(For any students happening across this and wondering where the rest of Part 2 is: I have been making a paper log up to now, and am in the process of transferring everything to a blog. For various reasons my Reflections on Part 2 were missing with Assignment 2.)
I find these end of unit self-assessments very difficult, mostly because I over-estimated my abilities in my first Textiles course by about 10% and almost failed.
My tutor makes the point that the way designers progress their ideas is to select out certain pieces that strike them, even if very small, and move them forward while ignoring the rest. He suggested suggested I make an exhibition for myself of the pieces I like most and explain why it is I like them. This is a very good plan. I am going to put up individual photos though. So here is my Self-Assessment.
Part 2, Project 1, Exercise 3. Colouring pelmet vilene with Inktense blocks was very satisfying. The fabric is easy to join with edges butted together, so it is possible to experiment with different joining threads.
The stitches resemble medical sutures, something rather dark, but at the same time they look like centipedes, something rather childlike and funny – I think the flicking between these two things, dark and light emotions, is something that makes a piece of art interesting. Perhaps that’s something to think about for a final project.
Part 2, Project 1. More baseball stitching, this time much more bland but (as my tutor remarked) the monotone gives you a chance to explore and appreciate texture. In some places I pulled out threads from the fabric to use for the stitching. This re-invents the fabric a little bit. These are simple, straight pieces of fabric, but I think this transformation of a straightforward piece of fabric to represent something is an idea to carry forward.
Part 2, Project 2. Wrapping an object. This was fun! As described in my log, I have been inspired by the work of textile artist Danny Mansmith, especially his studio chair and have been dying to have a go! It is a larger sample so I have explored scale, and I have also explored colour. It is intuitive, crazy and used for sitting on.
Part 2, Project 2. One of the photographs of my wrapped fork. It’s not just the wrapped fork itself I am pleased about, I am more satisfied with the digital images I made. Although I used a filter app, the layout is my own design.
Part 2, Sketchbook. I was thinking about butterfly eggs here. However, I choose this image because I find this kind of drawing enjoyable. Ideas from the natural world inspire me and I enjoy making variations on a theme. I was pleased with the scumbled background, and think I have implied a shiny surface. Most of all, I choose it because I would like to use sketches like this as the basis for picture making and embroidery, either by machine or by hand.
Part 2, Project 2. This is a wrapped milk bottle, made intuitively with muslin, raffia and a piece of pruned tree. Baseball stitch makes a reappearance in joining the bundles of raffia. It is one of those pieces that hits a chord inside me and I’m not sure why. It looks like a heart, and the physical heart has been on my mind this year. It also reminds me of a baby bundled into a raffia carry cot. It looks soft but the hardness of plastic milk bottle is a surprising contrast.
Part 2, Project 1. This is about 3″ x 3″, tiny pieces of black and white plastic melted together and then joined by baseball stitch. It looks sexy. It’s just a small piece of discarded plastic, stitched into and it hits a chord somewhere. I’m thinking Jane Russell in a black and white corset and large hat.
Part 2. Project 2. Wrapping. Here is another example of the image impressing more than the object itself. As described in my log, the process took absolutely ages but I learned a lot about how materials change in their nature the more you work on them. For example, soft string can be made into an object that is very hard. I also learned about very subtle changes in colour as the structure gradually covered up remaining areas of brown underlying string. I crumpled a little metal ball as a colour, material and size contrast. This is an important piece because I think it may lead onto other pieces. It’s got me thinking, and drawing and those drawings will form part of one of the Part 3 projects.
Part 2, Project 2. A wrapped and abandoned stone. This is fun, I enjoyed leaving a wrapped stone on top of a local drystone wall, for people to find. I enjoy the idea of strangers finding it, and wondering what it is, why it is there. I made sure there was nothing about it that could harm the environment (so I wouldn’t use plastic, for example).
Exhibition visit to Bovey Tracey. Make it OK? In general, the exhibition made me think about the place in which art is displayed, how that affects what you see. This is written up in my log. It was an opportunity to look at work by Dorothy Caldwell, but also engaged me with pieces that did not attract me at all beforehand when I simply looked at the publicity photos. For example, the piece above by Freddie Robins: I’m So Bloody Sad, 2007-2015, machine knitted wool, foam, sand, knitting needles, 980 × 400 × 2100 mm. It made me laugh at myself!
Summary and Deduction:
- Sutures in the form of baseball stitch feature often. Healing rather than mending? Is there a difference?
- Pieces that engage by flicking the emotions from dark to light work well (first object, pelmet vilene)
- Image or object? I feel, at the moment, it is either one or the other, they don’t have the same effect on the viewer. So, the image of the forks was more powerful to me, but confrontation with the ‘real’ I’m So Bloody Sad completely changed my mind about my feelings towards a rather neutral image.
- Escaping into the natural environment, taking people by surprise, art as something you don’t go to view but, rather, something that happens when you sit down to lunch or go for a walk.
- The trouble with wrapping things up is they make you want to unwrap them ..