Category Archives: Tutor reports

Assignment 4 – response to tutor feedback

20 June 2017

Assignment 4 – response to tutor feedback

My tutor for this module was Cari Morton. A link to her feedback can be found here.

Response to tutor feedback:

Summary of the main learning points with my responses:

1. A couple of instances where I could taken my ideas further and suggestions on how I might have done so:

The Aldeburgh lifeboat drawing (well developed in motif, repeat and colour, but not translated into print).

When it came to deciding which sketchbook ideas to translate into print, I felt that the Aldeburgh lifeboat station work did not fit as well with the print techniques as some of the other themes (i.e. Thorpeness and Sizewell seascape: reductive monoprinting, Maggi Hambling Scallop sculpture: collatype). Looking back, I can see that overall my printing focused more heavily on drawing (which I love), than on pattern or repeat. I am glad that my tutor has made this observation because it has drawn my attention on how I might extend and apply my sketchbook work in a different way.

     

  

The collagraph portrait print (project 2, sample 3c) could have been refined into an interesting approach to image and/or pattern development.

Especially, my tutor mentioned the layering of different surface qualities and linear imagery.

Sample3c.jpg

Thinking about these comments in relation to my sketchbook work (see point 2, below), I can appreciate that sketching could have helped me to critique the sample in a more useful way. Instead of viewing it as a stand alone image to be judged as “successful” or “unsuccessful”, focusing on a particular areas of visual interest would have helped me think about how I might  apply the technique in a new context, or even to refine and develop it into a new approach. The ability to make this sort of mental shift is important because it helps to shape and develop a creative voice.

 

2. To use drawing to observe, record, extend and develop my prints:

Because the prints were drawing-based I made a decision not to draw them. However, having read and considered my tutor’s feedback I can understand that it would have been a valuable exercise. In a few instances, I have used photography to focus on areas of interest (e.g. a close up of an area of burlap stencil print, project 1, exercise 4 , sample 4b reproduced in my learning log, and close ups of project 1, exercise 4, samples 6a and 6b on page 53 of my sketchbook). I can see that drawing would have helped to widen my thinking and perhaps push my sampling in a new direction.

3. To include a few evaluative notes alongside my prints:

Although I wrote a detailed analysis of my prints in my learning log (blog), my tutor made the point that it would have been useful to have included a few “first reaction” or “off-the-cuff” evaluative notes in the print folders alongside each image. I agree that this would have enriched the experience of looking at the prints, and would also have helped with cross referencing them to the evaluative discussion in the learning log. 

4. In my summative reflection, to have mentioned more about the impact of the knowledge I acquired (techniques and aesthetics) and how it will be applied to my ongoing practice:

I agree that I could have been more specific about how I will apply the techniques and aesthetics I have learned. It will facilitate me think creatively about context, development and my creative voice.

5. To write an plan of developmental action points and areas to focus on in part 5:

Problem areas to improve:

  1. To make sure that I use sketching to record my responses to sampling – in particular to assist with development (such as design and composition), and as a springboard to propose further ideas.
  2. To make sure that I consider and record how I will use the technical and aesthetic knowledge I am acquiring to inform my practice.
  3. To be more experimental with materials, and to use them to push the boundaries of my experimentation and sampling.

Strengths to extend and apply in different ways:

  1. To continue with my thorough contextual research, but to extend it by looking to other disciplines. To think about material, visuals, and the concepts/nature of multidisplinary creative practices and how these ideas might be translated to invigorate and enrich my textile practice.
  2. To continue to explore and develop an emphasis on conceptual ideas and connotations beyond visual aesthetics. To use these ideas to inform my sampling and development.

 

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)

A review of the use of colour in my Assignment 3 sketchbook

20 April 2017

 

My tutor made specific comments in the feedback for assignment 3, remarking that at times there was a dissonance between the use of colour and the work. She suggested that I consider using a palette from within the image or working with a more neutral/monochrome palette to start with, and that I review and reflect upon my use of colour in the course.

In response, when I looked at my sketchbook again in context, it became obvious to me which colour sketches worked well and which did not, and I thought the best way of presenting this information would be to go through each in a blog post and explain why, with lessons learnt for the future.

 

Which colour sketches didn’t work:


Page 53: The punched cushion

I used colour because I wanted to emphasise the negative space more prominently and I wanted to emphasise the “window-like” properties of the sample. In the event the lemon yellow and bright turquoise seem like an affront to the eyes – the contrast in hue is large and it seems out of place in this context.

 

Page 54. Observational drawings of Part 3, project 2, sample 6

A thumbnail of the sample is shown below:

Casty2.jpg

The next image is an extract from my sketchbook:

In the top drawing, I have used a muted shade of charcoal to make a mostly tonal drawing to reflect the shapes and shadows of the sculpture. This is soothing to the eye.

