Relective commentry – Assignment 4

This was by far the hardest assignment for me to complete. As well as having an operation at the beginning which held me up for quite a long time, unfortunately I found the instructions in this section of the course very unclear and badly written. In one place the instructions were in the wrong order, jumping from section to section. This made it difficult to follow.

Colour matching paint to the source material then matching yarn to the paint seemed a bit of a waste of time really. I felt that matching yarns directly to the source was far more effective. That may well be just the way I work best. I am sure others would disagree. I felt that both were quite successful although I didn’t have enough colours of yarn to make a full colour match, I definitely had enough for a colour scheme.

It took me an age to gather all the materials required. Not being a knitter / crocheter / weaver I don’t have much in the way of wool etc. so had to go and buy it. It is very hard to find a wool shop around here as they have all closed down over the last few years. I wish I had read ahead, I could have started to collect the materials needed earlier in readiness!

I really enjoyed inventing constructed surfaces especially the cords, plaits and braids and the more experimental ‘woven’ structures I created in stage 2. The more I did the more free they got. I particularly like the natural structure made from sticks, wire, yarn and silk sari yarn. I feel that this was the most successful overall.

I had never tried real weaving before, the most I have done is weaving on cardboard as a child and never had any real inclination to try anything other than that. I found that I really enjoyed the basic tapestry weaving techniques. The sample was not perfect but I was very pleased with the overall result. Especially as this was my first attempt at proper weaving on a loom.

I particularly liked the vertical stripe patterns and the raised pile area made using the Ghiordes knot technique. The curved wefts were great fun to do and I would like to develop this further in future samples.

I was a bit disappointed with my final sample. I loved the surface textures I achieved and the movement within the piece. I also really like the colours and mixtures of yarns that I used; but the sample itself distorted quite a bit which did not really show up until I removed it from the loom.

This is undoubtedly down to my inexperience with weaving having not done it before and I’m sure that with practice I could improve on this. The tension is just too tight in places.

I would also like to try using a larger loom. Mine is really not big enough so I can only produce small samples on it. I may try this again one day on a larger loom as I feel the sample would work well on a larger scale.

All in all a mixed bag, it was great to try new techniques all be it not always successfully!

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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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