Category Archives: Research & Reflection

Part 5, Stage 2 – Research (preliminary phase)

22 May 2017


Part 5, Stage 2 – Research (preliminary phase)

As a result of stage 1, I decided to conduct some research along the lines of option 1, which is a constructed surface (see conclusion at the end of the stage 1 post).

I started by making a mind map of all the variations that I might consider, which I illustrated with examples from the Internet, literature, and from my sampling (see below). This has been included as the first page of my sketchbook.

I realised that within the idea of a constructed surface, there was actually scope for incorporating other aspects of sampling from module which had excited me (such as flaps, cut-outs, and other surface treatments). Consequently, although I had initially focused on the Möbious strip sample (part 2, project 1, exercise 5, sample 9), I decided that at this stage it would be helpful to widen my line of enquiry.

A particularly fruitful source of information was Pinterest; I created a specific board for this assignment on the subject of “Geometry”, with ideas from architecture and textiles (Eastaugh, 2017a). 

The diagram allowed me to revisit what type of constructed surface I might consider:

  • Folded/creased
  • Windows/cut outs
  • Twisted joined
  • Folded/creased
  • Flaps
  • Modules
 
I also realised that I could not afford to make my line of enquiry too wide, or I would run out of time. Based on my review of stage 1 and the focus of my mind map, I decided on the following:
 
Definitely:
  • A constructed piece
  • A repeating pattern of some sort
  • 2 visibly contrasting surfaces (either an inside/outside, front/back, on top/underneath). Nature of the contrast to be confirmed with sampling, but could be colour, pattern or textural.
To consider:
  • The use light and shadow
  • The possibility of incorporating contrast of opacity and transparency
  • Whether it would be appropriate to use transition or scale, colour or tone across the surface.
 
 
I selected the three ideas from my sampling which show the most promise and which might be suited to different surface treatments and/or materials:
 
View_one.jpg
Above: Part 2, Project 1, exercise 5, sample 9 – Möbious strip constructed surface
3_circles.jpg
Above: Part 2, Project 1, exercise 5, sample 8 – Intersecting circles
Mult.jpg
Above: Part 2, Project 1, exercise 3, sample 3 – Plastic honeycomb surface
 
 
Instead of writing up my research into relevant artists/designers as a blog entry, I have decided to include the information alongside development drawings, ideas and materials in my sketchbook. Instead of repeating the information in this blog, I will give a summary of contemporary practitioners which I found especially relevant and influential.
 

Deepa Panchamia
  • Orientation of elements across the fabric surface and use of a limited colour palette (Panchamia, 2016)
  • Use of layers and semi-transparent fabrics (Cole, 2008:72)

Anne Kyyro Quinn
  • Use of shadow to present tonal variation in single colour fabric panels (Quinn, 2009: 54, 168-171)Arrangements of repeating elements (Quinn, 2009: 169-170) 

Nani Marquina

  • Textured carpets, interlocking pile components (Quinn, 2009: 255)

Cornelia Parker
  • Sculptures explore symmetry, waste materials/found objects, textural surfaces (Blazwick, 2013)
  • Hot poker drawing (2011) – patterning and surface distortion due to symmetrical burning of folded paper with hot poker (Ingleby gallery, 2017)
  • Sculptural work makes effective use of shadow and is often on a large scale (Waters, 2011)
 

The following sources are not specific to a single practitioner:


Arrangements and patterns:

  • Sources of design for architects (and everyone else!) – shapes, patterns, constructed surfaces (Spuybroek, 2011)
  • Some ideas on how everyday objects can be arranged to make patterns (Mossman, 2008: 60-61, 72-73,  110-111, 120-121, 131)

Found materials and creative reuse:

  • Lots of ideas for arranging and joining everyday materials to make interesting surfaces
  • Cut-through shapes (Renshaw, 2009:72-74)
  • Cording (Renshaw, 2009:30)
  • Joining punched and braided leather belts to make an interesting textural surface (Seo, 2011: 58-59)
  • Using transparent properties of overlapping masking tape to create tonal variation (Seo, 2011: 40-41)
  • Using plaster to transform/stiffen fabric (silk flowers) (Seo, 2011:26-27)
  • Using cut outs from discarded drinks cans (Seo, 2011:158-159), (Johnson, 2009:135, 220)
  • Use of found/recycled paper (Thittichai, 2014:44-52)
  • Using rolled paper for edge patterning and texture (Diane Gilleland, craftypod, USA) (Johnson, 2009:28)
  • Paper sewn together to make patchwork surface (Heather Price, Winemakerssister, USA)  (Johnson, 2009:30)
  • Zipper teeth for textured edges (Johnson, 2009:55, 107, 128, 138)
  • Tyre tread for surface texture (Johnson, 2009:84)
  • Playing cars used as printed pattern  (Johnson, 2009:107)
  • Fraying fabric for textural edges  (Johnson, 2009:193)
  • Transformation of plastics to make sculptures, David Edgar  (Johnson, 2009:256-257)
  • Colour transition  (Johnson, 2009:299)
  

References: 

Blazwick, I. (2013) Cornelia Parker. London. Thames and Hudson.

