Reflection on a book: Making & Drawing by Kyra Cane

Following Rebecca Fairley’s recommendation of Making & Drawing, I thought I had better get a copy, as I am coming to realise how important drawing is in the planning and preparation stage of a project, and also as a tool for analysing the finished work.

The author discusses the many reasons that artists draw, such as:- to stimulate ideas, to evaluate outcomes, to help in the creation of painting, or pattern making and as a starting point for making artworks. Drawing can be carried out in any media, including three-dimensional materials or collations of images. It helps to focus your mind on a subject, cuts out distractions and allows for close analysis, ‘looking’ and understanding.

Drawings can be a great resource to look back on for stimulating future work. They can be a record of an idea for future reference, recording the “experience of looking”, something which photographs cannot match, as they only record an instant in time of a particular viewpoint, as seen by the camera lens. The prolonged observation of a drawing enables the artist to fully explore a subject and select the information from it that is important for their work.

Kyra Cane recommends working from an original source (eg, an object, a scene, a sound, an idea, or a feeling), and making drawings, sketches, diagrams, photos or screen stills that can be brought together in a sketchbook or pinned to the wall as inspiration for a project.

The book is split into various sections exploring the way in which particular artists use drawing in their practice.

Drawing As Reference

Jeweller, Anna Gordon, draws in pencil, focusing on line, which is translated into linear forms in metal. Her drawings are made around a theme, with the lines describing form and the units that make up that shape. She is influenced by what she sees around her, including nature, the built environment and everyday objects. The jewellery is “a sketch to be worn on the body”.

Anna Gordon Jewellery

Anna Gordon, Twig on Enamel Brooch, 2013, Oxidised Silver, Gold Leaf and Enamel, 50mm x 35mm

Source:- http://annagordon.demo.escrivo.com/gallery

Ceramicist, Kate Malone keeps scrapbook-sketchbooks, which lead to unexpected relationships, sparking new ideas. She keeps travel diaries and makes numerous drawings. These are used to create a visual proposal for commission work, including plans, working diagrams, technical details (fixings, installation etc) and full size drawings.

Kate Malone Page From Sketchbook 1

Kate Malone, page from Sketchbook 1

Source:- http://www.katemaloneceramics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/SB1_normal_s.pdf#zoom=Fit

Jeweller, Laura Baxter makes botanical drawings to enhance her understanding of forms and recurring motifs. She works in pencil and watercolour, making the drawings increasingly simple and in line with her requirements for development in metal.

Laura Baxter, Brooch with Allium and Flyaway Dandelion Seed, 2009, oxidised silver & 18ct gold

Source:- http://www.laurabaxter.co.uk/gallery/meadow-collection/

Drawing As Planning and Design

This practice allows a maker to explore possible options without having to make a finished article. Concepts, forms, outcomes and thoughts can all be investigated. The design stage involves coming up with the solution to a problem: creating and inventing; while the planning stage is when the maker will work out how to do something.

Chien-Wei Chang is a Taiwanese silversmith, working in London.

Chien wei chang

Chien-Wei Chang, Drawing of Bamboo Containers, 2008 (left) and Bamboo Containers, 2008, silver (right)

Source:- Cane (2012), P 48.

Chien-Wei’s way of working starts with an idea, he carries out research, makes drawings, then paper constructions, then metal, sometimes combined with other media. At other times he will play with materials and forms in an exploratory fashion, allowing his work to be flexible during the making process. His drawings may be made to understand the nature of the subject, how the final piece will look, as visual evaluation or to explore a form in three dimensions.

Rory Longdon is a British knitwear designer. He uses pencil or pen to draw his designs over photocopies of figures or manikins. His drawings are working documents that may include textile samples, notes, alterations, etc, for his own use. They reflect his attention to detail throughout the design and making process.

rory longdon

Rory Longdon, Garment development and toiling, and sketchbook development, 2011

Source:-  Cane (2012), P 70.

