Process is at the heart of my final degree show collection, from my initial drawings inspired by my travels around Rajasthan, to the lino blocks that I have hand carved to create each motif. All before silkscreen printing the entirety of my collection, to create a contemporary mix of traditional design styles together with a fresh contemporary twist. To create a textile collection for the higher end of the interiors market that has a personal journey of hand processes, all inspired by Indian doorways and archways.
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.
Final Press Packs: I opted to make my press packs for the degree show slightly different to how they’ve been done in previous years, by sourcing a heavy weight black card folder with pocket insert to secure all of my hand outs in place.
Final Body of work: I have finished labelling up my full body of supporting work for this project. This includes:
- Research File
- 3 Sketchbooks containing illustrative motif development
- Lino Display book showing all of my lino motifs that I have carved and used for my collection
- 2 Technical A3 files, displaying all of my test prints that I have carried out throughout the entirety of the project
- Large fabric test prints of my final hangings
- 4 final mood boards mounted
- Photo album + travel sketchbook from my trip to Rajasthan in 2015.
Degree Show Space: Few images of my final degree show space now that all of the covers have been taken off of my chair, bolster cushions and plinth.
Final Collection of designs: I have created a collection of 20 hand printed samples, predominately made up of screen printed designs and a couple being just lino block printed onto fabric and a few being a mixture of the 2.
- 6 samples: Screen printed designs on Hand dyed fabric (pink and turquoise)
- 5 samples: Screen printed designs on Silk Bamboo Sateen Fabric
- 6 Samples: Screen printed designs on Cotton Sateen Arian Fabric
- 1 Sample: Mixture of lino block print and screen printed design on Cotton Sateen Arian Fabric
- 2 Samples: Lino block print designs on Cotton Sateen Arian Fabric
- 2 designs printed in 2 different alternative colour ways
- 2 Coordinate designs
= 26 hand printed / dyed fabrics that make up my final degree show collection.
Having the 2nd year buddies around over the last few weeks, has been invaluable. MY buddy Lottie, has been absolutely amazing and has made the final part of this degree show collection so much easier. As I decided to hand print my entire collection of 20 samples, I have been slowed down by the printing process of printing, washing and drying screens over and over just to create 1 finished sample with all of it’s layers. Having my buddy around this week make this process so much easier, as she could wash and dry whilst I prepared the next sample ready to print.
Having a buddy who knows around her way around the print room and works in a similar way to me was also so beneficial as it meant that I didn’t have to spend time explaining the ins and outs of the room. Not only my buddy has been of great help, but in general the 2nd year cohort has really pulled together this week to help us 3rd years with tasks such as headering, that are time consuming when you’ve got other things to finish off.
- General Aims
My general aims for this final field project, is to create a surface design collection for the interiors market. My chosen target area for my collection being the 30s-60s contemporary professional couple, who are looking for unique, arty and quality interior products. I will be designing my collection for a living room/ cosy room in a contemporary style house, bringing a mix of east meets west to my designs. My general theme inspired by fusion design, being based around the motifs and shapes around Indian doorways and archways. My collection will be marketed at the mid to higher end of the market, due to the handcrafted elements that I want to incorporate into my outcomes.
- Specific Objectives
My aim is to explore the theme of Indian fusion design, inspired by traditional architecture and motifs to create a contemporary surface design collection. In particular the Indian idea of Vastu Shastra, which is the traditional Hindu system of architecture. Vastu Shastra believes that the threshold and archways of a building are an experience rather than a function, being gateways for positive and negative energies. They have the belief that a beautifully decorated entrance can bring prosperity and luck and I want to combine this into my collection by creating prints to create a quiet area to sit. Having visited Rajasthan, I photographed a variety of doorways and archways. I always been curious about the meanings behind the motifs and architectural styles used and my final project will be a great opportunity to create a collection of fusion interior prints.
Research for my dissertation was based on traditional textiles in the region of Rajasthan, India and how they have been conserved, preserved or adapted, focusing on traditional block printing methods and popularity of contemporary adaptations using traditional motifs as inspiration.
