Sealed With a Grid

After speaking with Irene on Tuesday, she told me to look into using silicone to make the back piece of my jacket from. My idea is to have a sprite grid as an overlay on the back of my first jacket. I had been experimenting with laser-cutting which is a bit flat and very fragile, so the suggestion of using silicone was quite interesting. Plus I was worried that the size of the laser-cutting that I would need wouldn’t have fit into the machine.

I made a trial grid last night out of silicone which was really messy and a bit wobbly, but I twas really cool and it was super easy to imagine it much neater, painted and affixed to my jacket and I really like how all that sounds! I just need to practice.



Don’t Stop Drawin’

Last night, after a competitive round of Snapchats *uh hum, thanks Paige*, I was motivated to start looking into repeating patterns. I’ve felt that this project has zoomed by me, but what I needed to do was to stop and remember that this is only the third week and I still have plenty of time to experiment and work through my ideas.

I created a design using collage because I really like the effect of building laters. On some of my previous samples I’ve mixed fabrics and stitch and then mounted them. I think I’m looking for ways in which layers can be incorporated in my designs. I also really like the idea of sort of D-I-Y, like messy hand stitching and then also quick ways to create type, e.g using newspaper cuttings.

I used this design to create a repeating pattern – which repeat from all four sides of the design. Let me tell you, it took a lot of working and shifting things around to finally get a tile that would repeat exactly. I’ve yet to actually hand print this designs out, which I will be doing on Friday; using screen printing.

Today for me was sort of a way to slow down, to come back from that feeling that I need to be racing ahead and to actually just take time to gather ideas and just draw. I created my moodboards which actually had the effect of calming and focusing my mind after it having been frantic for the past few days, and then moved on to actually finding ideas from these images.

On my mood board it shows that I have been thinking about mesh fabrics and structures so I started looking into this in more depth. I found some images and stuck them into my sketchbook so I could easily look at these images while I was drawing. I’m not going to lie, drawing while watching bake off was reeaaallly relaxing, so by the end of it, I was really enjoying drawing and experimenting. I came up with three quick grid designs that had been inspired by mesh which I plan to take into the studio and print.  I also started working on some hand drawn fonts to print with. – I was really struggling with trying to draw type, because I was thinking that I needed to draw my type into the actual design layout that I wanted to print; instead of realising that I can draw them out however is easiest and then using photoshop to distort, or rearrange, them afterwards.

I plan to carry on drawing tomorrow, in time to take into the studio on Friday.

IG Design Group and the Digital Waves

Today was exciting. Well it was daunting and ‘oh my goodness!’ scary but then it got super exciting. The day started with a large coffee, and a trip up into a part of Wales I can’t pronounce, or spell for that matter, to meet with the super-cool people at IG Design Group.This term we’re working with a huge stationery company (IG Design Group) to create new greetings and gift wrap ideas. For the next 11 weeks we’ll be tackling drawings and moodboards, experimentation and more experimenting, as well as critique and creation, with the end result of developing either an 8 line card extension or a collection of grift wrap/gift bags collection. 

So, in Wales somewhere, in the IG building – a tour of their studios, lots of photos and quite a lot of questions later and my day when from ‘dear Lord what am I going to do?’ Into ‘Oh my gosh can I start now?!’. I went from not having a clue what I was going to design to having a confident idea of where I want to take my designing and experimenting. 

Stick with two things; passions and strengths!

Passion – typography, hand printing. 

Strengths – typography, printing and sophisticated design, marking making and drawing( I didn’t come up with those last three, I was told it! How cool)

So with these floating around in my head, I came back to a trend that I had researched a few weeks ago, Digital Wave from WGSN. 

Digital Wave is all about 1980s graphics, colours, fonts and textures. Think analogue (which is where the hand printing comes in!) mixed with bold sans serif fonts (hello typography!) and a range of dark colours – black plum, dark blue and industrial grey- mixed with 80s bright block colours – hot pink, cool blue and vibrant oranges – (hopefully sophisticated). Add in some cool mesh textures, ink textures from hand printing, slick metallics and glitchy digital effects or interference which sound much cooler, and we have the starting points of my collection. 