In the drawing on the bottom right, I wanted to get away from the focus on contoured surfaces and the reason for the colour was to focus on the outline of the holes made by the balloons and to clearly differentiate from he positive and negative spaces. Looking at the image, I can appreciate that this bears no reference to the sample, and appears somewhat misplaced. My intention had been to abstract the image from a 3D sculpture and project it onto a 2D surface. In hindsight this would have been better achieved with a monochrome or harmonious palette which did not distract from the imagery.


Pages 55-59. Observational drawings Part 3, project 2, samples 2a) and 2b)

A thumbnail of one of the samples is shown below:

Sav3.jpg

The first sketches I have included are in charcoal, so that I can contrast their success with the later coloured analogies. I am pleased with these sketches because they provide detailed and expressive representations of the surface of the sample, and areas of depth and shadow.

In contrast, the sketches made in water-soluble crayon above are also tonal, but lack the range of the charcoal analogies. The purpose of changing the colour was to abstract them away from the original sample, but the three colours neither relate to each other, nor to the sample, so once again there is a feeling of displacement or disjointedness. 

In this final analogy I made a collage but cutting out the outline shapes from magazine pages. After sticking them into my sketchbook, I decided that they did not show up well against the white background, and for this reason I decided to outline them using orange water-soluble crayon. The aim was to create a shadow effect, but they are orange, it does not have the desired effect. In hindsight,  I should have made a note to explain this is my sketchbook.

 

Back inside cover – Part 3, project 1, sample 72

In this colour sketch, I was trying to give myself an ideas of what the natural cork background and red coloured latex sample would look like. If I am honest, I don’t like these two colours together, but I did not have time to rework the sample in a new colour scheme. This was sample 72 (recommended number for this exercise was 9)! I had just made too many and had I concentrated more on fewer samples, I would have had sufficient time to think careful and rework my results, if needed.

 


Undecided:


Page 26. Lattice

This is a bold colour combination with a strong contrast of saturation. It is both vibrant and an affront on the senses and is emphasised by the pattern. I am undecided as to whether it is pleasant or not and I have concluded that this would depend upon the situation in which it is used (i.e the size of the piece and the overall colour scheme in which it is placed).

 

Which colour sketches worked:


Front inside cover: based on Part 1, project 1, sample 48

Although this outline drawing has been abstracted and bears little resemblance to the sample, the shapes are interesting and the colour scheme (which draws on the paintings of KAWS) is bold helps to differentiate the shapes. It suggests a kaleidoscope, maybe graffiti or street art. 

Compared with the pencil outline (see above – sketchbook page 50), the contrast helps to draw me into the image and invites me to decipher the shapes.

 

Page 6-7. Doodles

These shapes were inspired by linocut marks, packaging and the paintings of Van Gogh. The colours add to the textural quality of the image, suggesting that some shapes are more prominent, and suggesting depth and perspective.

 

Page 10. Relief texture rubbing

This colour scheme works because it focuses on the complementary colours of violet and yellow. Together with blue-violet it from a harmonious triad, as described by Itten (Itten, 1961, 72-73).

 

Page 26. Lattice

This is the same analogy as that on page 25, but using a harmonious colour scheme with a soft transition of hue across the background and an increasing construct of saturation from bottom left to top right. I feel that this scheme is restful and I am more convinced of it’s success than the colour scheme on page 25.

 

Page 46. The squashed object

In the bottom right I have adapted Barbara Cotterell’s “Flourpots” piece by using a different shaped “container”, and by emphasising the outside instead of the inside by applying her colour scheme o the exterior surfaces. This colour scheme has a bold contrast in hue and gives the impression of being taken from a paintbox. I think that the contrast works well in this instance and helps define and differentiate each of the elements.

 

Page 51-52. Development from a drawing based on Part 1, project 1, sample 48.

 

This is an harmonious colour scheme of autumnal colours ranging from yellow, to green to brown, to russet to pink. It works because the colours form a transition from similar hues and overlapping the stencils helps the eye to blend them together,

 

Conclusion:

In the sketchbook for Part 3, I made a conscious effort to try and abstract away from the samples by using colour. It is obvious that this was often not successful.

The colour schemes which didn’t work tended which I chose without consideration of the context nor the feelings that I wanted to engender. They were more often bold and strongly contrasting. 

Harmonious, complementary or related colours tended to work well and enhanced rather than retracted from my visual message. 

 

References:

Itten, J (1961) Itten: The elements of colour. New York. John Wiley and Sons.


