Overall I have really enjoyed this years field options, as they have really given me the opportunity to learn so many new skills and experience so many new things. I feel really lucky to have be given the opportunity to go on both the Rajasthan and Morocco trips, as they have most definitely been my University highlights to date. I have not only learnt so much about myself a designer, but have had the chance to make so many new friends from across the school. Giving me the chance to learn so much about different subject areas and the way they work. Working in interdisciplinary groups has also been great, as it has given me so many new ideas of how to experiment more using my subject area of textiles. I have made friends with Graphic Designers, Illustrators, Ceramists and it’s been great to be able to bounce different ideas off of one another.
One of the great things about having the two projects to work on whilst we were away, is that we could sketch and write down key bits of inspiration throughout allowing us to develop our project ideas. Both of the projects have most definitely affected my direction of study as I have become so much more interested in the meanings behind prints and the history behind technical processes I am using in Textiles. Having the opportunity, as a Textiles student to visit the iconic region Rajasthan was just amazing, as so many of the products we buy here and patterns we use originate from the area. I was just fascinated everyday by patterns and colours all across the cities we visited. Having the chance to visit artisans whilst in India was also an experience that I will always remember, as we got to meet 3rd and 4th generation makers who are filled with so much knowledge and skill. This has really inspired me to want to work in a hands on way wherever possible from stitch to different printing techniques. I really believe that these are so important to learn in order to share with others, as we live in such a digital age of mass production.
The Morocco field module was also great as it gave me the chance to visit a different culture altogether and the chance to observe another way of life from my own and what I had seen whilst in India. Getting to wonder around the vibrant city of Marrakech was excellent as we had so much time to explore at our own pace. Since returning I have become really interested in Islamic art and architecture, was it was most definitely one of my trip highlights along side the Majorelle Gardens.
Getting to see craftspeople work during both trips, has influenced me so much that I am going to be basing my level 6 dissertation on the traditional printing techniques, used in the areas of Rajasthan we visited and how they are being preserved in the modern world. Field has most definitely changed the way I will work as a designer, as I have been able to see first hand the struggles that the textile industry has on the workers and the environment. This will most definitely always be on my mind whilst designing and experimenting. The field modules for me personally have just great and will always stick with me and will be something that I will tell people about for years and years to come. Just having the break from our subject area to work multi disciplinary has been so educational.
PROJECT REFLECTION – 21/04/2016
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)
- 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.
KEY INSPIRATIONS – 22/04/2016
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.
STITCH PROGRESSION – 24/04/2016
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.
FURTHER EMBROIDERY RESEARCH – 10/05/2016
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.
FINAL EMBROIDERY WORK – 17/05/2016
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.
FINAL PLANNING OF MY BLANKET – 18/05/2016
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.
FINAL PUTTING TOGETHER OF MY QUILTED FINAL OUTCOME – 19/05/2016
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.
Return to Field – 20/04/2016
Since returning back from Easter and having handed in a bulk of my subject work and completed dissertation proposal, I now have the time to revisit my previous Field projects. After a few months away from the projects and my sketchbooks, it has been great to have the time to look through my work. Especially to see areas that I am really happy with, along with areas that I really want to spent time developing and finishing. After receiving my formative feedback recently, it has also been so helpful and refreshing to see the comments that were left for me. My feedback comments have given me a lot of direction for the forthcoming weeks and I am looking forward to working revisiting the project as India is one of my favourite places. My comments were for me to think about using:
- Abstract mark making techniques
- Making one long wall hanging rather than a few separate ones.
- Take inspiration from found things that I’ve collected whilst on the trip.
- Develop my colour palette from photographs and sketchbooks I have collected.
- Experiments with different ways of hanging my final piece to show shadow.
- Continue further with my artist research into wall hanging artists and designers who use similar techniques to what I have chosen.
Below are a few of my favourite sketchbook illustrations that I drew whilst in India and shortly after arriving home. My final outcome, is based around the idea of journeys and the journeys that I experienced whilst I was in Rajasthan.
