I am really excited to be starting this, the last of my level one courses. I am really hoping that it will be better written than the last two courses that I have studied as it is a brand new course. I am a little concerned that the first section does not fill me with any great excitement however.
I feel the trouble with this type of learning is that if you have had some training (like city & guilds) Level 1 courses are re-capping old techniques and exercises. Whilst this is always useful as a refresher, after 3 years or so it becomes repetitive and boring which means that you lose enthusiasm and begin to wonder if this is the right course route for you. I have spoken to a number of other students who have previously studied via the city & guilds route and quite a few have given up on these courses for this very reason.
I had hoped to see a section in this course on using natural materials from the world around us which is becoming of interest to me. I have always used recycled and reused fabrics and materials like plastic in my work and am beginning to find it a bit dull. I would like to see some natural dyeing and perhaps weaving or constructing structures using natural materials in one of the courses. I hope that I can integrate some of these myself, maybe as part of the wrapping and joining section, the molding and casting section or the section on mono or collatype printing.
Sketchbooks have always been an issue for me. I do not naturally work from a sketchbook, prefering to use items around me to create texture, colour and pattern in a materials led approach. Of course I understand it is a large part of studying, so I need to get on top of it. I am thinking of doing Dionne Swift’s sketchbook course in April to inspire me and I have a long weekend in Cornwall at the end of February, where I hope to complete a small ‘travel journal’. I will be collecting bits & pieces, small sketches and assembled ‘samples’ and collective pieces as I go. I am thinking of including some rubbings, photographs and found objects as well. Hopefully this will supply lots of textural ideas for future projects.
Time is going to be a factor as I only have until the end of August to complete the course. I have been too slow completing the last two courses due to a long illness, subsequent operation and my husband’s long term health problems, so I really hope I do not have any more holdups to keep me from completing on time. I work full time so I am re-arranging my day so I can fit at least and hour of study in during the early morning period before I go to work, research on my smart phone during lunch and hopefully an hour or so in the evening.
I want to get the first assignment in by the middle of January which is going to be difficult as I have to send in the last course by the end of January, so there will be a slight overlap.
Then the subsequent assignments as follows:
Assignment 2: Joining & wrapping by 20th March 2016
Assignment 3: Molding & casting by 1st May 2016
Assignment 4: Mono & collatype printing by 13th June 2016
Assignment 5: A final piece by 21st August 2016
I am going to mount up work as I go and make any improvements suggested by my tutor when I receive my feedback. This will hopefully allow time for entering it for the November assessment event and any last minute adjustments.