MMT Part 2. Exercise 1. Joining straight flush edges

Joining straight flush edges
For this first exercise the idea is to join two materials edge to edge. Start with paper, board, fabric or plastic and place the two edges touching each other. The size of the joined length needs to be about 5cm long. Work your way through the techniques and joining materials. You’ll be very familiar with taping edges together but this time look at it using a makers eye. Bring in your other unusual materials to be joined. 
I started considering a theme around which to build pieces demonstrating “joining” around the time I visited the  “Fashioned from Nature” Exhibition at the V&A on the 13th May 2018. Walking around the show I gathered inspiration and ideas for this next assignment.
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William Kilburn (1745-1818) design for printed cotton. Watercolour on paper. 
Britain c.1788-92. Purchased from the funds of the H.B Murray Bequest, 
V&A: E.894:49/1-1978
Image found on Pinterest (reversed)
At heart the design above is an accurate anatomical study of marine life. There are random areas of intensive block colours that represent a range of surface materials against a repeat of detailed marine plants and creatures. The artist has placed these various organisms so they create a bold and vibrant design.
Fashioned from Nature
This informative exhibition starts from 1600 to the present day and asks and answers some fascinating questions. How has the natural world inspired fashion & design for clothing from that day to this ? What materials were used to satisfy these trends? the exhibition also demonstrated how natural resources have been plundered, some to extinction, from tortoise to albatross, crocodile to zebra, beetles to hummingbirds: these were all prey to fashion. And we have enslaved people to harvest cotton and the environment has been plundered – too much water is used in the process of dying, cleansing and the production of textiles.
This exhibition concludes with the all important question of how do we continue to clothe ourselves in a considered and ethical way with an ever increasing toll on our natural resources and the planet.
However the aspects of the exhibition I particularly thought about when I started planning this project were the examples of natural forms bursting, engulfing and entwining.
My inspiration – plants and insects and shells
I took these aspects of nature as my theme, and began studying plants and insects I found around me, and sketched tendrils, hairs, and enclosing sepals and petals, wings, limbs and bodies.
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Sketch of a poppy 
Media – HB pencil, coloured pencils and black fineliner in rough sketch book
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Primary sketch of MMT Part 2.  exercise 1 for Joining samples 1 and 2
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MMT part 2. exercise 1 Joining sample 1
Media – mottled metallic wallpaper, black cartridge paper, staples, lead pencil
Adding lead pencil line to the staple line suggests a believable interpretation of hairs on a large stemmed plant such as a poppy. The two different applications gives an added emphasis to the marks. The staple marks represents hairs that stand out from the stem and the pencil lines suggest the hairs that have laid against the surface.
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MMT part 2. exercise 1 Joining sample 2
Media – wallpaper, black cartridge paper and fine black wool
I want to make reference to the American sculptress Louise Nevelson from the research section of the first assignment with the sample above. I have worked with black to suggest texture, dimension and shape.
The matt monochrome colour has allowed me to focus on the line silhouette and texture of this work. This photograph does not really portray the richness of the black wool against the matt black paper.
I wanted to keep the wool stitch line within the black area to minimise the design aspect of the sample, and focus on the block silhouette area of the mottled surface on the left against the mat ground on the right.
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Hellebore 16.5.2018
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Hellebore 
Media – HB lead pencil in rough sketch book
It’s mid May and the seed heads on this hellebore are starting to swell. I decided crossing this shape along a straight join line in stitch could visually effective. Sample sketch is centre left.
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MMT part 2. exercise 1 Joining sample 3
Media – cotton weave, flock & striped wallpaper, embroidery thread and buttons
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Sketch of MMT part 2. exercise 1 Joining sample 3
Media – HB pencil,  green and red marker pens, cream coloured pencil
I have focused on getting a sympathetic colour range from the flower and not referencing the hellebore’s true colours or shape at all. The brief was to work with straight lines so I have worked with that element and my main point of interest is influenced by the general shape of the seed heads with button and thread. Sketching the sample drew my attention to the shape of the twisting thread against the flat plain ground of the block colours.
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MMT part 2. exercise 1 Joining sample 4
Media – inside of an old children’s book cover, 100% fairisle 4 ply wool
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close up photograph of joining sample 4
The illustration of this endpaper is covered in different grasses and branches and leaves from a tree. The coiling smoke from the tree could suggests a blistery day. I have tried to continue the theme by referring to grasses or hairs from a plant being blown around in the foreground. There is lots of movement to this sample and depth by the indication of distance between the plant and the background. The limited colour palette works as the texture and the design is in keeping with the subject.
I hole punched along the edge line, then knotted irregular thicknesses of yarn through the holes. Finally I created stitches along the edge line and knitted a few rows in garter stitch.
The join line for this sample is longer than 5cm but I couldn’t see a way round it without spoiling the effect.
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I did some research on this artist in the first module ATV and I have returned to her because I am drawn to the repeated element of much of her work. I find the layers of repeated fine black organic line visually appealing in the image above.
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Sketch of a deceased dragonfly
HB pencil, coloured pencil, fine-liner pens in rough sketch book
A dragonfly found its way into the house last night. I tried to rescue it and put in under the table in the garden, later on that evening I looked under the table and it was still there, but now dead.
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Photograph of the dragon fly with a simple microscope lens on my iPad
The line silhouette of the wing, the block colour of the dragonflies body and plain ground I find very inspiring.
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Sketch of MMT part 2. exercise 1 Joining sample 5
Media – lead and coloured pencil in rough sketch book
Looking at my drawing and the microscopic photograph of the dragonfly’s wing against the  solid bold block colour has produced an interesting idea for a sample.
This is a simplistic interpretation of the design, but I think I could develop this in the future.
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MMT part 2. exercise 1 Joining sample 5
Media – linen mix weave, smooth white cardboard, thick and thin permanent marker pen, machine stitch
I wanted to get around the problem of describing a straight edge line of the dragonflies body so I machine stitched the card and linen together several times with a zig zag line to soften the straight line edge.
The card has a smooth surface which has a sheen, as does the black marks describing the webbed wing section. I have introduced a finer line within some of the cell structures. In contrast the linen weave has a subtle surface texture and is a bold solid mat colour.
The black line top left has broken up the dark pink block colour.
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 MMT part 2. exercise 1 Joining sample 6
Media – ornamental grass, garden twine, red embroidery thread, textured weave front & reverse
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Sketch of MMT part 2. exercise 1 Joining sample 6
Media – smooth heavyweight paper, coloured pencils, watercolour, red marker pens
I choose this textured weave because of the bright lime green colour association with new growth in the garden. I also thought the cellular shapes of the slight irregular geometric design appealing and reminiscent of tiny seed-heads or buds. The reverse side of the weave is very different, the white repeated shapes have a honeycomb design within it and suggests a hardness of surface material as opposed to the left side of the fabric which appears softer.
Introducing the bright red colour into this sample was inspired by the artist Andy Goldsworthy, often his outdoor installations have a bold unexpected colour element.
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Andy Goldsworthy Pinterest
Red jumps out and is a complimentary colour to green.
I took some ornamental grass from my garden and bound it with garden twine. Then I cut the textured weave for the ground in half and frayed it slightly to soften the edge-line.  Finally I couched the bound grass between the two separate pieces having reversed one side of the fabric Joining the fabric together. I wanted to work with the concept of restriction or binding a natural element down and at the same time suggesting the red thread as a continuation of the growing plant. The red threads are pulled to the right and the tied grass leans to the left suggesting an area of tension in the sample.
The sketch highlights the separate threads of the bound grass against the separate threads of the red embroidery thread.
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MMT Part 2. Stage 1. Research

