I feel the group project opened my eyes to the different specialisms which can be combined with my own. It was interesting for me to see how other people worked. I felt that we had a good range in the group, we had two members from textiles, one product designer, a fine artist, an illustrator and someone from graphics. This combined to create a group full of different interests and ways of working. However, I feel this lead to a some interesting ideas. I do however feel that perhaps if we had more time I would’ve like to of introduced the rest of the group with different textiles techniques. One issue I do feel that we encountered was some members of the group did not participate as much as others. Having said this, everyone did contribute their own skills at some point in the project.
The group field project changed my original ideas for my individual field. Before starting the group work my original idea was to focus on Cardiff Bay and it’s history. However, after talking to the group about their ideas, I got influenced by the theme of architecture and also street art which I then began concentrating on in my individual project. I feel that this has improved the project for me, I was excited to research my chosen themes. I believe that if I had stuck with my original idea, I would’ve gotten stuck and struggled with research and design ideas. I believe my work and research has been very successful.
To begin with I was quite apprehensive about the constellation sessions. I didn’t understand why I was learning about things which, at the time, I believed were not relevant to my specific subject area of textiles. As constellation carried on, I began to see that though some of the topics we were talking about were not relevant to my specialism, they would help me in the future. Whether this be, how to talk about my work in a more academic way or how to evaluate my work. There were definitely sessions which I did not like, but there were also sessions which I enjoyed.
One constellation lecture which I really enjoyed was Cath Davies ‘Teenage Kicks – Cultural Approaches to Dr. Martens Boots.’ The lecture explained that when Dr. Martens were first produced they were originally designed as workwear, the target audience included policemen and even OAPs! They were and were advertised as ‘comfortable’ and sturdy not fashionable. We then looked at how young people in different scenes and groups adopted the brand and claimed it, changing its entire image. Therefore, the function of Dr. Martens was only the starting point, the different connotations were the focus. Throughout the decades the Dr. Marten boots have meant and represented different scenes. In the 60s they were the image of skinheads and mods, in the 70s the punks claimed them, if you wore them in the 80s you were a Goth and in the 90s they were seen as a piece of Britpop and grunge iconography.
This being my favourite constellation lecture, I decided to choose Cath’s option for constellation in term two. Her option was called ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit: Subcultures and Street Style.’ I was intrigued about the main theme of the option. We were told we would be introduced to subcultures such as Goths, Punks, Teds etc. We would use these subcultures as case studies for academic theories and concepts. For me, this made it easier to learn these key concepts, as we were able to visualise what we were learning about.
Cath made it feel easier to evaluate the different images we were given. We learnt a strategy where we would split our information into three columns; Describe the characteristics of the image, Analysis of the meanings/connotations and Theoretical underpinning/Academic studies. I was very thankful for being taught this simple yet effective method as I feel that evaluating and academic writing has never been a strong point for me. It is something which I was quite nervous about when we started the constellation sessions yet I feel much more at ease now.
At the moment I am writing my essay for constellation. I decided to base my essay on the skinhead subculture. At the beginning I wanted to focus on Kate Moss and create an essay based on three inspiring images I had found. However, when it came to evaluating the images, I struggled to incorporate all of the academic studies which we had learnt about. I felt that I should concentrate on something which was more relevant to the option I had chosen. I spoke to Cath during a tutorial about this decision and she confirmed that she thought this was a better idea.
Overall I have enjoyed the constellation sessions, I have found them interesting and helpful for my work in Textiles. I feel that I am already able to evaluate my personal work in a better and more beneficial way.
Today I began making my final piece.. I created my design on Photoshop and printed it onto cotton fabric. I had originally wanted to print it on a sheer, silky material however the cotton has worked much better. It is an easier fabric than silk to work with, with the techniques I wanted to use.
Here are a few pictures of my final piece so far:
I began by cutting out all the shapes as I have done with paper experiments, I used bonda-web to stick the single pieces onto the background fabric..