SKETCHBOOK REFLECTION – 21/04/2016
Over the last day I have spent a bit of time looking through my sketchbook to see what artist research and experiments I had completed. Reflecting back I am still happy with the artists that I have researched and think they are still relevant as you can see from the images below. However they are all in stitch, so it might be nice to incorporate some print as this was widely using in the region that we visited on the trip.
During the project and during the Christmas holidays, I began experimenting with different techniques that I could use in my final. The included lino printing to hand embroidery examples. Over the next few weeks, I am hoping to finalise my concept and further my artist research.
CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT – 22/04/2016
Before christmas when we presented out work to date before our formative assessment point. My concept was the develop a wall hanging featuring one of my favourite days in Rajasthan to show my journey and the different things I saw throughout the day. Recreating it across a wall-hanging using a range of hand-printing and embroidery skills, that are also used across the region. I still really like the idea of continuing with this concept, however I need to spent a bit more time carrying out some artist research to see how I could go about texturising my illustrations and ideas. I really need to decide what day was most influential to myself and the message that I want the hanging to give.
ARTIST RESEARCH – 24/04/2016
Today I have started to do a bit more artist research into my wall hanging and different sewing techniques that I can use. As I am still undecided about what it will include and the journey that I would like to make my hanging about. I’m hoping that seeing existing work and the layouts and techniques used will spark some ideas off.
The image to the left was created by textile artist ‘Tsurubride‘, I really like the double exposure look that has been created through stitch. I like the idea of incorporating something like this into my own wall hanging, as during some days we’d see the same thing repeated again and again. This could be anything from a popular motif to a particular sign, which i could repeat and layer across my hanging through print or stitch. The image to the right is by ‘Hoooooopla‘, I really like the combination of the printed background with thick decorative stitch over the top as it brings together 2 very popular techniques that are widely used across India, that are also of great interest to me. My original idea was for the background to be rather plain, however the patterns between the flowers really work well to bring the whole imagine together. This method would also be very time effective, as I could draw out my full design and then transfer it onto a screen to screen print with and then just enhance through hand embroidery in key areas to add colour.
Below are 2 more artists that have also been of great inspiration to me from the minimal landscape embroidery on the left with the coloured threads hanging down by Teresa Barboza. Whilst I was away I spent a lot of time sketching my favourite buildings and patterns, so this could be a minimal way of recreating my illustrations. The image to the right is by Ehren Elizabeth Reed, I absolutely love how simple in technique this is to do and just how effective it is. Just using regular threads and a sewing needle. This could be a great way of re-creating some of my photographs from the trip, by pixalising them on Photoshop. To get a sense of the square size and range of colours needed. Over the next few days I will have a experiment with this idea to see if it would be effective for my project.
My final designer of the day is by Teresa Barbosa, however this piece is the complete opposite of her piece I have looked at above, as it is filled with colour and texture with only a small area being plain. I really love the effect of all the heavy stitch, however I feel that to might be too ambitious for this project with my 2 other subjects to complete and amount of time left until our deadline. Hopefully I will be able to find a nice balance between the 2 by having plain areas and then adding my key areas of colour through heavy hand embroidery.
WALL HANGING LAYOUT IDEAS – 25/04/2016
Today I have spent a bit of time looking through my trip photos and sketch book to collect images from one of my favourite days in Rajasthan. The one that I have focused on happens to be our first full day of sightseeing in Jaipur. Where we:
- Drove through the centre of the old city
- Heading out towards the Amber area
- Amber Fort
- Inside exploration (patterns recurring)
- Headed to the Anokhi museum in jeeps
- Time around the Kheri Gate
- Rush hour at home (constant tuc tuc’s running all through the night till the next journeys begin)
Colour Palette Ideas – Below are 2 of my colour inspirations, from the detailing on the walls to the traditional dress worn by women at the Amber Fort. To general colours from the streets that we pasted.