Continuing with the India theme for my final project it will be intrinsically linked to the meanings and ideology of thresholds, as key inspiration to create contemporary design ideas. Researching the crafts themes of my dissertation has provided knowledge about traditional hand processes and it’s these that I’d like to use to create my final body of contemporary surface designs.
The collection will be designed for 30s – 60s professional, who have a disposable income to spend on mid to high-end interior products. The client base typically wishes to purchase unique handcrafted statement products, as opposed to mass-produced interior products widely available in the current market. They are interested in the fusion of east meets west, along with a contemporary interior style mixing modern furniture with textured handmade products.
WGSN will provide research and trend forecasting to inform the style and colour trends of the collection, with key inspiration for my collection from the print and pattern folk trend, Kinship S/S’18. All relevant aspects of my concept will be summarised into a series of mood boards that will be referred to throughout the project.
Throughout the project I will be constantly working to build a strong body of work, initially starting off with a sketchbook of general inspirations, photographs, initial sketches and varying mark-making techniques. Initially I will begin to develop my ideas and illustrations with a range of drawing / mark making techniques which I can then develop in the workshops, mainly focusing on print. To then create designs that can be repeat printed and layered in the print studio, experimenting using specialist workshop methods such as, silk-screen printing, block/lino printing, to include hand stitch where appropriate. The next stage will produce a selection of samples and designs on a range of appropriate substrates, carefully chosen to suit my client and market area. Using fabrics, as well as experimenting on other materials, however this is all dependent on where my research takes me during this first section of this project.
Further experimentation inspired by my drawings and ideas will create samples using different print processes from silkscreen printing techniques to li0n block prints to a professional standard. All of my developments, experimentation and sampling will then create a final collection of interior fabric samples, some of which will then be used to create interior products demonstrating accurately repeating pattern designs, co-ordinating groups of samples using alternative colour way designs. I will professionally present my final collection at the final exhibition neatly, making sure to fit with my chosen market and client.
- My Brief
My concept for this project is to create an interiors collection for a contemporary sitting room, mixing traditional Indian themes together with modern design styles to create a strong fusion collection. Incorporating traditional silkscreen printing and hand carved lino block-printing skills together with a modern clean design style to create a body of final samples and interior products, which may include a chair, wall decoration and cushion. However this is all dependant on the direction in which my project takes me, to see what is the most effective way of showcasing my designs. As I am aiming for the higher end of the market I want to create more bespoke pieces, using hand printed fabric where possible, maybe upholstering a vintage chair in keeping with my chosen clientele. My chosen theme is based around traditional Indian doorways, windows and archways and the idea of ‘Vastu’. All of my research into my theme, including my initial illustrations and experimental mark making will inform my work throughout, allowing me to develop my design skills to a professional standard.
This evening I finally put up all of my final collection work up in my degree show space. This feels like it’s been a long time coming and I feel so relieved to finally see all of my work up in one place. I am really happy with how it all looks and has turned out better than I imagined it would.
I spent the morning deliberating about how to finish off my samples and whether or not to pinking sheer, overlock or magic tape with a straight cut. I decided to go with the last option, as I feel as if it gives my samples more of a contemporary look making my designs have sharp crisp edges. I am so grateful for the 2nd year buddies and the time they took to help me attach, sew and tie off my headers whilst I worked through my samples cutting them to the final size of 29 x 29cm.
I was initially worried that I wouldn’t have enough work to fill my space as it’s rather large, however I feel as if I have the perfect amount of work without it looking too overcrowded or empty. I won’t unwrap my chair, plinth and bolster cushions until the floor has had it’s final clean and dust to make sure that nothing gets marked or damaged.
Today I spent my final day in the print workshop, screen printing my final collection samples ready to be cut to size and have the headers attached and sewn tomorrow. I have throughly enjoyed the time I have spent in the print workshop and am sad that my time as an undergraduate has come to an end. This project has made me realise just how much I love surface pattern design and all of the transferable skills I have learnt over the last 3 years.