Research
Pippa Andrews
Link 11
Pippa Andrews is a textile designer who often works with materials in a 3D format, creating organic designs that imitate natural forms. She works with a wide range of materials and selects found materials that are sympathetic to her designs in their colour and texture.
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Pippa Andrews
This complex design which creates a sense of movement and uses many textures is to my mind caterpillar-like. There is a delicacy to the form and I can easily imagine the long hairs moving slowly in all directions as its body curls and undulates forward. In nature, often the textural design and surface pattern of a small grub, insect or plant is complex and intricate and this form captures those features very convincingly. Beyond any representation, as an abstract form I really like the red, black and white coiling lines that help me to understand its structure, surface texture and design. The surface pattern of the colours inspire me to consider a way of creating similar patterns.
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Pippa Andrews
This structure is similar to the one above but I choose it because I of the emotional impact is had. This work reminds me of a vulnerable organism like a chrysalis that should be hidden and tucked away somewhere dark and safe so it can fully develop and emerge from its current state, strong and fully formed.
However, it also reminds me of a shell, which has a very strong surface structure, due to being knocked about by tidal and flowing waters.
I like this artist’s work because I can relate to clear narrative themes. Her work with manipulation and construction is relevant to this part of the course because so much of her work helps me formulate ideas. For example, the repeated ribbing provides strength and stable form to this structure and I may pursue this idea by stitching wires, twigs or sticks within fabric to create structure and form.
Barbara Cotterell 
Link 12
Barbara Cotterell likes to work with recycled materials, utilising worn and weathered surfaces and distressed colours to help communicate her ideas into forms and repeating patterns. I like this practice of using something that no longer has purpose, seeing its potential and transforming it into something new with a different meaning.
I have chosen two examples of Barbara’s work where she has attached materials together,  which relates to the theme of this assignment Joining and Wrapping
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Barbara Cotterell, Tea Cloth (teabags and thread)
This outdoor exhibit of connected tea bags (seen above) where Barbara has made use of the space within the work to incorporate the natural surroundings in the design interests me. Making use of the outside environment allows an ever-changing spectrum of light, shade and transparency as the sunlight shines through and between the substrate.
The colours and shapes of these diamond like pockets remind me of sailcloth which has been exposed to iron, sea water and wood on a ship.
This versatile work creates many different visual interpretations as it would have a very different effect in an enclosed space. I am attracted to the repeat element of this design and will consider working with similar materials in future exercises.
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 Sketch of MMT Part 1. Project 5. Exercise 2 (stitching the surface) 
I incorporated some empty tea bags into this exercise. Sketching the sample enabled me to understand the formation of the banded edges, line silhouette and uneven colouring of the material.
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Barbara Cotterell 
Deeply foiled   from materialspace.com
I really like the reflective surface of these metallic twisted lozenges that have been loosely connected together with coiled and straight wire. I want to refer back to some work I did in Part 1 of MMT when I used aluminium foil to create a rotational pleat sample, see below. This to me is an unconventional material for use in textiles. I find the textural surface an exciting one to explore and I am intrigued by the surrounding colours that are reflected onto the surface material. With the exhibit above I can imagine how the spaces in between would give movement to the separate foil shapes and encourage changing colours depending on the surrounding environment. I like the idea of attaching and stitching metal and foil onto fabric and paper or applying metals onto 3D objects and I will think about this idea in future sampling.
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MMT Part 1. Figure 1.8a rotational pleat with aluminium foil A4
I can see subtle mat colours and pure white light in this sample.
Andy Goldsworthy
Link 13
I have been aware of the artist Andy Goldsworthy for some years now and have some of his photographic books on my bookshelf. The images never cease to amaze me because they are so dramatic and unfamiliar. Unfamiliar because it plays with what is familiar to us. We know how nature works, for example leaves change colour in the autumn, the different coloured leaves fall onto the ground over-layering each other. We enjoy the mix of complimentary colours on the forest floor and we may reflect for a moment on the sheer beauty of nature, but it’s a familiar scene and maybe our senses are slightly dulled to that image, no matter how up lifting.
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Andy Goldsworthy 
Andy Goldsworthy re-organises the leaves and makes perfect circles of them into a prism order of yellows, oranges and reds.  This unexpected design is surprising and shakes up the senses. I look at the circle and its surroundings, appreciating the whole scene with a fresh outlook. This works so well because the circle itself is only part of the work. Its natural environment in the wood is the canvas.
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Andy Goldsworthy 
Partly stripped Sycamore twigs Yorkshire April 1972
My first impressions of this image when I looked at it was the dramatic colour change between the pale yellow and the dark greenish brown of the twigs. Initially I thought that the artist had dipped them in paint, Andy Goldsworthy would not dip anything in paint unless he stumbled across some natural liquid dye that would serve to change the colour of something.
 He always works with the materials that are to hand, the seasons and weather conditions. Here he has stripped off the barks at one end to reveal the pale yellow, themed them as a repeated element and neatly placed them together creating a line – an irregular stripe.
The context of the natural surroundings completes the work.
Manipulating natural objects, like stripping away bark to reveal another colour or texture to create interesting and unusual artworks are inspiring and worth consideration.
