I Want To Know What Mood Is

I’ve started to revisit my subject collection, and going back through the feedback to see what changes I can make to try and bump my grade up a bit. First things first, last week I finally made my orange ribbon! I managed to corner Steve and get seem of that beautiful orange foil before all the second/first years used it all up again. I did make two pieces, but the foil hardly came out on the one of them, so I don’t have a smaller piece to fit on my mini product board, but I’m sure I can figure something out.

The next step was to push my mood boards up a notch. My field project has really helped me develop my skills in making mood boards. I used to slap a few images together and think it looked brill, thankfully Irene has really pushed me to research mood boards and see how creative and well laid out they can be.  I know play with different effects in my mood boards, use of layering and text, etc.

I’m much happier with how my new mood boards look, I think they’re so much more professional.

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I’m still standing – Reflective Statement

I have enjoyed this project, and though it’s duration I have realised that I’m not interested in just one area of textiles, say stationery or fashion, but I’m more interested in surface design, and how that can then be used. For this project, I very much worked with design first, and then thinking about how I could use and manipulate these into the surfaces as needed, and I’ve loved it.

Not only was I able to carry on using and developing my confidence and skills with screen printing throughout this project, but I also experimented with other hand printing techniques, such a woodcut and collagraph, which I haven’t used very often. I like the time it takes, with screen printing and woodcut, to be able to ready and create my designs. The long process of coating and exposing a screen, and the even longer time of carving a woodcut is something that’s unavailable through digital processes, and is one I enjoy. I’m able to work through every step of the creating process with these hand printing techniques, and that’s something that I always want to be able to do.

I’ve been doing something new this year, and I can’t quite pinpoint it, but I’ve enjoyed this whole project. I think it’s a combination of the theme I chose, the client, the colours, the techniques and materials; which have all resulted in a collection that I’ve found easy to be inspired by. Last year I thought that I was inspired by nature, that was nothing compare to how much I enjoyed this very urban and modern collection. I’m a city girl, why I thought I would get more inspiration from nature than the city I don’t know, but I’m just glad that I’ve found what I’m actually inspired by at the beginning of third year. My presentation skills have definitely improved, and I feel that I’m much more confident in speaking about my own work, and I think that this project has helped with that.

This project has prepared me for the degree show, its shown me the style I like to work in, what things I find influential to my designing, and given me the freedom to think in term of surface pattern design which can then be taken into any field. I like the thought of working in whatever discipline your inspired to by a certain brief or idea, and not trying to force an idea onto a certain product, for example I doubt my collection would have been as successful if I’d been making an interior collection.

I have really liked working on a live brief, it’s a sort of introduction into what a designing career would be like, and while this wasn’t a collaborative collection, I still like that I’d been able to speak with others near me, brainstorm and help each other. It makes me think that this is what a team dynamic would be like, helping each other to be better, and to encourage. I’ve also loved seeing what other have created and how different everyone is, it’s inspiring.


Things Can Only Get Better

My presentation with Marie and Keireine went really well. From what I can remember (post-presentation mind fog had descended). I spoke clearly about my collection and used up the whole five minutes (though I was glad when it ended). I would have said more, but when that timer goes off, all thoughts of what I was about to say next vanished, its the strangest thing.

My display was set out really well, even if I do say so myself, I made sure that entering I used that was part of my collection, matched well, like the mesh memo board I used to click all my products too.

Keriene has mentioned before that I didn’t experiment enough to begin with, mainly because I kept having a lot of happy accidents, but I’ve tried to think about, and show, different ways I add colour into my wrapping paper, or on my sheet wrap how I could add another layer of designs; all of which are laid out in my sketchbook. I just have to make sure during the next project, I experiment as much as I can (which doesn’t seem like a difficult thought at the moment because I have barley an idea).

One thing that was pretty clear from my feedback was that I still need to work on my gift bow. That blasted thing just doesn’t have the same feeling as the rest of my collection, its too pretty, or as Paige would say ‘its too hipster’.

So how do I make a bow that’s not pretty, or hipster, matches with my collection really well and isn’t something I want to throw at the wall?

At the moment, literally as I’m typing, I’m in the process of making metal bows. I’ve made a few bow ties with metal or out of metal, now I’m doing something thats not a bow tie at all, but is metal and well it’ll stop me from going crazy (which is why I’ve taken a break from the bows to blog).

I have a good feeling about the bow I’m making, maybe because its not actually a bow, just something a bit unusual. And maybe its because I get to play with metal and superglue in the hopes of making mesh. Thats always fun. It also involves a weaving, kind of, which is also fun, and relaxing, but more to come on the bows later.

Back to my feedback; I was really pleased with the overall comments; both Marie and Keireine liked my collection, and where really positive about what I’ve made, which was just really amazing to hear. I’ve really enjoyed this project so it hasn’t really felt like work work (except the bow), its been enjoyable work and I’m glad to see that is not all be for nothing. *happy dance*


Master of Mood Boards

Thanks to Irene, who mentioned a website named Art Thread, I’ve been able to find not only artist who’s work I find really impressive and inspiring, but I also found some amazing examples of what professional mood boards should look like.

They are pretty much designs in their own right. They’ve been extremely well thought out and represented, they have all the necessary information without being too cluttered, and you can really get a feel for the collection from looking at them; which is exactly what I needed to see. My mood boards were nothing compared to the ones I’ve seen on Art Thread today. These one are professional and contemporary. They elicit the same mood as the collection, and give the narrative of how the collection has grown.

