Assignment Five (Option 1): Project Three: Preliminary Drawings / Plans and final modelling of samples: (relating to my body of samples under the heading ‘Red Line Collection’)

I have chosen to pursue two very different styles of working within this Project Three.  It is my expectation that I will choose one of them to take into my final project, project four.  Within a separate post (and also notes within my sketchbooks) you will find an explanation of these two ways of working, so that my work appears understandable and reflects clarity.

‘Red Line Collection’ sample making, preliminary drawings and images

 (From my chosen archive as seen within this blog post:

Using the wording within my poetry in my archive, I began to sketch out ideas.

Words from my poems such as:

Lines that bind us,
The colour of blood,

Helped influence colour choice and the fact I wanted to draw designs with a sense of line or continuation.

That pathway,
Your pathway,

Gave me the idea of conveying a path…could this be in stitch?

For your vocal prose,
To collide with my hearing.

How could I “imagerize” vocals?  Due to my grandmothers blindness, I came up with the idea of making her lips a highlight within my drawing work, with a closed eye to represent her lack of sight.

My hearing could be symbolised with a representational ear, set near my grandmothers lips, to convey the idea of my listening to her stories.

She crafted words,
That have become such strong memories,
That even in this foreign place
I am at peace.

I now carry them,
In a visual form,
On those black hooks,
That adorn my ears.

I shed I tear,
For the girl I once was,
For the little girl,
In the red coat,
I once was.

The above exert from my poem, was inspired my travels abroad away from my grandmother and buying earrings there which reminded me of the links between us, due to their theme of Red Riding Hood, the story she told me over and over again.

I could symbolise myself here, maybe as a simplified outline in Red Riding Hood style, like I myself was often dressed as a child.

The word adornment could help me build what my samples may become.  Could I create samples which adorn myself or others in some way?

Earrings are too obvious, but what about something like a collar?

Below:  Simple initial design sketch.  One side with my grandmothers face in simplified form and the other with my ear and me trudging as a child down a path.

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Could this become a wearable sample piece?

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Points to consider:

  • If I made this into a textile piece, are their gaps in my knowledge of artist research which need filled?  I feel that some education into how other designers have tackled this area is necessary.
  • Material and technique choices must be thought through and planned.
  • I have had experience making collars a few years ago.  I wonder if this experience could help me now?  Here is an example of a collar made previously…..


This one was made from silk chiffon, black threads used in machine embroidery and crystals.  Pattern derived from my own original designs.

Could I use similar materials again?

What I don’t want to do, is create something which has been created before.  Thus my new work will be heavily influenced by my archive and techniques I have learned through research for this particular course.

Gaps in knowledge

I have addressed this by thoroughly researching how other designers have made collars and also designed simplified imagery to picture an originally detailed concept.  I.E. My grandmothers face, seen simply as lips, closed eye and nose shape.

In order for me to refer to this research, I have created a board away from this blog.  However here’s a sample of my influences:

Zandra Rhodes with special reference to her drawing design work and line of bags made with simplified facial detail:

The designer Schiapareli:

The Italian designer Vivetta:

Material / Technique Choices

Recently I looked at the work of Karen Nicol, with special reference to my research essay.  I took a note of her techniques and felt that this one could be something I tried in my own way:

Braid couched with invisible thread onto transparent fabric.

I would like to make my own version of this….

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Maybe I could try a few different variations out; to really pull apart my ideas.

One thing I have noted through my learning, is that it is best to highlight one area and not “overwork” a piece.

I will use this piece I saw in an exhibition recently as an example:

By designer Jean Paul Gautier.

Note the overriding sense of black, yet with this arm as a highlight feature.

This isolation of one area is something I will remember as I progress.

Above:  Progress stages, from initial drawings to making stages.

I chose to make four variations, to try out different ideas.  Each collar has one different planned element:

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Above:  Four sketchbook pages, showing the four different variations I plan to execute.  They are:

1.  Red thin wire couched down with thread to “draw the collar” with staining areas to highlight the lips and the red riding hood coat.  Could I try some sort of paint, something which feels “out of place” or not commonly used on a collar?

In line with my application of thoughts surrounding using mediums in a was not commonly used, I tried to find an option to thick paint. I could use 3D paint, but that seems a little common to use. What else could emulate a raised texture?

Using my hot glue gun, I risked filling the space on the silk…..

This didn’t add colour, but once dry I could paint layers on the other side. Thus the paint showed through!

Another option for consideration another time, would be the use of acrylic paint as a 3D medium. However I like the glue in this case, as it has a translucency which can be influenced with added paint at my own control.