Cole, D. (2008) Textiles Now. London. Laurence King publishers.

Eastaugh, N. (2017a) Geometry. Pinterest board. At:http://pin.it/j6ZNnRL (Accessed 23 May 2017)

Ingleby gallery (2017) Cornelia Parker: Hot poker drawing. At: http://www.inglebygallery.com/exhibitions/cornelia-parker/ (Accessed 23 May 2017)

Johnson, G. (2009) 1000 ideas for creative reuse: remake, restyle, recycle, renew. Massachusetts. Quarry books.

Mossman, S. (2008) Fantastic plastic: product design and consumer culture. London. Black Dog publishing.

Panchamia, D. (2016) Deepa Panchamia: Paperworks. At: http://deepapanchamia.com/work/paperworks/ (Accessed 23 May 2017)

Quinn, B. (2009) Textile designers at the cutting edge. London. Laurence King publishers.

Renshaw, L. (2009) Textiles handbook: Mixed media & found materials. London. A&C Black.

Seo, D. (2011)  Upcycling: Create beautiful things with the stuff you already have. London. Running press.

Spuybroek, L. (2011) Research and design: Textile tectonics. Rotterdam. NAi publishers.

Thittichai, K. (2014) Reclaimed textiles: techniques for paper, stitch, plastic and mixed media. London. Batsford.

Waters, L. (2011) ‘Interview with Cornelia Parker’ [online] In: The white review: Art. September 2011. At:  http://www.thewhitereview.org/art/interview-with-cornelia-parker/ (Accessed 23 May 2017)

Zilber, E. (2015) Crafted: Objects in flux. Exhibition catalogue. Boston. Museum of fine arts publications.

Part 5, Stage 1 – Review

16 May 2017

 

Part 5, Stage 1 – Review

This final assignment of the course is designed as an opportunity to bring together all the learning within the Mixed Media for Textiles module. It is a chance to consolidate practices, combine methods and take them further; to explore and be creative. 

I was pleased that the course notes encourage students to consider the final piece as prototypes or maquettes. The fact that there is an empasis on experimentation promotes a relaxed and open approach to risk taking.

I decided that I would start by concentrating on the “sorting” stage from each assignment. Mixed media for textiles is my third level one course, and I am now sufficiently confident in my down selection selection process.

 

To recap:

Part 1 was a series of samples selecting 10 exercises from the following projects/categories:

  1. Folding and crumpling
  2. Tearing and cutting
  3. Heating and fusing
  4. Scratching and embossing
  5. Puncturing and stitching
 
These exercises generated lots of samples. The techniques which I found most stimulating were Project 2, exercise 5 “creating flaps” (Along with the related technique of Project 2, exercise 4 “cutting holes”) and Project 5, exercise 2 “stitching”. 
 
Below are the samples from project 2, exercise 5 which I selected as most inspiring and promising for development – from left to right: samples 3, 4 and 5:-
 
Light_differently.jpgSmall_roll.jpgBlinds_from_front.jpg
 
I found that many of my samples could be enhanced by the use of lighting to heighten shadow and tonal contrast. I also found that part of their appeal was that they could be configured into a variety of three dimensional shapes. These pieces also have an element of pattern repeat (or at least a suggestion of rhythm).
 
In Project 5, exercise 2, I started to combine ideas of stitching with holes and flaps, exploring the sampling in the context of sutures or surgical stitching. I used stitching to hold back flaps: Project 5, exercise 2, sample 11 (below left) and emphasise the openings of holes: Project 5, exercise 2, sample 12 (below right), referencing the work of Rozanne Hawkins and Ann Wilson.
 
 Shadows2.jpgFlaps_sewn_back.jpg
 
 
This was a topic which I revisited in Part 3, end of project 1 (thinking about how the techniques in parts one or two could be used to embellish or manipulate samples). 
 
