After my Field module I wanted to experiment with more hand crafted techniques in the areas of both print and stitch rather than relying on machinery all the time. Today I wanted to experiment with potato printing with two of the designs I drew yesterday inspired by some tiles I saw in Marrakech.
I think that potato printing can be quite naïve looking and child like but I wanted to experiment and thought that maybe if I created a more detailed pattern it would look more interesting.
I struggled with cutting out my design and it was hard to be precise both in the cutting and printing processes. Because of this I’m not sure that this technique would be suitable for my collection as Harlequins designs are quite exact and meticulous. I would like to experiment with other printing techniques such as lino printing and screen printing.
A positive of my experimentation was that I used colours from my colour scheme and they worked very well together.
Today I have decided to experiment with some techniques to create texture with paint using colours from my colour scheme. These examples could be interesting to use instead of block colours as part of the designs I create or as backgrounds. I have not decided how or if I will use these experiments but they have taken me outside my comfort zone and also out of the area I believed I wanted to focus on. I thought that my designs should be structured and organised and that I would draw in this way as well but these experiments have broken this wall down and I feel that my future designs could benefit from this.
I first created my colour scheme using watercolours. It was helpful to have these prepared.
I used salt, rice, scrunched up paper and vodka to create different effects onto the paper with watercolours. I used only the colours from my colour scheme.
vodka on wet paint
salt on wet paint
I then went on to a different technique, where I wrapped string and cling film onto an empty toilet roll to create a textured surface. I then added acrylic paint onto this surface and rolled it onto a page which created a very interesting textured and colourful print.
I want to experiment with photocopying these experiments and creating designs out of them using my theme of geometric and ethnic patterns. Alternatively I could layer a drawing and these experiments digitally on Photoshop.
Today I realised that my previous colour research had been for S/S 2015, this was an error on my part as I should been designing for S/S 2016 not 2015. I checked that my colours are still in style for the season I am designing for and if they weren’t I would’ve needed to make some changes to my colour scheme and mood board.
As I didn’t select one of the pre-existing colour schemes on WGSN like some of the girls have in the course I think I will be ok with the colours I already have. I had selected a scheme from the matrix of colours and selected the shades and colours I felt worked well together, some of the colours work harmoniously whilst others contrast which will give me a nice range for my designs.
Whilst looking on WGSN I found that most of my colours were still in the matrix for S/S 2016 so I will be keeping my colour scheme as it is but may add a few more shades to update my board.
Below is a matrix of colour for Spring /Summer 2016 for Europe which clearly has colours from my palette
I have made a few changes to my hypothetical design brief. The main change I have made is that I have now decided to focus predominantly on geometric and ethnic patterns and have decided to remove the floral element to this theme. I have done this because I have now accumulated a huge range of visual imagery and research of the theme of pattern from my recent trip to Tunisia in the summer and also from Morocco from the trip within my Field module. I will be able to use all these primary images which I have taken myself yet I did not collect much imagery of florals on these visits and so would have to rely on secondary imagery and sources. I also think I will struggle in combining these two different elements. I have also added more detail regarding fabric and techniques due to feedback. I have considered changing to stationery design instead of interiors however I feel I would like to consult my tutor in this before I make the decision.
Hypothetical Design Commission Brief
To create a textile collection for the home interiors market for the company Harlequin.
To produce a collection inspired by ethnic and geometric patterns found in Northern African countries.
To create a textile collection for Spring/Summer 2016.
• To explore and document the theme of ethnic and geometric patterns.
• To look into and report on the targeted market of high end and luxurious home interiors.
• To summarise all relevant aspects of the concept on a series of visually inspiring mood boards.
• To produce and log a body of drawings experimenting with a range of different media.
• To creatively develop ideas using methods such as digital stitch and print and also developing Photoshop skills and hand printing methods such as screen printing.
• To produce a selection of samples and croquis designs on a range of appropriate, well researched substrates to include fabrics and or papers.
• To present a final collection of designs, some of which also demonstrate :
– alternative colour way designs
– co-ordinating design groups
– accurately repeating pattern designs.
• To illustrate and present selected designs for interiors in situ, as CAD visuals.
Introduction to clarify the context and market/client
The home interior market appeals to me due to the large array of colours and textures which can be used for the designs. I was also inspired by interiors due to the wide range of products and areas of the home you are able to design for.
I was inspired by Harlequin when I found an advert for the company’s collection called ‘Jardin Boheme.’ The bold and vibrant colours and ethnic feel of the designs excited and influenced me to continue looking into this company. My theme of ethnic and geometric patterns from Northern African countries has arisen from the designs found in this collection but also from my travels to such countries over the field module and previous travel experiences. I feel inspired to develop on this theme further for a Spring/Summer collection after briefly focusing on this theme in my field module. I have decided to build on these existing ideas and themes to create a collection in keeping with Harlequin but adding a personal element with my language of textiles.
Their house style combines decorative prints and floral patterns in both vibrant and neutral colours dependent on the collection. I like that there are differences within the collections yet the designs still hold the house style. Harlequin produce designs for curtains, bedding, cushions, wallpaper and more.
Harlequin is a luxurious brand and therefore lends itself to the higher target market and clientele. I will be designing for this client; a couple, home owner and individuals who have a higher income than average. The client is house proud and likes to spend money on creating a stylish home. Designing for this client will allow me to create professional and deluxe designs. I will need to keep this in mind when selecting materials and processes so that I keep within a high end appearance.
