Tutor Report assignment 2

Overall Comments

From the work you have sent me, there is evidence of a clear understanding of colour and colour relationships. Your samples also indicate that you are able to both select and use colour in a sensitive way. You have shown a growing confidence in developing your ideas from appropriate starting points through to some interesting and original samples. You have experimented widely with a good range of techniques and processes and as a result, have augmented your skills base.

The documentation of your progress is thorough and the presentation of your work is such that it communicates your intentions in a clear and unambiguous way. Reference to the work of textile artists shows that you are able to establish links between common ways of working and approaches and to relate this to your own work. Good progress, Julie, I am looking forward to seeing your next assignment.

Assessment potential (after Assignments 1 and 4)

I understand your aim is to go for the BA Textiles Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, providing you commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the potential to succeed at assessment. In order to meet all the assessment criteria, there are certain areas you will need to focus on, which I will outline in my feedback.

Feedback on assignment

Project 3 Colour


• To help you to understand and actively explore basic colour theory
• To develop an understanding of the relationship between colour and mood
• To apply your knowledge of colour theory to the development of sketchbook work

The first stage of this project allowed you to really get to grips with colour theory and colour matching. This always sounds easier than it actually is in practice, which I think you found out! Your choice of shiny patterned fabric presented challenges in terms of accurately reproducing the clarity and density of the colours and the tonal ranges change when you view from different directions. However, when viewed from a distance, you came quite close to matching the originals. Your stage three matching exercise was rather more accurate and close to the originals. Experimentation with colour and mood showed that you have a good grasp of the emotional power of colour. This should be a useful reference for the future.

Stage 5

This was a great learning experience for you in that you were able to see for yourself the extent to which the density of the stitch and the thickness of the thread can intensify the colours. There were also some interesting green afterimages, particularly when you introduced the metallic threads. Is this because of the reflective qualities of the yarns maybe?

The optical colour mixing you achieved with the French knot samples were really effective. Equally successful and quicker were the free machined samples. There was a good surface contrast here; one worth remembering.

The sample produced with reference to the rock pool made good use of your drawing, particularly in terms of exploring colour and mood but it might be worth trying this again with a variety of different stitches to create different surface qualities e.g. contrasting smooth and rough surfaces. Think about some of the experimentation you did with mark making in assignment 1.

I would like to try this, the course material only asked us to use French knots to create a pixelated image.

Understanding the textile world

Gold work bag

This indeed is a lovely object and I can see why you had to have it! It has a timeless quality to it and it made me think about the many textile references it makes. I think it is certainly Indian in origin and it might be worth doing a little more research in terms of the design source and construction technique. It also bears a passing resemblance to Elizabethan stump work. What is the significance of the subject matter do you think? Is there some symbolic reference in the choice of the peacock as the central motif?

thank you, I will have a look and expand this research.

Project 4 Developing design ideas

• To help you to develop your compositional skills
• To help you to understand the interrelationship of the elements of design
• To use a design process in order to develop your visual ideas

Project 4 stage 2

Your exploration of images taken from your sketchbook consolidated earlier compositional exercises. Is it possible for you to now recognize what makes an exciting/dynamic composition? Which of your four exercises in looking for shapes do you think is most successful in this respect?

The one you chose to take further gave you the opportunity to experiment with different media and I thought your choice of sgraffito worked very well indeed but introducing a further textural element. How might this translate into stitch? I also thought the collage example worked well in terms of surface although at this point, I think that the visual elements, shape, line, texture and composition were less well integrated. The proportions were somehow distorted as you moved from one medium to another; something to bear in mind for the future.

Your choice of subject matter for the next exercise provided you with some strong shapes to work with and when you moved into colour, there seemed to be a strong affinity with your fairground art work in your sketchbook. Is this colour association at work here do you think?

I think so, but I grew up with fairground art all around me. Particularly traditional fairgrounds like Carter’s steam fair. So it is only natural for me to be drawn to it

Experimentation with digital manipulation gave you a quick and easy means of seeing the potential of your image in a variety of repeats. You created some very different effects. Which repeats did you think were most successful in terms of their overall design? What effect did changing the scale of the repeat have on the repeat pattern? It would be interesting to try this design in another colourway. Think about the earlier work you did with colour and mood.

The simplified repeat with the button and belt design showed an increasing recognition of the value of simplifying and abstracting your images further. This was a simple yet effective repeat which served you well in your later printing samples.

Interlude experimenting with printing and painting

There was some great experimentation with basic mark making here which lent itself readily to experimentation with simple print techniques. You made an interesting reference to possibilities with knit. I think you should follow this up if you have time. Alternatively, it may adapt to weave in a later assignment.

There were many samples here in which you gained valuable experience of overprinting and experimenting with various repeats. It would be useful for you to reflect on which you felt were particularly successful and why.

Project 5 Painting and printing.

• To help you to develop design ideas through the use of paint and print.
You selected a good range of contrasting designs to take forward into printing. I thought that the simple zig zag design was very effective, partly because of the choice of a muted colour palette. You might like to give further thought as to how you could mount these samples when thinking about assessment. They may be better as a swatch, rather than stuck into your book with masking tape.

I felt that the diamond repeat was less successful. Maybe it would have benefitted from further simplification; the use of several different motifs seemed to clutter your design somewhat.

By far the strongest print was the button print. This worked equally well at different scales and the digital print gave it the crispness that it needed. This is another print that I would have loved to see in a different colour way.

Final Print

It was interesting to see the reversal of positive/ negative in this print. I think this happened because you didn’t have the strength of the dark diamond to maintain the overall balance. It nevertheless retains that strong fairground feel that you were looking for but loses some of the richness of your original design. This design may well work as an applique in the next project.

On reflection I think I will go back to this print and the dark diamond to add more balance it just doesn’t look quite finished to me either.

Learning Logs/Critical essays

The documentation of your projects is systematic and factual. It would be helpful if you could extend your reflections to consider how well your outcomes work in terms of the interrelationship of the design elements e.g. pattern, shape, colour, repeat etc.

You have extended your references to the work of other artists, designers etc. and this is a welcome development. Could you also maybe include some imagery which illustrates the points you are making about their work?


You have sent me several images from your sketchbook which looks very promising, particularly in relation to your interest in fairground art. You might like to include some visual references to the development of the traditional aspects of this art form. There may also be artists who have drawn similar inspiration from this source. It could be worth an internet search. Could you please send me your sketchbook with your next assignment?

Suggested reading/viewing

Weedon G 1981​Fairground Art

Below is a link to the Sheffield University National Fairground Archive which you may find interesting.


Pointers for the next assignment

The next assignment gives you the opportunity to work directly with materials, techniques and processes. You already have considerable technical ability from previous courses, so try to push yourself beyond more traditional approaches and feel free to experiment widely.


About Julie Hooker

Having recently returned to my roots in Surrey, I am currently studying a BA Hons degree with the OCA. My work is often inspired by the local countryside in the beautiful Surrey Hills area and the wild rugged nature of the North Cornish coast. Steam engines and abandoned industrial history are also recent themes. A free machine embroiderer and felt maker; I like to explore the use of natural, found materials to create my art, whether that be as raw materials to stitch or weave with or as a material with which to produce dye or print with. Previously, I completed City and Guilds parts 1 & 2 Creative Embroidery at the East Berkshire College in Windsor in 2007. I was also awarded first place in the wearable art section of the National Quilt Championships 2008 and 2009 held annually at Sandown Park.
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