I used a papier mache sphere: Part 3, project 1, sample 28 (below left), into which I cut “windows” which I stitched across to bridge the gaps: Part 3, project 1, samples 62-67 (below middle and right):
 
Transparent.jpgSewn_samples1.jpgBookbinders.jpg
 
Again, the appeal for me was the tonal variation created by the different thickness layers of material which constituted the sphere when it was lit from behind. I also liked the idea of cutting holes, to allow viewing of the interior surface of the sphere (and possibly an object placed within it). The papier mache surface reminded me of the skull bones, so it was natural to consider suturing and the bridging of the holes with stitches. However, for me, samples 62-67 did not really move the idea forwards; the investigation was not bold enough – there was insufficient contrast of materials to make the result exciting. In hindsight I should have taken more risks. However, I had already made 61 samples for project 1, and because I didn’t get the balance of allotted time correct, I left myself short of time to explore the idea properly. The same can be said of sample 72:
 
Part 3, project 1, sample 72 was developed from the ideas arising from a latex mould of an aluminium pie dish (part 3, project 1, sample 48, below left). Coloured with red paint, duplicated and pulled and stretched between holes in a cork backing, it reminded my of a grotesque body part, pulled out ready for investigation or dissection (Part 3, project 1, sample 72, below right). I referenced the work of Rozanne Hawksley and the “bodyworks” exhibition of Gunther Hugens.
 
Pie_dish1.jpgFramed1.jpg
 
Although I really like the concept, I do not feel that the development led to a line of enquiry which was sufficiently stimulating or fruitful. The same can be said of the skull bone and suture idea.  I had found out after selecting the latex moulding for development that they discoloured in a way which I didn’t like because it made the moulding less similar to biological tissue. For these reasons, rather than continue and look for an alternative, I have decided to seek an alternative line of enquiry for my final project.
 
 
Part 2 was about joining and wrapping. 
 
From project 1, all of my favourite samples were three dimensional. I like the fact that they could be viewed from different angles, and that in some cases they were configurable. Part 2, project 1, exercise 3, sample 4 is one such example (see below):
 
Cone1.jpg
 
The strength of it’s appeal is its simple geometry, repeating pattern and shadow. Although I feel that the colour choice is not especially important, I do like the pattern created by the two colours being “randomly” placed. The colours are harmonious, so do not detract from the geometry of the circles, their shadows and negative spaces. 
 
Two other stand out samples for me are Part 2, project 1, exercise 5, sample 8 (below left) and Part 2, project 1, exercise 5, sample 9 (below right).
 
 3_circles.jpgView_one.jpg
They appeal for the same reasons as sample 4 of exercise 3, but I feel more excited about their possibilities for development. Both these have the possibility of using contrasting materials on each surface; perhaps a contrast of colour, reflective vs. matt, smooth vs. textured. There is the also possibility of exploring transparency, or surface treatment such as stitching, embossing or scratching. If these samples were to be developed, consideration would also need to be made as to whether they could be scaled up/down, multiplied and joined to make a constructed surface or more complex 3D shape. The sample made with Möbious strips, in particular, is suficiently developed to show strong potential, so I feel confident that I could develop an excellent final piece from this idea.
 
Wrapping encouraged me to move away from realist representation and to become more abstract. In this respect it is especially liberating and fun. Part 2, project 2, exercise 5, sample 5 was my strongest piece (see below):
 
Photo_1_pan.jpg
 
All the elements work extremely well: variation in texture, contrast of thread thickness, orientation of wrapping and especially the colour scheme and colour accents (which are complementary yellow and violet). However, to me this sample is a finished piece, and does not suggest any immediate ways which it could be developed or taken forwards as a line of enquiry. Similarly, whilst I produced some exciting results using Japanese package techniques (part 2, project 2, exercise 2, samples 5-8, it has not prompted any immediate thoughts for a line of enquiry, so at this stage I would probably bear it in mind to bring into my work as an influence rather than basing a project on it.
 
 
In Part 3, I explored moulding and casting. I have already discussed some of the samples which I chose to take forward and develop. Other than these, the samples which most  appealed to me were: 
 
1. Moulding of bubble wrap – Project 1, sample 36 (with Mod Roc) and Silicone)
  Side_1.jpgBehind_lit.jpg
2. Moulding a sample of knitted string
 
Paperclay_knitting.jpgString_closeup.jpg
3. Moulding the surface of a chard leaf
 
Finished.jpgThumb.jpg
 
The bubble wrap moulding are very geometric with strong tonal variation. The moulding of the chard leaf and the silicone moulding of the bubble wrap are interesting because of their fragility. The silicone cast of the knitted string mould, presents a contradiction; in essence capturing the minute textural detail of the source material and translating it to a material with very different properties. In this respect it draws on principle underlying the success of Rebecca Fairley’s concrete mouldings from knitted fabrics.
 