Drawing and Surface

Decorating a surface began with the earliest cave paintings and can be carried out to:- beautify; to record events; to convey information; to celebrate the natural world; to provoke thought; to tell stories; document history or commemorate people.

Decoration is found on the early ceramics, metalware and textiles of all cultures. Local traditions have grown up, making use of local materials, dependent on the maker’s environment, circumstances and religion. Historical examples may be copied or adapted. Particular patterns may travel to new places, over time, but can persist for centuries. In more modern times, the maker’s own choices will be as important as the above-mentioned factors.

The book discusses two ceramic decorators with very different approaches: Helen Beard draws and paints figures from life in her sketchbooks, which she then draws onto the surface of her ceramics (domestic pieces, such as beakers).

Helen Beard, sketchbook/studio

Source:- http://www.helenbeard.com/sketchbook

Felicity Aylieff bases her abstract, blue and white decorated ceramics (vast in size) on careful study of the historical patterns and processes of Chinese ceramicists. She also combines stylised floral motifs with geometric patterns, which remind me of sashiko stitching.

Felicity Aylieff, Blue and White monumental Vase, 2011

Source:- http://www.aylieff.com/index.asp?classid=3

Matthew Harris is a textile artist who explores repetition, pattern, line and image in his abstract cloth artworks. Sketches, notes and photographs inform his series of drawings. He pares down the visual information to focus on the essence of his subject matter. The drawings utilise paper in the same way that one uses cloth: layering, joining, staining and marking. He will look out for ‘happy accidents’ to include in his work. Waxed thread is used to sew the individual components into his chosen layout. Colour placement, types of mark and balance in the composition are resolved through drawing in this way. A cartoon is made to inform the work for the finished piece. This plan allows Matthew to work out how he will dye, stitch, paint, cut, piece and patch his textiles.

Matthew Harris cartoon for textile work

Matthew Harris, Factory. Cartoons for cloth. No. II

Source:- http://www.matthewharriscloth.co.uk/paper/factory/

Drawing As Making

A similar process may be involved in drawing and making for some artists, such as using wire as a line to draw. The work of Jeanette Orrell illustrates this point.

Jeanette Orrell, Two Baskets, 2008, photopolymer intaglio print

Source:- https://www.axisweb.org/p/jeanetteorrell/#artwork

Jeanette Orrell, Cages, 2005, mixed media (wire, wax etc)

Source:- https://www.axisweb.org/p/jeanetteorrell/#artwork

The drawn lines made by this artist feed directly into her wire work sculptures.

Drawing As Thinking

Drawing can help:-

  • focus
  • clearer thought
  • articulate subconscious thinking
  • reveal the nature of a subject
  • solve problems
  • explore possibilities
  • sift ideas
  • refine concepts
  • with reflection before the making starts

Junko Mori is a Japanese-born metalworker, now working in Wales. She makes beautiful ‘doodles’ that are similar to, but are not plans for, her metalwork sculptures. She feels that drawing first would sap energy from the making process. The drawing is a warming up exercise that runs in parallel with her work. Her inspiration derives from trees and plants. In her artist’s statement she says “…No piece is individually planned but becomes fully formed within the making and thinking process. Repeating little accidents, like a mutation of cells, the final accumulation of units emerges within this process of evolution…”

junko mori

Junko Mori, Doodle Happa, 2001, ink on paper (left); Doodle Chaos 1, 1995, ink on paper (centre); Doodle Mitokon 1, 1999, watercolour on paper (right).

Source:- Cane (2012), P 162.

Junko Mori, 2012, Propagation Project; Sea Anenome, Forged mild steel, wax-coated

Source:- http://www.adriansassoon.com/contemporary/metalwork.html?view=artwork&id=3389

Drawing With Technology

Some artists use computers and software instead of hand techniques. This can save time in performing labour-intensive processes and can expand possibilities, enable faster research and the faster translation of ideas. Artists must still have the mastery of their chosen media and a way of manufacturing their pieces.