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Andy Goldsworthy 
Here the artist has used fresh grass to wrap up a stone, I am assuming it’s a stone because this artist uses materials that are to hand within the environment. The ground for this work is the grass growing in its natural state. Using this singular material to create an image from two elements enables me to focus on the shape of the stone, the tension which describes its form and the various shades of the green which adds emphasis to the layering of the form. This work is effective and the concept is so simple. One idea that comes to mind is using grasses to wrap with and perhaps twigs to include into a wrapped project to distort the surface structure and original form.
Judith Scott
Link 14
Judith Scott (outsider artist) was born with Downes Syndrome, one of twins, her twin sister was born perfectly healthy. Judith contracted Scarlett fever as a young child which left her profoundly deaf, the medical profession mis-diagnosed her as being “severely retarded.” Her family not knowing what to do for the best seeking advice from the medical profession and the church had her institutionalised for the next 35 years.
Judith’s sister called Joyce, who had always felt her life incomplete without her sibling  worked hard to release her from being institutionalised and bought her home to live with her family. After some while in a Day centre and watching a craft demonstration Judith began to entwine and wrap, creating thought provoking textile sculptures.
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Judith Scott
I choose this work because I could immediately sense movement.  The jar/ receptical seems to be stretching upwards and the rim of the jar appears to have been tethered down which has caused an opposing tension between the rim and the main body of the jar.  There is a small organic form protruding from underneath the bottom left of the sculpture which I associate with a snail, so to me the structure is also moving along the floor, demonstrating even more movement. In the first assignment I introduced tension in one of my final samples (see below) this Judith Scott work has managed to suggest tension, stretching, growth and movement.
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Figure 1.51a stitching the surface
I can only sense tightening and tension with my sample.
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Judith Scott
I associate this sculpture with a dominant pagan-like structure. It resembles the head of an unfortunate wild animal that has been reduced to a hunter’s trophy. Except it is not an animal as we know it, it looks like a mythical beast. To me, there is something unnerving and tragic about it.
The irregular colours suggest brutality as I want to link the reds, pinks, yellows and greens with injury and decay, as if this trophy is a warning, demonstrating a harsh and brutal attack.
I can imagine touching this work there would be a mixture of sensations, a softness from the wool, the covered wire would make reference a skull formation and perhaps the pale frayed braiding, bandages. This reminds me of a gibbet, hung with dead birds and small mammals, a warning to others. The twigs above the ears looks like course hair and the strings that hang down has a fur like quality. I particularly like this sculpture because it is so complex.
Judith Scot’s work has relevance to this course because she demonstrates in her work an understanding of form, colour, tension, growth and movement in her textile sculptures. I will look closely at some more of her work when I start my wrapped samples.
Karola Pezarro
Link 16
This textile artist uses a wide range of materials and processes. She draws on her personal history and life experiences for inspiration and incorporates these themes into her work. To me this considered processing comes across in her applications. Her work is wide ranging in source materials and contexts. I sense an inquisitive artists that continually experiments with new materials and techniques to move forward with fresh ways of expressing her responses and memories.
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Karola Pezarro
I choose this image as I like the design element of the connecting irregular honeycomb structure, I associate the skeletal shapes with natural organisms,  which I find familiar and therefore pleasing. I can imagine it’s potential in material form to stretch over a 3D  structure.  The (Klein?) blue seems to jump forward giving a further suggestion of different planes, giving the structure additional depth and form. In this current project I need to wrap objects and record the results. I am inspired by the potentials in my work using similar open netted fabrics.
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Karola Pezarro
There is so much to this work, the layering of papers that have yellowed in time, the interlaced thread that resembles a cellular structure or webbing that is starting to inhabit the ground. A stone is woven within the work. I think of humankind, the writings that have been laid down, and in time nature covers and absorbs the physical evidence from the past. The layering of the different patterns complement each other, connected by the web, unraveling different stories on different planes. The fine thread and considered line suggests to me a slow process of regeneration. There are many ideas that are kindled by looking at threads and yarns wrapped around objects and sewn into substrates.
I am inspired to work with thread and open weave work in future sampling and this could be an exciting way to work in this next project.
Conclusion 
Below is a list of ideas that I will take forward from all of the artists I have researched.
  1. Creating repeating patterns with blocks of colour to describe surface pattern, form and structure.
  2. stitching wire, twigs and sticks into fabric and other substrates to create added structure and manipulate form.
  3. working with salvaged materials and utilise space within connected materials.
  4. Using metals and aluminium foil in samplings, twisting the material, sewing it into materials and papers and applying it onto 3D forms.
  5. theming natural objects like leaves, twigs, shells and stones to create patterns, designs and exciting forms.
  6. manipulation of natural materials for example, stripping bark off twigs and using grasses to work like yarn or string.
  7. the use of wrapping yarns to demonstrate stretch, growth, movement and tension.
  8. using texture and colour in yarn, wires and threads to create an emotive thought or memory.
  9. The use of colour in yarns and wires to demonstrate depth and form.
  10. using fine thread and a considered line in webbing to suggest organic growth and slow movement.