From this group of samples, it is silicone which is standing out as being the most versatile and inspiring. The suggestions of my tutor to look at the work of Laura Simpson and Xiao Li gave me some ideas as to how it might be used in association with textiles to provide contrast and structure in the handling and texture of a fabric. The work of these artists/designers captured my imagination. I feel that it would be interesting to conduct further experiments to investigate the behaviour of silicone moulding in conjunction with other materials. This line of enquiry would no doubt suggest ideas for how it could be used in a final piece, perhaps in combination with other treatments, such as folding, cutting or scratching, depending on the materials. This would be a highly innovative and risky approach which could easily end up taking longer than my allotted time.
 
My favourite sample from Part 3 was sample 6 from project 2 (see below):
 
Casty1.jpg
 
I decided to rule this sample out for further development on the grounds that I do not have the facilities to enable me to do large plaster casts. For this reason, I view the sample as inspirational, rather than being one which I would develop from directly. It shares many of the characteristics from other samples which appeal to me: the concept of holes to enable the interior surfaces to be viewed, strong tonal variation resulting from shadows and a 3D structure viewable from different angles
 
Mono printing and collatype printing was the subject of Part 4. From project 1, my most successful samples were these in which I combined techniques to make a series of related figure prints (see below).
 
Additive.jpgWiping.jpgPrint_2.jpgRework_of_4a.jpg
 
These were prints which I developed from the samples which I produced for project 1, exercise 4 (stencilling). This line of enquiry opened the possibility of using stencils as a means of embossing as well as printing. It also got me thinking about combining mono printing with cutting holes or flaps, to emphasise part of the negative space. An obvious development was to join and fold the individuals prints to make a concertina book. Another thought I had was to consider scratching and distressing part of the surface. Although my results of my surface scratching sampling had been underwhelming in part 1, project 4, exercise 2, I now wondered whether contrasting effects might be achievable in conjunction with printing (either distorting the surface after printing or before printing).
 
Although I achieved some interesting textural results with collatype printing in project 2, I do not feel that these samples present such an interesting line development as the figures which I produced for project 1. Below are my favourite examples: project 2, sample 2a (left) and project 2, sample 3c (right):
 
Fabric1.jpgSample3c.jpg
 
The landscape and portrait prints feel less developed technically and are not suggesting to me a clear line of development. For these reasons, I would favour the figure prints for development.
 
 
Conclusions:
 
From my review of the work I have completed for this module, three possible lines of enquiry have emerged:
 
1. Constructed surface
 
Pros:
  • Themes of three dimensionality, repeating pattern, geometry, light and shadow have consistently featured in samples which I have selected as visually appealing.
  • It offers possibility for investigating and combining surface treatments from other parts of the course.
  • It offers the chance of strengthening what I see as one of my weak areas (i.e. not being sufficiently bold an innovative with material combinations).
  • Sample 9 from Part 2, project 1, exercise 5 (Möbious strips), in particular, is sufficiently visually appealing to be developed in it’s own right.
Cons:
  • It would be easy to get carried away with permutations of shape, surface treatment, materials and scale and run out of time.
  • Overcomplexity of surface runs the risk of detracting rather than enhancing the visual aesthetic.
 
2. Silicone moulding textured surfaces in combination with other materials:
 
Pros:
  • Silicone has proved to be a versatile and interesting material during sampling.
  • There is a strong element of risk an innovation in pursuing this idea.
  • It would push me to explore dissimilar and novel material combinations.
Cons:
  • Moulding with silicone is an area of relative technical novelty for me. It is not a technique which I feel comfortable with, so the project would rely heavily of additional experimentation, which is highly risky.
  • Because my sampling is not well developed/resolved, there are no obvious directions in which to take the development of a final piece at present.
  • This line of enquiry could be seen as simply an extension of the sample-making process, rather than leading to resolution.
 
3. Mono-printed figures in conjunction with other surface treatments
 
Pros:
  • Mono printing is a technique which feel comfortable with and enjoy
  • It utilises my drawing skills (one of my strengths)
Cons:
  • This is the least risky proposal of the three because the idea is already well resolved and I am comfortable with the processes.
  • Less scope for being innovative with materials or material combinations (which is one of my weaknesses).
 
At this stage I have decided to rule out option 3 because it is too safe. Presently, option 2. feels too risky, and probably too large an undertaking for a single assignment of 7 weeks duration. However, at this stage, I haven’t ruled out incorporating it in my final project. In particular, the fragility of surface interests me as does the contrast between very thin areas which are translucents, and thicker, opaque areas.
 
Next, I will conduct some preliminary research along the lines of option 1., reveiwing other practitioners work into constructed surfaces.
 
 

Developing printmaking samples for an exhibition

14 May 2017


The Print and Stitch Group Exhibition – developing my printed samples from Part 4


I belong to a group of printmakers and textile practitioners called The Print and Stitch Group, which was founded in July 2015. We have been working towards our first exhibition in September 2017, on the subject of “Identity”. I used my sampling with fabric stencils which I produced for Project 1 exercise 4, and developed the figure prints in conjunction with techniques of back drawing, mark-making (reductive process) and drawing onto the plate.

