MM Part Five – Stage Seven – Reflection

Stage Seven – Reflection

Part Five

I am very pleased with the final outcome from the stage six prototype fabric cubes. These are not a finished item as they could easily be added to by producing more cubes and from more collagraph printed fabrics. There were many combinations of plates I could have used to print the fabric samples and when adding in different colour combinations that number increased again, rapidly. In previous work I think I have tried to try every combination of some things ‘just in case’ I miss a good one but for this work I was conscious of that and so tried to limit myself by just producing twelve fabric pieces. Some would work and others not so well but by placing these limitations on my work I could focus on the technique being used and not try to pre-empt the finished items.

I am very glad that I managed to produce a reliable and not greatly complex method for printing fabric collagraph plates on to fabric surfaces. There was very little information easily available regarding this sort of method so I began by printing on to paper and then transferring the results of those print tests to fabric. This gave some poor results at first but after some seemingly small adjustments the print quality improved and I produced some very detailed prints.

Much of my drawing work to date had been produced only on to white background and in no more than A4 in size. The printed fabrics produced in part six were a minimum of A3 in size and were, in half the samples, on to coloured surfaces. This is quite a departure from my usual work and I am very glad that I tried to introduce some of the colours from the colour palettes produced in Adobe CC in this way rather than relying on the acrylic paint used only.

I produced a good amount of research for Part Five and in some ways I think it was a bit too much. I really enjoyed the items I found but I feel that there were too many to include all of them in this work. I had done some work with screen-printing but felt that this did not fit in to the final pieces made as the collagraphs had worked well enough by that point.

One of the best things to come out of my research was to review any prints made the day after they had been produced. This was especially true of the part three test prints. These had not been as crisp or detailed as I had hoped while I was making them. I wouldn’t ever have thrown them away but by stepping away from these prints overnight, they really weren’t as bad as I had remembered when I returned to them the next day. These then formed the basis of my review of my prints in part three and the improvement of my method to finally print well on to fabric.

The hardest part of part five was not knowing what was really required for this work. I had little clue about whether making an actual item was required or if just the idea for a finished item would be sufficient. There were a few blog posts on the OCA site that came at just the right time. I then chose to focus on the printing method to lead my work. By trial and error I produced some reasonable samples and took these forward to make my final printed fabrics and the fabric cubes.

The cubes were a good way of displaying the fabric made and they did fit with the idea of the plaster cubes previously produced. These are by no means finished. I had hoped to make twenty but only made 14, more fabric could be produced and more cubes assembled, but this number gives a good indication of what I was trying to achieve.

I am however pleased with my use of fabric in these cubes. By under-stuffing each cube the fabric has folded itself to replicate the peaks and valleys seen in the plaster cubes.

While my printing method has been successful I am not sure that it is particularly useful outside of an experimental setting. The plate will breakdown over time and changes in the print achieved can be seen every time it is used. These changes come from how they are inked due, the amount of paint applied, pressure applied to the plate to print it or the fabric surface it is printed on.

 

Whole Module

This module, Mixed Media (MM) has been quite different to the Textile Vocabulary (ATV) module I first studied. There were many times in MM when I was unsure where the work was leading. I found myself second guessing what the outcome of exercises was supposed to be or what might be the possible reason for doing some of the exercises even was.

The trick here was to stop second guessing and just take pleasure in the completion of each exercise and the making of the items to complete each assignment. I didn’t enjoy working like that. It seemed that I was ticking boxes in order to move on to the next exercise. There was some detail in the course notes as to why these exercises had been chosen but a little more explanation as to what we should be getting out of each part of the course would have been useful.

I enjoyed the printing in part four most and then the collagraph printing on to fabric in part five. I really got to understand these methods and have produced some good items in these sections of work, extending my understanding greatly in part five alone.

The work I have produced in this module is very varied. I’m not sure where it fits in my future work but I have come across some techniques such as wrapping items and casting that I might never have come across by myself.