I will visit Harlequin’s website to research current and previous interior collections focussing on S/S seasons. I will also research for my chosen season and relevant trends using journals and books in the library and collect visual research using WGSN. I will contact Harlequin in the hope of gaining primary research into the methods of production and fabric choices. I would also like to research the company’s policies regarding sustainability and environmental issues.
I will create a collection of designs for home interior products including bedding, soft furnishings and paper based products such as wallpaper and blinds. My designs will be inspired by my theme of “Ethnic and Geometric Patterns found in Northern African Countries.” I will be gaining inspiration from images collected whilst travelling to such countries. The majority of the patterns will be sourced from the tiles which flood these countries buildings. I will be gaining most of my visual inspiration from Tunisia and Morocco. My designs will have an on trend colour palette inspired by my theme. The collection will be called “Sweet Citrus” inspired by the bright colour palette used. The designs I create will encompass Harlequin’s luxurious house style. I will carry out visual research in primary and secondary ways including drawing, photography and through the internet. I will be experimenting with digital stitch and printing techniques, specifically screen printing to in keep with Harlequin’s house style. My sketchbook work and drawings will be more structured and precise in appearance to hold my theme and allow me to create professional and accurate repeat patterns. I will keep up with current and up-coming trends using WGSN throughout the project.
Today is the first day back into Subject after being in Field modules since November. I’m looking forward to getting back to my hypothetical brief and bringing what I have learnt in my field into my project. I feel that both Morocco and my work experience have been invaluable experiences and have provided me with a vast array of inspiration. The task for today is to revisit our brief, timetable and to re-read our hypothetical brief, I will be posting my brief with changes from feedback from tutors and also any changes I would like to make personally.
For the second field option, I decided to apply for a place on the Global Cultural Collaboration trip to Marrakech, Morocco. I have always enjoyed travelling and find that it is not only an enjoyable experience to delve into a completely different culture but that I also gain huge amounts of inspiration for my work.
The trip to Marrakech has influenced my studies a lot. In my subject project I am focusing on geometric patterns that are found in African countries. Therefore this trip has given me a huge array of visual imagery and other pieces of inspiration to use for both my field and subject projects. The trip has also influenced my work in constellation as for my dissertation I believe I would like to focus on femininity and gender and how views are different in different cultures. The culture difference between ours and the Moroccan culture including how women are viewed in their country was quite shocking but also an area of interest to me.
I felt that visiting Marrakech, Morocco was an invaluable experience. I feel that I have come back from the field trip with a new concept of how I work and also the areas which I feel I would like to explore and delve into more. I have been inspired by what I have seen as a designer and I also have a new appreciation for our culture – I feel thankful for what I have and the country I have been brought up in. Seeing the cultural differences was definitely a slight shock to the system, the biggest of all how women are treated and their roles in society. This for me is the biggest difference between our cultures.
The work I have produced for this project was inspired by what I have seen on my visit to Marrakech. The main areas of inspiration for me included colour and pattern and how everything was handmade. The craftsmanship involved in creating everything was amazing and the standards of the work produced were very high. It has made me consider that I would like to create more work by hand instead of relying on using digital machinery, though these can involve artistic ability I feel that true skills will be more evident when things are created solely by hand. My main area of focus on the trip was taking inspiration from the patterns in the tiles and stucco which are found in every building. I drew from these patterns and focussed on using the colours of the city; the terracotta from the buildings and the simple primary colours from the tiles.
I decided to keep a day to day diary as a kind of keep sake but also as an aid memoir when working from my drawings and photographs once we had returned from Marrakech. This was a very helpful tool for me.
My three final samples encompass these three main areas of inspiration into designs. My favourite sample of the three is the piece with fabric manipulation and painted bonda web. I feel that the piece incorporates the colours of the city, the texture of the stucco, the geometric pattern from the tiles and the handmade aspect. I also liked the idea that you can’t quite see the patterns of the bonda web reflecting the idea that you cannot see whats on the inside of the buildings in Marrakech as they all look the same on the outside.
I enjoyed the field trip because of the amount we had planned every single day, I wanted to take part in every opportunity given to me. My favourite part of the trip was shopping in the souks and bartering with the sellers of the stalls. I also enjoyed visiting the museums and landmarks of the city and enjoying the Moroccan cuisine.
Today I created my second sample in the stitch room using two of the techniques we’d learnt over the past few weeks. I wanted to bring together the main aspects I had been inspired by in Marrakech, I chose to dye my fabric in a terracotta coloured dye but only left it in the dye bath for a short amount of time to achieve this kind of light pink dusky colour o symbolise the ‘Pink City’. I then used a variety of different colours (all from the colours I saw whilst in Marrakech) when I painted on bonda web to achieve a ‘busy’ appearance. I used a simple repeat pattern as the base design. And then used stocking to create some texture but also add another more geometric shape pattern to the design. I wanted to bonda web pattern to be slightly hidden in that you can’t really see it’s there without looking – in Marrakech I thought it was amazing that all the houses and buildings looked the same on the outside, yet had hidden beauty, patterns and colours on the inside. This is the concept I wanted to portray in this sample. I also wanted to run with the handmade aspect I was so highly inspired by in Marrakech, the only ‘machines’ I used to create this was an iron and a sewing machine for the primary pleats in the design. I’m very happy with the results, I only wish it could’ve been slightly bigger, a lot of the fabric is reduced when the pleats are added and the fabric is manipulated.