Summary

This lovely book clearly demonstrates the way in which different makers use drawing in their practice: some using it as a way to record and explore source material, or to work out ways of constructing their pieces, or they may construct a precise plan of what they intend to make. For other artists, their drawings are a separate stream of creativity. Alternatively, artists may prefer to work directly with their materials, once they have built up an understanding of the source inspiration and process they intend to use.

Drawing can:-

  • provide a connection between hand and eye
  • explore possibilities
  • extract information about a subject
  • lead work in new directions
  • be used for testing different compositions or scales
  • help with decision-making (colour palettes, suitable techniques, suitable media, etc)
  • be a means of recording travel, people, places, objects, colours
  • be a visual evaluation of completed work that feeds back into future work

A sketchbook can be a collection of notes, drawings, references, images and ideas.

Thinking of my own work, I have been working mainly on loose sheets, but I also have a number of sketchbooks ‘on the go’: one is a sort of scrapbook; I have a box file of cuttings from magazines and other images; not to mention different sizes of sketchbooks with drawings in them. I like the idea of a single sketchbook that contains everything in the order in which it was collected or drawn, but have not felt able to pursue that line because the coursework recommends trying out different media and different sizes and types of ground to work on. Keeping a sketchbook per project is something that I may try in the future, but will continue with the variety of loose papers in the meantime.

I find that drawing, for me, starts with trying to capture a likeness of the subject, which I then try to simplify and refine (sometimes through exaggeration of a particular feature, or through abstraction). In Part 4 of the coursework, I found that making drawings of the source material led to lots of ideas for making yarn concepts, and that it was quite easy to decide on the media and techniques to use, once I had drawn the idea, so I will continue to try to increase my drawing activity. As Kyra Cane says in her conclusion: “Making objects … is drawing in three dimensions.”


 Links to my previous research on drawing:-

Drawing Research

Assignment 1: Research on Drawing

What Is Drawing?

References:-

Books:- 

Cane, Kyra. Making & Drawing. 1st ed. London: Bloomsbury, 2012.

Websites:-

http://annagordon.demo.escrivo.com/gallery Accessed 12/03/17

http://www.chienweichang.com/timeline.htm Accessed 13/03/17

http://www.designbyaika.com/what-is-sashiko/ Accessed 13/03/17

http://www.aylieff.com Accessed 13/03/17

http://www.helenbeard.com/sketchbook Accessed 13/03/17

http://www.junkomori.com/ Accessed 14/03/17

http://www.katemaloneceramics.com/ Accessed 12/03/17

http://www.laurabaxter.co.uk/ Accessed 13/03/17

http://www.matthewharriscloth.co.uk Accessed 13/03/17

http://www.rorylongdon.co.uk/ Accessed 13/03/17

Outside In Radical Craft Exhibition at Tullie House, Carlisle

This exhibition is made up of selected works by ‘outsider’ artists. Some of the participating artists have no verbal means of communication, their artwork has become a way of expressing themselves. Many of the artworks in this exhibition have been selected and funded by arts organisations. Other included artists have no formal artistic training or see themselves as “facing barriers to the art world” (for reasons of health, disability, isolation, etc).

Textile specialist, Helen Walsh, gave a small group of us a guided tour of the exhibition. We had an overview of the work and themes, with more in-depth discussion of certain pieces.

Various themes emerged from the artwork on display: exuberant use of the chosen media; use of whatever materials were to hand; articulating feelings, interests and obsessions non-verbally; not ‘over-thinking’ the work, just purely making what the individual felt compelled to make. It was interesting to note that many of the artists had absolutely no interest in selling their work: it was the making process that was important to them. Numerous techniques had been employed, but I noticed a number of artists using ‘wrapping’ techniques, or assembling/transforming found objects. Other techniques included metalwork, wire work, soft sculpture, carving, model making and weaving.

