Assignment Five (Option One): Project 3: Fulfilment of Course Aims and Learning Outcomes:

In the early stages of Project 3, I looked back over the course notes to find the Course aims and Learning Outcomes.  It is important to note these, as they are vital to have achieved when it comes to assessment.  Doing this as early as possible, allows me the ability to make sure I plan to cover them.  To remind myself what they are, I have pasted them in below and then added my own notes to each one of how I have already managed to hit the targets.  It helps me to see how much I have achieved through the course so far and highlights gaps which I need to fill.  The points I mention under each one, are by no means a detailed explanation of every way I have fulfilled them; however they are examples:

Course aims and learning outcomes Textiles 2: Contemporary Practice aims to:

• extend work done in Textiles 1 by introducing new and innovative techniques and further developing activities of particular interest in greater breadth and depth, both visually and technically.

Producing digitally enhanced textiles was something which was new to myself.  This both extended my learning and gave me the claim of a new technique.  Much of what I learned was self researched and taught.  In the future I would like to further develop this skill and I have found some London based courses which I aim to save for to enhance my skills.

Above:  Early digital work from own paintings and designs in Assignments One and Two of this course.

Screen Printing and other printing methods were explored in Textiles 1.  However I extended them within this course.  I remember a previous tutor noting that although my hand cut stencils were skilful, I could have investigated hand drawing directly onto the screens.  I have taken this piece of advice on board and implemented it though Assignment Five of this course.  My screen prints thus become more of a mirror of my drawing work.  I feel that this would count as looking at an activity of particular interest and extending it in further depth.

Above:  From sketch to hand drawn screen.

Scale and risk taking has been a consistent worry to myself, as it is something I have had highlighted by my tutor as a point to work on.  I realise that this will be a constant point of development for myself, however there are areas especially through Assignment Five, where I feel I have hit this goal.  For example within my large hand drawn screen printing designs, which I have repeat printed to fill a large space on fabric.

IMG_5081Above:  Screen printed large stencil repeat, using decolourant and hand painted fabric.

My collar work as seen within Assignment Five, is something I have trialled before within Textiles 1.  I made the choice to extend my visions within this technique area; as it fitted my narrative at this stage.  I explored it in a different way than I had within Textiles 1.  To explain; within Textiles 1, I simply looked at making collars from machine embroidery on fabric.  I had no concept or understanding of how to finish pieces or neaten them.  Within Textiles 2, namely this assignment, I explored within the narrative of my grandmother and I, how I could tell this story inside the space of a collar.  I investigated beading, painting and applique elements not usually used on such a fragile fabric.  The structure of the collar was developed and questioned; using wire and braid.  This is an example of how one technique can be practiced and extended, without simply repeating a well worn idea, just because the student likes it on a personal level.

Above:  Focusing on small changes:  Beading, wire to create stiffness, weights of braid, painting on silk with acrylic and weights of material applique all explored.

Focusing on both this Project 3 of Assignment Five and the Transition period inwards to Project 4, I aim to broaden my skills further; with a honed in view on playing with one or two selected ideas until I have “played them out” as it were.  I project that this may come from my screen printing samples and I initially have an idea that I would like to digitise.  I hope that this will showcase my skills and knowledge learned thus far.


• develop your awareness of current issues in textile design and fine art practices

This is an ongoing project, something that should never be neglected.

You will find through my file of findings for my Research Essay this was especially prevelent.

One area I must keep a check on is relating my own practice to the context of other contemporary artists. Where does my work fit? I may expand on this question within another blog post.

I have noticed the difference between writing an online Learning Log Blog and a word document version. Because I need to keep my blog fluid and clear, I have not extensively added reams of artist / designer findings. This seemingly could have proved a problem, a showcase in lacking depth of research. However I have kept up my research away from my blog, implementing it within my sketchbooks too, in order to contrast it and inject inspiration for myself as I go.

You will also note through my blog entries, that I gave visited Fine Art galleries and exhibitions, as well as Textile ones. This gives me a rounded out perspective and is something I plan to continue.

I plan to continue researching and visiting as many exhibitions as possible, to broaden and feed my own learning, which will keep me up to date with current processes, issues and aspects of design.

• develop your ability to work autonomously and design your own project work

Due to my being taught at home from previous school age and never attending school until I began my college education, I have built up a record of self discipline and a strong work ethic. I am used to working in isolation, thus did not find working from my own planning and free choice such a change. Once you get used to working in this way, there is a greater happiness and satisfaction from achieving.

I found that especially through Assignment Four, I floundered around understanding the OCA notes and coming out on my own.  This impacted on my portrayal of clarity through this assignment and this was something I had to address.    However once I gained insight and really took a hold of my own ideas after really studying my archive material and isolating areas of interest, I was able to pursue thoughts and create I feel a better flow  Now through Assignment Five, I feel fully in control; it just took time to comprehend and gather my ideas.  Thus really I see that it was not creating a project or working off my own back as it were that was the issue, but rather within myself, knowing what ideas I wanted to develop and travel with.

My aim is to continue to develop strength and own voice within this area.  I also need to make sure that visually my work is clear and shows perusal of ideas and risk taking in order to meet assessment criteria.

• improve your ability to research and analyse contemporary artists and art movements.

Through my blogging entries and physical body of presented work, you can observe how I have arranged this area, in order to really deepen my knowledge and learning. Much research has been done surrounding my research essay within this course and can be found within my studio setting, where I have accumulated a large library of books and information brought back from exhibitions.

The using of this material can be evidenced through my subsequent biographies for each assignment.

Gaps?  Continually showing these skills through evidence in my work.