As for my own working practices, I think that I have begun to extend my drawing skills and my use of colour but still need to look at working larger than A4. The amount of research I have produced for each section of work has also increased from that produced in ATV, too much in some cases in that I can’t fit it all in to the resulting work to be produced. I have enjoyed finding out about new techniques and artists that I would otherwise maybe not have come across.

Overall this module wasn’t what I was expecting from the title and strayed about as far away from textiles as I could imagine, however I managed to work some fabric and stitching back in there at the end and have gained some new techniques that should come in for future work.

 

Assessment Criteria

Demonstration of technical and visual skills

I focused, perhaps a bit too much, on my printing technique in part four. Possibly to the cost of the items produced. But this in-depth investigation of the techniques proved very valuable in part five where I was able to apply that knowledge to produce a reliable method to print collagraph plates on to fabric.

I feel that my drawing skills are improving, especially using smaller thumbnail sketches to illustrate how items could be put together rather than having to produce each item and my work is beginning to become a little bis larger.

Quality of outcome

I have tried to present my work in such a way that it combines everything I have produced for a section of work together but also that it is a reference  that I can return to later. Many of the techniques in this module were unknown to me so the samples produced are my first attempts in most cases. These will be the basis for building on these techniques if they are used in future so it is in my interest to keep these samples in a clear and coherent fashion so that I can review them easily in the future.

My blog includes many more photographs this time around, although at a lower resolution, and I have tried to approach adding entries in a logical manner, following the course notes where possible.

Demonstration of creativity

I have enjoyed producing the samples for this module, especially as many of them have been quite experimental for me. I had not used many of these techniques before so some of my samples began in a very simplistic way but I feel that I have expanded on those techniques well especially the wrapping samples and the print samples.

Context

During the ATV module it was noted that I did not provide enough research for each part of the course. I think that I have made good strides here in researching more than only the suggested topics in the course notes and have tried to look outside of textile artists only in order to find other avenues to inform my work. Clearer links can be seen through my research to my finished items and these have been highlighted in my blog posts where necessary.

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MM Part Four – Feedback Review

Assignment Four Feedback

For this assignment I focused most on the technique of printing and the quality of the prints made. This has been highlighted in the feedback I have received.

 

Positive

Solid body of research into techniques and materials.

This is always good to read as my lack of research was one of the main criticisms in my first module. To have got to grips with this is very pleasing.

Work presented well in a clear, crisp and unfussy manner.

I am most pleased about my presentation being ‘unfussy’. At assessment those marking work have very little time to look at everything, having this assignment clear and easy to navigate is a help towards compiling work for assessment.

Pine cone drawings – Focus is on line and mark making due to the small range of materials used. Be as visually exhaustive with the subject chosen in Part Five.

I really enjoyed producing this work and I hope that this has come across in the images made. I aim to make more use of drawing in the next assignment, using many more materials.

 

Negative

Print more on coloured backgrounds.

I do tend to stick to white paper and simple media such as pencil and ink. A reminder to branch out a bit.

Most prints were gestural/organic. Try to use a range of aesthetics in future projects e.g. more graphic, ordered, linear alongside more fluid approaches.

Try to produce work that opposes the natural tendencies of the technique e.g. reduce the stark nature of monoprint stencils by piercing them before use.

I tried to understand the techniques in the course materials as thoroughly as possible. This meant that I was learning how to use them in a conventional way. This is a good reminder to step back and try to understand how a technique or material could be used in a different way.

Need more drawing in coursework. Use drawing to develop shapes and textures into mark/line/texture before incorporating them into prints. Also try to use drawing to propose improvements to prints already made.

Focus is on technique. There is little discussion of visual quality of each image. No discussion of compositional qualities.

I focused so much on the printing techniques that I evaluated those and not the prints that had been made. I also considered the prints as the final outcome from each exercise, not thinking to revisit them to consider any improvements.