This was the one artist whose work was, I knew, included in the exhibition, having heard an excerpt from an interview with her on Woman’s Hour. Pinkie Maclure is an artist and singer who was put off from pursuing her early drawn artwork, because of negative comments made by an art teacher. She only returned to art in her forties, and is self-taught. She is influenced by medieval ecclesiastical stained glass, in particular the story-telling elements, rather than the purely decorative aspect of modern architectural stained glass.

Pinkie Maclure, Landfill Tantrum, stained glass

Source: http://craftspace.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Pinkie-Maclure_Landfill-Tantrum_Pinkie-Maclure-1024×768.jpg

This piece  ‘points the finger’ at humans and the waste they create and send to landfill, and highlights the damage it causes to wildlife. I found this to have a powerful narrative as well as being beautifully made and full of arresting images. I like the fact that she has taken an issue that she feels strongly about and has integrated it with her chosen medium and has updated the imagery while retaining something of the work that inspired her.

Lasmin Salmon works with yarn, textiles and other materials. Her work is highly textured and often consists of smaller elements combined into a larger artwork.

Lasmin Salmon, Rug, textile collage, and detail of Rug

This large, wall-hung piece included many types of textile, some hand knitted by the artist, each decorated with rings cut from pipe insulation and attached with yarn. Each ‘patch’ was carefully arranged and stitched to a blanket. The same elements were repeated with many variations. It reminded me of a hardware store or plants in flower beds. A very lively and texture-filled composition. It was hard to adhere to the ‘no touching’ rule with this piece.

Pascal Tassini is a Belgian artist who initially worked with clay, drawing and painting, before choosing to make his own ‘studio within a studio’ from acquired furniture and clothing. He greets visitors in his alter ego of ‘Doctor Tassini’ and allows them to visit within, after they undergo a ‘check-up’! Pascal now works exclusively with textiles and makes numerous iterations of wrapped objects, and bridal wear.

Pascal Tassini, Untitled Chair, mixed media (left) Bridal Headress II, mixed media (right)

This artist’s work reminded me a little of Anton Alvarezs machine-wrapped works, yet Tassini’s pieces seem more knotted in construction. They seem to arise from the need to create something that the artist is fascinated by, using whatever materials are to hand and in whatever way produces the desired outcome.

Michael Smith is a British artist. He is a non-verbalising individual, and therefore little is known about his reasons for making his artwork.

IMG_20170312_125334228

Michael Smith, Jeans I and Jeans II, denim jeans, masking tape, PVA

These pieces seem to hint at constraint, feelings of suffocation and enclosure. I found them rather disturbing and eerie hanging in the gallery, throwing strange and distorted human-like shadows.

Ian Sherman is a UK artist who makes paintings and assemblages. Better images of his artwork can be found on this website. He does not sell many of the assemblages (now numbering over 80), as he likes to work on them for many years at a time. (The piece below has been evolving for twenty years, as new and appropriate additions are found and incorporated).

IMG_20170312_124004350

Ian Sherman, A Comedian, assemblage, mixed media

This piece has the feeling of a grotto or a shrine. It made me think of the sea creatures’ unworldly jewellery in The Shadow Over Innsmouth by H P Lovecraft. The title of the artwork draws your attention to the shell, used here as a mouth, with red line accentuating the feature and a small bow tie beneath. Other items suggest the ‘bling’ of showbiz. I found it interesting that the artist keeps adding to the works, begging the question, ‘When is a piece of art finished?’ I guess that only the artist themselves can decide that one!

Marie-Rose Lortet is a French artist. She was inspired by the knitting and textile crafts of her female relatives. She initially made textile pictures but eventually moved to making three-dimensional pieces with loosely-worked lace, stiffened with sugar water (later, resin). These small sculptures take the form of houses, rooms, windows etc, or can be more abstract in nature.

