Saturday, 22 February 2014

Assignment 4 - Tutor Report

Overall Comments
The work which you have sent me for this assignment shows that you have got to grips with the basic techniques and processes associated with woven structures. You have shown an understanding of the extent to which an appropriate choice of materials and colour can make a significant contribution to the success of the final outcome. Your work is well presented and your feeling with regard to the development of the samples was clearly articulated in your learning log. Your research into the work of selected textile artists shows an understanding of their approaches to their work and this was clearly articulated. Try to move this on now and consider how insights gained into new working practices might inform your own work.

In terms of your final assignment, it would be useful for you to recap on learning to date and to consider how you might profitably apply this to the selection and development of your chosen theme. You might also like to make direct reference to the assessment criteria for the module when reflecting on learning outcomes.

Feedback on Assignment
Project 8: Exploring Structures
You undertook some interesting experimentation with paper weaves which also allowed you the opportunity to explore the potential of the structures themselves to distort imagery. This is an area where you could have usefully extended experimentation with different patterned papers and found materials. A further extension could be to isolate some of the woven areas to use as a basis for further drawing. You could include this on the sheet alongside the paper weave.

With the ropes and braids, you achieved some unusual combinations of threads and it was a good idea to link these visually in terms of colour. I also liked the way you documented the yarns you had used. This is a useful reference point for the future. You might like to give some consideration to additional non-textile materials such as wire, strips of plastic etc. as a way of creating further textural interest within these samples. Have you also considered how you might pull the threads to create more distorted shapes?

The sample where you created your own structures with wire and crochet worked well and you made good use of a contrasting range of textile and non-textile materials. You also might like to take this approach further by weaving into existing woven structures such as vegetable netting. The principle is the same.

The final driftwood piece was simple but effective. Again, I would be inclined to do some drawings from this in your sketchbook. You might also like to do a spot of beachcombing when next at the coast or photographing shoreline finds. Much of this material can be recycled and incorporated directly into woven structures.

Project 9: Woven Structures
Basic Techniques
Your first sample was a delight and really helped you to familiarize yourself with the techniques. There was a good range of yarns and seeing them together like this showcased their individual characteristics. How might this aid your choices in the future? In terms of technique, you could have bound the top and bottom of the weave to give it additional stability rather than struggling with short warps.

Experimenting with Different Materials
Your approach to wrapping and then binding the fabric strips was an innovative use of different materials. I think there are some great possibilities here in terms of extending your experimentation here. Have you thought of creating longer strips and then coiling them both 2d and 3D?  Another great material for this is old tights.

See example below from the Braided Rug Company:

You could also reference African art/textiles for similar shapes and shallow dishes but with stronger colour combinations and more traditional patterns.

Developing Design Ideas
The colour analysis and wraps were a good bridging point for your final weave. Although you said you preferred to work intuitively by referring directly to your image, it is generally a good idea to work with the cartoon behind your frame for reference, especially when weaving a larger piece. Small errors early on can grow at alarming speed and it is difficult and time consuming to undo large sections of weave.

The final weave is well considered with a good balance in terms of compositional elements. Your choice of techniques reflects your understanding of the characteristics of particular weaves and their ability to enhance areas of your design. Your use of soumak was a good case in point.
As to the weave, this was a solid, no nonsense sample. I am interested to know if this has sparked any further thought for future work. Did you get the chance to look at Sheila Hicks’ work? If not, Google Weave as Metaphor. I think that her use of materials and extensions of techniques such as wrapping might inspire you.
Learning Logs/Critical Essays
You have given a good account of your progress through this assignment but try to be a little more analytical in terms of what you have learned in relation to the assessment criteria for the module. For example, what evidence have you provided of the development of your technical and visual skills? Does your learning log provide evidence of self-reflection and research and in what ways?

Research Points
Your consideration of the work of two very different artists summarizes their artistic production and charts significant periods in the development of their ideas. How would you describe key elements of their work? Is there a clear distinction between art, design and craft in their outcomes? How do they view themselves as artists/producers?

            Theme Book; My Garden
This doesn’t seem to have progressed much or have I missed a post on your blog? Think through your ideas very carefully and don’t allow yourself to become overambitious at this stage either in quantity or scale. Sometimes, a simple idea well executed can be the best option. The outcome doesn’t have to be a functional item. It is important that you demonstrate how previous learning has informed your thinking and execution of this final piece in terms of materials, techniques and processes. Take time to devlop your design through drawing and sampling. Ensure that your work is well supported by commentary in your learning log and sketchbook and that you look at the work of other artists who have worked in similar genres.

Sketchbooks/Sample Books
Your sketchbook continues to develop in terms of your responses to direct observation. Try to extend your use of media and maybe use it as a vehicle for jotting ideas, quick sketches to follow up later, small textile samples etc.

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