Overall I have found this ‘making connections’ module quite difficult. Having been given so much time to complete this collection, I had too much time and kept over thinking everything I was doing, until I was talking myself out of what I had designs.
Through this however, I have learnt that I work best on a short schedule. I prefer to undertake a lot of research and have quite little time to actually create the designs themselves. My initial responses are usually my strongest, I just have to learn to stick to my convictions and no change them because of over thinking.
Having discovered this, I used it to my advantage during the second half of this module.
At the beginning of ‘making connections’ my idea scope was to broad, my mood boards contained too much information leading to designs that were quite varied and not very cohesive. As a result I found the first term, I didn’t have a clear direction of where I wanted my collection to go, instead I was experimenting with different techniques, getting a feel for which would best suit the client I was working for.
After my field modules however, I found that I was inspired with new ideas and motivation, and as such was enjoying the creation of this collection much more. I was able to narrow down my influences, this then lead to my changing the direction of my collection, for the better.
Through field I found the inspiration I need to really enjoy what I was creating, and was able to find great inspiration in the work that I had been doing with Richard Weston. His work with minerals affected my work greatly. I was able to focus on the minerals themselves, taking my designs from their inner and outer surfaces.
I was also able to narrow down further what I was designing for, table wear — specifically napkins.
I much prefer the technique of printing to embroidery. I prefer the whole process of printing and I love the end results. However, if I plan to expand on my knowledge of textiles practises, I need to experiment with them all, not just my favourites.
Through this module I was able to experiment with both print and stitch, and have really like the results; using them separately and combining the two to create more layered effects — as to mirror minerals — and to create more in-depth and thought out designs.
My formative feedback helped me to further narrow the direction of my collection. With all the relevant imagery and research in place, I just needed to make my designs flow more cohesively as a collection. The feedback, helped me to see what aspects needed to be tweaked and from here I was able to create the collection that I have striving for. I was able to rework colours, background and scale to make sure that my collection worked smoothly, and also to make sure that my designs fitted exactly into my brief and my intentions laid out in my hypothetical commission brief — creating designs that fit with my theme and with the client that I have chosen to design for.
My experience within field this year have undoubtedly affected both me and my work. For both modules I decided to undertake work placement, which turned out to be the best part of the academic year for me.
For two months out of this year I was able to work with professionals, designing and collaborating on different projects. I was able to have quite significant input within both of my placements, which was thrilling, with the prospect that my designs could be featured with their own collections.
From these two experiences I have been able to learn new skills from these people that have affected my methods of creating/designing – I am now more proficient with Photoshop, which has played a great part in my workings. I have developed my hand drawings and paintings skills which an invaluable tool, helping me grow in my own abilities as well as helping me to grow in confidence.
Not only have I developed in my creative skills but I have also learnt about myself, my influences and the way in which I prefer to work.
My time with Richard Weston enabled me to learn more digital designs skills, and gain valuable knowledge on what it is like to design to specific client specification. It was very nerve-wracking and rewarding at the same time. I experienced what it was like to work on a real life brief, which included regular critiques — which has helped me to grow more confident in my abilities — along with learning how to conduct myself professionally.
It was also very challenging to work with someone whose taste different drastically from mine. I had to learn how to think more in terms of what they were looking for from my designs, instead of what I wanted to give in my designs.
My time at Sacha Pierre was very freeing. I was under a less strict brief and was left to find my own place within the designing of their collection. I was able to find my own inspiration from a wide range of ideas/themes that they were working with, letting me further develop my designing process. Again I had to learn how to conduct myself professionally, but in a different way from when I was working with Richard – I was part of the team in Sacha Pierre as opposed to working for a client.
With the freedom I was afforded within Sacha Pierre I gained confidence in my painting and designing skills — which I have been able to take forwards into different aspects of my work — and learnt what it is like to be in a real life working environment. I’ve also learnt that this is the kind of area, and atmosphere I want to work in.
During my first field term I looked into so many designers and completed so much research, trying to push myself to further my ideas; the only problem was that I wasn’t happy with the direction my collection was going in. However, I put this from my mind and tried to immerse myself in field, trying to get the best experience possible.
Working with Richard, I was able to see natural elements at such an intimate level; seeing inside stones and crystals and minerals, to find the wonders inside. They were beautiful, but I couldn’t figure out how I would be able to combine them with my collection. While at Richards, he received a book about the French sculptures Claude and Francois-Xavier Lalanne. It was while looking through this book that I decided, if I couldn’t fit this new, gorgeous inspiration into my current collection, then the collection needed to be changed. The natural influences that are so clearly evident in the work by Lalanne, were stunning. As soon as I saw them, I fell in love and wanted to create a collection that could be used alongside their cutlery set; this is how I came to be designing tableware. It wasn’t until my formative feedback that I swapped this into a wholly napkin collection.
My designs were now influenced by minerals, the structures, formation and colours; what could compliment cutlery inspired by nature more than nature inspired napkins? However, minerals are perfect as there are, so how would I be able to use these within my designs? I decided that my designs were going to be much more abstract that what I had been experimenting with already, the colours and shapes and layers would be evident, but the result would be a designs not trying to mimic a minerals, just utterly influenced by them.
My first field placement managed to change the influence and direction of my collection complete, to a point where I was enjoying the creation of the collection again. – My second placement, afforded me the skills to create these designs with much more ease. Using Photoshop became much easier, and I was confident in my drawing skills so I knew that I could draw up my own motifs when the inspiration struct. It was because of the freedom that I had while working in Sacha Pierre, that I was very free with my explorations of techniques during the creation of my final designs. I didn’t limit myself to any one process, instead chose to use multiple to try and show the many depth of the minerals I had found during my time with Richard. They way in which the team at Sacha Pierre laid out their ideas for their collection clearly, helped me to do the same without in my own collection, making the collection much more cohesive. My designs now complimented each other, and showed a range of skills and techniques that i wouldn’t have been able to experience if i hadn’t spent my time with Sacha Pierre.