The prints for the exhibition are shown below:

 

The first print (above) is a rework of Project 1, exercise 4, sample 4a. First I made a print of the negative space with a burlap stencil, which also gave me the embossing in the white (masked) area. When dry, I used back drawing techniques (project 1, exercise 3, samples 3), to fill in the detail of the figure.

This second print (above) also uses the back drawing technique, this time applied over a ghost print of the stencil plate used in the first print.

The print above is taken from the one of the plates which I used for back drawing. I have used reductive technique (Project 1, exercise 1, mark-making), to remove additional ink from the background areas before printing. The results are similar to project 1, exercise 4, sample 4d, except I have managed to achieve a better transfer of the burlap fabric texture, and I have also been more consistent with my mark-making within the negative space.

This final print (above) was produced by first taking a ghost print from the inked fabric stencil (see project 1, exercise 4, sample 4c before back drawing was added). In a second stage, I then used a paper stencil to mask off and print the negative image. Finally, I used Akua liquid pigment and a needle nib to draw the figure’s outline and clothing onto an acetate sheet, which I printed from using the direct drawing method (project 1, exercise 2, sample 6).

I am really pleased with the way in which I have been able to combine the texture of the burlap into all of these prints in different ways. The common shape, colour and texture of the fabric provides unity to the set, whilst the different methods of printing and line generation provides variety and interest.

I have entitled this series “Covert figure”. In keeping with the theme of the exhibition, I wanted to portray these images in a way which left their identity open to interpretation by the viewer. The way in which the image is framed top and bottom, suggests that the figure is perhaps lurking in a recess, window or balcony. Who they are and why they are waiting is the question which is presented. Their identity is almost hidden; we know the figure is female and have an idea what clothing she is wearing, however there is little else to give us a clue as to her purpose. I hope that this adds a sense of mystery and intrigue to my prints. 

 

I have also produced a second series of mono prints, based on the techniques in project 1, exercise 3, samples 3 (back drawing), in which I used first prints and the ghost prints for background texture before adding detail by drawing into the prints with charcoal.

These three prints (above) were made by drawing into mono prints which were initially very similar to sample 3a from Project 1, exercise 3.

I also took ghost prints from the plates (similar to sample 3b of project 1, exercise 3), and once again draw into these with charcoal to add detail (see below):

I have entitled the series “Blue” (being the name of the model). Although I feel taht there are is some suggestion of domesticity and female vulnerability in the prints, I wanted to keep the title neutral so that the viewer could make their own interpretations of the possible identity and roles of the subject.

In contrast with the “Covert figure” series (A4), these prints are A3 size and are more dramatic and imposing. By incorporating the charcoal over drawing, they have become very distinctive of my artistic style, whilst still retaining some of the subtlety of line from the original printing stage. The printing helps to soften the images, add texture and a feeling of depth and shadow.

The Print and Stitch Group’s exhibition runs 14-20 September 2017 at Aldeburgh Gallery, Suffolk IP15 5AN.

 

Assignment 4 – Reflective commentary

11 May 2017

 

Measurement against assessment criteria

I used the assessment criteria as the benchmark against which to make my critique. I also referred to the course aims and outcomes on page 5 of the notes.

 

Demonstration of technical and visual skills

Before starting the assignment, I had only limited experience of mono printing and no experience of collatype. Consequently, I found project 2 more technically challenging than project 1. 

I was careful to limit the number of samples I made for this assignment, so as not to overstretch myself. This made time management easier, and when it came to writing up and analysing my results, I feel that I had achieved a good balance between practical work and analysis.

Initially, I had to overcome technical challenges of finding the right thickness of printing plate to run properly through the press and to understand how to prevent smudging with Akua liquid pigment. Through trial and error, I learnt how much ink to apply, how tacky the ink needs to be, and the correct pressure. These skills can only be acquired empirically, and as result of the exercises, I feel that I have a firm grounding on which to build knowledge and experience.

As well as techniques, the assessment criteria mentions observational skills, visual awareness, design and composition (course notes, page 11). I was pleased that I was able to begin the process of resolving quite a few of my samples, in particular, in the latter states of project 1 and in exercise 3 of project 2. I was sufficiently confident to start combining techniques and to develop multi-stage/layer prints. This proved especially fruitful, and I feel that I have a secure understanding of how to take the methods forward and use them in future in new and different ways. In the collagraph portrait and seascape prints of project 2, exercise 3, I was able to use design and compositional skills to produce balanced and visually interesting prints. 

  

Outcome

In addition to quality of visual output, outcome is also concerned with the application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, the conceptualisation of thoughts and the communication of ideas (course notes, page 11). 

