This is a section of the course I have enjoyed immensely despite difficulties caused by a whiplash injury which slowed my progress down frustratingly. I found the exercises on the whole really enjoyable although I freely admit to not being concerned if I did not do many plaits in the future!
It was interesting to use different yarns in weaving and also to experiment with different structures and plastic bags, raffia and similar materials which produced very different effects which in turn give me a ideas on which can be built on further.
In the course material questions are asked and using them is the best way to reflect back on this section:
- Did you have enough variety in your collection of yarns and other materials? Which kind of yarns etc., did you use most? How do their characteristics affect the look and feel of each sample? On the whole I have felt I have had a decent variety but financial constraints meant that much as I would like to have added further to this collection I have been unable to at this time – however, the collection I have has given me ideas on which to build. I found I have loved using the wools most but have recently purchased some rug wool which I wish to over dye and use as the qualities and thickness of the yarn are just beautiful. I also found I liked the use of raffia and by using lavender from my garden one of my samples smells amazing. I was surprised at just how different effects can be produced with different yarns and I wish to build on my woven samples as well as braids and twisted yarns in order to build up a reference box.
- How did you find weaving in comparison to the other techniques you’ve tried? Did you find it slow or too limiting? Yes I find the technique slow but I also liked this factor as it give me time to really consider what I was doing and how I was doing it but I certainly not found the it limiting in any way – to be honest I found the technique more free than other techniques perhaps due to the slow nature. I love fabric painting and silk painting and there is no question of that and my background is embroidery and over the past few years quilting but weaving is so totally different I feel it adds another dimension to my skills and one that I can combine with say quilting or as panels set into embroidered or fabric painted areas as well as standing alone in textile work.
- How did you feel about your finished sample? Are you happy with the relationship of the textures, proportions, colour and pattern to the finished size? Is there a part that you want to change? If so, try to identify exactly how and why you would want to change it. My final sample is as yet unfinished as it is a cross-over sample between Part 4 and Part 5 but as I type I am really happy with how it is progression. The textures, proportions, colour and pattern are working well together with the size and for my final project these will be reduced a little keeping all in proportion. The first of the two samples was based on proportion and also on the Fibonacci sequence and this I am happy with except for the curving of the lines – I wish these had been straighter but have now started doing my header line at the beginning with dowel rods which seems to have enabled me to do straight lines. I am not entirely happy with the colour combinations of that first sample and wish I had been a little more adventurous with perhaps by using the colour groups to organise them or by texture so there is a little more harmony in the piece.
- Was there any stage in the whole design process that you felt went wrong? How would you tackle this process differently another time? my only real problem with the design process was transferring the design on to the warp and the only way I can think to solve this is to tape my design to a board and try and more firmly secure this to my weaving frame before marking the warp with marker pen (if necessary using tracing paper over the design to avoid marking my sketch). As a whole I am happy with the design process – the story board was a huge help as it felt like a much more visual mind map with the collection of images, yarns and notes.
- Which did you enjoy more – working from the source material or putting colours together intuitively? Why? Both is the answer – neither one more than the other. The reason being is I love playing with colours and colour combinations generally and use my colour wheel constantly but using the source material meant I had to think about the colours and try and match them accurately as I could. My only difficulty is my weak point of working out proportions and this is still something I need to solve.
Answering those questions has proved really helpful as it enables me to reflect and see where my weakness likes – working out proportions of colour in a source image keeps coming up!
So now to look at the assessment criteria particularly as I am at the end of my penultimate assignment:
- Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills: I am relatively happy about how I have demonstrated these as I work methodically as a rule. I am aware that my observational and visual awareness is improving rapidly and this is where doing the History of Art course has really helped my textiles as I am learning to look much more closely and consider other aspects other than the obvious – e.g. the background may have details of colour or texture that are of great value. Design and composition is something I am learning rapidly and in these exercises for this section I feel I have grown in confidence and ability. I have realised that there are artists who are going to influence my work both modern and historical and this I am delighted about and I can really learn from their work on many levels whether it is colour, shapes, line or marks that create texture.
- Quality of Outcome content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas: Again I am much happier with this assignment and section of the course. I feel particularly with this learning log that I am able to show that I am applying my knowledge in much better ways to produce a better final result. I am also learning the use of mind map programs which I have just started to use for my final project and this is enabling me to conceptualise my thoughts in a way that I can then communicate my ideas. Presentation is something I feel I have improved on – I am much happier with my current method although still nervous about the presentation of my final project. In my learning logs I am confident in my presentation of work in a coherent manner and have been prepared to write something up in draft format, take a break and then look again to check that it reads coherently and presents my work to the best of my abilities – I am also learning tricks with photography to ensure I do not have shadows and the work is lit well.
- Demonstration of Creativity imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice: This section has enabled me to feel freer with my work and to experiment more and use my imagination but I am not happy I have been experimental enough with either my yarn structures (plaiting, twisting, braiding) or with the yarn I have used in my weaving. I can see my personal voice starting to develop albeit it two different directions – I love detailed watercolour work or mixed media work but I also love the work I have started doing inspired by Clarice Cliff and Paul Corfield too. I feel my learning log is showing a demonstration of creativity that has gone through a learning curve and is starting to really develop.
- Context, reflection, research, critical thinking: I do see improvements in these aspects although as I write I still have some exhibitions to write up and also two blogs on research into the above two mentioned artists. I feel my critical thinking is improving and I am able to reflect well on the work I have done and identify strengths and weakness much better.
At this stage I now must ask the question if my tutor thinks I will be ready for assessment and what do I need to improve on?
I am aware I have got some blogs I want to write up yet and these will be done over the next few weeks – I want to do these as I feel they will show both research skills and critical thinking and also the fact that I have been going to exhibitions to look at work that may inspire me now or in the future. I am concerned still about my presentation of my work and question how that can be improved?