This assignment included a few new areas of work for me and it was quite exciting to try out new techniques. Developing images in stage 2 and trying to produce the feel or values of an image in fabric rather than create an exact copy was quite a challenge and some of my attempts were more successful than others. I found during this process that I was having more success when I let myself work more loosely and in a freer way – for example with my waterlily and cyclone images – than when I tried to be controlling as with my Poinsianna image. This was quite a learning point for me as I have always had a tendency towards control and exactness.
I found the fabric manipulation exercises time consuming but valuable in encouraging me to sample different techniques. Simply reading the recommended book by Colette Wolff was a huge eye opener in itself and I am pleased to add this to my own collection. As mentioned in my log entry on this project I was disappointed in my plain calico sample of manipulation techniques but turned this around by producing larger samples of other techniques which were more successful.
Starting my theme book – Ancient Egyptian Jewellery – was also exciting as this is going to lead into my final project “A piece of your own”. I do not know yet what I will create for this, I want to see where the theme book leads me. I will constrain myself though to produce something that is flat for ease of postage or that can be folded flat (like a concertina book).
I actually feel that this assignment and accompanying work has been a bit of a turning point for my personal development. I have done the samples required but then diverted into more experiments – with the tyvek and wire experiment, three fabric collages based on one beach photo and three more fabric manipulation samples. I have been able to use my own printed fabric in one of the exercises and in my sketchbook and it was great to do this.
I also feel that my sketchbook work has improved. Not only am I adjusting to working in a larger format but my style is becoming freer and less constrained. I am certainly creating more mess!
Demonstration of technical and visual skills.
My technical skills for this assignment have been mixed and if I want to do more manipulation work that involves layering and stuffing then I need to improve on this. The positives were the other items in that I feel my applique skills were good and my other manipulation samples worked well. Visually I am thinking more about colour and placement, and also starting to think more about composition and whether I want a piece to look balanced or deliberately off-kilter.
Quality of outcome.
I believe that I have appropriately applied the knowledge I have gained to the exercises and, apart from the aforementioned poor sample, I have achieved quality work. I have attempted to show my thinking in my learning log and identify weak and strong points.
Demonstration of creativity.
I do believe I am improving in my creativity and skills. I am quite excited about the changes in my way of working and feel that the accountant part of me is starting to give way to the artistic part! I tried to extend beyond the course requirements, do more experimentation and to produce work to my own style.
I had a few opportunities to undertake different workshops during the time of this assignment, with subjects as diverse as painting with pastels, freeform knitting and crochet, Reticella embroidered lace and mixed embroidery techniques. These were all fun to do and taught me new skills. I explored the work of Josef Albers which gave me a greater understanding of the colour exercises done earlier in the course. I also discovered Marit Fujiwara and an interest in marbling fabric which I am going to pursue.