More so than in any of the assignments so far, I feel that my sampling produced pieces which were either more fully resolved, or I could see the direction that they needed to be taken/developed. Sometimes I feel that my sampling produces lots of distinct, disjoint elements without obvious connection or application, but in this assignment, the read across between techniques was clear and straightforward.

My tutor raised a question about a dissonance between my use of colour to represent the samples in my Part 3 sketchbook. I am now confident that I understand the problems and the reasons why certain combinations did not work. I have explained this in a blog post and I do not believe it to be an issue, either in Part 4 or going forward.

 

Demonstration of creativity

This criterion looks for experimentation, invention and development of a personal voice (course notes, page 11).

I found it very easy to generate ideas for this assignment. Perhaps it’s because I have a natural affinity with printmaking? I feel that the loose and expressive style of mark-making fits my creative style, whilst allowing me to exploit my drawing skills.

I have been experimental, but not as much as I would have liked. I had to spend a lot of time understanding ink behaviour, so limited most of my printing to plain paper. More experimental backgrounds I tried included envelope paper, brown paper, paper bag, Japanese paper and cotton muslin. I feel that I had only scraped the tip of the iceberg in this respect and I would desperately like to expand and experiment further.

The ‘sorting’ stage was much more straightforward this time round because the direction in which I need to take/develop samples was clearer. It was also easier to pick out samples with the most potential, because techniques like back drawing, reductive mark making and stencilling are very much in tune with my creative voice/style, so I was naturally drawn to these samples. I am beginning to make mental links between the assignments of this module, especially between printmaking, and surface distortion, joining and wrapping. There are lots of exciting avenues which could be explored in my final project.
 

Context

I have continued with the format of my previous two assignments; completing a detailed piece of research into several artists relevant to the assignment in a dedicated blog post. I have taken on board my tutor’s comment from part 3 and tried to more closely relate each artist’s work to my own practice. I have particularly considered techniques, style and composition, and the emotional response prompted by the use of colour and tone. Although my style of contextual research is quite formal, it is a process which allows me to mentally rationalise and sift the information, and to present it is a format which I can easily a quickly return to and refresh my memory.

The difficulty with presenting research in a separate post (with a password, so as not to breach copyright), is that it is not presented next to the project work/samples to which it relates. I have tried to redress this by mentioning relevant work/practitioners in my write up for stages 2 (sample-making) and 3 (recording outcomes). 

When commenting on the merits of my sampling, I have been especially careful to explain exactly why I find a piece appealing (or otherwise). I have also taken on board my tutor’s comment about recording the emotional response to each piece as well as the technical merits.

 

Part 4, Stage 4 – Sorting

10 May 2017


Part 4, Stage 4 – Sorting

Project 1 – Mono printing

Project 1 consisted of four exercises: 

  1. Mark-making (reductive, removing ink selectively from the plate) 
  2. Drawing onto the plate (additive, painting or applying ink directly onto the plate)
  3. Back drawing (using pressure to transfer a mark from an inked plate onto a piece of paper laid on top of it)
  4. Working with stencils (using simple masks to create printed shapes)
In the initial two exercises, I found that I was concentrating on learning about the behaviour of the ink and paper/fabric, rather than focusing on the images which I was producing. As I progressed to exercises 3 and 4, I felt more confident and was also able to combine techniques effectively.
 
From exercise 1, the only image which I felt was successful as a stand alone print was sample 7a (below). This was a sample which I made after completing exercise 3. 
 
Seascape_reductive.jpg
 
Exercise 3 produced another successful image using reductive technique (exercise 3, sample 4d below). This was made by reworking an inked plate that I’d used for back drawing on exercise 3, sample 4c. I am very fond of this image because it is dramatic and suggests lighting and shadow around the character. I’m sure that with more practise, I would be able to refine my marks and make them more controlled and subtle.
 
Reductive.jpg
 
Exercise 2 produced lovely simple drawn outline prints, of which my favourite is sample 7b (below). Despite it’s simplicity, the lines in the print are characterful and have a spontaneous, playful feel.
 
Character_lines.jpg
 
Also, there was the very detailed still life (exercise 2, sample 5a, below) which I consider to be a technical success due to it’s boldness, vibrancy and the way which a variety of marks have been controlled. As an image I don’t have immediate plans for how it could be developed, although I can imagine using the techniques on other projects in conjunction with perhaps with backdrawing or stitching.
 
