The Small Print

Today I’m printing. I’ve got designs, I’ve got ready dyed fabrics and now its time to put two and two together and make something bigger and better than ever. That might be a bit drastic but today is a day for experimenting, mixing and matching. Playing with colour and scale. Although I forgot that the tech dem’s go out for lunch so I’ve been locked out of the print room! Its only for an hour and then hopefully I can get back to experimenting!

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Oh my gosh, we’re back again!

We’re back. I’m back. It’s time to rock your body right.

I’m kidding.

It’s time for the degree show. The thing that everyone has been waiting for for the last 2 and half years. Eek! It’s crazy to think I’m in my last year of university, but I’m super excited for it.

After writing my dissertation I wanted to put my ideas in practice. Queue Craftivist ideas! Firstly pick a issues I want to highlight or address – Homelessness in the first world, it’s just shouldn’t even be a issues to be addressed! Second, pick my method of communication – Hand printed Men’s streetwear collection, a modern and relevant medium for carrying ideas/messages considering its worn by so many men and you take clothing with you everywhere.

While I was gathering images as an idea base, I realised the pretty much all the images of streetwear I collected where outerwear, jackets and coats. I don’t know why but I’m drawn to them. So, I’m planning to make a mens’ streetwear outerwear collection (is there too many wear’s in that sentence?).

I’m haven’t got much more of an idea than that, other that I want to hand print and use typography, but I think thats ok. I did have a little idea for patterns but I don’t know how I’d go about making the patterns, but that a problem for another day. My ideas was to go out and photograph the city and surrounding areas from how the homeless usually see it. I go into town and no one is sat on the floor, or huddled in an alcove that isn’t homeless and I’m just wondering, what view do they have? of the streets, the buildings, the people. I don’t know, its just an idea. Plus I like urban designs.

Hopefully I’ll give myself more of a chance to experiment than I usually do.


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.


I Knew You Were Waiting For Feedback

I’ve really enjoyed this project and think that shows in my collection.

I’ve managed to find combination of different events that has really worked for me. I really like the client that I’ve chosen to create for, kidults both male and female; I love my choice of inspiration for my graphics – urban grid patterns and typography; and I really like that I’ve been taking my inspiration from modern and 80s slang/phrases and technology.
I’ve especially lied my colour scheme which composes of monotone colours with bright 80s colour pops. I have a really fun time combining different colours and patterns together and I think I’ve done quite a good job of it.

This confidence I have in collection is what I took to my tutorial with Keireine, who liked what I’ve created so far, which was really great.

She really liked the colour scheme that I have used, and gave me a few pointers on how to best use the colour pops, and she also gave me a few ideas for experiments with my sheet wrapping paper.

I was really happy with my feedback, and how little I need to change, which is amazing because it means that I’ve chosen my theme and client really well.

I did however test out keireine’s suggestion of giving my mood boards a grey, industrial background. I thought it might make the other images less noticeable, but it actually really liked the result, which means I will totally try out every suggestion that Keireine gave me, because lets face it, she really knows what she’s on about!


Karma Collagraph

I did managed to make a plate yesterday. I said I would and I did! hooray.For this plate I combined textures, font and embroidery to see the different effects that they would produce. I like the results that I got, and weirdly enough, I prefer the scrap paper which I used during the print, to the ones printed on the good paper I had sourced! Crazy right, but I think theres something messier about and much more fluid about the accidental prints. 

I experimented with print runs; which basically means that I printed it quite a few times before re-inking. I did however label what order they were printed out in so I would be able to know how many times the plate need to be printed for whichever effect I preferred. But as I said, I actually like the mistake prints better, which doesn’t bode well for recreating them. I love the effects that the collagraph prints create, being able to see the actual texture of whatever it is you use, so much so that you think you’d be able to feel it, but I’m not sure how well collagraph would work on the materials I’ve been using, like fabric and acetate? I think thats something I’ll have to look into if the IG guys seem keen on that technique. Friday however, God willing I my foils actually get delivered tomorrow and not tossed back into the post van!, I will be focusing on printed more samples in the morning so that I have a greater range of surfaces an colour ways that I can embroider into in the afternoon. 


I Want To Know What Print Is

Today I didn’t really have any clue what I was going to do. I thought about it all weekend but I just couldn’t seem to wrap my mind around what it was it wanted to be doing today.  I took all my samples that I created on Friday and brought them, and loads of artist research I had done, into the studio. I think I was hoping that the studio might be able to inspire me someway, or maybe just help to give my through/ideas direction, but as I turned out, it was a fellow student who gave me an idea, over a conversation about skrim nontheless.

I spend my day in N-block making collagraph plates and printing them. I made a few quick plates to see wether I liked this idea and wether I want to explore it further.

What I really liked was one sample I created, where I had stitched a few letters into the fabric before securing It to the plate and shellac-ing. The fabric printed a really lovely textural background to the stitching which was had a very D-I-Y feel.

I think I do want to further explore looking into collagraph; I plan to spend tomorrow afternoon making plates to print on Wednesday afternoon. While on Friday I plan to go into the print studio to create more samples before going into stitch and experimenting with hand and machine stitch.

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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.