I’m actually really looking forward to experimenting with all this potential; and I’m really exciting to be creating designs that will hopefully be completely based around typographic design! Not to mention hand printing.

Croquis Designs – evaluate and critique 

I’ve decided to name this week Croquis Week; from Tuesday onwards I have been designing, experimenting and creating croquis. 

On Tuesday there was a lecture about croquis which helped a lot with all the niggling confusion about what I was aiming to create; sizes where talked about, layout, as well as coordinates (which I had been struggling with) and then tasks were set. From your motifs, experiment with layouts before finally painting a croquis, using gouache paints. 

I wasn’t happy with the motifs I had to start making my croquis straight away, so I went back to the images I had gathered and started a fresh, and what a good idea that had been. From these motifs, and my tutorial with Helen, I was inspired and wanted to start creating. 

Firstly was working with layouts, I photocopied my motifs and started to play with layout using photoshop. I find it much easier, and faster to consider different layout approaches on Photoshop. Once I had pinned down a layout that I was really itiching to paint, I set to work. While painting each different colour, I created colour chips which I could then display with the finished croquis. 

With the help of my hairdryer, the overall process was much quicker that it could have been. The background was easy, the next layers not so much. I found it quite difficult to keep the graphic nature of my motifs while using paints and a brush, but once the whole thing was completed, I still liked what I saw. I think the colours work well together, although if I could, I would have had a lighter background. One thing I can say is that while I was painting, I couldn’t help but think how I would be able to change little bits, like the background colour, easily on photoshop. But once I’d seen the overall effect of the hand painted croquis, I could definitely see the difference between something created by hand, and something created digitally. Not that I couldn’t see the difference before, but because I’ve been working a lot with photoshop I’ve stopped seeing the effect of hand painted designs. 

With my first croquis completed I moved on to the next task, which was to create the same motif but with a different process; I chose collage. 

I love paper. Coloured paper, patterned paper, textured paper, you name it, I love it. Searching through my paper stash I selected a few different textured and coloured papers, while making sure that it still linked in with my colour scheme, though not necessarily the first croquis. Where my painted croquis is quite refined and plain, my collage wasn’t. The papers I chose were loud and colourful, with beautiful patterns; one that compliments my work with minerals, and one I chose because of the colours and design.

I didn’t expect to like the collage but once I looked at the finished article I feel in love. The textures and colours mixed amazingly, made better but the edition of free machine embroidery on the mineral detailing. 

  The two croquis, while having the same layout were completely different to create. The collage was very fast to make; I didn’t find it difficult to chose the papers. I saw what I liked and chose it, nor did it take long to cut the shapes of the minerals. The painting took quite a while, the mixing of the right colours wasn’t fast, nor was tracing the different minerals to get them into the right position before painting the five different layers.  

While I love how the collage looks, I think that the painted croquis is much more appropriate for my client. Working for the high-end contract market, my deisgns have to be refined and sophisticated while speaking of luxury and elegance. My ‘client’ (the company I have chosen to deisgn for) Kelly Wearstler have very paired back designs, using minimal colours and marks. I feel that my original croquis would work quite well for the company, whereas the collage might be too loud and experimentative. 

From here I moved on to creating more croquis. I had started to think about what my coordinating designs could look like; because I have a tossed layout in my original croquis, I decided to go for a very set pattern of stripes. Instead if painting this croquis (which I plan to do on Friday) I spend the day embroidering it first. I already new what I wanted the deisgn to look like from my layout experiments on photoshop, so i jumped right into the creating. I decided to use appliqué and free machine embroidery to create my designs; linen made up the background of my croquis, I decided to use organzi as the base for my mineral forms. I used two different coloured threads, a golden brown for the lighter shadows and a dark brown for the outline and dark planes.  

 This technique was completely different from both painting and collage, though it was much more similar to painting. It took a lot of time and preparation, but the creation was very methodical and I enjoyed be process. The collection I am deisgns is for table linen, therefore I don’t know how appropriate embroidery is. I really liked the added texture of having different materials and surfaces mixed together but they could easily get ruined if used for what they are intended. That’s being said, I decided to take my croquis and scan it into photoshop, where I started to experiment with having the look of embroidery, which wouldn’t get ruined half as much as the real thing.