Monoprint1_fruit.jpg
 
I had to spend a lot of time experimenting before producing bold, readable prints for exercise 3 (back drawing), many of the prints were being too feint to give meaningful images. Although I consider sample 3a (below) a technical success, for me it felt as if the print still lacked interest and character. Perhaps it was because I’d traced the image, and my mark-making needs to be more fluid and spontaneous? This characteristic is one of the reasons why Tracey Emin’s mono prints are so successful (see for example her Royal Academy bird print) (Eastaugh, 2017a)
 
First_ok_print.jpg
 
I successfully re-worked a couple of my back drawing “failures” (exercise 3, samples 1 and 2b), which contributed background depth and texture to my stencil prints (see exercise 4, samples 1 below by way of example):
 
Finished_print.jpg
 
Exercise 4 (working with stencils), was the most exciting exercise for me. This was because of the success which I had experimenting with textile samples and the exciting images I produced by combining them with back drawing techniques (see exercise 4, samples 4a and 4c below):
 
Backdrawn_over.jpg Sample_4c.jpg
I can imagine that I could develop these samples further to produce a series, perhaps combining them with a joining method, using cutting to enhance negative space (for example around the crooked arm), or by using areas of translucent material in conjunction with the prints. I could also look at introducing a second colour into image 4a (for example gold or red, as developed in my sketchbook pages 47 and 49-50).
 
Although I also made some lovely prints with plant stencils, I feel that I would need work on my composition and colour to improve on the images which I produced – by comparison see the plant stencil collage by Mary Margaret Briggs, which is much more striking, modern and appealing, and which would make an excellent cushion cover or wallpaper design (Eastaugh, 2017b). Artists like Brenda Hartill use plant stencils within her collagraphs (Eastaugh, 2017c), so this is an alternative way in which I might consider using plant material/stencils in future.
 

Project 2 – Collatype printing

Although there were three exercises in project 2, the first 2 were concerned with producing sample boards from collage and textured polyfiller, to gain knowledge and experience. From the first two exercises, I particularly liked the beautiful prints which I achieved in sample 3 (extracts from which are shown below). I’m sure I could develop these into transitioned textured surfaces, perhaps incorporating stitch and/or textile manipulation.

Cotton_bud.jpgTwig.jpgBottle.jpg

Technically, I found project 2 much more challenging than project 1 and consequently, I do not feel that many of my outcomes from exercise 3 were generally as successful as stand alone pieces. The exception being sample 2a (see below):

Fabric1.jpg

Although I felt that the outcome could have been better balanced, I would also consider developing exercise sample 3c (below), because I feel that the combination of collagraph texture and back drawn line were starting to work. I can see that with a bit more experimentation, this sample has the potential to become very engaging.

Sample3c.jpg

 

Summary:

Thinking about which techniques I would develop further from project 1, it would have to be mark-making (reductive process) and stencilling in conjunction with back drawing and extending and exploring the use of fabric stencils. In particular, I can see a lot of scope within both these processes to develop my figure prints. I would use the samples below as a starting point for refinement and development.

Reductive.jpgBackdrawn_over.jpgSample_4c.jpg

From Project 2, I would like to specifically extend my knowledge of printing with collage materials (including plants) and polyfiller textures. The beautiful outcome from exercise 2, sample 3 suggests that there is much more unexplored potential. This knowledge would help me to develop sample 3c from exercise 3 (below left) and to improve landscape prints such as sample 2a (below right).

Sample3c.jpgFabric1.jpg

  

References:

Eastaugh, N. (2017a) Tracey Emin RA Bird print. [Pinterest pin] At:http://pin.it/GefagN3 (Accessed 10 May 2017)

Eastaugh, N. (2017b) Monotype collage, Mary Margaret Briggs. [Pinterest pin] At:http://pin.it/UVvtj95 (Accessed 10 May 2017)

Eastaugh, N. (2017c) Brenda Hartill. [Pinterest pin] At:http://pin.it/KK89Dh_  (Accessed 10 May 2017)

Links suggested by tutor in part 3 feedback

10 May 2017


Links suggested by my tutor in part 3 feedback

In this post, I want to show that I have examined the suggested reading/viewing recommended by my tutor Cari Morton, and to make comment on the work which I feel was especially relevant or appealing.

I started by looking at my tutor’s Pintrest board made in response to the OCA MMT course handbook (Morton, 2017). Although I have a Pinterest account, I hadn’t considered making use of it at a learning resource up until now. I could see, through Cari’s collection of images that it could be a useful tool for discovering relevant practitioners and, by setting up different boards, could become a focus collections of particularly inspirational works or those related to a particular topic, style or discipline. As a result, I decided to make my own board “Printmaking for textiles” in response to Part 4 of the course (Eastaugh, 2017). Collecting all the images in one place allowed me to appreciate the breadth of styles and techniques and it also acted as a resource pool which I was able to return to throughout my contextual studies and sampling. I shall certainly use Pinterest as a springboard for my Part 5 contextual studies.