2.  Cut out areas on key parts.  Thick braid used with my machine, using Karen Nicol as inspiration.  Maybe ribbon could be added to each side, to bridge a connection between the two pieces?

3.  Thick braid again, but with beaded areas?

4.  Thin wire, this time with applique – maybe using a material we don’t normally associate with fragile fabric such as the silk chiffon I am using as a base for each collar?

I have gathered together black and white silk chiffon.  They are transparent and provide a contrast to show up my proposed designs.


Above:  Contrasting materials and use of weighted fabrics, such as leather in juxtaposition of the silk chiffon.  Could this work?

Model images of myself and my mannequins with some of my collar work:

Reflecting on the above; I have composed four well made pieces.  I feel that making collars and exploring ways of making them different could be something I would like to pursue.

However my concern is that it may not showcase the breadth of my ability and I feel that I have more to give.  Yes I could probe and explore how to make them more unusual; yet I am limiting myself in scale choice here and feel that this is something I would like to drive further; showcasing obvious contrast rather than subtly.

I was able to convey sensitivity to materials via my chosen techniques and was able to look at how form and composition would work within this context.  Curiosity and innovation has been showcased, but I don’t feel this work is a “risk”; thus the need to push and develop further. The risks are too tiny, I. E. Use of leather and glue on my silk… A risk in this context yes, yet I want to push myself further than these small portals of exploration.  I realise that this is what this Project 3 is about; finding the ideas through sample making, which will really push my practice.

They prove to be relevant samples and I do like the way my imagery of them has turned out; especially how drama can be staged via an image.

Do I feel one has worked better than another out of the four?

I love the beaded one most as a wearable item; the thick braid ties in well with the beads.

Were my influences / research of designers helpful?

Yes.  I would like to look at more designers and the fashion elements in the future as I find myself drawn to this.  Karen Nicol was helpful as to techniques resources and ideas, where as designers such as Jean Paul Gautier have taught me valuable lessons in how much to put into one piece and that sometimes less is more.

One artist I found after I had finished this selection of samples, was Julia Triston.  Her most recent work was most poignant and related well to what I could have used material wise…

Above:  Made for the Did/Rupt festival in Stroud.  She has used her own feelings surrounding her recent divorce, along with net and machine embroidery.  This style of new was something I could have thought to use for my own collars.  I chose the silk chiffon, as it gave quality to my pieces and I felt it well illustrated a partial view, which could be again likened to my grandmothers eyesight.

Her use of a limited colour palette, the red and black being the dominant choices are reminiscent of my own choices for my project samples at this stage.  This has meaning and has been considered to evoke the Red Riding Hood story in my own case.  Black to remind us of book print and red for the Red Riding Hood character and my own childhood clothing.  What does it represent for Triston?  In my understanding, it would depict her mood and the words she writes on paper and net evidence this.

One last thing to observe about her work, is the photographic use.  She has taken the made veil and laid it on a notebook, already written on.  This gives a double imporession of text.

 Left:  Silk chiffon, the fabric I used as the base for my collars.  Fabric has that almost see through quality, yet it has to be scrutinised to ascertain if there is anything underneath.

Triston considers ‘fragility’ within this body of work and her material choice relates well to her self imposed theme – Divorce = using her own veil as a medium for her embroidery.  I myself work best on personal themes, thus why I chose the context of my grandmothers relationship with myself.

She says of her work within this theme:

‘My pieces for the DIS/rupt exhibition investigate personal conflict and the trauma and issues surrounding divorce. A breakdown of a relationship can have a lasting effect physically, mentally, emotionally and financially; this disruption can impact the whole family. I have drawn on my own experiences for this exhibition, which has been both painful and liberating’

This artist has made me ruminate upon other materials I could use for collars in the future, in this case net.  Yet other artists such as Flower, made me think about non-textile “fabrics” or what I could make into fabric…..

You will find the four collars, as presented pieces along with other trials and planning through my physical body of work.

How to present them?

I feel that although I will not be developing them further at this stage, they need to be staged and presented in a manner which befits them, as they are beautiful pieces in their own right…..

Above:  A small representation in pictorial form.  They are all presented like this, ready to be viewed within my physical body of work.  The collars have been presented on black card, overlaid with my own hand drawn fashion drawings, to emulate a sense of placement.  My grandmothers image has also been used as a viable source of presentation here too; using a blown up image.

I feel that taking the time to really present the works well, with insight and understanding; is another way I have shown my personal voice with flair.





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