This then inspired me further. As you know I’ve been experimenting with fabric manipulation with the idea of designing table cloths, but Helen suggested that i scan in the manipulated fabric and manipulate it further digitally, so that the result would be a design that featured the look of the manipulation, but not the feel. This way the deisgn could be used for any table wear fabric. I’m really enjoying the idea and the process of creating these deceptive deisgns. I’ve experimented with different colours and have found that I’m really loving the results. 

I plan to paint my two coordinating corquis on Friday, and moving on to alternative colourways on Monday.


Making Connections ADZ577: End of Part One Self-Evaluation

I created my collection with the goal that it would house, and combine three key concepts. Firstly Kelly Wearstler’s unique design handwriting, and approach to interior designing; secondly, the colours and influences evident in my chosen trend ‘Encountered Culture’, which I envisaged within the Thai culture; and finally, my own personal development and style.Combining elegant materials, classic colours and minimal designs, California based designer Kelly Wearstler, aims her designs at the high-end market. It’s these three main attributes that make up the signature style of the Kelly Wearstler company, which I have been working from throughout my idea exploration phase. I was drawn to Kelly Wearstler because of the simple designs that have a classic air and elegant feel. I have a passion for printing which is also the technique that Kelly Wearstler uses for their fabric and paper based designs.
Encountered Culture is one of the trends for spring/summer 17. Natural fibres and materials are very much an exotic trade mark, mixed with bright, bold colours which are closely linked with the exotic. I have continually looked back at the influences of this trend while working through my ideas and designs. 

Staying within the margins of these first two concepts, I moved forward with what I imagined the outcome would be when these concepts are combined. I kept to the Kelly Wearstler way of minimal designs and marks, while also exploring the different paths offered within Encountered Culture.

While trying not to limit myself, I found that I was looking down many design paths, playing them off each other to see which best encapsulates my three key concepts. I was able to experiment with my drawing skills; consciously making time for this stage, as it is the foundation of any good design work. I gathered imagery, both primary and secondary, to help with my idea development, and considered the different approaches of Kelly Wearstler company and the ideas circulating within my chosen trend.
I have gathered a portfolio of imagery to help with my design process. Looking at colours, materials and influences for designs: pattern that are native to Thailand, others that are taken from the cross-sections of minerals and still more that look into the written language of Thailand itself. I have tired, as much as I can, to continually refer back to my first two concepts, resulting in experiments that have been well thought out and planned. 

Monday 02nd February

After we were placed into groups with other people of similar topic ideas, we went out to the city centre to explore further. Our groups set out with the ideas of exploring hidden places, places that are relatively unseen and places which are out in the open, but are looked past or unnoticed. We stopped to take photos of all the places we found that connected with our ideas for this topic, sometime stopping to take quick sketches of how we see these places.


I like that the city centre has quite a few places that are unnoticed or unseen. I particularly like the small empty streets that nobody seems to frequent, as well as the street art that accompany them. I like the arcades with their unnoticed layers.

I quite like the ideas of hidden/forgotten places. Which exploring we found an old club which isn’t open anymore, the door has been boarded up and the inside left empty. I really like the now hidden and forgotten past of the place, as well as how the actual structure of the building, the inside, is hidden.

Book-Making 17th November

Yesterday we were looking at making books out of the mark-making samples we had been experimenting with for the last three weeks. Helen showed us two different ways of folding paper to make books, one being folding the paper to create a spine, and then binding them together with thread; the other being a series of folds to create a four page book.

I really liked these little techniques, making books from found and recycled papers, which you could then use as a sketchbook, or from previous work as a way to display them. It’s quite interesting to mix papers to create different textures, as well as using coloured papers as different grounds/surfaces.

Different papers folded and bound together with thread.

Different papers folded and bound together with thread.

A4 sheet of brown paper, cut and folded into a small book.

A4 sheet of brown paper, cut and folded into a small book.