The Sheila Bownas Exhibition at Pallant House Chichester

Sheila Catherine Bownas 1925- 2007
 
A Life  in Pattern
On Sunday the 29th April 2018 I went to the Sheila Bownas Exhibition at Pallant House in Chichester.  Sheila Bownas was a textile designer that worked from the late 1950’s for approximately thirty years. The samples of her work shown in The De’Longhi Print Room reference some of her designs starting with a homework example created at the age of 17 to designs created in the late 1950’s including bold and confident floral and geometric patterns right through to the late 1970’s.
A lady by the name of Chelsea Cefai went looking for artwork to put on the walls of her recently renovated home in Yorkshire, she found in a local auction room a lot containing a large collection of designs by a designer called Sheila Bownas, Chelsea bought the lot, after selecting a few designs for personal use she decided that this important work by this unknown designer needed to be kept together, archived and shared with the outside world.
 As with many freelance designers much of Sheila’s work was commissioned and sold on as designs for large well known companies such as Liberty London, Crown Wallpapers and Marks & Spencer. All the samples that are exhibited in the collection were never sold.
Below are four examples of Sheila’s work from the exhibition that I particularly liked and wanted to comment on.
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Sprig Patterns 1942
watercolour on paper
on loan from Rachel Elsworth (goddaughter to Sheila Bownas)
Exhibited at Pallant House Chichester 29.4.2018
This framed exhibit of homework above was executed by Sheila as a 17 year old student at Skipton Art College in Yorkshire during the Second World War. Sheila later went on to study at The Slade School of Art. The four repeat designs all have a considered limited colour palette using a mix of neutral, primary & secondary colours and black. On close inspection I noticed where she had drawn in pencil a grid in order to place for her repeat designs. These confident pattern motifs are striking and I like the detailed observation of the different leaf, flower and berry motifs, the sense of movement and the choice of bold colours and also the way they are displayed together as a collection. Also I have a sense she was harking back to an earlier look from the previous 20 years (1910-1925) by design and choice of colour.
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SB 159 C.1950-1959
Gouache on paper
Image found on Pinterest
on loan from Rachel Elsworth (goddaughter of Sheila Bownas)
This bright and optimistic image of children in a playground is simplistic in its clever use of primary colours and naive depiction of line. I find the choice of red, blue and yellow an interesting combination (bold colours that would have been popular in the early 1960’s) and wonder if she chose them as children like bright colours, also the ground is cleverly broken up by a childlike line drawings of flowers and grass. There is a real connection to the subject of children playing, running and circling suggesting movement and energy, I can almost hear that unmistakable noise of chidren at school break time.
I think the designer’s use of repeats of children circling works well placed alongside the randomness of individuals running and at play, which on a larger scale would work as a repeat pattern with irregular marks and circles.
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 Untitled  (gouache on paper 1950-59)
on loan from Jill Wharton (daughter of Sheila’s cousin Dorothy Younger)
Exhibited at Pallant House Chichester 29.4.2018
This design as with the playground design above has in comparison to the homework piece above a sense of Sheila’s personal voice, and has a contemporary feel which is light hearted and humorous. I found this simplistic bright design of people sitting on the bus very up lifting. I like the way she has cleverly drawn the characteristics of people by simple block and line silhouette. I think her interpretation is similar in style to L. S Lowry ‘s depiction of crowds. Lowry was painting at around the same time in the late 1950s and 1960s,  I wonder if Sheila was influenced by him? She has taken the mundane activity of travelling on public transport and created an intriguing and timeless image. The simplistic colour palette of red, black and white is powerful, the red is thrown forward giving a sense of depth and different planes which gives the impression of people seated well within the bus.
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SB 467
1960 – 1969
Exhibited at Pallant House 29.4.2018
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Sketch of SB 467
The apples are repeated randomly onto a charcoal ground of sketched vertical panels which stand forward in bright yellows, lime and greens. These cool colours against the charcoal give a 3D effect and the tonal differences give modelling to the apples, the sliced apples appear flat as they are described in block colour; these two overlapping applications really gives this design punch and dimension, also I like the angular bold black line silhouette that describe the outer edge of the apple shapes and skeletal leaf patterns. Sketching the sample made me aware that the line silhouette of the leaves are rounded and soft and in a different style from the angular simplistic apples. This look was a popular theme in 1950’s contemporary design.
I believe the figurative designs I have chosen to write about very clever because not only do they all have a story to tell, but also scaled up work they well as patterns, I think this is because Sheila Bownas kept the designs very simple, yet beautifully drawn with a mature understanding of colour choice.
I am really inspired by much of Sheila Bownas’s designs and will consider her use of colour, composition, mixing of styles and layering into some of my samples in future work.
The above information was researched from:
Pallant House Chichester
 