FURTHER ARTIST RESEARCH – 29/04/2016
After carrying out a great deal of research last week, today I have began looking at potential fabric shape ideas and different examples of work. The image on the left is by Kari Steihaug and is of an exhibition called ‘Wardrobe writings’. I was originally drawn to the handing threads and this is something that has come up in my research before and an idea that I might use in my own work. Her fabric samples are in smaller rectangular shapes hung up from the ceiling. However for my final piece I think my fabric is going to have to be A3 0r A2 size. As I’m planning on drawing out my journey to screen print so with A2 or 3 would be a easy screen size to work with. The image on the right by Isabel Yellin from her collection called ‘U N T I T L E D m i a m i 2014’. I like the way that different patches of fabrics have been attached together, however I’m not sure how this would work with screen printing. I could always use a sheer fabric to show a double exposure effect in certain areas? However I do like the overall size and shape of her final outcome.
Whilst searching Pinterest for layout ideas, I also came across a few textile designers who use a few of the techniques that I wanted to include in my work. The first is the far left photo below by Ruth Singer who uses shadow embroidery, to fill in the gaps between the key outlines of shapes. The stitch technique that she has also used is so simple yet so effective. The 2 photos on the right are by Sophie Morille an ‘artist designer’. I was drawn to her delicate stitches into the printed areas and I think it would be nice for me to incorporate a few detailed stitches along side my simple in comparison shadow style embroidery.
The last designer that I came across is Izziyana Suhaimi. Like I have said before I want to include a lot of shadow embroidery along side my illustrated journey that I will be screen printing, to incorporate colour. As my plan is to just screen print in a black or navy, this mean that I can then add an array of colours through stitch. I really love the heavy stitch used in the sample below in different directions creating interesting patterns. I will definitely be including this sort of style in my final designs.
DRAWING EXPERIMENTS – 30/04/2016
Over the last day or so I have spent a bit of time drawing towards my final project. The illustration below is of the Palace of the Winds in Jaipur and is something that passed during my favourite day that I am basing my journey around. However the problem with my illustration below is that, I have drawn the lines so thin, that it hasn’t imaged traced very well at all. This is something that I really need to bare in mind over the next week to make sure that I draw images that can be converted digitally easily to stop delaying time.
FURTHER EMBROIDERY ARTIST RESEARCH – 07/05/2016
Over the last day or so I have been trying to illustrate my chosen journey, however during breaks from drawing I have spent time looking online for different stitch techniques that I could use to fill in the gaps between drawings. The two that I have found below are quite simple, which will be great in parts as hand embroidery can be very time consuming especially on a short deadline with other work to be doing along side. The embroidery on the left is by Sashiko, I really like the simple effect that the crosses give without being too complicated or overpowering. The image on the right is by Kate Wells, I also really like the idea of stitching rows of small lines as it is also a really quick way of filling in space, I could also have a gradient of colour running through my lines to create a pattern through colour? Rather than just through complicated patterns.
LINO PRINT EXPERIMENTS – 09/05/2016
Today I have spent a bit of time Lino printing with my 2 motifs that I cut over the Christmas holidays. After not looking at them for so long it was nice to revisit them, below are a few of my experiments. I am really happy with the way that flower has come out on the left, as I chose this as a key motif as it was a design that I saw commonly whist in Rajasthan, used in a variety of places in different scales. I am hoping to design these motifs into my design. Maybe running throughout to show the repetition? The blue and green Lino print at the bottom is by Folksy, I was really drawn to the layering and use of colour. This might be fun to play with, as I am planning on screen printing my main illustrations in black onto white fabric. I was then hoping to add in my colour platte through stitch, however adding a bit of colour through elements of my Lino prints. I have recently ordered a pack of Lino inks full of different colours, so over the weekend I might have a ago to see how they look.
ILLUSTRATIONS SO FAR – 10/05/2016
This evening I have spent a great deal of time drawing out iconic points of interest from my chosen journey day. My plan is to hand draw them all, before scanning them into illustrate to live image trace them. I really want to have a hand made feel to my final piece, as that represents India to me.