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Marie-Rose Lortet (no title given)

Source: http://www.outsiderartnow.com/marie-rose-lortet/

The pieces that I saw at the exhibition by Marie-Rose (we were not allowed to photograph them) included unexpected elements such as the figure of a lady, and were in the forms of houses. They were a complex, irregular network of threads with small motifs or fragments of more traditional lace worked in. The voids took on the shapes of fields and houses as seen from the air, or on a map (to me, anyway!), and cast intricate shadows. Her work also includes mask-like faces and very colourful works, as well as the white pieces shown here. She seems to have an interest in many topics: people, the domestic scene, clothing and traditional techniques. The pieces I saw suggested that the viewer was getting a secret view into a (semi-transparent) house and the events taking place in it.

Summary

I was not quite sure what to expect at this exhibition, and was surprised by the variety of media and techniques on display. It opens up debate about what art is and who is ‘qualified’ to make it. Our speaker mentioned that many of the artists make work only for their own fulfillment, indicating that it has a therapeutic context. However, I feel that if a viewer can also gain something from seeing and contemplating the work, it should certainly be classed as art. There were some works that I might class more as ‘craft’, as the title of the show suggests. For example:

IMG_20170312_121713325

Erkki Pekkarinen, Tiny Shoes, birch bark, thread.

These skillfully woven pieces use a traditional Finnish technique. They varied in size from smaller than a match head, to life-size figures.

There were many more pieces of interest to see and digest, and I thought that the exhibition was well curated.

What can I learn from these artists and craft makers?

  • use whatever materials you can find, and that appeal to you
  • use whatever technique or method of construction feels right
  • don’t feel constrained by tradition or what is expected and accepted in the art world
  • express feelings and tell stories through your art
  • build on tradition, but give the work contemporary relevance
  • feel free to indulge your ‘obsessions’, and make multiple versions of the same subject

 

References:-

Websites:- 

http://actionspace.org/artists/lasmin-salmon/ Accessed 12/03/17

http://www.antonalvarez.com/ Accessed 12/03/17

http://craftspace.co.uk/radicalcraft/ Accessed 12/03/17

https://www.delicatestitches.co.uk/gallery Accessed 12/03/17

http://www.et-alors.org/dossier-les-Artistes/M-R-Lortet-2008.html (text in French) Accessed 12/03/17

http://www.outsidein.org.uk/ian-sherman+%5Bcopy%5D Accessed 12/03/17

http://outsidein.org.uk/outsider-craft Accessed 12/03/17

https://outsideinpallant.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/artists-interiors-ian-sherman/ Accessed 12/03/17

http://www.outsiderartnow.com/pascal-tassini/ Accessed 12/03/17

http://www.outsiderartnow.com/marie-rose-lortet/ Accessed 12/03/17

http://www.pinkiemaclure.net/ Accessed 12/03/17

Lace Textiles

Scottish Lace

I attended an Embroiderers’ Guild Lecture by Brian Hill entitled “The History of Scottish Lace” on 2 March 2017.

Mr Hill outlined the history of lace making in Scotland. Weaving arrived in the area as the end of the 16th Century with Flemish refugees. Alexander Morton introduced lace making in 1876 (his company Morton Young and Borland Ltd was founded in 1900), and the technology of the new power loom was introduced in 1877. The industry declined in the late 1970s due to competition from Europe and Asia.

Darvel, Ayrshire (known as ‘the Lace Town’), at one time made lace for export around the world, particularly to India (a large market for lace, muslin and madras textiles (the latter was originally called Scottish Leno Gauze Weave)). Much of the ‘souvenir’ lace sold in Malta at one time came from his company, but that business has now been taken over by Asian manufacturers. The nearby town of Newmilns was also a centre for lace making and is home to the last remaining lace making company in the Irvine Valley: MYB Textiles.

Products include: lace curtains, lace table cloths, scrim curtains for theatres, cotton baby blankets (a best seller with the US company, Lands’end), yashmaghs, commissioned work etc.