Sheila Bownas The Art of Pattern
 Published by the Sheila Bownas Archive to mark the 10th anniversary of Sheila’s death in December 2007
 
Edited by Chelsea Cefai
ISBN 987-1-5272-0780-6
Copyright  Chelsea Cefai and authors
See link below for a Guardian article on Sheila Bownas

Tutor feedback to assignment one. Mixed Media for Textiles

 

Tutor report

 

Student name Penelope day Student number 515242
Course/Module Textiles 1 Mixed media for textiles Assignment number 1

 

Overall Comments

 

Lovely to talk to you today Penelope. Thank you for your submission of work i enjoyed looking through it. It was interesting to discuss the elements that you enjoyed doing, it was clear to me what they were.

You have clearly worked hard. It is great to see your commitment to your studies, well done.

You presented your work beautifully and it was easy for me to look through all your samples.

There were elements of your blog that i found hard to navigate. Maybe have a quick look over all the pages.

 

Assignment feedback

You explored the elements of this assignment very well. You discussed that you thought your early samples were rather basic and you felt you were just doing what was being asked of you from the document. From this reflection you successfully worked more into the next group of samples, taking more time to explore the process and materials.  

You tried a large variety of materials and techniques. You managed to create some very interesting tactile pieces, exploring surfaces, patterns, openings, layering, stitch……

 

Moving forward we discussed the idea of being more extreme ( but still keeping the sensitivity you have) So being bolder or more fragile. Having samples with very large elements or maybe very small details.  We also discussed layouts and placement with your samples. It could be that a sample is filled with ideas or it could be there are areas of quiet. Motifs or areas of interest could just be in a corner or edge of a sample rather than all over. Play around with these ideas.

Your sketchbooks worked really well. Your photographed your sampling and then drew in a variety of ways from your samples. It was great to see you being so experimental in the ways you approached each drawing. Sketchbooks were very inspiring, full of ideas for colour, form, suggestions of pattern etc…….

Be careful that some of your pencil drawings do not become too scribbly. You seemed to get a better sense of form/ pattern/ abstraction from some of the coloured pencil and pen pieces.

Although these sketchbooks were really successful ( and in a way i don’t want you to change things ) we also talked about you working with a sketchbook in a more organic way, so including photos, drawings, sketches of forms , sketches of ideas you might have, sample ideas, yarn, stitch ideas, fabrics…..images of designers/ art that inspired you……. Maybe try developing a sketchbook like this in one of the other assignments and see if it works for you?

 

Pointers for the next assignment

You are working really well Penny and producing some exciting work. Keep the enthusiasm going.

 

Think about a variety of scale in your sampling.

I intend to introduce  some samples on a larger scale in future assignments.

What contemporary artists/ designers are you interested in? It would be good to start to look at this as it will help you to develop your own personal voice in regards to who you are as an artist/ designer.

I will introduce more of my preliminary sketches as well as artists and designers that inspire me in my sketchbooks in the future

Be selective with what you send me for the next assignment. You can photograph beautifully the ones you don’t send.

