Updated Morocco Project


Since returning back to my Morocco field module, I have had the chance to see where I left things before the formative assessment point in January. Which has given me the chance to revaluate work that I have completed so far and to see the improvement comments made by my tutors. After being away from the module for a few months, I can now see different areas that need reworking and developing. After reading through the brief again in detail, I can now see what areas need more in depth cultural research carried out, in order for me to understand the meanings behind the things I have become so fond of whilst in Marrakech. Once I have completed this and carried out some more artist research, I really think that my cultural journey will come across more.

After rereading the brief I have found key points, that I need to work towards in order to achieve at this module. These are to:

  • Explore and research into different cultural values
  • Find relevant skills and processes that I can use in my work.
  • Find key materials / substrates to develop using.
  • Evaluate + respond to new cultural influences.

This also gave me the chance to look at the list of deliverables required for our summative, which I was happy to see that I have completed most of. I have completed all of the blog requirements so my final task to complete is to, put together my final collection of experimental outcomes, based in our own experiences and responses to what I have seen and collected. Which will be identify elects of colour and texture inspired from different parts of the trip, in my:

  • Working sketchbook
  • Trip sketchbook
  • Through my photographs
  • Experimental samples

Over the next couple of weeks I am planning on researching more into:

  • Symbols (Arabic writing)
  • Architecture
  • Traditional crafts (textiles – Berber)
  • Ceramics (Islamic art – tiles & mosaics)
  • Souks (Items on sale – similar things right across the souks)

Below are all of my stitch experiments that I worked on in January. Hopefully I will be able to still incorporate parts of these into my work still, as it would be a shame for them to go to waste.


Architecture has always been a key inspiration to me and something that I have had a real interest in since I was a child. The architecture in Marrakech is just amazing, taking influences from the neighbouring Mediterranean countries, traditional Berber, along with my favourite islamic art/architecture. I am usually drawn to bright coloured patterns and islamic art is just that, as you can see from the photos below.

Moroccan architecture has changed a lot throughout history, especially due to where the country is situated. It’s it architecture the reflects the countries rich cultural and historical heritage. Morocco hasn’t always been associated with Islam, but due to it’s conversion of religion the country this has greatly influenced the overall architectural style. Changing all aspects in Moroccan life from features being blended in/ adapted into buildings and interior designs. From the tiling, fountains, geometric designs and floral motifs. It’s the ‘Zellige Tiling’ (commonly known as mosaic) that really caught my eye as it is all over the city. Below are 2  of my favourite photographs from my trip, I really think that these will influence my work over the next couple of weeks.

Traditional Crafts could be found all over Marrakech, especially in the famous Souk market area in the heart of the Old City. Selling a large variety of same products again and again. From metal lanterns, to leather goods, rugs to blankets, these could be found right across the Souks.

Colour is all over Marrakech, from the tiles, archways to painted walls. I have not only been influenced by all of these things, but also heavily by the iconic Majorelle Gardens. Which are just outside of the historic terracotta city walls. The Majorelle shade of blue is just incredibly vivid and has not only stuck with me but also with a large number of the girls on the trip as well. However, it’s this colour that has really shaped my cultural journey whilst in Marrakech. Below are a selection of photographs that have inspired my colour palette for my project. After being very undecided in January when picking out a colour  palette I have since had time to reflect and find one that works best for me.

During my tutorial last week with Sally, she told me all about a traditional embroidery technique from America called ‘Red-work‘. Red-work is a style of decorative needlework  that first became popular in the US in the late part of the 19th century. It consists of embroidering the outline of designs onto a white or off-white background with a contrasting ‘Turkey Red’ thread. The colour red was originally used as the colour wouldn’t wash out for bleed onto the white fabric. The Textile design Rachael Howard is known for her work using the red-work style as you can see from the image below. These are contemporary versions of the style of stitch, however the idea and layout is very similar to the traditional embroideries.