I have really got to enjoy drawing through this course but I have overlooked it here in every way. I could have employed drawing to sketch out ideas for print plates or to illustrate areas for improvement. Instead I just ploughed on with making the prints and enjoying the technique. Part Five will definitely have to include more drawing.

A balance between the designed image and the process is important to create success.

I tried to divide my prints in to good and bad. Again this was solely determined by the success of the technique and not the content of the print. Also I didn’t list on my blog what I considered successful so how would anyone else know? This is another reminder to consider the finished prints technical merits and image composition together to conclude if the work is successful.

 

I am really disappointed with this feedback. I enjoyed producing these prints and by the end of the assignment I felt I had got a good feel for each technique. From the feedback I have received it is obvious that while I have got a good technical knowledge of each method I still need to remember to look at the artistic merits of the items produced.

Drawing is still a bit of a stumbling block. I have overlooked it in this assignment at almost every opportunity. If they still dish out ‘must-try-harder’ stickers one must surely need to go here.

 

MM Part Four – Assignment Four and Reflection

I have enjoyed this section of work much more than the previous one. This is apparent by the volume of work I have produced.

I began by testing out some of the methods that would be used with materials I already had at home. This gave me a good insight in to what these materials could do and also how some of the techniques should be approached.

I had done some printing before but had set my goal during this section of work to learn the techniques of printing rather than focus on the end resulting print. By this I mean that I wanted to make the plates, ink them well, get crisp images not fuzzy blurred prints and to have a chance to use the roller press that had been at home gathering dust for a number of years. The press wasn’t essential to this work but I wanted to use it to see if I could work out how to set it correctly and if it could be of more use to me in future projects.

I feel that through some trial and error I have achieved these aims. I am confident in how to set my press up now and how to get a good image off a variety of plate surfaces. There were some problems inking the plates to begin with, not enough ink was added by just rolling on so brushes of various types and sizes were employed to get the ink in to all the places I needed it to be.

I did not use too many types of paper for these prints, this was in part that I needed heavy paper that could hold its shape once it had been soaked in water. Lighter paper could not do this so many of the prints are on the similar surfaces. I don’t feel that this is a negative as the prints obtained have been well done and fulfil my criteria of being clear and well-printed.

There were some not so well-printed images though. Working slowly with some inked plates the paper used stuck to them and the print was incomplete. I looked in to how to use these prints and have salvaged many of them by cutting out the interesting sections and in some cases painting over the sections I didn’t like to obscure them, leaving only the sucessful parts.

I also found the back drawing exercise gave few pleasing results. I might have been a little heavy-handed with those prints and with a lighter touch and a slightly different technique it might be possible to get some clearer images.

My research focused on technique rather than final outcomes but if there was a particular print that I liked I endeavoured to find out how it had been made.

The work of Suzie Mackenzie helped to steer me towards using mount board for one of my collatype plates. Her work combines a lot of detail but only by careful manipulation of the mount board surface and the coloured inks added is the contrast in the final print achieved. I did not achieve half as much detail as she had but I would be interested to try out this technique in the future.

Something else for the future is printing on fabric. I got so caught up in printing on paper that I didn’t print on to any other media enough as I should have. The few pieces I did worked well but they were using acrylic paint which just sat on the surface of the fabric, dried very hard and rubbed off a little as I was sewing in to it. It would be nice to use some sort of thickened dye in future projects so that the print would be transferred to the fabric but that the fabric would retain its smooth surface and could still be sewn into easily by hand.

From the previous exercises I may like to print from some of the items I cast. There were some plaster pieces that broke while I was making them that could find a new place as items to be printed from.

It would also be possible to print papers to be used in the exercises in Part One or to print fabric to be used in the wrapping of items in Part Two.

I would like to use printing again in future. I would like to look into artists that combine collatype and stitch as I feel these two techniques may complement each other, stitch could be used to highlight areas of the printed surface.

Overall I feel that I have produced a good selection of work and that my printing technique is much improved after completing this part of the course. I look forward to Part Five.

