this into strips and then used a hole punch to randomly pierce through it and then layered it haphazardly. I also used tracing paper and folded it in a  pleating method which was inspired by the way the shawl was presented to me in the archive.

My drawing of the detail on the dress has an interesting mix of almost geometric patterns mixed with floral. The dress was made of layers the first being crisp and papery the second light and silky and the third was light and translucent. I wanted to try more tessellation after trying the origami crumpling technique and thought this would fit with the patterns within the dress. I tried several different versions of this mainly on catridge paper as it was the most suitable for this type of work.

My picture of the button led me to try a scoring technique where I tried to copy the stitching pattern. This didn’t work quite how I had envisaged partly due to the paper. I think it would have been better to try this method on a stiffer card. Using a brown craft card I wetted the surface and scrubbed it with a scourer I felt this worked better giving a soft fuzzy texture much like the moleskin of the coat.

As a bit of an experiment I was inspired by nature to try layering birch bark. It has a very papery texture and I wondered how it would work layering and peeling sections and if I would be able to stitch into it in the next section.

Gjerde, E, published 31 July 2013 Origami crumpling instructions, video recording, YouTube, viewed 3 November 2017 


PART 2 Surface and stitch

Project 1 Creating surfaces

After receiving my tutors feedback which was on the whole very positive I felt very enthused to continue with my studies. One thing that became apparent during the first part of my studies was that I had to form a work space in my home. I had been working of the kitchen table and any spare surfaces available. I was wasting time putting my materials away and also found it hard to find to concentrate at times. I gave myself a week to decorate, lay flooring and build furniture to give myself a small studio space. So yeah I was a bit optimistic about the time needed but I now have somewhere to work. The downside of this is I had to put back an assessment date as I hadn’t had time to do my studies. So here I am starting all over again.

Exercise 2.1 Selecting

The aim of this exercise is to help me increase my ability to evaluate and review my work. I am required to select works that will inform my next stage of development.

These are the six pieces I chose

I feel these choices offer me lots of opportunity for ideas and design development. The negative space created using layered leaves produced interesting shapes as well as the build up of the colours. My other leaf painting makes me think of the feeling of movement, like the wind blowing them in the wind.

The drawings of roses remind me of the soft texture and the folding and curling of the petals and the way they wrap around one another. Interesting possibilities for paper and fabric.

The black and white detail of the dress I particularly like. The shapes within it are very strong and an interesting mix of floral and geometric which I would like to focus on and develop.

The other pictures are a mixture of softer lines and detailed patterns which could be interesting to focus in on and play about with.