I then began stitching all the pieces down..
I chose to outline the pieces with a bright blue thread in a zig zag stitch..
I then started adding more stitch in between the gaps of the pieces..
I chose neon colours to add to my theme of graffiti and street art.
I will continue to add details and embellishments to my piece, and will either frame it or stretch it onto a canvas.
I have been working towards my final piece. Inspired by one of the samples I have created, I have been working on some ideas.
Here is the original sample which influenced my ideas for my final piece..
I decided to experiment with paper versions of my final piece, I didn’t want to cut the real thing up and not be happy with it! I decided to experiment with colours for the background of the piece.
I believe the experiment with the white background is much more successful. I prefer the white background as it breaks the piece up, I also feel that the bigger gaps add a more of a design element to the piece.
I will be creating my final piece in the same way as I have created this paper experiment. I will then add stitching and more embellishment to the piece.
Here are my final samples I have created for the field module of The City – The Hidden City, inspired by my themes of graffiti and street art and the shapes, forms and patterns found in architecture.
This first sample is mostly inspired by graffiti. It is a heat transfer which I painted after seeing a piece of graffiti in Swindon. I loved the vibrant colours and strong 80’s vibe of the street art. The abstract shapes which occurred unintentionally reminds me of a map and could also lend itself to the forms created by buildings and other pieces of architecture. To the basic heat transfer, I added stitching with a twin needle and single needle and also added cording. All in lively neons to accentuate the bright colours in the piece.
This sample was created on Photoshop of layered images I took whilst out in the city of Cardiff and then printed onto fabric. It is a combination of Cardiff Castle and several images of street art and graffiti. I like the randomness of this piece. I feel that the layers symbolise those of the city – the old and new combined. I also like the fact that you can’t really make out what the images are.
This sample is another piece I created on Photoshop. I used a thinner and lighter fabric for this piece – I feel that the colours of the piece work better with this fabric than if I had used a heavier fabric. The images are more clear than the other Photoshop piece, the majority of the photos I used were taken in St. Fagans.
The next four samples are all inspired by a part I have selected to focus on from the Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff. It is a doorway which is abundant with patterns, forms, shapes.. I have become quite attached to this little door way. Here is a piece which I created using Photoshop, I combined the image of the Cathedral doorway, the New Theatre in Cardiff city centre and also created a repeat of a piece of graffiti I photographed. I like that the doorway has created an almost embossed look upon the theatre and the graffiti has added interesting vibrant colours. I added free hand machine stitch in bright threads to bring out the colours of the graffiti.
This piece was created using a felting needle. I then added free hand machine embroidery on top to create more shape and definition to the piece. This particular piece focusses solely on the shape and patterns in the Llandaff Cathedral doorway. I did not want to use much colour in this piece, instead I focussed on texture.
(excuse the crease)
This sample, though being the most simplistic of them all, is actually my favourite. I have combined the themes of colour from graffiti and shape from my adored door way to create a piece that is simplistic yet intriguing. I felt that adding anything else to this piece would ruin it. It was created by painting onto bonda-web and ironing onto a background piece of fabric. The painted colours remind me of the fashionable trend of galaxy print.
This final sample was a bit of a risky experiment to say the least! I painted this after being inspired by the ‘oh so famous doorway’, I decided to create a more abstract piece by changing the colours – I wanted to use the vibrant 80s themed colours I used in my heat transfer. Once I had completed the painting, I decided I wanted to transfer it onto fabric. I choose to do some research into other forms of transferring onto fabric. I found something on Pinterest about printing fabric with a normal inkjet printer. I was terrified I was going to jam or even break my shiny newly bought HP printer but I decided to give it a go.. and it worked! I added stitch to embellish the piece.
Here’s a link to the Pinterest post I used..(I found out that you can also use Vilene or Bonda-web instead of spray-mount! I used Bonda-web) http://www.pinterest.com/pin/400750066812001283/