 

MM Part Four – Good Prints

I have highlighted some of the less successful prints made during this part of the course but there were some good ones too. Below are the prints I felt were most successful.

One – Part One, Exercise Four. Up until this print I hadn’t felt that I had got to grips with the techniques using stencils. For this print I pressed some cardboard and bubble wrap in to the ink, laid the masks on to and printed it. These elements printed but there is also a stray thread stuck in the ink that has given a loop to the far right hand side of the image. The plate must not have been inked very well as there are some ghost images from previous prints in the background too.

I did not set out to print this piece but I am very pleased with the amount of detail the paper has taken up from the plate and the variety of techniques that can be seen in the final image.

Two – Part Two, Exercise Three. I had enjoyed looking at prints made from mount board plates in my research and was eager to try to print one myself. After my trial plate was a little haphazard in the earlier exercises I was keen to ink this plate correctly and show how the different areas of the plate – mount board surface, cut away of the top layer, plastic and sand – could give different tones.

This was the first time for me really trying to using my roller press and it hasn’t been set correctly, one side is under more pressure than the other, however the inking and wiping have been done well and it is possible to see the different areas of tone on the plate.

Three – Part Four, Exercise Three. I tried to monoprint some backgrounds and draw in to them but the prints I obtained were mostly smudged and messy. I had drawn into several prints using the same inked surface. When I had completed the work I picked the glass plate up to clean it and the light shone through the areas that had been removed by the drawings.

I took several pictures through the plate but I also printed this piece. I had not used coloured paper before so this was a good departure from the work I had previously done. This was an unexpected print as I hadn’t anticipated using the used plate to print from. This is something to try in future work and would use up the ink on a plate rather than waste it.

Four – Part One, Exercise Two. I am beginning to get a bit more confident with drawing so was very pleased when this print looked like the drawing it was taken from. I have used some blue paint very sparingly in this piece but feel that this small amount of colour has lifted the piece and works with the white highlights well. Textured paper was also used which has added another area of interest to the finished print.

Five – Part Four, Exercise Three. I wanted to use the weave and knit of fabrics to do the work in this print, holding more or less ink than each other to give areas of different tone. This print has been printed using the press. The pressure on the plate has been good, just enough ink is on the plate to get a good impression from each fabric stripe and the texture of each fabric used can be seen, even down to the weave in the very fine organza at the bottom of the print.

Six – Part Four, Exercise Three. The grout plate made for these prints was inked up using dry inktense blocks. I had been quite slow with some of the other plates and the liquid paint or inks used had dried up while I was printing and, in some cases the paper had stuck to the plate, ruining the print. This dry medium gave me more time to apply the colour just where I wanted it and to then begin the printing process, activating the colour only when the plate or paper had been sprayed with water and had come in to contact with the pigment.

This particular print had a good amount of water on the paper and plate to allow the transfer of colour but without the colour running across the paper.

Seven to Ten – Part Two, Exercise Three. The grout plate made for this brick print was very simple in its image but has given many different textures and areas of colour due to the number of different tools and marks that were made in to its surface.

Seven has been printed using acrylic paint and extender and eight using the inktense method from above. These methods were then combined to give two further prints, nine and ten.

I had focused throughout this work on getting the printing technique right, inking the plate well and setting the pressure on the press or applying enough pressure by hand to get a clear image. By overprinting I should have set up registration marks to get the two images fully aligned, I didn’t and I’m glad that I didn’t. The inktense overprint is slightly offset but has given a clear image over the acrylic, if a little bit to the right.

I was disappointed to start with but on looking as small areas of the print I can seen patterns developing that have repetition and line.

MM Part Three Feedback Review

Assignment Three – Feedback

This was my first video feedback. The following have been taken from the notes I made during the feedback discussion.

 

Larger drawings – Work at larger size, can still use A5 books but use two pages to give A4.