I will send only the very best, the ones that i am really pleased with in the future

Tutor name Jenny Udale
Date 16th may 2018
Next assignment due 16th august  2018

 

MMT Assignment 1. Assessment Criteria

Reflection
The assessment criteria listed below are central to the assessment process for this course, so if you’re going to have your work assessed to gain formal credits, please make sure you take note of these criteria and consider how each of the assignments you complete demonstrates evidence of each criterion. On completion of each assignment, and before you send your assignment to your tutor, test yourself against the criteria; in other words, do a self-assessment you’ve completed in your learning log, noting all your perceived strengths and weaknesses, taking into account the criteria every step of the way. This will be helpful for your tutor to see, as well as helping you prepare for assessment.
  • Demonstration of technical and visual skills– materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skill
I have worked through all of the exercises in this first assignment except for three exercises in Project 3 Heating and Fusing.
I have used a varied selection of diverse base materials, including some more unusual materials such as recycled garden wire, scouring pads and aluminium foil which have demonstrated some surprising results in some of my experiments.
All of these physical samples have been photographed and most have been sketched, these recordings have really enabled me to look and focus on the line and structure of each piece.
Working with these distortion techniques and in some cases using materials for the first time has enabled me to expand my handling and manipulation capabilities and my knowledge of their visual potential.
  • Quality of outcome– content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas
I have been guided in my work by researching several designers that distort materials and I have demonstrated where their work has been an influence on my sampling and annotations. I worked through each exercise in a steady and methodical fashion developing and building on ideas and my use of materials were used in a sensitive and intuitive manner according to each exercise, utilising knowledge from my previous work in the foundation year and first module. I have annotated my thoughts under every sample in my learning log as I worked through the assignment.
  • Demonstration of creativity– experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice
I found certain exercises very revealing, for example scratching surface materials and embossing were for me particularly insightful as I had little idea of the final results until I had worked through them. I found using aluminium foil for folding really suited a particular sample very satisfying and really bought the sample to life.
I discovered that lacing and stringing communicated a sense of tension and presented a powerful image. My final three samples have been an attempt to demonstrate a collation of learnt skills and I believe I have applied a level of creativity throughout by working with certain themes, colour palettes and chosen materials in my sampling which demonstrates a personal voice.
  • Context– reflection, research, critical thinking
On reflection I am aware that many of the initial samples were a straight representation of the required brief and I have not gone outside of that box, however l really wanted to understand the process of each distortion process and its consequentual textural and visual outcome. What I found really enthralling was the breaking down and softening of lightweight glossy paper by crumpling, folding and drawing them. That allowed me to reflect and fully understand how the paper responded to continued manipulation.
I want to be able to push the boundaries even more by looking at more designers and artists in the future and to incorporate those observations and knowledge into my work. Planning and development of a considered line and colour palette in my processing is my goal.

MMT Part 1. Project 5. Exercise 2. Puncturing and stitching

Part 5. Puncturing and stitching
Exercise 2.  Stitching
 
For this exercise, in addition to the material and tools you gathered or exercise 1, you’ll need a selection of thread and materials that can be used as thread – wire, raffia, paper yarns, strips of fabric, and plastic and found objects.
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Figure 1.51 stitching the surface
Media – coloured cartridge paper, wallpaper, tea bags, patterned card, patterned tissue paper, quilting thread, embroidery thread and staples
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Drawing of Figure 1.51 stitching the surface
Media – HB pencil, coloured pencils and fine liner pen
The ground and border for this first sample was coloured cartridge paper which I left in its original state so it could support the sample -demonstrating surface texture, pattern and stitch.
My plan was to incorporate a few ideas and techniques into the same sample, keeping to a limited colour palette of warm hues.
Every element of the sample suggests wear, layering and complexity from tea staining, to distressed and mottled grounds, folding, perforations and stitch. I have some reservations about the square shapes of the tea bags and wonder if changing their line silhouette may have had a softer aesthetic outcome.
