Self – Reflective Statement Field Exhibition

Throughout this project I feel I have grown and developed my own language within textiles. I have established a unique style using the techniques I felt to be the most successful throughout my three years studying Textiles, predominantly these skills have lied in stitch. During the previous live brief project with International Greetings, I worked with digital stitch using simple line drawings within my card designs. I found this to be a technique I had a personal connection and skill base in. Due to my success within this live brief project, I decided to continue using this technique for my final major project.

My final major project has been a personal investigation of my craft of textiles. I have used vintage items including vintage sewing machines, thread spools and thimbles to produce illustrative patterns. I also created designs using the marks found within hand embroidery stitches including French knots and cross stitch. I wanted to produce these specific designs in abstract ways so that the audience was not necessarily sure as to what the pattern had come from. My collection is made up of three families from the main focusses I built on during my sketchbook work. My families are sewing machine, haberdashery and knit and crochet. Within my collection, I used a variety of techniques to produce all of my designs to showcase the overall inspiration of the project, including digital stitch, hand dyeing, hand silk screen printing, digital printing processes using Photoshop and Illustrator and laser cutting. I felt it was important to incorporate a varied range of techniques due to the inspiration and theme of my collection.

My colour palette was an important way of relating to my client profile, I wanted my designs to be very feminine yet not too be overly Barbie-like. I have managed this within my designs by combining very cute pink colours with dark blue and greys. I feel these combinations worked very well. Though I did have to edit some colour combinations within my designs towards the end of the project to overcome some designs looking same-y, this was an issue I overcame with ease. I also experimented with using alternative colourways and found that this then changed the feel and potential use of the designs.

One thing I felt I have really improved on during this project is my sketchbook work, I have ensured that I completed a large body of sketchbook and technical work before going on to produce designs. I have always found that my favourite media to draw with is fine liners, however I have also stepped out of my comfort zone using a range of media including watercolours, gouache and combinations of different media. Using fine liners, I was able to create detailed line drawings which have been a style I have really enjoyed working with. This style of drawing lent itself well to my digital stitch work in that I was able to recreate the drawings using my use of lined stitch designs. I also used other techniques which I had only explored briefly throughout my time in university including using motif fills in different ways.

I knew that for this project I wanted to organise a lot of trips and visits to gain primary research. These trips included St.Fagans, The London Sewing Machine Museum and independent haberdashery and craft shops including The Makery in Bath and the haberdashery shop in my home town I have visited since I was a little girl, Sew Craft. This personal connection to parts of my research resonated with my personal theme. Textiles has been something I have enjoyed and bonded over with members of my family and my decision to study textiles at university has come from a close family bond and my parents constantly pushing me to do the things I want to do rather than what I feel I ‘should do.’

I took photos during my visits and created drawings and work from this photography. This meant that my drawings came from both primary and secondary research sources.I also completed research using journals and print books including Embroidery and Selvedge, I found that these were valuable sources for inspiration both visually and conceptually.

Due to my theme of craft and the handmade I decided to design for a craft room or study. I designed for stationery and craft products and showed this within my space using CADs and actual products which included a sewing box, pin cushions, a weekly planner, note books. My CADs also displayed my designs for electrical gadget accessories including phone cases, ipad sleeves and headphones. As well as showing my designs on 3 different product categories, stationery, craft room accessories and electrical gadget accessories I also believe that some of my designs could be used for fashion or interiors. Certain designs I believe could be used for kid’s pyjamas. This is a key concept for me, that my designs are versatile.

Part of my theme I wanted to display within this collection was the juxtaposition of two different ideologies held in society which I have become aware of during my research. In recent times, there has been an increase in popularity of the craft and the handmade, arguably due to programmes such as The Great British Sewing Bee, yet as a fast fashion society we also want things fast and we want things now, both made and delivered – I would argue that this could be due to services such as Amazon Prime. In my project I have tried to display this by taking visual inspiration from vintage items discussed earlier, yet I have produced the majority of my designs in very digital based ways including digital print and digital stitch. Not only does this display these two juxtaposing ideas but also displays the interest in old vs new, there is a new interest in using vintage items like record players over CD players which arguably provided better quality music, this could be due to the feeling of nostalgia and added charm. I have shown these ideas and concepts within my collection by combining the old and new. The final collection created therefore is a successful vintage themed collection with a modern twist.


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