Colour – use more, could be white on black, Don’t have to go nuts, colour studies from previous work may be useful to give ideas for colour palettes.

Surface pattern – seems to be my area of interest.

Look at how to disrupt the process eg adding oil to plaster – While it is important to learn a technique or method changing a process or following up on a “what happens if I do this?” can lead to unexpected ‘happy accidents’ that might lead to interesting new work.

Drawing –

vary media – much of my work to date has been in black and white, pen and pencil. Try something new.

draw whole things – I do tend to draw only a pat of an object. I suggested that this was because when I try to draw whole things I am not happy with the outcome and am still getting to grips with people seeing my work. I was aware at this point that I sounded like I might need some kind of therapy or counselling to even begin to try this. Something to think about for future work.

test one motif in different media – Draw one thing several times using different media. This could give a different look to the same thing or pattern that may inspire further work.

Why don’t I use colour? – I was made very aware that I don’t need to abstract everything, I can draw a whole item but that also I could work back from drawing to make a new sample, draw that again which in itself would lead to new work being made.

Use more than pencil in planning – Good start with the pencil sketches and thumbnails but now move on to pen or paint too.

Role of drawing in making, drawing as planning

Austin Kleon – Applying constraints – I apply my own rules to my work already, but in  Kleons book there is the suggestion that applying rules to a project can help focus your work. Sometimes having too much scope for choice can be limiting, not freeing.

 

My tutor also very kindly emailed me some notes from our video feedback. From these notes I have taken the following.

Try and find the fun – even in projects that you aren’t enjoying. I didn’t enjoy Part Three very much, it was messy and I didn’t feel that I was moving through the projects very well. Trying to find one thing that I found interesting and expanding on that may have helped. Something to remember for future work.

More drawings at larger scale (more than A5) from this section of work.

Try using different materials to draw the same things, finding the right materials to capture what it is you are actually seeing.

Use more colour, this is present in other work, not for OCA, but not in the work submitted for assignments. Why is this? By the end of this video feedback I felt that I had come across as a bit of a nutter who doesn’t want anyone to see their work and who couldn’t possibly colour anything in for crazy, known only to themselves, reasons. I didn’t seek any professional help but instead went on holiday and tried to do more drawing with these comments focusing my work.

Future posts will cover what was created during my draw-a-thon but I have since bolstered my art supplies so that I have a few more choices when it comes to drawing materials. Not so sure about increasing the scale yet though. We’ll see.

 

MM Part Three – Assignment Three and Reflection

If this assignment has shown anything it is that I am very impatient.  I found it very difficult to let some of these samples sit and dry before I felt the need to lift up a corner of a bag of plaster or remove a cast from a tray. This did not impact on any of the samples I made, to the best of my knowledge, but I did start to make samples when I knew that I would be away from them for a time to limit the interaction I had with them before they were completely formed or set.

Setting of some of these materials also turned out to be different to dried out. Plaster holds the shape it has been poured in to after a few hours, once the powder crystals that have been suspended in water have realigned themselves against the items they are forming around. This meant that any interaction with the plaster samples after a few hours would not greatly change the final outcome as the plaster had already taken on the confirmation that it would retain once it was dry.

Drying times were much more extended than I had anticipated. Even outside over two sunny days little of the paper mache samples had dried out. While the plaster samples felt dry to the touch after two or three days but were still very cold, a sign that the samples may well still be very damp inside.

Even the air drying clay samples required days to dry. The product information suggests that the thickness of the sample dictates the time it would take to dry, 24 hours per 1 cm depth, but even these thin, rolled out sheets took nearly five days until I felt that they were completely dry.

I had not worked with these materials in this way before, however I was very definite that I could not work with liquid latex. I have come across this material before, and while I am not allergic to it, I do find the smell and feel of the latex very off-putting.

One of the anomalies I came across on reading and researching about these materials and techniques was the spelling used. Moulding, molding, paper mache and papier maché some were American spellings and others British. It is worth remembering to search using the different spellings as this gives different results when using search engines or library searches.