Next, Cari suggested that I have a look at the use of silicone and latex within the graduate collections at New Designers and Graduate fashion week; in particular she suggested the work of Lucy Simpson and Xiao Li as being relevant to my use of silicone within part 3, project 1, exercise 1, samples 50-54.

Lucy Simpson describes herself as a “print and materials-led textile designer”, whose practice arose from a desire to seek out the tactile qualities lost within digital printing (Simpson, 2012-2016a). Especially relevant to my sampling was the way in which she combines a partial covering of silicone onto fabrics to make new tactile surfaces in which both elements are visible. I thought, particularly about sample 51 of part 3, project 1, exercise 1 (shown below), the broken surface, and how this could be contrasted with a textile places underneath.

Membrane.jpgBehind_lit.jpg

One of the strong elements which appeals to me about sample 51 is the geometry of the surface relief. Although many of Simpson’s silicone textile fabrics are irregular in pattern, I found an example of a regular “dogtooth” check (Eastaugh, 2017b). I like the striations in the silicone as it has been laid down onto the fabric, which gives additional surface texture. Also appealing is that the application of silicone is not completely consistent, so there are interesting variations on the fabric surface. I was interested to read that Simpson’s work had been included in various trend magazines, such as Elle decoration, Mix magazine and WGSN. Searching for the dogtooth fabric, I found an article in which it had been featured as a dress (Cover Magazine, 2014).

Xiao Li coats whole blocks of knitted fabrics with silicone and creates contrast within her garments by leaving other areas untreated. Examples can be seen on the Style Bubble website (Style Bubble, 2012). I also found a write up about Li in the London fashion week profile page (London fashion week, 2017). It described how she sought to use her techniques to show that knitwear doesn’t have to be shapeless, instead designing voluminous structured clothing. I was also interested to read that Li lists modern architecture as one of her influences. I also love the simple clean lines and shapes of modern buildings, and particularly have been influenced by the buildings of Oscar Niemeyer.

The final practitioner suggested by my tutor was Laura Splan and her “viral doilies” series (Splan, 2004). These works comprise of computerised embroidered lace based on virus structures, each of which displays a different radial symmetry. The work re-examines the lace doily as an innocuous domestic artefact by placing in the context of microbial imagery which has associations with cultural anxieties such as bioterrorism and health epidemics (e.g. Bird flu, Ebola). As a biology/mathematics graduate, I am interested in both the concept and the geometry of this work (I have purchased a copy of Ernst Haeckel’s “Artforms in nature” (Haeckel, 2015)). Consequently, I was surprised to find myself underwhelmed by the visual aesthetics of the Splan’s work. On reflection, I think this is because of the lack of depth and texture in her pieces, accompanied by the fact that they were presented as monochrome (white doilies on a black background). They seem rather clinical (which perhaps is the intention seeing as they reflect functional domestic objects?) In contrast, the Haeckel structures have colour, texture, three-dimensionality and in some cases semi-transparency, which is the direction in which I would be inclined to take the development of radical symmetrical structures.

 

References:

Cover magazine (2014), ‘Editor’s picks: 20 designs from London’. In: Cover magazine: Textiles and carpets for modern interiors. 30 October, 2014. [online]. At:http://cover-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/409a3fd27d749f3a-siliconedogtoothprint2.jpg (Accessed 10 May 2017).

Eastaugh, N. (2017a) Printmaking for textiles. [Pinterest board, May 2017] Available at:http://pin.it/ckRIxiD (Accessed 10 May 2017)

Eastaugh, N. (2017b) Silicone texture Lucy Simpson. Available at: http://pin.it/unPVwaN (Accessed 10 May 2017)

Haeckel, E. (2015) Art forms in nature. London. Prestel.

London fashion week (2017) Designer profile: Xiao Li. At: http://www.londonfashionweek.co.uk/designers_profile.aspx?designerID=2859 (Accessed 10 May 2017)

Morton, C. (2017) Textiles mixed media. [Pinterest board, May 2017] Available at: http://pin.it/xvUm7Ms (Accessed 10 May 2017)

Simpson, L. (2012-2016a) Lucy Simpson: About. At:http://lucy-simpson.com/about (Accessed 10 May 2017)

Simpson, L. (2012-2016b) Lucy Simpson:silicone At: http://lucy-simpson.com/silicone (Accessed 10 May 2017)

Splan, L. (2004) Doilies. Projects: viral artefacts At:http://www.laurasplan.com/viral-doilies/ (Accessed 10 May 2014)

Style Bubble (2012) Neon slick knits. At: http://stylebubble.co.uk/style_bubble/2012/07/neon-slick-knits.html (Accessed 10 May 2017)