ILLUSTRATOR EXPERIMENTS – 11/05/2016
After completing of my illustrations last night, this afternoon I have spent time live image tracing them all on Illustrator. I have now began the hard task of deciding scale and layout of my journey. Below are some screen grabs from different stages of my layout development. I want the layout to look full but at the sometime not overpowering, as I need to leave areas free for my coloured stitch.
SCREEN PRINTING MY BACK
GROUND – 19/05/2016
Today I finally exposed my final background design on a screen and got the chance to print. I am so happy that I got the chance to screen print it today, as it means that I have a week to fill in all of the white gaps between my illustrations with heavy embroidery. My next tasks are to finalise my colour palette and to draw out my stitch ideas so that I can see where I need to stitch what and where.
STITCH PROGRESSION – 20/05/2016 – 27/05/2016
Over the last week I have just be adding to my Jaipur Journey hanging, adding colour through embroidery. I am really happy with my progression and can’t to keep adding to it over the weekend ready to mount for Tuesday’s hand-in.
WEEKEND STITCH PROGRESSION – 29/05/2016
After a productive week of sewing, this weekend I only needed to fill in a few gaps to complete my hanging. I am really happy with my progression and how it looks, all I need to do now is to cut my A1 window mount and to steam my final piece. Below is a working image of my final piece from this afternoon.
FINAL STITCH PROGRESSION- 30/05/2016
After a busy few days, I have finally completed my ‘Jaipur Journey’ final wall picture. I am really happy with my final outcome for the module, as it’s something that I will be able to keep to remember the trip and my favourite day.
Today I have spent a few hours planning and drawing out my final design whilst in the stitch workshop. I am really happy with the amount that I have been able to achieve in only a few hours. Below are a couple of photos showing my progress this morning, from initially drawing my designs out in dissolvable marker onto my fabric. To then starting to triple stitch some of my key lines out, using the large machine.
Over the next week my plan is to continue stitching into my fabric using the machines, before starting to hand stitch different motifs over the top. I have also chosen my final colour palette, of different shades of blue, that I will then mix with some greens and maybe a pink.
Today we had to present our individual Pecha Kucha presentations to small groups, identifying our most inspiring aspects of the trip, from particular monuments to colour. Determining key materials and substrates that we have experimented with in workshops, along with areas that we will be developing over the next couple of months until our final deadline. Overall I think my presentation went quite well, as it gave me to chance to reassess all of my work and to create a final outcome concept. I am also happy as I didn’t end up using my queue cards at all, meaning that I just spoke freely. Although next time I think a bit more practise is needed to get my timings exact.
After a few days of experimenting with different stitch techniques, I have now started to think about what my final outcome will be and how I’ll will exhibit my work come May when we have our work finally assessed. Whilst searching on Pinterest for Moroccan textiles I came across a few different contemporary designers, which led my search on further to quilting techniques. Below are my two favourite designers, with the blanket on the left being designed and hand made by Lacasadecoto a Spanish design company who are heavily influenced by North African crafts and lifestyle. Having lived in Morocco for several years, Montse the owner creates different interior pieces from her home workshop. I absolutely love to use bright colours in my work and this module has really given me the chance to go wild.
The piece on the right was made by Denyse Schmidt, I was drawn to the block triangles and randomness of the coloured areas. Quilting is not something that I have spent much time doing at all, but I think it would work well to combine my broken geometric patterns with areas of block colour from my chosen colour palette. Over the next few days, my plan is to have a go at some quilting in the stitch workshop to get an idea of different scales and shapes that can be made.
Since coming up with my new project concept I have spent a bit of time doing some artist research online. I first came across Sarah Benning whilst searching on Instagram for embroidery ideas and was instantly drawn to the simplicity of each section, but how effective they look altogether. I really like the idea of using both hand embroidery and machine stitch together, as you can see from my sample below. Combining a hand made feel inspired by the artisans from the Moroccan Souks along side more precise areas of machine stitch. Over the next few days my plan is to use the machines to stitch out a few more backgrounds from my drawings, ready to then hand embroider into different sections.