I was surprised at the detail that could be captured by the materials used in these projects. When applied directly to an item paper mache, plaster and air drying clay picked up some very small details and retained them on drying. However putting plastic freezer bags between the plaster and the item to be cast reduced the detail dramatically. This could possibly be remedied by pressing the bags of plaster more in to the surface being cast.

One of the draw backs of the plaster samples is the colour of the final pieces. The pink colour is a strange one and I feel that these plaster samples would benefit from being painted if they were to be displayed anywhere. However applying paint to the surface of these samples might reduce the detail visible.

I really enjoyed peeling back the samples to see the surfaces that had been created. This was especially true of the air drying clay samples. The results of these samples were instantaneous, once they were removed from the items they had been pressed in to, as long as they were not touched again, they retained those textures on drying. This material got me to thinking that it could be used to capture textures, possibly from outdoor sites, on the clay tiles that could then be used to print from.

I have continued to take photographs against more neutral backgrounds. These allow the samples to be the focus of each photograph and not a busy background behind. I have also found that I am taking fewer photographs of the samples produced but using more of them on my blog. This has led to some very image-dense posts, hence Project One of this part of the course has been split in to three blog posts to prevent slowing down loading of the pages or making the posts too long.

While the photographs of the final samples produced are neat I have included some less neat photographs of the samples as they were being made. I worked outside and in the basement to make some of the first samples and felt that I wanted to document the work as it was being produced. This gives some photos that have paving slabs in the background or have been taken in low light levels but the samples could not be moved to anywhere more photogenic while they were setting. I think this adds some authenticity to the photographs as they have been made in-situ as the samples were being produced.

I think that the work that I have produced shows a good progression from my beginnings of working with plaster and paper mache, where I was unsure of the samples and surface that might be produced, to the final samples in Project One combining clay, plaster wire or thread to give embellished surfaces.

Not every sample finished as I had expected it to. There were several that formed completed, continuous surfaces when contained in a plastic bag but on releasing the sample from the bag the surface split in to several pieces. This resulted in me not having the sample I had original hoped to end up with but did give me several smaller samples that I could work with, pieces that could be recombined to make a similar sample to the original or to take a single piece and use that alone.

Ultimately what I found was that nothing was really lost in this way of sample making. I may have been aiming for one thing but could still use the end result once the material used had set, even if it had splintered in to several pieces.

However, there were a few samples that gave good results that I can see potential in.

Ice cubes – I cast the ice-cube bags using both plaster and plaster of Paris. The plaster samples were good and showed the creases in the plastic bag on the cubes produced. However the samples made of plaster of Paris have given a similar shape but a very different look to the sample. As each cube is white it looks like a little cloud or small pillow. The material used is hard but it has given a very soft look, I find that very interesting. I took the twelve plaster of Paris cubes and photographed them together. I think that if I was to cast many more of these samples they would look impressive viewed in a large group, piled on top of each other in a similar manner.

Air drying clay and wire loops – The holes in the clay tile had been made using the point of a steak knife. This didn’t give smooth holes in the surface but had raised the clay removed by the knife from the surface to leave cone like indents. I decided to extend these cones out from the surface using thread, but that wouldn’t have stood up as I would have liked so I chose to use wire instead. This kept its shape and would hold itself upright, away from the surface of the tile, in the way I wanted.

This has given a good final sample, the wire loops look good viewed against each other, the repetition of similar shaped loops, in different sizes forming a jungle of lines.

Plastic pots – The two samples cast in the plastic pots worked well. The plaster of Paris captured the threads and produced an interesting surface where the plaster had seeped through the threads to form small islands of plaster within them.

The wire I had used was very elastic, forming coils that were difficult to contain. By trapping the wire in the plaster of Paris base the spring of the wire could be contained. There is something atomic about the look of this sample. There is a feeling of trapped energy in the loops of wire being held down in the plaster.