The lace is woven on Nottingham looms, with Jacquard punched cards controlling the patterns, (some dating to 1913, when they were first introduced), then the work is sent elsewhere for finishing. The damp climate of the Irvine Valley is ideally suited to lace weaving as it suits the machinery and improves the strength of the cotton fibres (which can break if too dry, or succumb to mould if too moist). These looms can weave textiles up to 1220 cm in width. Manufacture is slow and controlled, with high levels of quality control. Many of the looms have been modified in recent years, and are connected to CAD computers, allowing for improved production rates, faster turnaround times, and more design options.

Handmade Lace

The Lace Guild has an instructional video showing the basics of making bobbin lace and needlelace.

My friend, Margaret, has shared some of her beautiful handmade lace work.

Margaret Weal, assorted handmade lace textiles

Margaret Weal, sampler showing the stages of making Ruskin linen work (also known as Greek lace), and a completed pouch.

Irish Lace

Niamh McCooey’s article ‘Life-saving Lace’ in Selvedge Issue 75, discusses the importance of lace in providing an income for families stricken by the potato famine, which began in 1845.

Irish lace is formed from crocheted motifs, such as flowers and leaves, which are then combined to make the finished product. This style originated with the published patterns of Mademoiselle Riego de la Blanchardiere dating to 1846, which themselves were influenced by Venetian lace. Venetian lace was made using needle-lace techniques, while the Blanchardiere patterns and Irish lace were made using crochet and cotton thread. French Ursuline nuns travelled to Ireland during the famine years, and shared their knowledge of crochet and helped the Irish lace cottage industry to develop. Both men and women produced the motifs, and local variations developed over time, with individual families’ designs being closely-guarded secrets. Articles such as collars, parasols and bodices were sold worldwide.

Irish lace

Crochet lace border, linen, Ireland 19th, century

Source:- Selvedge Issue 75, Page 49

Contemporary Practice

Lace is no longer just for the wealthiest in society, thanks to machine-made lace, it has become a staple of the fashion industry. A recent example of lace in fashion is Kate Middleton’s wedding dress. A contemporary artist using lace in her practice is Carol Quarini, who uses her background as a biologist and her interest in lace to explore issues such as ‘memory’ or ‘the uncanny’. Her latest commission is to make a modern response to the Battle of Britain lace panel. Her blog, lacethread, has numerous articles about different types of lace, and mentions her exhibition at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate, that I attended last year. [Edited 15/03/17: I have lately seen the work of Marie-Rose Lortet, whose work includes irregularly-worked, 3-D lace structures in the form of houses, windows or abstract shapes].

Final Thoughts

Although I am not likely to make any lace myself, I can quite easily imagine incorporating it into my work with re-purposed textiles.

References:-

Publications:- 

McCooey, N “Life-Saving Lace”. Selvedge 75 (2017): 48-49. Print.

Websites:-

https://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/battle_of_britain/bblace.asp Accessed 08/03/17

http://www.carolquarini.com/ Accessed 08/03/17

https://flemish.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/2014/02/07/flemish-religious-emigration-in-the-16th17th-centuries-2/ Accessed 08/03/17

https://www.laceguild.org/craft/technique.html Accessed 16/03/17

http://lacethread.blogspot.co.uk/ Accessed 08/03/17

http://www.landsend.com/shop/home-kids-room-baby-blankets/-/N-g4v?brandCode=classic Accessed 08/03/17

https://www.mybtextiles.com/history/ Accessed 08/03/17

https://www.mybtextiles.com/collections/ (for lace and madras fabric care) Accessed 08/03/17

https://textiledreamer.wordpress.com/needlepoint-lace-tutorial/ Accessed 08/03/17

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darvel Accessed 08/03/17

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedding_dress_of_Kate_Middleton Accessed 08/03/17

Sketchbook: Colour Studies

More colour palettes taken from various settings, for adding to a colour palette book. Themes are emerging: landscape, nature, the built environment, seasonal colour…

Colour Studies 2

I will make about 50 colour palettes before selecting 30 to make into a book format.