 I had so many ideas running through my mind and found this a difficult exercise to initiate but I have managed to introduce torn and cut apertures, box and angled concertina folds, running stitch, over stitch and seed stitch as well as stapling. The over stitching which I have elongated from the edgeline around one of the tea bags and patterned mauve sample bottom right has suggested tension.
Drawing and painting the sample drew my attention to the interesting aspects of the teabags, for example their finely ridged borders, the fold line of the opened tea bag and the uneven mishaped squares so on reflection I am glad that I left them in their original state. The short directional line of the stitch and staples around the different shapes help to tie the different elements together but also connected them to the ground otherwise the diffent shapes would appear to  float.
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Figure 1.51a stitching the surface
Media – thick cardboard, pva glue, wallpaper, cut balloons, polyester knitting yarn,
garden string
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Drawing of Figure 1.51a stitching the surface
Media – HB pencil and watercolours
The ground for this sample was originally cardboard backing of an old watercolour sketch book which I folded back and forth to weaken its structure then tore it down the middle.
I worked on this sample instinctively with the materials I gathered together so although I wasn’t sure of it’s outcome the selected materials dictated to me how I should work with them to achieve the final result.
The tough texture of the cardboard got me thinking of how a basque is constructed because it reminded me of the back of an Elizabethan laced bodice, also the colour reminds me of hessian or a ground fabric for a constructed textile base.
I stuck torn scraps of wallpaper on to the board. I choose the paisley wallpaper because the design reminded me of a classical vintage textile.
Then I punctured the two torn inside edges with a line of punch holes and added a few random holes on the outside edges to soften the line. I separated the garden string into three strands and threaded them out in a fanned formation from the centre line to the edgeline to create tension.
The knitting yarn was then used to lace the two sections together creating further tension in the opposite direction. Finally I tied on sections of cut up balloon onto some of the edgeline holes to soften that edgeline.
The tied balloons have curled up and look like tiny bows on a historical gown that gives volume and depth and has completed the samples overall effect.
 I like the satin-like reflective surface of the blue lacing against the dull neutral of the cardboard and it’s fluffy diffused line in contrast to the paisley design that looks more like shards of porcelain with a cold and brittle feel.
I decided to paint this sample with watercolours, painting the sample emphasised the complexity and layering which I have captured quite well despite the colour of the ground being different.
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Figure 1.51b stitching the surface
Media – tea stained & crumpled hankerchief, re-cycled garden wire, garden string,
raffia and metallic scouring pad
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Drawing of Figure 1.51b stitching the surface
Media – watercolour masking fluid, watercolours, black fineliner pen, coloured pencils, gold uni-ball pen
 I am interested in developing ideas around extreme opposites so I chose a ladies embroidered handkerchief which I aged by tea staining it and crumpled it up to dry. Then I punctured the garden wire through the cotton in a running stitch method, looping it as I went along. Next I stitched alternating panels of garden string in between the wire and stitched a centre line of raffia paper, that was then wrapped with garden wire. Finally I wrapped strands of gold metallic scouring wool around the wire and twine panels. Compositionally the wire- pierced & stitched areas have been placed into horizontal panels rather like a child’s cross stitch sampler or scribbled lines on a page.
The twisted wire moulded the fine fabric so it now has spring & resistance and has lifted, making the sample three dimensional. There is plenty of movement to this sample by the line of the coiled wires, yarns and the uneven surface texture. There is a repeat in the panelling but apart from that the design is random although I have worked each line slightly differently. The gold wire and tea-stained material has given the sample a warm colour palette.
The combination of complex textures and warm colours of pale pink, brown, gold and black are I think quite beautiful but also brutal. The wire reminds me of entanglement and the scouring material, golden fleece and the volumnious material has a puffed extravagance which symbolically could be used to make a fairytale gown. The textural effect is reminiscent of the designer Jule Waibel and her puffed trousers in my research at the beginning of this assignment.
In drawing and painting this sample I wanted to demonstrate how the wire has distorted the fine lawn cotton out of shape. The tonal differences does show that the fabric has movement and is covered in soft folds and creases. The uni-pen represents the gold metallic wire, although it looks flat and the delicate line of the garden wire is reminds me of black work. I am fairly pleased with these marks and how these are interpreted in my sketch.
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Blackwork embroidery shirt
Fashion Museum, Bath & NE Somerset Council
 