Cling film – It was difficult to work out where to put this sample. It was the cast of the inside of a vessel, was wrapped and also was a mould of a surface. Wherever it should be I think that this method has some mileage in it. Similar to the ice cubes, smaller casts could be made, in different materials perhaps, and displayed together.

 

The final samples that I think could be used in further work are the air drying clay tiles. It was easy to apply these to surfaces, remove them and see the indentations that had been made. They also dried fairly flat so they could be used to print from. They also held holes made in to the surface well so could be easily stitched through.

I wasn’t very impressed by the samples I had produced to begin with. I had hoped that more detail of the objects used to form them would be visible in their surfaces. After looking at them more closely I began to pick up details that I found interesting.  I enjoyed drawing those details.

These are not materials that I would have chosen to use outside of these projects. I am glad that I have given them time to grow on me and to experiment with the surfaces and samples produced. I took the course notes to their word and focused on the process and the materials I was using rather than trying to produce finished and final samples. That being said I think that I have found a few ideas that could be worked on and would produce final, more polished samples, after a little more work.

 

 

 

MM Part Two – Assignment Two and Reflection

Recording Outcomes

Did you feel comfortable with the exercises?

Not at first, no. I didn’t quite see where the exercises were going and found it hard to start. Instead I didn’t try to find a reason for doing the work but instead just got on in wrapping objects. By not expecting anything I found that this freed up my work.

Were there particular materials and techniques you enjoyed working with?

Not materials but I found the wrapping technique very contemplative. It was easy to get lost with wrapping things in yarn. I had hoped to document every layer of yarn that I had wrapped on some of the objects in exercise three but I got a bit carried away with covering the object and forgot to do that.

How did your various materials respond to the two techniques?

Mostly I used yarn and string to cover the objects. These formed around the objects and fitted in to and around the edges and protrusions of each one. I also tied fabric strips on to one of the objects. These formed around the shape of the object but the knots in some of the strips raised the surface of the finished, wrapped object.

Using a large piece of fabric to wrap an object meant that the fabric formed around the item, however as there was a lot of extra fabric this stacked and bunched around some of the raised sections of the underlying object. Wrapping these objects with tightly pulled yarn gave a straight sided and solid object a finished fabric surface that was undulating and raised in places.

Wrapping the jug in paper was a little more difficult. The paper did not fit to the shape of the object well and in some cases gave very angular corners to the surface created.

Both the fabric and paper changed the overall outline of the finished object from the original item that was wrapped.

Were you able to achieve interesting textures and colours in your samples?

I didn’t consciously focus on colour in these samples, I was using the ends of balls of yarn or string and fabric scraps from previous projects so there were limited colour options. However where coloured yarns have been used together I think they have formed good complementary schemes and work well together.

I particularly like the wooden spoon head that has been wrapped with string, cotton tape and fancy yarn. The contrast of these textures – flat tape, almost wooly, fat string and the fluffy fancy yarn work well together.

The wrapping of the yarn or string formed texture on the surface of the object when overlapped time and time again. Texture was also seen in the surface of large pieces of fabric used to wrap objects and held down with yarn.

Which outcomes were successful?

The wrapped samples that used several yarns in different colours and texture have worked well. Also the jug wrapped with fabric and yarn have  given an interesting surface, where the yarn has held down the fabric but allowed it to balloon between the yarn wrappings and give a more raised surface.

I really like the sample made with the pine cone and strips from jiffy bags. These have been tucked in between the splits in the pine cone to replicate scales seen on the base of the cone. This extends out the surface of the sample well I particularly like the drawing I made of the strips. I didn’t try to draw the pine cone and only drew the red strips. This gives the impression of the strips swirling on the page, around an unknown central item.

Which were less so and why?

The shell and strip of frayed cotton fabric was not as successful as I had hoped. There was a large hole in two parts of the shell and I was trying to wrap the fabric strip through the holes and then cover the shell with the resulting fabric strips but it didn’t really work as I’d hoped. Too much of the shell was obscured and there seemed to be no relationship between the shell and the knotted fabric strips.

