Final Degree Show Project ReflectionPosted: May 12, 2017
Overall I have thoroughly enjoyed this last module of my undergraduate degree, I have learnt so much about where I fit into surface pattern design and what I do and don’t enjoy doing. Having the chance to write our own brief has been great, as it’s given me the chance to base my collection around a topic area that I’m passionate about and want to explore further. After being lucky enough to get a place on the 2nd year field trip to Rajasthan, India it has inspired my work endlessly. From my dissertation, which I based around the preservation, conservation and adaptation of traditional processes in the area I visited, to getting me interested in different hand processes used to print on fabric. I felt like the Indian theme would be a natural progression to continue on with, whilst incorporating hand crafted elements of printing into my degree show collection.
Hand processes such as block and screen printing, made me want to create a collection with the process being at the heart. I have had an interest in lino block printing for a while so thought that this would be a great alternative for wood block printing, as it takes less time and is a skill that I’ve been building up in my own time outside of my University work. When I looked back at my trip images, I found that I had taken lots of images of the intricate motifs decorating different doorways and archways, so thought that this would be a good theme to base my topic around that I already had a good body of primary research that I could use as a base to continue developing. I found myself wondering the reasons behind the motifs and placements around the doorways so researched into ‘Vastu Shastra’ which is a theory around the decoration of archways, doorways and windows that can improve your life and prospects.
However my project seemed to steer away from this theory but I continued with the idea of creating a quiet space that you can sit to gather thoughts and read. I decided to follow the WSGN trend of Kinship S/S 2018 which looks to celebrate heritage and traditions with multicultural references to create a contemporary collection, which worked perfectly with my fusion design idea. I feel as if I have followed my trend, as well as incorporating my own design styles and ideas in my final collection.
Throughout my project development I experimenting in a range of hand design skills, from painted mark making my motifs to lino carving my designs. When we had our midway formative assessment point, I realised that my expressive mark making just wasn’t meeting my target market or theme. So I decided to continue on with developing my illustrations to create intricate lino carved motifs. I have thoroughly enjoyed this process and felt that my carving skills develops tremendously. Over the past few months I have created a collection of 26 individual lino blocks, that I could create my collection with.
The only digital element that I wanted to use during this final collection, was to manipulate my scanned in lino motifs on illustrator. I find this the easiest and most effective way to play around with my motifs to scale the sizes and to create repeat designs. I have spent a lot of time developing my motifs, as well as combining a few together to get the busy indian design style that I’m after.
My plan was to always screen print my final designs, as I wanted to continue on the hand made feel. I did experiment with getting some digital samples printed with the idea of creating a collection that was half digital and half hand printed. But when I received my samples back I found that my designs looked so flat and dull in colour, so decided to reduce the size of the collection down from 30 to 20 to enable me to silkscreen print samples to a high standard. This was almost a blessing in disguise as it’s meant that I’ve learnt so much more about printing techniques and created a bespoke collection that I have been at the heart of throughout.
The target market for my collection is the 30-60s professional market, to customers with a high disposable income due to the nature of the high number of processes that have gone into creating my collection the labour costs are very high. I feel as if I have met this part of my brief perfectly, as I have used fabric with a good finish suiting my interiors theme, as well as my Indian theme. Creating bespoke one off products including my upholstered fabric and contemporary indian style bolster cushions have also met my target market perfectly, as I have used hand printed fabrics making each of my products completely unique.
Designing my collection has been such a rewarding experience as I have been able to write my brief around my strengths and what I enjoy the most about textiles. This has been a great experience and has got my excited about life after graduation and has helped me decide what I’d like to pursue further. Since I’ve finished printing and getting all of my products made, I’ve now begun to consider the costings behind each of the products ready for my presentation next week.
The buddy system for me has been so helpful and also rewarding. I feel as if we’ve learnt so much from each other and also felt as if we’ve been paired well to compliment each others skills. Hand printing my entire collection is quite a task, especially when some of my designs have got numerous layers of colour. So having a buddy around during my last few weeks has been so unbelievably helpful.
Overall I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on this textiles degree and feel that this project has been the perfect end to a great 3 years. I have learnt so many new skills that I want to continue to improve on after I have graduated. I am now looking forward to the CSAD degree show and preparing for the New Designers exhibition in London in July.