Tutor report Assignment 1

Overall Comments

Julie you have made a positive start to Exploring Ideas, there is evidence that you understand that conducting research enhances the work you make.  Your learning log/blog is a continuation of your A Creative Approach learning log/blog.  It is well organised and easy to navigate.  You have included imagery of your work and your research material along side some annotation.  There is a sketchbook included with your assignment that contains a small amount of collage work.

Assessment potential (after Assignment 1)

You may want to get credit for your hard work and achievements with the OCA by formally submitting your work for assessment at the end of the module. More and more people are taking the idea of lifelong learning seriously by submitting their work for assessment but it is entirely up to you. We are just as keen to support you whether you study for pleasure or to gain qualifications. Please consider whether you want to put your work forward for assessment and let me know your decision when you submit Assignment 2. I can then give you feedback on how well your work meets the assessment requirements.

Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

This assignment demonstrates that you have a clear understanding of how you use your research material to stimulate your own design ideas.  There are distinct links between the Pacific Islands textiles and the samples you have made.  Your approach has been to consider and use more modern materials.  The samples are delicate in a reduced colour palette with many textural qualities.  It is interesting that you have also been stimulated by the process of making Tapa that led you to think about similar materials like felt.  You have then acted upon this by making some felt samples.  

You have responded appropriately to the research material by making samples and developing ideas.  This way of working and learning about your research is just what is expected and I suggest you continue to work in this way.  You may find it useful to make many more samples and sketch out ideas in your sketchbook.  Think of yourself as testing to see what works and what doesn’t.  This will mean you will have unsuccessful samples but this is good, it will mean you are taking risks and have the opportunity to create something fresh.  *I chose to keep all my sketches and research together in the research book as I felt it would be better kept together. This has meant that my sketchbook looks a little ‘light’ at the moment.

I suggest you collate your samples in a separate place to your research and your research is in your learning log/blog.  Then upload photographs of your work to your learning log/blog for discussion and analysis as you have already done so.  This should be done with your drawings too. *I have removed the samples from the book as they are a bit hidden and re-mounted them onto card for assessment purposes. 



Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

The sketchbook you have submitted to me contains a small amount of collage work that relates to the research and sample making you have carried out.  This is an appropriate way to explore and generate new ideas.  I suggest that you need to develop your sketchbook much more.  A wider range of drawing and mark making styles in a number of different mediums is required.  There should be evidence you are thinking about colour and colour palettes.  You need to be regularly doing observational drawings in pencil, charcoal, ink, pastels, etc.  These can be loose quick drawings that are as much about looking at an object as trying to capture it on paper.  Draw objects from around your home like kitchen utensils or tools.  If you lack confidence in drawing you can do one of the drawing assignments from the Foundations for Textiles course for free along side this course.  I also suggest you experiment with mark making techniques to create texture and depth to your drawing.  Many of these techniques are at the beginning of A Creative Approach so you could return to this material to remind yourself of these techniques.   The work you carry out in your sketchbook does not necessarily have to relate to your current course.  Think of it as a place to experiment, take risks and generate ideas.   If you need ideas on developing your sketchbook Google ‘sketchbook images,’ you’ll find a rich variety of ways to draw. *As mentioned above the sketches I have done in relation to this part of the course are in the research book

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays


Your learning log/blog is well established and organised. You have included your research material that you have described with care and included historical and cultural details. This work has been referenced and you have included a bibliography, which shows you have explored a number of books and websites.  To further your research I suggest you begin to bring in some analysis and critical thinking.  In order to do this you will need to look at your research material with care starting off with a thorough description that then moves onto analysing the work.  Here you will need to give your opinion on how well the artist/designer/maker has achieved the finished pieces.  For example when looking at the work of Filani Macassey what is the relevance of using the phrase ‘Lesu Mai’ and what is the value of repeating the phrase over the whole artwork.  If it is about making links with an ancestry does she achieve this?  Have elements like the materials, colour and scale helped to do this too?  In analysing a piece of work you will bring your own opinions and understandings to it as well as develop a greater understanding of the work.  This will also lead to a greater understanding of your own creative process. *I have looked again at this section and added a little more context.

Suggested reading/viewing


Feldman, A.  (2008) Henry Moore Textiles. Farnham: Lund Humphries

Greenlees, K.  (2005) Creating Sketchbooks for Embroiderers and Textile Artists. London: Batsford Ltd

Kleon, A. (2012) Steal like an Artist: 10 things nobody told you about being creative. New York: Workman Publishing Company

Rayner, G, Chamberlain, R. and Stapleton, A.  (2012) Artists’ Textiles 1940-1976.  Woodbridge: Antique Collectors’ Club

Pointers for the next assignment

  • Maintain your good working practices
  • Develop your drawing style and draw regularly
  • Pursue ways of writing about the artwork you look at, including your own.
  • Research widely with a broadminded attitude

Well done Julie, I look forward to your next assignment.


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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