From looking at these samples I can tell that I have a lot of work cut out for mw to make my mood baords this professional looking. I’m looking forward to it!


You Sew Me Right Round (Like a Needle)

Friday was embroidery day. I’ve spend the last few weeks in the print room, experimenting with designs and fabrics and colours, getting together loads of different samples that I could then take into the sewing room.

My collection is a mix for 80s and modern influences. 80s bright colours mixed with modern monotones. 80s and modern slang/phrases and universal sans serif fonts.

One thing I am taking from the 80s is the use of analogue – hand printing as well as hand/free-machine embroidery. With all my samples at the ready, I made my way to the stitch room to start embroidering onto my many samples.

The materials I’ve been using are see-through or sheer. Acetate, filmwork, organdie and I’ve also mixed this with some high-shine surfaces like photo paper, embossing foil and printing foils.

I made most of my samples in monotone, I added some foils into my prints but mostly they were of greyscale so that when it came to embroidery, I would be able to add bright colours.

With my embroidery I really just wanted to experiment. I had already practised adding some hand embroidery into my samples, so now I was focussing on free-machine embroidery.

I was really happy with how my samples turned out actually. I tried to use colours within my sewing because I was finding it difficult previously to try and add colour into my samples. However I found that I liked it better using coloured thread, than printing with colour. I plan to go back into the sewing room on Monday and further experiment.


Every Breath You Take, Every Sample You Make

Today was a day. Many things went wrong, I knew what I wanted to while not really knowing what I wanted to do, and I spend a lot of time with wet leggings thanks to the jet wash.

I came prepared with five different design to print that I’d whipped up so I would have something to experiment with, and hopefully as a way of honing my ideas somewhat.

First thing to go wrong, well not wrong, just more prolonged than I would have wanted was the cleaning of my screen after exposing it. I had to get Steve to turn the normal jet into a super jet and blast the scene to the point where I was sure the water was going to rip through the mesh. One of my designs didn’t work at all because the lines where too thin, and another didn’t wash out fully, I’m not quite sure why, but already things were looking difficult, not that I let that stop me, I was determined  to spend the whole day in the studio even if it killed me! (Not literally ..)

I’d brought with me an array of different substrates to print on, silver embossing foil, black cotton organdie, white cotton organdie, photo paper, cloudy acetate and clear acetate sheets. I’d also brought my own screen printing ink so that I would be able to print in white ink, super exciting right? I experimented with using my different designs on the different surfaces, using a selections of colours and foils, all with the background idea that most of the designs should be able to layers and create new possibilities, or stand alone.

I really like the idea of having multiple layered designs, and not just multiple layer on one piece of paper or fabric, but using sheer and see-through layers of materials so that these could be layered up, which I was what I have been experimenting with this past week, and what I especially tried to experiment with today. I’m not going lie, a lot of the combinations of materials and foils I didn’t particularly like, but I’m still continuing to look at them and see how I could layer them up, or decide wether the design is strong enough, and cohesive enough with the direction of my collection, to stand on it own.

I had a few happy accidents throughout the day, one was learning that I could foil onto embossing foil, (even if I didn’t occur to me that it would be really hot coming out the heat press) the other was when I was trying to foil onto photo paper. Now I’d had reservations about foiling onto photo paper cause I was pretty sure that what made it shiny was that the paper was coated in plastic, turns out I was right; while in the press the plastic on the photo paper go so hot that the foil started to stick to the paper where there as no glue, but … it ended up looking really cool. I really liked the effect that it turned up, not that I would ever be able to recreate that, but I really love it. It felt more edgy that if the design had worked properly, like the paper had gone against what design I wanted and decided that it wanted to like this way instead. (I’m not crazy, I know paper can’t do that, by they way).

Im finding it quite difficult to work with colour. I’d much prefer to be working in wholly black white and grey, but for this collection I’m trying to experiment with colour; I’m just finding it really difficult to like how it looks. I really like using orange foil, but when I used orange ink I was getting a real halloween vibe which I really didn’t want. I’ve been mixing dark blue with hot pink and while I like the two separately, I can’t say I’m overly fond of them together. I also keep inadvertently finding myself using black, white and greys when I’d meant to be reaching for colours instead. I think I’m just going to have to keep trying to use the colours in my scheme as much as I can, which will hopefully result in my getting a greater feel for them so that I can work happily and easily with them within my designs. Which is what Mondays are for I suppose.


Acetate, Metal and Wood Oh My!

This morning I was thinking about what surfaces I wanted to print on. Paper is easily available but after the first few samples, it can get a bit boring. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a paper lover! I love a good piece of card on any day, but for my collection, I want to experiment (!) and I want it to be different.

I don’t know what made me think of it but I suddenly had a really interesting idea, why don’t I print on acetate.

I went on a screen printing course last year before Christmas and in order to make sure your paper lined up with the print, they did a test print onto acetate (incidentally, Steve did this on Monday I was just too busy lino cutting to notice!). So already I knew that it was possible to print onto acetate, but why not do it purposefully, as a design rather than a guide? With this little adventure in mind I went to find Steve for reckon.

Not only do I now have acetate to print on, I also have a cloudy acetate material; along with the prospect of printing onto foil sheets, laser cutting glass tiles, black acrylic and wood! Now tell me that doesn’t sound exciting?! I plan to take every aspect of my theme seriously, that includes the mirrored and metallic surfaces, as well as the high contrast monotones and bold bright colours –  as well as hand printing.