Assignment 5 (Option 1): Project 4: Shelved ideas and plans for future exploration

Through self imposed study visits and my own research, I have accumulated many ideas which I have been unable to pursue.  I chose to concentrate on my fabric printing and digital designs.  However there were a few other options which I could have pursued and may well do so either through my own personal learning time or as I move into Level 3.

I will document two of them here…..

Techniques with methods other than traditional fabric

  1. Clay Transfer

This idea was injected within myself during my preliminary visits to museums and galleries when beginning this archive project. It was the concept of a lasting material which I took to. That may Egyptians, Romans and other ancient cultures used. They carved or painted their lives on clay or pots made. Thus creating visual diaries for us to “read” today…

Observing the materials and the reasons why they used them, moved me to question my own toolbox… Could I make clay a part of my stitched vocabulary?

Below, you can see how I did explore this to some extent through assignment four and my initial sampling stages…. (See this blog post to read my full approach:

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This investigation did work, I was able to stitch through the material which was laced with clay. However I could not see room for development within the context of my work at this stage.

I kept coming across new ways of using clay material though. It haunted me…

Observing this designer on a study visit at New Designers in July 2017:

Below: Beth Nelis and her explosion of clay used as a viable Base to hold her printed transfer patterns. She was able to use the same designs on both fabric and clay…

I endeavored to contact both her university and herself in person. Sadly I received no response from either yet. I did meet her at New Designers, but as she was busy I could not ask many questions. Through observation here you can see her work styles though.

I found her online portfolio and found this information:

‘I am a surface designer who enjoys exploring colour, pattern and texture. Inspired by material properties and creative processes, I tend to work across soft textiles and hard surfaces, experimenting with traditional and contemporary techniques. 

I am now a Graduate of Heriot Watt University, where I gained a First Class honours degree in Design for Textiles’.

It is the cross practice here which I picked up on and which as an observer attracted me to her work at New Designers, in amongst a wealth of fabric; this dual of hard and soft surface design came across as contemporary.


Above:  A key highlight from her website.  I love this image as within it, she has visually illustrated how her work could be used.  This seems to be a feature of her website; mock ups of what her fabric or hard items could be, if included in your home.

How has she interpreted her fabric designs onto this hard medium of clay? 

I like her wording as regards this particular collection:

‘This collection consists of a series of printed linen fabrics as well as a selection of surface design samples made from concrete or jesomonite. As a method of demonstrating how the two contrasting elements of this project work together I have created a series of material boards.

These curated boards are often used by interior design companies as a tool to present to clients how different materials would sit within an interior setting. I have mimicked this idea by creating compositions that demonstrate links between texture, colour and pattern.’

It does not tell me about how she has made the collection, yet it does give us an understanding of why she has created it.

This is a subject area which I could discover through future research within my next course.

2. Fabric trapped in Resin

This was an idea which came to me recently.  I visited a gallery where I saw an artist create resin jewellery:

Image result for old letter trapped in resin jewelryImage result for fabric trapped in resin jewelry

I realised that really any item could be trapped in this medium.

I would love to try using particles of fabric; even making earrings which inspired me to build by own narrative in the first place (the Red Riding Hood ones I mention in my poetry, used in this project)


Is this a passable idea to trial? 

Yes, however it concerns me that it is less about the creation or exploration of the tactile and more an investigation of a viable resource to “house” the tactile as it were.  It could be said to encapsulate a form of display.  Thus more thought and planning would be needed on this.

For this reason, I chose to shelve this idea with the chance of renewing it within my next course, or at least giving it a more exploratory viewing.

These two examples of techniques above, showcase how I am desiring to look further than fabric, thus opening myself up to new pathways of learning and an emerging individual practice.  They become examples of times within our work, where we have to make decisions as to which ideas to move forward with and which to archive. 

You will find through this blog and also through my sketchbooks; I have written notes, aspirations or ideas for my practice.  In would be impossible to have managed to try them all.  Thus the fact I have them noted, means I can look back and choose more to try in the future.  I am confident that I have tried the ones I wanted to within the context of this course; however I don’t think it would be a healthy thing if I was completely satisfied with my investigations.  As an artist or designer its important to always be curious.


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