I attend the Solway Quilters: a local group with an interest in patchwork, quilting and appliqué. One of the members recently suggested taking up the challenge of making 12 x A4-sized pictures (one per month) to be made into a textile book ready for an exhibition in April 2018. I thought that this would be a good opportunity to make use of some of my collected colour palettes. I decided that I would choose a theme for my book, of: abstract images derived from ‘the built environment’ (not a subject I have used in my art work before). For the first page, I picked an image taken in a library, and used the colour palette I had taken from that image, to select textiles to make into an appliqué. I simplified the forms and colours in a couple of drawings and have begun to sew the picture.

 

 

Assignment 4: Self Evaluation: Performance Against Assessment Criteria

Demonstration of technical and visual skills

Materials – use of traditional and unusual materials, eg, toy snakes in Ex 4.3.

Techniques – colour analysis, colour palette selection and reproduction in yarn, abstracting elements from source materials to develop as yarn concepts, selecting, combining and joining a variety of media, designing, laying out and assembling a yarns book (YB).

Observational Skills – used in all of the exercises, eg evaluating paper and stitch samples for colour palettes and textures, to be translated into drawings and developed into yarns.

Visual Awareness – choices made for colour palettes, patterns and textures, eg, the clear plastic tubing cut into rings for Ex 4.4 represented the grey/white colour palette and the circular objects of the glass arrangement.

Design and Compositional Skills – selecting the size, layout, covers, labelling font, content and order of presentation for the YB, and assembling the book.

Quality of outcome

Content – selection of yarn ideas to create, derived from drawings made from source materials; choosing particular samples to pursue and develop (eg, the coiled sample led to a coiled pot and so to a snake vessel).

Application of Knowledgeresearch on basketry techniques and the work of designers fed into my work on this part of the course. Eg, Lucy Brown‘s use of hair in her artwork inspired my hair yarn.

Presentation of Work – the YB presents my work in a simple, clear, logical layout, presenting the created yarns in the order of the exercises, adjacent to the inspirational images.

Demonstration of creativity

Imagination – eg, using ice to make an ephemeral yarn; including surprise elements of sound, smell and taste in the YB. Using drawing, sampling, mind maps and play with materials to explore ideas. Linking snakes as media to the source image.

Experimentation – eg:- using unusual materials (jelly beans, glass buttons, coat hangers, etc); different scales of work (eg, French knitted linear concept on a large scale, gesso-dipped yarn on a smaller scale); different techniques (net making, binding, machine sewing, knotting, weaving, coilingorigami, etc) have all been explored.

Invention – Altering materials (eg, fraying, cutting, melting, painting, dipping, etc); and combining unusual materials (eg, washers/twigs/yarn, slate/pebbles/thread, wooden snakes/gardening wire, etc) have enabled me to approach the subject from a new direction.

Personal Voice –I feel that my selection of source materials, colour palette choices and combinations of media used, demonstrate an emerging distinctive identity.

Context

Reflection – I have continued to reflect on and evaluate my ideas and work in my learning log. I have carried out more drawing and sampling during this coursework, and have found it helpful in focusing my attention on successful outcomes.

Research – The artist/designer recommendations made by my tutor, have led to research on colour that has felt very exciting in suggesting ways of developing and presenting my work. The research carried out for the coursework also helped to inform my choices, and expand my expectations of what was possible.

Learning Log – I have recorded my research, course and assignment work and reflections in my learning log blog.

Assignment 4: Yarn and Linear Exploration: Written Reflection

What have I learned from observing and developing materials and textiles?

  • yarns can be inspired by numerous source materials
  • drawing and mind maps are useful in generating ideas
  • sampling illuminates successful combinations of media, colour palettes, construction methods, possible developments, etc
  • imposing constraints has again been highlighted as a successful strategy
  • the selected colour palette, scale, and type of ‘line’ all help to define the look and feel of a yarn
  • the importance of ways of joining media
  • colour palette and proportions of colours, media, texture, scale and pattern can all be varied to create numerous ideas for yarns

Strong points of my work

Exploration of varied and unusual media, interesting techniques, and scale in yarn creation. Coherent presentation of yarn samples and inspirations in a yarns book.

