In My Time of Dying, Part 9 (I’ll stop soon, promise!)

It seems that I have an unending supply of fabric that needs to be dyed. That may have sounded like I was complaining but I’m really not, for some reason – maybe because I get to make the colours that I’ll be using? Or simply because I feel like a witch brewing her cauldron – I really love dying fabrics. And this time, I have denim!

After having made all the components for my jackets, I started to experiment with different materials; it may have seemed a bit late in the game but what the heck not! I’ve got time in which I can explore ideas for the other jackets I designed, but won’t be able to make, and I really love fabric dying, so I’m going to be doing some of that!

Cotton drill sateen, cotton sateen arian, serge wool, poly viscose hazelwood, (not forgetting down proof cotton and moleskin cotton) and now cotton denim! So many different fabrics, some for outers, some for lining, all beautiful!

I don’t know if I’ve gone of my original point of this post? Feels like it. Anyway, I successfully dyed bright and beautiful (and handmade!) colours, except for a mishap with some yellow and purple that made a lovely gross brown! And after all that dying and those beautiful colours, I put the sample on the radiator to dry, except the box radiator was taken so I used the older ones that are point at the top, well didn’t that just pretty much ruin my samples! The dye collected on the line of fabric that was draped over the top of the radiator, result in thick dark limes right across my samples pieces. Yay Courtney! Wait to think that one through.

However, I believe I may be able to salvage them with some amazingly lined up screen printing!


In My Time of Dying, Part 8

I wanted to be more experiential with my fabrics as well as with my designs. It may seem a bit late in the game to start playing around with new fabrics but, since I’ve got almost all of the components for my two garments ready, I’ve decided to start looking at what other materials I could use as other potential jackets (this is a collection after all).

The fabrics that I’ve decided to try out are, wool serge; drill cotton sateen; cotton sateen arian, poly/visc hazelwood and natural denim (which hasn’t arrived yet – the other four I got off Maggie). As with any new fabrics, I started by sampling each fabric in the dye bath before deciding what colour and fabric combinations I wanted to take into samples. Having already done quite a bit of experimenting with times, I was quite confident in my colour and choosing the correct amount of time as as I didn’t have to go through the whole lot of full colour testing.

The colours I made were beautiful. I realise that its my collection and I chose these colours so i should love them, but damn; they are just stunning. I could look at them all day and be happy! (I won’t, promise!

Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft

After my feedback I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of things I need to get on top of, and one of the things that I really liked the idea of is bringing in some subrates that make the collection feel warmer, so I started to think about knit, and popped into the Craft Sew and Sew to pick up a few wools in colours that are in my scheme.

I then needed to learn how to knit, not a big ask, I suppose.

This called for reinforcements, in the form of my mum. Master knitted extraordinaire (maybe I’m exaggerating but if you see how fast she can knit, you’d think so too). I’ve spend the afternoon learning how to knit, and I can tell you, I haven’t felt so cack-handed in years!


Trying to figure out how to hold the needles right!

I love knitted stuff, big chunky jumpers, tightly knitted socks, massive blankets! They exude warms that cosy-ness which is something that would slot perfectly into my collection. So on I went with trying to knit, I started with some wool I has lying around the house, and made 20 stitches so I was just making a small sample patch. I don’t know what I did wrong but a one point I ended up with 28 stitches and by then end there were a few wholes where I’d dropped some. Needless to say that I got my mum to make me a samples with the threads that matched my colour scheme.

Using three different needled sizes, 10mm, 7mm and 4mm, I’ve got samples of different size, different colour and of varying degrees of skill! I do however really like the idea of adding knit into my collection, especially as a really cozy jumper that can be layered under my jacket and reinforces the idea of warms and protection.

(I’m not against buying a jumper and dying it the colour I want either!)



Sweet Painted Lady

I wanted to know what my laser-cut pieces would look like on top of my dyed fabrics, but since I have dyed my fabrics yet, I thought it would be a good idea to paint some backgrounds which may or may not look like the dying, but its in the general colour range.

Even though this is not what my final design will look like, I really like how its looking already. Hopefully once some of my dye samples have been made ill have a better picture of what that outcome will be.


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.

Minerals About Town

With my collection being majorly influenced my nature, specifically minerals, I decided that I wanted to know if anyone else, excluding Richard Weston, has been sing these goldmines as a source of inspiration.

Minerals generally get displayed as they come; their intricate formations make for lovely statues and focal points, as seen in the pictures above. I love how these minerals have been displayed on floating shelves, and have been chosen with care to match the interior, but this isn’t really what I was looking for. The second images touches close to what I’m interested in, using the minerals within interiors. I think these lightshades look sleek and elegant, and have made a beautiful way of displaying these minerals at their best.

The third image is what I found the most interesting; using the formation and pattern of an agate to create wallpaper. This collides with the ideas I’ve been having about my own collection, taking microscopic images of what lays inside these minerals, as using them within designs. Short of just stealing the natural patterns found within minerals, I have been thinking of ways in which I can make these designs completely my own, and also representative of everything the ‘company’ I’m design for, portrays.

Mid Placement Review – Richard Weston

Monday, Tuesday, Happy Days, Thursday, Friday, Happy Days … It’s that time again, another start of another week and another day of tasks to complete.20151120_094040407_iOS

Over the weekend I took some photos around town, gathered some old images, and sorted through them to find ones that I thought would work well with the app. Armed and ready, I made my way into the wilderness once again, looking forward to experimenting with the inverted mineral paints within the app. I really like that I’m being included in these initial phases of the app development process. Being included in these processes really makes me feel that my knowledge is invaluable. It’s really great experience being involved in the inception of this app; I’ve been able to learn about the different processes involved in refining the different aspects, I’ve had input in what minerals are going to be used within the app, and have been able to discuss aspects that need changing or altering.

After a quick round of playing with the app, it was time to start working on the Mica patterns again. With these designs I am again working to the specifications of my client. I feel as if I am gaining really valuable knowledge on how to interact with said ‘client’, how to express my ideas while still making accommodations for theirs. With Richard I am given the freedom to create designs that, while admittedly are limited in there scope, have an essence of myself in them. I’m really happy with how my work placement is unfolding so far.


Today I was pleased to have been included within the app building process once again. Richard asked me to go through all the minerals that have been saved onto the MAC and choose which would work best when inverted, so as to be used within the app.


I’m really impressed with how I have been able to extent my Photoshop skills so far within this placement. From having completed a digital project last year, I have had little to do with Photoshop since and as such had to start as a beginner again. I have been able to create pattern tiles that can be applied to all sized Photoshop documents; learnt how to fill certain colours in patterns with a completely different image; and with the help of YouTube and digital designs books, I have been able to create repeating patterns from single images, without jarring lines between each one. I still think I have more learning to do to be able to work with Photoshop to be able to keep up with what Richard creates.

What I find most difficult is when I’m asked to complete a task which I don’t know, or can’t remember how to do; I feel that I should know these things and that it’s showing my inexperience to have to ask Richard how I preform these tasks. This just shows how much more I need to learn, and shows how much I can gain while on this work placement. I’m also aware of where I am lacking in ability, Today Richard asked if I’m any good at hand drawings, because he was toying with the idea that I could design some images for the app, I was quite disappointed to admit that I don’t have good drawing skills and that my skills lie elsewhere. I was able to express my abilities with typography, and while this is different from his original idea, Richard seem quite interested in using this skill for his app.

What I’m really excited about is having my design printed. I do have small worries about what the designs will look like once they have actually been printed, but overall I’m more excited than worried.