Assignment 3 – response to tutor feedback

28 March 2017


Assignment 3 – response to tutor feedback


My tutor for this module was Cari Morton. A link to her feedback can be found here

 

Response to tutor feedback:

Summary of the main learning points with my responses:

 

1. Exploration of biological tissue through latex sampling was crying out for more discussion about medical connotations and how it reflects on the audience. Would have liked to see more about the intentions for these samples.

I agree with the comments, but please see my response to point 4. Because of the large number of experimental samples made, I didn’t have time to expand this idea, which came right at the end of the project. I will have to think more carefully about division of time in future.

 

2. Use sketchbooks even more to develop samples and propose further ideas. Keep the photographs as they compose different imagery to drawings.

I will continue to develop the use of my sketchbook in this way (using sketchbooks to develop samples is a new concept for me which I only started in assignment 3). It is good to know that the photographs are useful and can be retained.

 

3. In the sketchbook, writing sometimes predominates over visuals. Reflect on whether I could be more succinct (maybe use bullet points).

I will try and take this on board, although at the time of receiving my feedback, I had already completed three quarters of my sketchbook for assignment 4.


4. An example was given of a leather sample which I said “didn’t appeal” to me, and on this occasion I hadn’t qualified my statement, nor had I expanded on the other contexts in which it might be used.

I try very hard not to do this (there are many other examples of where I have qualified what I liked or disliked about a sample, so I am disappointed that this one has been picked out, because it is not typical). 

In my comment I stated that “the leather held the creases and marks well, although as a sample, it’s not really very appealing…” I should have expanded on why I felt that it didn’t appeal “as a sample”. What I meant, was that as a stand alone object I found it difficult to relate to; it neither being immediately analogous to another object nor suggesting any particular feelings or emotions.

When thinking about other contexts in which the sample may be used, I could have thought about it being cut and rejoined at different angles, or perhaps being joined with a contrasting material to add excitement? I could have asked whether the sample would have been more interesting had I changed the scale, or cut out shapes and duplicated them t make a pattern. These are options which I should have suggested and expanded upon.

Finally, this was sample 32 of a total of 65 (The coursework guidance suggested “about 6 samples”). By this point I was mentally exhausted and finding it difficult to say something new about each sample without being repetitive. It is nobody’s fault but my own for overburdening myself with too many samples and it is something that I must urgently address in future assignments. Had I worked 10 times less samples I would have had the time and energy to be more thoughtful, discerning and careful in my analysis and writing up.


5. It was mentioned that the use of colour in my sketchbook sometimes created a dissonance when making observational drawings of samples.

I agree that some of the colour combinations didn’t work. I had purposely been trying on expand my colour palettes away from those in the samples, but I clearly need to be careful with this approach.

I have written an analysis of the colour sketches and lessons learnt which can be found here.

 

6. Continue to develop multiple outcomes from each source.

I am pleased that my tutor has picked up on this because it is an area which I have been actively working on. I will continue to develop this approach.


7. Consider using the forms, shapes and patterns which I have used in the last three parts of the course as the imagery for the prints.

See comment to point 3. Unfortunately most of my ideas were developed and I had completed Project 1 of Part 4 before I received the feedback.

Links suggested by my tutor in Part 2 feedback

25 February 2017

 

In her review of Assignment 2, my tutor made suggestions of artists and designers whose work was relevant to my interest in configurable artworks, constructed textiles and 3D structures.

I started by looking at the mobiles of Alexander Calder (Tate, n.d.) I could see the relationship with some of my samples joined with brass fasteners in particular Project 1, exercise 5, sample 10 (see below).

Three.jpg

It’s not that the piece closely resembles Calder’s mobiles in shape, or colour, rather that it shares a feeling of precarious poise and balance. There is a feeling that the piece might be transient, and that it could be disturbed by the breeze.

Other links were also concerned with configurable surfaces (Strozyk, 2013-16), (Smith, 2014a). Of these, I was particularly taken with a video of Martin Smith’s Rainbow (Smith, 2014b). The piece consists of a series of seven stainless steel frames, each of which is motorised and orientates at varying angles. Each of the panels contains many small coloured aluminium squares which flutter in response to air currents and create natural rhythms of movement across their surface. Although bold rainbow-colours, the piece also seems to emulate leaves on a tree through it’s movement. Because the aluminium pieces are shiny, there is reflection too, depending at what angle the light catches them. It reminds me of the play of light over the surface of water. This is a gentle piece which has a lot in common with the natural world.

The examples of constructed textiles and 3D structure chosen for me to look at included dynamic woven/gathered textiles (Pleun, n.d.), 3D lattices (Gwillim, n.d.a.), raised surfaces (Gwillim, n.d.b.) and the varied deconstruction, disrupt, reverse, reinvent ethos of the Envisions group (Schuurman, n.d.).