After creating a few experimental stitch samples last term as you can see from the left image below, I really like the idea of combining heavy stitch together with the minimal red-work style. This will then combine 2 different styles together, keeping some of the heavily embroidered traditional Berber textiles, along side a more minimal red-work style, that has a contemporary feel. I have been very influenced by the islamic art and the geometric prints so this is something that I’d like to continue on with this term. Below are some images of the work that I created last term, I’d still like to continue on with my patch work quilt, using both hand and machine stitch like they do in Moroccan Souks. Other the next couple of days I hope that I can stitch more of my drawn out squares, as well as start to plan out my quilt layout. I really like the idea of using my favourite Majorelle blue along side different shades of blue, to keep in keeping with the red-work one colour stitching. The bottom images below, are my key influences and the bottom right is what I cam hopefully going to recreate using the different stitch techniques.

FABRIC DYEING – 23/04/2016

Whilst I was away in Marrakech we all visited a traditional pharmacy which sold a vast variety of products. Like many of the other girls, I bought some powder dyes which I have tried out for the first time today. Instead of using pre dyed fabric I’d really liked the idea of being able mix up the dyes to the tone required to match. I decided to dye my 2 fabrics slightly different shades, so that I will have more components to add play with when creating my quilted fabric. Below are small stripes taken from my 3 final dyed fabrics.


Over the last few evenings, I have spent time adding to my large sample that I started on last term. I am overall quite happy with my what I have added, however it just takes so long to get anything done. So i think I am going too add a bit more machine stitch, using some of the different machine settings to enhance my samples a bit more. Although I’m not planning on fully stitching each square, as I want it to have a minimal contemporary feel, which is more my style. I also don’t think the stitching needs to be too over the top, as I am planning on creating a interesting quilting design.

As I have never quilted before, I have been looking online for different tutorials that may be useful to teach my the basics. This website below has very quite helpful and over the next day or so, I want to so some practise samples to see how hard and lengthy the process is.

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 13.19.24.pnghttp://www.diaryofaquilter.com/2010/10/machine-quilting-scrap-winner-and-super.html


Over the last week I have just continued with my embroidery for my final piece. When looking at Pinterest the other day I came across this working embroidery by Alice Yumi Sinzato on the left. I really like the simplicity of the pitch however the thick stitch is really  effective. I have began to have at go at this as you can see from the photo on the right hand side. Hopefully over the next week I will complete all of my hand embroidery ready to begin playing around with my final embroidered squares to create my quilted blanket.


Today I have spent a chunk of my day in the stitch room finally finishing off my patches for my patchwork blanket. I am so happy to see the back of these squares and to finally wash off the dissolvable marker, I just feel as if I have dragged out the embroidery for far too long. Whenever I next decide to do hand embroidery, I just need to persevere to get it done to remain interested. My plan this evening and tomorrow is to draw out some layout ideas for my blanket and then to cut up my patches and fabric samples. Ready to begin sewing together my blanket by the end of the week, so that I can focus on my India & subject projects.

This evening I have spent a bit of time dyeing final bits of fabric ready to begin tacking together all of my samples. Overall I am really happy with my progress and just can’t wait to put my quilted sample together to see it completed. After a bit of consideration about what order to place all of my patches in, I finally decided to have a gradient order. 

After spending a bit of time attaching my embroidered square patches and dyed samples together in the stitch room, I am actually quite happy with how my final piece has turned out. The sample maybe isn’t as big as I had originally hoped, however I feel that it is a good enough size to get my idea across. My stitching in places also isn’t as good as I would have wanted, however I have only learnt that I just need to spend a bit more time to perfect things. I feel as if I have achieved my goal of combining key elements of Marrakech, that I found most inspirational. From the Majorelle blue colour that I have tried to recreate by using powder dyes, bought whilst in Morocco. To the geometric shapes inspired by the islamic architecture, along with hand embroidery influenced by the hand made products in the cities souks.



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