Information below sourced from Wikipedia.
“Blackwork, sometimes historically termed Spanish Blackwork, is a form of embroidery
using black thread, although other colours are also used on occasions. Sometimes it is counted-thread embroidery which is usually stitched on even-weave fabric”

MMT Part 1. Project 5. Exercise 1. Puncturing and stitching

Part 5. Puncturing and stitching
Exercise 1.  Puncturing
 
Start your sample-making using one of the papers you’ve collected. Puncture the surface with the largest needle you have; something like a darning or tapestry needle is best.
Carefully make holes across the page. Think about placement and the effect of having the puncture marks close together or wide apart. Use light and contrasting colours under the paper to explore the surface you’ve created. Work your way through the tools you have; consider the effect of the tool on your chosen material. Ask yourself if speed, angle or pressure makes a difference to the marks you make. When you’ve explored paper, start using the same techniques on other materials.
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a selection of puncturing & mark-making tools
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Figure 1.50 puncturing  Media – smooth heavyweight cartridge paper 220gm/2
Front of sample
Initially I creased the paper at random angles to create boundaries to more or less work within and to make an added impact. As with the previous sampling exercises I wanted to see the comparisons between the different markings next to each other. Comparing different perforation marks – for example the random holes made with unconventional tools and the crisp edges of the hole punched holes – I found they expressed different moods. I can imagine holes made with an unconventional tool being more suited to an organic theme such as a natural scene but the hole punched marks were more suited to a structured or geometric design. Switching the two styles could be even more interesting to experiment with. Below is a guide to my practical experiments and findings.
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 Figure 1.50 puncturing showing the other side of the paper
 the underside of the sample – I am immediately drawn to the textured surface of the “a” markings, the underside has revealed an emphasis to the patterns I made in the paper creating more of a visual impact. I think this is because the punctured holes have created a textured surface and shadows which has enhanced the delicate design. I think the larger penetrated holes from the underside look messy and unfinished and would not be suitable in some creative processes. The hole punch marks are exactly the same on either side.
Guide to Figure 1.50 top image, tools and results
a. these puncture marks were made with a pin used to join and position woollen pieces together before stitching, the size is a bit smaller than a large tapestry needle. The area of fracturing and damage was caused by using a random and fast paced action to the paper and the other patterned areas were slower and more considered.
b. four leaf clover hole punch, despite it being a manufactured shape because of its organic line silhouette it looks random and natural.
c. a wool sewing needle was used here to cover this area. It’s interesting how certain tools dictate to you how they will work, or rather you have an instinctive understanding of how a tool will work. This being a tough instrument to use I instinctively used it in an angled fashion for it to perforate easily.
d. the same wool needle was used as above but this time I punctured the paper from the underside and not angled this time. More tricky to use and quite difficult near the edge of the paper. The outside edge of each hole has burst up and left a circular wall around each one.
e. a single hole punch…… with hole punches there is a restricted area that it can reach from the edge so I folded the paper so I could punch marks further in, which meant I was creating parallel double holes and consequently another crease line was introduced along the way.
f. the bradawl made a loud crunching noise as it was forced through the paper, it was a jarring and cumbersome process. I punctured from both sides to demonstrate the different marks made.
g. star shaped hole punch. Taking the punch into the edgeline  of the paper generates an exciting broken line silhouette and I like the star that intersects the crease line.
h. metal staple… this created two different sized holes and snapped reluctantly into the paper. Once more I utilised both sides. I like the results as I have been left with a random and dramatic surface texture.
i.  I had several different screwdrivers to choose from but I decided to go with the patterned ended one that was so successful at making marks in project 4. Exercise 1. I am becoming aware of the different noises these tools make when perforating the paper. This made a rather soft noise and once connected with the paper went in quite easily. I like the circular holes with the punctured residue showing beneath, like different phases of the moon.
Conclusion
 I am very satisfied with the results of paper as a medium. This material shows up in detail the effects of puncturing and unlike fabric will retain a mark very effectively in its memory. The flat smooth substrate picks up every detail when photographed giving me lots of  information to work with.
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Giles Miller image from freshome.com
Giles Miller was one of the designers that I did some research on at the beginning of this assignment. He works with repeated textural surfaces and negative and free space. This image reminds me of perforated paper or plastic of exploded or punctured damage worked from behind the substrate.
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Figure 1.50a puncturing a fine linen weave
Front of sample
I chose a fine linen weave because I thought the material would be easy to penetrate. Surprisingly it was extremely tough to work with so I used a limited amount of tools which I  have not listed like the paper and plastic experiments. Many of the perforated marks started to heal back as soon as the implement was extracted from the material. Being a linen it creased very easily which I like because it created shadows and additional surface interest.
The top left hand corner was worked with the bradawl and pulled to the front some of the threads from the weave, each mark being different in character.
The bottom left corner was punctured with the patterned ended screwdriver which, although quite big even those holes tried to close up so I went back and punctured them twice. The bottom right hand corner was worked on with the wool sewing needle. I find it fascinating to witness how this material mends itself and how much movement it has compared to paper. Having had enough of this resilient textile I attacked it with a pair of sharp embroidery scissors and the damaged surface made a permanent impression of frayed vertical lozenge shapes (top right)
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Figure 1.50a puncturing a fine linen weave showing the underside of the fabric
The underside of the sample  – there is a more dramatic impact on the underside of the linen with the larger holes and to me the punctured holes look harsh and damaged. The smaller perforations have managed to heal themselves quite well and have resolved the damage incurred, all that’s left is a bobbled surface texture.
Conclusion
Interfering with this linen has left a fractured and distressed surface and the material looks rather like a worn item of clothing or perhaps a bandage. It suggests a narrative and a history so I am pleased I chose linen for this particular sample.
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Figure 1.50b puncturing a thin plastic envelope
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Figure 1.50b puncturing a thin plastic envelope showing the underside
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Drawing of Figure 1.50b puncturing a thin plastic envelope
This material is a thin and shiny plastic that shows up the slightest crease and fold.  A tough, waterproof and resilient material, it’s purpose for delivering documents through the post. I thought the address window and text would add interest to the subject.
Most of the marks were a bit uninspiring to me although I do like the hole punched marks and the screwdriver trailed line above the hole punches
Turning it over the black really shows up all the marks against the yellow ground so already there is an improvement.
I found the negative shapes of the various punctured marks on the black and yellow sample captivating as the yellow ground really showed up the circles and negative shapes and I started to see the folds and creases on the shiny plastiic surface, this I wanted to draw….. This interpretation of the envelope has thrown up some interesting mark making which I am pleased with.
Conclusion
This was the most cumbersome of all the different materials to work with but still left some satisfying results, having said that it was difficult to manipulate it was more versatile in some respects to the linen, it  did not heal so quickly and took on more puncturing tools which the linen refused. Also having drawn it enabled me to become aware of some useful markings.
I am starting to realise that plastic can be a versatile an intriguing material to work with.
Guide to the above, tools and results
From the top of the sample working down in the following order
wool pin – I pierced this plastic in a slow and control way from the front, it made a very satisfying popping noise – then I tried from the other side, that was more difficult.
The underside is black – I think this is a lined plastic material and possibly tougher on the inside
wool needle – these holes wanted to heal up like the linen sample, the bottom line was pierced from the back and much more difficult
metal staple – this is interesting, there is a line of larger holes and underneath a parallel series of smaller holes
bradawl – these marks are fractured and leave residues of plastic around the entry sites, again the thread of the bradawl drags and gets caught and resists movement to a degree
screwdriver  – I had to hold the plastic steady in order to get the screwdriver in to the plastic which pulled and distorted it, leaving an interesting creased trail line
single hole punch – I doubled over all of the punch tools, this really resisted and failed to work properly
star hole punch – this was a bit better and has left a line silhouette mark of a star shape
clover hole punch – this was a surprise as it went through relatively easily and most of the clover shapes took out the plastic