On successful completion of the course you’ll be able to:

• select and evaluate a range of textile media and techniques to develop innovative solutions to a set of self-generated projects

I feel that I have progressed through the course in this regard. Yet I feel I can still do better. I have developed my chosen techniques and experimented within their parameter. However I do not see a stopping point, there is always room to improve and further push.

Reflecting back on my first assignment, I found myself working on a small illustrative scale…

Above: one of my early assignment one dry point prints with added collage and Stitch. 

My tutor was right to push me further and now as I am approaching the end of the physical outcomes for the course, I see that I have increased in scale confidence:

Above: using a learned screen printing technique to push my use of size on fabric. 

The above examples convey improvement, however I feel that the more I can demonstrate this the better. Thus this will be one of my main points of focus to check on.

• demonstrate a critical awareness of contemporary and emerging textile practitioners, understanding the diversity of textiles in both historical and cultural contexts

I hope that I convey this naturally. The idea of researching and displaying findings is not new. However this isolation of looking at things within the themes of history and culture is important. Through my research essay, I demonstrated this in the context of artists history in the form of how they came to be in their practice. I also investigated who they themselves were influenced by.

I know that I have not been predictable as to looking at certain artists in a certain time period.

However I do find this category hard to illustrate as I have not chosen to look at a certain historical textiles aspect or specialised in one country of embroidery interest. For example another student may have honed their research essay to focus on Peruvian Design. Thus their achievements within this category may have been more obvious than my own.

I have visited exhibitions though and historically informative houses, such as the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection which greatly influenced and inspired me.

Through my archive work I have concentrated on aspects of family history and used results as inspiration within my work…

On deeper reflection I find more evidence. Take for example my research on Boro work and its beginnings in Japanese culture.

Thus I can confirm that I have ticked this box, just in a more subtle way and in theme with the context of the material I have been working on.

• demonstrate increasing independence in the execution of textile work and take greater responsibility for widening your own knowledge

I have never found working on my own or from my own infrastructure hard.  Nonetheless this does not equate to producing the correct level of work every time.  I still need pushed to work in different scales and materials.  Yet the self discipline quality is there.

I love studying, thus I love researching and having a “Miss Marple” finding out perspective.  I have found that I have researched less through some assignments, due to trying to create more pithy blog posts.  Thus I see this as an area to watch.  I intend to keep up researching and building up collections of information away from my blog and then choosing parts to add to the blog which suit the particular post.  That way I have a library as it were away from my blog entries to draw upon in future too.

I know that there are areas for improvement, some of which have been highlighted by myself rather than others.  For example in order to produce the work which I would like to yield, rather than what I may have previously been guided through at University, I have a few thoughts:

  • Attend a course teaching digital design, as I still find getting seamless repeat patterns within my digital work difficult and this is something I would like to extend my knowledge in.
  • Mixing new mediums into my Textile practice, such as clay and further Fine Art Illustration.  Especially as regards clay, I may think of some basic lessons in the future.

The above in effect, may help my work become more “independent in thinking”, which is something of a personal goal.

• construct a written argument informed by investigative research.

This has been evidenced through my Research Essay.  However it is something I will continue to dwell on as I move into Level Three and my Research course.

As well as the above which have been outlined by the OCA and which I have here above answered, are there any other points which I would like to pick up on or remind myself?

Whilst looking at the above aims and outcomes, I took time to review the beginning section in the OCA handbook for this course.

I found this page most in need of work:

‘Sketchbooks and drawing
Drawing is a vital component in art and design and forms an intrinsic part of this course. In her article ‘Drawing Conclusions’ (Crafts Sept/Oct 2014) the ceramicist Kyra Cane explains the value of drawing in the design process. As well as being one of the fundamental elements of decoration, drawing is used to plan, develop and illustrate three-dimensional objects and assists the artist or designer to work through and reflect on ideas and communicate them to others.
Use your sketchbook work to:
• generate ideas
• document observations
• solve problems
• record outcomes
• communicate concepts.
As you progress through Textiles 2: Contemporary Practice, you should aim to work in a range of media and demonstrate a broad variety of drawing methods. Include inks, charcoal, watercolour, gouache, collage, crayon, biro and pencils of different hardness. Work at various scales, including large (A2 and above); you can do this cheaply by using rolls of wallpaper liner. Consider the surface you mark; work with coloured paper or add a wash, and look for textured surfaces. Use a mixture of mark-making methods and drawing techniques to demonstrate experimentation; for instance, you could experiment with blind continuous line drawing by attaching your pencil to the end of a long stick and capturing moving objects. Aim to investigate and be inventive in your drawing to help you develop your own unique style.
Sample-making Throughout this course you’ll be expected to make textile samples. The style and materials you use will depend on which practical options you follow. The course guide deliberately doesn’t specify the number of samples you should make; this will depend on the methods you work with. Use the allotted time as a guide to how much time to put into sample-making, bearing in mind that the more samples you make the greater the chance of finding something new.

Think of sample-making as a set of experiments to make new discoveries. Aim to demonstrate inventiveness, innovation and risk-taking through your sample-making – in the range of techniques you use and in a broad selection of materials.
Look for the quirky, unusual and downright daft in your work. Remake and tweak samples to push their development. Consider scale, colour, composition and texture to ensure you produce a comprehensive body of work.’

Taking the above into account I can see specific areas I need to work on.  I have highlighted them from the wording by italicising.  Although I have used all these methods in the past, I do not as yet feel I have played with them enough through this course; which concerns me.  My main emphasis from this point on, would be to push my variety of drawing methods, even just choosing a few if not all to try.

The word ‘Innovation’ means to produce new methods, new ways of doing something, it could be used in the same context as clever at times.  This is a word that I feel the particular need to look at in the context of my own practice.

I may be “good” at what I do, but what else could I do?


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