Thursday, 16 May 2013

PE Task 2 - Evaluation

This past year on the Textiles in Practice course has been all I could have expected and more. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning new skills in the areas I love, being able to work alongside like-minded people on a daily basis and learning more about myself as a creative individual. I feel like my work has developed and improved so much, and I am thoroughly looking forward to carrying on into level 5.

In the first term I did Print, which felt like some kind of dream come true. I had always enjoyed surface pattern but I had never had full use of such extensive facilities. Whilst I enjoyed photo-screen printing, I absolutely adored the effects of using manutex with reactive dyes on an open screen, and would definitely want to push this technique further . I was totally taken with digital print, as I have never been particularly good with computers, but I feel like I took to using Illustrator with ease. I love the speed at which you can create designs and the overall quality of finish. If I chose Print as my specialism I would like to try flocking and devore as these were techniques that I didn’t get a chance to experiment with.

Digitally printed fabric samples

By the time it came to second term I was pretty adamant that Print was now my calling, but doing Textiles
Design for Fashion soon changed all that. I was amazed at how broad an area it was, I loved the freedom after the rigidity of print, and I really relished being pushed by the tutors to be so creative and to always take my work that one step further. I feel I really threw myself into the work and would have loved to have had twice as long to develop my project and take everything to the next level. I liked how large a part print has to play within it, and yet I was able to do fashion drawing, of which I liked both the digital and hand-drawn side, and photoshoots which was so exciting and experimental. If I took TD4F further I would really want to push my drawing skills, do more creative photography and focus more on trends and developing prints that are saleable.

Photoshoot with prints added on photoshop

Unit X was a refreshing change from the previous two projects, and although at times it was confusing and challenging, having such an amazing, supportive group around me made the whole experience into something incredible. I loved working with and learning from people from other specialisms, and I liked working outside the realms of textiles for once, even though my final illustrations gravitated towards a printmaking motif style.

Illustrations from Unit X collaboration based on
Manchester architecture

I’m pretty much certain at this point that I want to be a print designer for a fashion purpose after I have completed the course, but I’m unsure which specialist area will be best to help me reach my goal as I equally enjoyed both Print and TD4F. I think I need advice on which specialism would be best for me, but I feel at this point in time I could learn, expand and develop my work more through TD4F, and perhaps additionally create work in the print room as well.


It was quite cool to see everyone elses work up at the other venues, and the ones I visited included Kraak gallery, Hilton House, The Bay Horse pub and Cord bar. This is a selection of the work I saw; I particularly liked the sculptural work at Nexus Art cafe, the zines created by the graphics students and the photos of the colour festival that some of our group took part in.

Project overview

This is the blurb I wrote about our work to put up alongside our work with a list of names. I feel it sums up the project pretty well.

"An exhibition of collaborative work celebrating the diversity of culture in Manchester as the Art School reaches its 175th anniversary. Bringing together photographs, prints, illustrations and objects which individually explore different geographical areas of the city, collectively it represents how the variety in culture makes Manchester the vibrant, exciting place it is.
As a group of students from various backgrounds, we individually studied our cultures and hometowns before reflecting this back on the city we all now live in. Each group member took an area of the city to explore and used this as inspiration to create their own artworks, with many group members experimenting with mediums outside of their specialisms.

Various areas brought up different themes: the bright colours and textures of the Longsight mar
kets led to photographs inspired by Pakistani wedding traditions, decorated mugs and bunting were a reflection of the vintage and café culture in the Northern Quarter, and prints and illustrations were influenced by the traditional architecture of Deansgate, Oxford Road and the Art School itself. Students also looked at concepts of childhood family photographs envisaged through their friends, physical differences through ethnicity and imagery taken from walking around the city streets.

All this individual work was brought together as one collaborative display, with group members hanging works side by side, layering artworks over each other or even creating origami out of each others photographs, to create a bold, vibrant and visually exciting exhibition of clashing mediums, styles, colours and scale that truly celebrates the amazing diversity of this city we all now call home."

Final work

I was really pleased with how the final work looked up. My favourite has to be the collaboration I did with Jess, and I'm so happy we picked this space for it, as the bluey grey plaster perfectly ofsets the dusty orange reds of Jess's colour palate. It was also good to see how the public interacted with our work, as our exhibition space is a bar/restaurant.

Liked the reflections as I tried to get a photo of my work through the window.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Putting up work - day 2

Our second morning was really productive and we managed to successfully get everyone's work up, despite a lot of issues with crumbling mortar and wonky walls. It was good to finally see all of our work up together in one space and everything gelled perfectly.

First prep session

 We had our first prep session to see where everyones work would go between 8 and 10 in the morning, and Nicola and Hannah came to help us make decisions around displaying our work. We came to the conclusion that our work looked better mixed up than it did all separately (which had been our original choice as the wall is made up of uneven alcoves and chimey-breasts). We decided collectively that my work actually looked better in the middle of the wall, surrounded by Samira's mugs and bunting. As I had printed my designs on accetate, it turned out that mine and Jess's prints looked really nice layered together beside the window as a collaborative piece.

Howard helped Jess and I visualise our work on the wall, and in the studio everyone helped us to select the final works for the next day. After our morning at Terrace, it was really useful to go into town and have the rest of the groups opinion on which frames to buy.


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Prep meeting

On the Monday afternoon before putting up our work on Tuesday morning we had to have a tutorial with Nicola and Hannah. There was much deliberation over what work should and shouldn't go up, but as a group we finalised our original plan of whose work was going where. We came to the decision to put up our work as is, held up with bulldog clips and nails as we can only hammer nails into the mortar. I'm pleased with how we dealt with the site specific issues as a group.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Decision on Terrace

After hanging around for an answer for what felt like weeks, we finally found out that we had Terrace bar as our venue, shared with three other groups. The meeting at the space with media tutor Adriano was slightly frought, with tensions running high among the other groups (and a fair bit of bickering). But our group took a slight step back, and we were pretty sure which section of wall we wanted. It was good to finally know how much space we had so we could visualise which work to put up, although it would have been nice to have found out earlier as it was quite stressful knowing I only had Friday and the weekend to get everything sorted.

Part of the team

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Working as a group

I feel so lucky to have ended up with a group that gets along so famously, and creating work with everyone has been so enjoyable. As the project has gone on we have become really good friends, which means that everyone appreciates everyones opinions and has useful advice to offer on all areas of project work. As we near the deadline we have been having increasingly frequent meetings, but also we all speak to each other on a daily basis through facebook chat as part of a running commentary. We were slightly nervous about our presentation, but it went really well and it was useful to get feedback from Julie and the other revolt groups.

Friday, 3 May 2013


Among all our meetings about how everyone's work is going, I have been getting along with my drawings based on my photos of the art school. Here is a shot of my work and my working space in the studio.

These are some of the smaller motif style drawings from the book I have been continously working in. These four are my favourite as they really hit the bold, graphic style I was going for.

Leigh Cooke

This was such an interesting, intense three hour talk with the Hermes designer Leigh Cooke. It was incredible to hear his background story before the lead up to his current job. I thought it was interesting to see how much his work has developed since his degree, and also the entire process of selling his work to fashion houses. What I liked the most about the talk was not just that he was such an interesting character, but that he questioned every method of working I have ever been taught, and he left me with a totally different view of textiles print design.  I found it really relevant because the work he does is ultimately what I would adore to one day be doing, and I left the talk totally itching to go and work. I future projects I definitely want to try creating a print for square scarves.

Close-ups of Cooke's famous A Vos Crayons design