I also found the paper covered jug less than impressive. I only succeeded in making a very curvy item look very square. Also the thin thread I chose to wrap the item in kept slipping off the paper surface and was difficult to secure. I wasn’t happy with the final outcome as it looked like it was about to unravel at any moment.

What are your thoughts on the artists designers and makers you’ve researched in Part Two?

Please see previous blog page here

How did the research you carried out inform your own work?

I found the work of Judith Scott very interesting as she chose not to cover every part of the surface on every item she created. I have tried to do that in a few of my samples and feel that these are some of the ones that work well, having an area of the underlying solid object against the soft yarn used to wrap that object gives a good contrast to the final surface of the item produced. Also Scott used a variety or yarn textures and colours, using whatever was to hand, and I have tried to do that in my work.

 

 

Sorting

Interesting or attractive samples?

The only whole sample I could choose here is the final ‘giraffe’. I think this brings together the layered wrapping from the previous exercises and the combining of smaller items to make a new object.

I like many of the details created in the surfaces of the samples I have made, especially where fabric has been held to the surface of an item and the fabric has bulged out from beneath the threads. Also the patterns of the wrapped threads across an items surface and seeing layers of wrapping exposed on a samples surface.

Which samples offer potential for future work?

Layering of wrapping with different threads – I could think more about colour combinations or textures of threads used in future samples.

Using fabric to wrap samples – larger and larger volumes of fabric used may give more bunching to the final surface.

How could they be developed further?

Perhaps some of these techniques could be scaled up, such as covering larger, more unusual items, such as a bike or a coffee table.

 

 

Part Two – Reflection

I wasn’t certain how to start this section of work. In the end the best thing to do wasn’t to think about it but just get on. I didn’t have any idea what sort of samples I might produce for this work as I had never thought about wrapping items in this way before. I feel that my work shows a clear progression from the simple wrapping used in exercise one to the layered wrapping seen in the final ‘giraffe’ sample in exercise three.

I enjoyed the wrapping, there was something very soothing about the repetitive motion used to apply the yarn to the items. I would never have thought that.

This is the first section of work I have done on either of the OCA modules I have undertaken where I do not have all the samples I produced. For exercises one and two I would wrap the samples, draw any details I felt relevant and then take photos of the item made. Each object was then unwrapped and the thread or yarn, and the original item, reused. This was quite refreshing as I felt I had to really look at each sample and document it fully as it was going to be deconstructed. Also this means that I have less items to store. However all samples from exercise three are still available.

My tutor commented on the backgrounds of some of my photos in Part One. These were distracting as I didn’t provide a neutral background. For this work I set up a designated area to photograph each item. I think that this has worked well as the white background does not distract from the item being photographed.

Also in Part One I didn’t do any drawings of my samples, I just photographed them in detail. In this section of work I have taken many photographs of my samples but I have also tried to draw most of the items. I have really enjoyed the drawing of these items and tried to use a variety of materials and techniques to try to convey details of my samples.

I am still trying to do more research in to current practitioners and link their work to my own. I feel that I am getting better at this and can see a genuine link between my work and the research I have produced for this part of the course.

In my previous OCA module I did not include very many photos on my blog site as they took up quite a lot of space. I have chosen to include more photos for Part Two of this module as I have taken them at a lower resolution. I think that they still convey the details of each sample well. However this has led to some very photo-heavy blog posts, as such I have split the exercises for Part Two over several posts so they do not get too big.

I was very apprehensive about starting this section of work but feel that I have produced some interesting samples. Those that have worked well included the bottle covered in scraps of fabric and the spoon covered in layers of different yarns, where some of each layer is still visible in the completed sample.

These samples resulted in some quite abstract drawings which I very much enjoyed producing.

Still I’m not sure where this method of working fits in with future projects but I look forward to finding out.