Gwillim’s 3D lattices (“systems” series) very much reminded me of Project 1, exercise 3, sample 3 (below).

Mult.jpg

His work made me consider that I could develop my samples in a similar way, by stacking them together to make a 3D shape. I also liked the way that the final piece of his “flow” series incorporated cut-outs, or “windows”, so that the raised surfaces was only revealed selected areas (Gwillim, n.d.b.) 

The endearing feature which appeals to me about all of these pieces is geometry. Suggesting process and conformity, it provide structure and pattern, however, I also feel that there is scope for it to be explored as a contrast to less will controlled elements, such as a loosely scribbled pattern. I will be considering these ideas as I go forward in this course and my textile practice.

 

References:

Gwillim, S. (n.d.a) Flow. At: http://skyegwillim.com/project1.html# (Accessed 2 March 2017)

Gwillim, S. (n.d.b.) Systems. At: http://skyegwillim.com/project2.html# (Accessed 2 March 2017)

Pleun, R. (n.d.) Structured textiles. At: http://www.robinpleun.com/#/structured-textiles/ (Accessed 2 March 2017)

Smith, M. (2014a) Rainbow (2014) At: http://www.smithautomata.co.uk/rainbow.html (Accessed 2 March 2017)

Smith, M. (2014b) Rainbow. [user generated content] Creat. Martin Smith. At: https://m.youtube.com/watch?ebc=ANyPxKr9sERWhnvPxWnLBrv0yTcwWja5Qsmbl2Jrn65WMOM2EF1XsYgIazq2uKtj3kkPYW3ZP_nrktCg7cp4M11jMr9MdY3x6Q&v=xZJEJYfhOIw(Accessed 7 March 2017)

Schuurman, S. (n.d.) Envisions group. At: http://sanneschuurman.com/portfolio_page/envisions (Accessed 2 March 2017)

Strozyk, E. (2013-16) Wooden carpet (2010) At: http://www.elisastrozyk.de/seite/woodencarpet.html (Accessed 2 March 2017)

Tate (n.d.) Art and artists: Alexander Calder, mobile c 1932. At: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/calder-mobile-l01686 (Accessed 2 March 2017)

 

Assignment 2 – response to tutor feedback

19 January 2017


Assignment 2 – response to tutor feedback

My tutor for this module is Cari Morton. A link to her feedback can be found here.

 

Response to tutor feedback:

I shall summarise the main learning points:

  • My tutor recognised that I had responded very well to the feedback which she gave on Assignment 1. More than once she referred to the submission as “playful”, and mentioned “creative thinking” and a “varied submission”. She also commented that it was a “highly personal response”, which I have taken as evidence of my personal creative voice. I shall continue with this approach.
  • Cari liked the way I used photography to investigate different aspects of a sample’s form, texture and detail, but felt that there was scope for this to be extended to my observational drawings. I agree that this would result in a more varied body of imagery which would help with resolving and developing samples.
  • She felt that my response to “How to wrap 5 eggs” had been fruitful in producing a distincltly different body of work. I shall continue to explore different influences in this way, but particularly the Japanese aesthetic, to which I am becoming attached.
  • Suggestions were made for further reading to extend my exploration of “configurable surfaces”, constructed textiles and 3D structures.
  • In Assignment 3, I shall try to put forward work sooner for critique. This will give me more opportunity to reflect upon the comments and to use them to influence the direction of my sampling, as suggested by my tutor.

 

References:

Oka, H. (2008) How to wrap five more eggs: Traditional Japanese packaging. London. Weatherhill.

Comments on assessment feedback – Textiles 1: Exploring Ideas

4 January 2017

I received my assessment results for Exploring Ideas a few hours after I had finished posting my last learning log entry for Assignment 2 of Textiles 1:MMT. I was pleased with the overall mark and the improvement from my first level 1 module. 

I would like to touch on two very important learning points made in the overall comments and the impact they will have on my work going forward.

The first is that “further development of drawing in relation to making would be helpful in progressing ideas with the spontaneity which would enhance the individuality of the work”

This comment is in strong agreement with my tutor’s feedback on Assignment 1, in which it was suggested that I use my sketchbook more closely in relation to development and refining of samples and ideas. I have started to take this approach in Assignment 2, although I feel that my sketchbook could be even more focused. In particular, I could be using the sketchbook to explore material texture and colour combinations. I could also link my observational and development drawings more closely.

The second important learning point is that “there could be more focus on how materials respond to each other when combined to create greater variety of resolved surfaces”

I realised at this point that I could have been much more adventurous in exploring materials combinations in Assignment 2. In particular, a greater emphasis on found materials and contrasting textures is needed to elevate my practice. I decided to made a couple more samples for Assignment 2 in recognition.