Project 5, Stage 7 – Reflection

I have enjoyed this part of the course. it was nice to take some of my ideas a little further. I felt that there was a lot of samples I would like to have taken on to finished pieces and I would like to explore using found natural objects in the future. I found that quite a few of the ideas I had during the sampling stage could easily have been displayed as a collection as a whole. It is a shame in some ways that they could not be left as a collection of ‘rougher’ samples as if they were just made on the spot, a result of things collected during a walk. ‘One offs’ for experimental fun rather than complete resolved samples which can become almost too polished. I am starting my first level two course next so hope to have the chance to develop my own work then possibly in this kind of experimental explorative semi-permanent way.

I am satisfied overall with the outcomes from this part of the course. I hope that the samples I produced are experimental enough, they felt it to me anyway. I have enjoyed the chance given to us during this course to play, a materials led approach is much better for me not being forced to design everything in a sketchbook first was liberating. I hope that it all meets the assessment criteria however I am usually wrong on this point so let’s say I hope it is all okay.

Overall I have found this course very useful in equipping me with other ways to work towards an artistic outcome. I would have liked to see a little more emphasis on using stitch and maybe more ‘textile’ rather than plaster etc. but I suspect that is more my opinion than most people’s. 

The printing section was not for me. It is obviously not a set of techniques that I can master. This is the second course where my printing abilities have been non existant! It is just as well as I have never wished to use printing as a technique.  I only occasionally use it to add background pattern or texture so I am not that concerned. What would be of more interest to me would be to see some of the newer ‘eco dying’ techniques. These fascinate me and would fit far better with my current interests and work.
I know that the OCA constantly review the courses. I feel with this course a little more explanation of what is expected would be useful. I found that for most of the course I have been confused as to what I was supposed to be doing. For example in the dreaded printing section at no point did I see that we were to use drawing to record the prints. This was only pointed out to me later.

All in all I did find the course instructive but I would not say that I enjoyed it as much as the first two courses which were more traditionally textiles based. I appreciate that things need to move forward and I like to see innovation but I think I am happier with fabrics and thread (or maybe grasses and leaves) rather than plaster and concrete. The one exception to this was that I did enjoy experimenting with clay. If I could find somewhere to trial ideas I had around pressing embroidery into clay, firing and glazing it maybe to produce sculptures or pots I would. Using air dry clay did not go far enough for me. I need to have a word with the local potteries to see if they can help.

Most of all I am looking forward to level 2. I really am hoping that the higher level will enable me to produce work that I want to rather than being too prescriptive. Hopefully this will help me to develop my personal voice a bit more. 

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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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