Tutor report Assignment 3

Overall Comments

Your samples demonstrate some competent technical skills and an understanding of techniques and processes, some of which you have used previously. Sometimes, this can create a mind set in terms of their potential use and perhaps you could have experimented a little more freely in order to develop their full creative potential.

You have successfully built on the valuable work already undertaken in your sketchbook by using your drawings as a starting point for trying out other design ideas and extended the range of media used. This is starting to help you to refine your visual awareness, design and compositional skills.

An important area for development in the next assignment is the further documentation of gallery visits, artists’ work etc. This will then help you to develop a broader context for your own work and assist you in becoming more objective and critical of your personal practice.

Yes I agree with this point, I have revisited the research post I did re. the 62 group visit and added to it. I have also got to look at two more artists for the last research point.  Gallery visits are quite hard for me due to there not being many within easy reach. It generally involves a trip into London which is prohibitively expensive to do regularly and when working full time difficult to fit in. I did make it up to the OCA 62 group visit as previously mentioned previously.

Feedback on assignment

Project 6 Manipulating fabrics: Creating shapes and 3D forms

Aims:

• To explore how work from your sketchbook can be used a starting point for the development and realization of your ideas
• To explore different ways in which stitch can be used to assemble fabrics and hold structures together
• To experiment with a range of 2D and 3D fabric manipulation techniques and processes
• To gain an understanding of the diversity of style and design in textiles
• To consider why craft produced textiles maintain a place in our society

Stage 2

You made good use of your sketchbook work as a starting point for exploration of techniques and processes. Some of the drawings i.e. the pineapple and fairground art gave you some very graphic images to work from. Something to consider at this point is the extent to which your choice of fabrics truly exploited these characteristics. It might help to jot down some descriptive words which you feel describe your starting points e.g. shiny, hard, bright etc. and this will help you to make associations with particular fabric qualities. You did make these connections with some of your samples, for example, the reverse applique where there was evidence of a sensitive choice of materials of a similar weight. This enabled you to achieve that crisp edge evident in your design. The colour combination was also well handled. By contrast, the combination of hessian and scrim in your applique sample didn’t work as well. I think you maybe needed a closer woven, flatter background fabric for the design to work to its full potential.

Another set of successful samples were those where you used a combination of sheers and voiles. These were a good example of how by carefully selecting fabrics for their particular properties, in this case, their semi transparency, you can exploit this to good effect in the execution of your chosen design. I felt that some of these samples could be worked up very successfully on a larger scale. Given the time and opportunity, which do you feel would be worth the time and effort? With all of these samples, you might like to give further thought as to how you are combining visual elements and to what extent is this successful? For example, in your purple zig zag design, you combine line and shape very well indeed. To what extent does one support the other and why?

When something is successful, try to analyse why. For example, the gold and navy bondaweb sample worked well. Bondaweb can be tricky as it stiffens the fabric quite considerably. In this instance it worked well. When might it not be appropriate to use it?

Your final sample of the pineapple showed your ability to make considered choices both in terms of materials and techniques. It was a happy marriage of the selection of a strong image and a clear idea of how to execute it. I found your comments regarding your affinity with art deco very interesting. This could be a potential area of personal research for you. I can also see similarities between this and your love of fairground art and your initial choice of a theme. What might an analysis of this tell you about your prefer ways of working and individual style? How might you build on this in your final project?

Yes I will take a look at this, i hadn’t really thought about the Art Deco – fairground / machinery connection.

Stage 4

You handled the initial exercises very well, showing a good deal of technical control. You could have maybe been a little more adventurous in your choice of fabrics. For example, if you had used some patterned fabrics, it would have been interesting to see how the various manipulation techniques might have distorted patterns etc. This could then have led you to try your hand at drawing some of the samples and thus extending work in your sketchbook.

Thank you for the suggestion, yes I will take a look and see if I can do some patterned fabric samples to go with this section.

I think that the most successful sample in this set was the button and shirring elastic sample. You created a lovely range of related shapes of different sizes. It would interesting to extend this approach with different materials, maybe layering them and then removing part of the top layer from the finished sample. Something for the future maybe?

I could see what you were trying you achieve in the sample where you used a random range of different materials. Maybe this needed to be executed on a larger scale to give you more space to work within. Everything was so close that it the contrasts tended to be lost and it as difficult to appreciate and compare their different properties. More negative space would have also meant that you could get a sense of the varying heights of the manipulated pieces.

Preparation for Project 7: Theme book

Your starting point for your theme is a good one but I think you need to do a little more research before making any decisions. In terms of the interrelationship of similar shapes, try looking at Michael Brennand Wood’s Lace the final Frontier 2011(see below)

You might also like to consider the work of futurist artists such as Ferdinand Leger (see below) or textile designer, Sonia Delaunay. This could also tie in nicely with your love of all things art deco. Whichever route you go down, you need to focus closely on a particular element and draw directly upon what you have learned though engaging with previous projects. Bear in mind that the final piece does not have to be functional

The machine. 1924 Leger​Rythme.1938 Sonia Delaunay

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays
Research points

I can’t seem to find them on your learning log blog. Can you point me in the right direction please?

Your learning log charts your process through this assignment but try to extend this to include a more critical appraisal of your work in progress. As noted earlier, please include more reference to the work of other artists or contemporary exhibitions visited.

I have re-arranged to log to help with this. Hopefully they are easier to find now.

Sketchbooks

Continue to maintain sketchbook work and try to extend your observational drawing beyond project requirements.

I am joining in with the 28 drawing challenge in Feb which will hopefully help with this

Suggested reading/viewing

See above in report.

Pointers for the next assignment

The next assignment is concerned with the construction of textiles. Some of the weaving techniques can be quite time consuming and the intention is to familiarize you with the techniques and processes. My advice would be to keep your samples quite small and when asked to identify possible starting points, don’t be tempted to go down a very literal or representational route. It is very challenging to do this because of the structure of the weave which favours a geometric or linear approach. Also, consider what other non-traditional textile materials you could weave with and in what ways you might combine their use.

Give some thought to the presentation of your work. Textile samples don’t sit happily on thin paper. They also tend to become crushed when inserted along with several others into plastic sleeves.

Can you also cross reference any preparatory design work, drawings etc. and final samples? It is not always clear what relates to what. I’m trying to think ahead in terms of the formal assessment of your work now. You could for example, print an image from your learning log and include it alongside developmental work or final sample. This would give your work a better coherence.

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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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