Tutor feedback part 1

I am quite happy with the following feedback for this part of the course, I appreciate that it is going to take time for me to get to grips with this course as there is so much of it’s content that is completely alien to me and not at all my choice of techniques. I tried to capture the essence of my samples in a way that reminded me how they were made. I can see that I will need to try and up my game on the drawing front as this course progresses.I misunderstood the instructions regarding drawing as it did not really instruct as to how much or what type of drawing is required.

I had completed the research that we were asked to do but for some reason my tutor did not get to see it in time due to me not publishing  it correctly. This is something I will have to which out for in the future.

I have added to my learning log in response to this feedback and made a course introduction as suggested. I also took a look at the blog my tutor suggested which is very impressive. I need to track down some of the other blogs by students as it may help m to gauge how my work is progressing.

Tutor Feedback

Overall Comments

For this assignment into surface distortion you have embraced sample making as a form of exploration and discovery.  However the assignment lacks some key areas; using drawing to evaluate and understand your samples, research material to inspire and shape your sample making and a reflective evaluation in your learning log of all areas of study.  In this feedback I shall endeavor to guide you and suggest ways of improving your work.

Feedback on assignment

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

There are some well-made and interesting samples in this body of work, in particular the ‘heating and fusing’ group.  You appear here to get into your stride, taking some risks and creating some compositionally attractive samples.  There is nice use of colour and form as you have collaged the pieces together.  I suggest you continue to be experimental in your sample making, being broad minded in your approach and linking your ideas to the research material you have collected and analysed.


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

You have submitted a small sketchbook with 6 drawings of the samples you have made for this assignment.  It is good that you have used both pencil and pastels to work in but the drawings themselves lack attention to detail and an understanding of technique.  There are also too few drawings for this assignment.  In this course you are asked to use drawing to explore and understand better the work you have made.  Doing this encourages you to draw regularly and develop your skill and style.  Drawing and mark marking are an intrinsic part of working in a visually creative discipline like textiles.  It is therefore expected and evaluated when studying towards a degree level qualification.  I entirely understand the nervousness that surrounds learning to draw and what hard work it can be.  However to gain a good mark at assessment it is important to invest some time in developing your drawing skill and building your confidence.

I have a number of suggestions on where and how to develop your skill in drawing.  If you can the best way to work at your drawing with good support and guidance is to study the Foundations in Textiles course at the OCA.  This course has been carefully written to help students such as you.  Or you can join a local life drawing class.  I recommend the book Drawing Projects that has been written by foundation art teachers with many years of experience.  This is a link to a review I wrote http://weareoca.com/fine_art/book-review-drawing-projects-an-exploration-of-the-language-of-drawing/.  There are also numerous video’s on YouTube that teach you how to shade, how to execute mark making exercises and exercises to train both your hand and eye.  For example

Blind continuous line drawing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjJhZ4DYh50

Mark making video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LrZGoW6-iw

How to draw fabric https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37-UB4_gJpM

I suggest you use drawing more frequently from now on to explore your samples, draw whole or parts of the samples to help you really look at what you have made.  These drawings do not have to have a particular observational value but should be seen in the same way as taking notes at a lecture.  Draw briskly thinking about the pressure and angle you are using your drawing tool (pencil, pen, brush, stick, etc.) to add character to the lines you create.  Be brave and work regularly.


Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

This assignment asks you to look at a number of makers and artists to inspire your making by showing you what is possible.  You are then expected to go on to find research material of your own collating it all along with your thoughts and ideas in your learning log (page 6 & 7).  This first stage is there to widen your knowledge and understanding of contemporary textiles, and so you can evidence critical thinking skills at assessment.  The blog posts for this assignment contain very little research material and where they do it is more of an add-on rather than an intrinsic part of your work.  I suggest you return to the research stage of this assignment adding the work of the makers named in the course material and some of your own.  Include your analysis of the work, what you think of it, how you might use the materials or techniques in your own work, your thoughts on composition and use of form, etc.  There are no right or wrong answers, the expectation is that you will develop your knowledge and feed ideas into your own work.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

Your learning log for this assignment to too brief, you have included a good number of images of your samples but there is little or no discussion about the process or your results.  I suggest you expand this by adding your thoughts towards your work.  How well did each sample go, what did you learn from it and the materials used, where else can you see these techniques being used, what do feel about the texture, the light, the composition, colour, etc.

I suggest you return to the sorting stage of the assignment, as I believe you have misunderstood the task.  The sorting stage is for you to demonstrate your ability to show discernment by locating and explaining why particular samples work well (page 20).

The blog also needs an introduction to the new course, out lining how you feel about the things to come and what you hope to learn.

I suggest you look a Judy Nolan’s MMT blog to get some ideas of what to write.  https://fibresofbeing.wordpress.com/textiles-1-mixed-media-for-textiles/

Suggested reading/viewing


Weareoca.com So what is research? http://weareoca.com/fine_art/so-what-is-research/

Weareoca.com Steal like an artist http://weareoca.com/fine_art/steal-like-an-artist/

Weareoca.com Critical thinking skills book http://weareoca.com/fine_art/critical-thinking-skills/

Keeping Sketchbooks http://www.oca-student.com/study-guides/keeping-sketchbooks

Learning logs http://www.oca-student.com/study-guides/introducing-learning-logs

Pointers for the next assignment

  • Reflect on this feedback in your learning log.
  • Continue to take risks and experiment with your sample making
  • Draw you samples and develop your skill in drawing using my suggestions
  • Research the names given in the course material and look for others adding them to your learning log along with your critical analysis.
  • Develop your learning log by adding more discussion of your own work

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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