The course directs me to get all my samples and sketchbooks out as well as assembling fabrics, threads and drawing materials …. eeek I only have a tiny house!! Suffice to say this photo is just of my samples which were fascinating now to see as a whole – it makes me realise just how much I have done and also how far I have progressed in terms of technique and design.
I spent a considerable time looking at various samples and as the course directs cross-referencing between drawings and samples and making any new notes. The samples I really felt I could work with are pictured – these included ones with texture, colour and stitch and I felt these could be incorporated with my work on Dovedale and Derbyshire. At this stage I thought embroidery stitches would play a large part in my final design although as I was later to discover this would not be the case – a result of these stages meant my end result is as far removed as it could be from my initial thoughts and ideas.
Reading again the course material the suggestions are to consider which techniques I enjoyed using and whether ideas that emerge from fabric manipulation excite me or whether stitch could be used to translate an aspect of my sketches etc. The directions also point me to consider whether different techniques could combine to create further development of ideas and to look for shape or form in my sketches which could create a larger more defined piece of work – it is the last point that proved the most crucial i.e. form. I noted down what I felt were my strengths and what I liked – my biggest strength is use of colour so I wanted this to be a primary focus with secondary on form/shape and also texture.
I also decided at this stage it would be useful if I looked again at my VERY large collection of photographs taken over the summer and do a series of 5 boards – Trees, Tranquility, Doorways, Plant and Buildings with one word descriptions put against each image. This was a useful exercise at this stage as I spent a couple of days looking at each in order to try and decide from these images alone what appealed and whether there was one or or more areas I wanted to use in my final design – Doorways and Tranquility involving the photographs I took of the River Dove in Dovedale and the River Manifold at Ilam were my primary focus. I loved the colours of the Plants too with the purples and blues. These boards were effectively mood boards that I could develop further.
I also made up one board with the selection of my fabrics and yarns including some calico that I had ice-dyed and this enabled me to see exactly what I had gathered over a period of time with this theme in mind.
The mood or theme boards has proved to be an incredibly useful part of the design process for me and helps me to gather my thoughts and gain further ideas from and these boards were kept close to hand throughout the subsequent stages.