Weaker aspects of my work

Although I have done more sampling and drawing for this section, I am sure that I could do even more in future. I had ideas that I did not have time to explore, therefore I must aim to work faster.

New skills

I had an introduction to knotting, basketry techniques and net making. Working with plastic (packaging and tubing), toy snakes, ice, hair and 3-D objects were new experiences for me.

Potential work in future based on this project

I am sure that I will return to a number of these techniques in the future: basketry techniques; combining and joining assorted media; French knitting; knotting and binding; making repeating patterns, to name but a few.

Assignment 4: A Yarn Collection

The brief for this Assignment is to present the work from Coursework Part 4 as a collection.

The course text and my tutor, Cari, have both stressed that the simplest method is usually the best one. I felt that a book format would be the best for presenting the material. Having made a book for Assignment 3, which had four large, loose binding rings, I decided to try a bound version this time. The binding rings, although allowing for future additions to the book, are rather cumbersome to use, and damage the holes drilled in the pages somewhat.

After carrying out some research online, I found this tutorial for a simple, Japanese-style ribbon binding, that looked perfect, if I could scale it up to A3 size. I realised that, with the bulk of the yarns, it would not be a flat book, but rather a ‘fan-shaped’ one.

I decided to use an A3 size card page, as many of the yarns that I had made had larger-sized elements, which would not lend themselves to being wound around a reel or board wrap.

As I only had one page that would be seen in landscape format, I opted to use a portrait orientation.

In order to accommodate the binding, the layout would have a wide margin at the bound edge. I opted to put the ‘inspiration’ images on the left hand page, and the yarns on the right hand page. A few small surprises were included to add a little variety (a sound card on one page; a scent on another; and a ‘flavour’ on a third). Otherwise the layout would be as simple as possible. The deconstruction exercise, also had a small sample of the deconstructed materials for reference.

The majority of pages will be white card, but two will be black as they show off certain of the yarns to best advantage.

The next issue to address, was how to fix the yarns to the page. Some of my yarns were far too large in scale to fit in a book (the coat hanger linear concept, and snake vessel for instance are too large to even send, so will be represented in photographic form only, as will the ephemeral ‘ice yarn’ concept, which no longer exists!). Other pieces which are large-scale, but possible to send will be enclosed in a box, with white labels attached to each. The yarns for inclusion in the book will be trimmed to fit the page size and affixed with a rectangle of card at each end, glued in place with a glue gun. A few elements, required sticky fixing dots instead, and the photographs were attached with a glue stick. The thicker yarns were added towards the outer edge of the page so that they would not impede the binding. The yarns were added, more or less, in the sequence in which they were made, unless they felt more appropriate in other groupings (all the white ones for one exercise, were displayed on a black background, for example).

Labelling will be minimal and consist of page numbers, exercise number and name, and yarn numbers. I chose one of my favourite fonts: Courier New for the labelling throughout.

A brief introductory page and contents page were added at the front, once the pages were all in place and numbered.

I had intended to make the cover white with just the name ‘Yarns’ added, but when I was searching for some nice white paper, I came across some ‘pixellated’ wrapping paper that was very similar to one of my collages used as inspiration for one of the yarn collections, so I chose that more colourful alternative, to be paired with grey ribbon. (I may live to regret that decision, however, as I see that it is showing a few scratches already!).

The board covers were covered with wrapping paper, and had a small section removed at the bound edge, which allows them to open easily. I made a template to mark the punching holes, then used a hammer and hollow punch for the board covers, and an ordinary two-hole punch for the card pages.

The drawings, samples, technical media records and notes will be presented separately in a plastic folder. My written technical notes are so similar to the notes in the learning log, that I will not send them.

 


 

Reference:-

Website:-

http://www.homemade-gifts-made-easy.com/how-to-make-a-book.html Accessed Feb/Mar 2017