Coursework and Assignment 5: Formative Feedback

Many thanks to Cari for her insightful feedback, which again has provided many pointers for improving my future work.

Cari’s feedback follows and my reflections are below that.

Overall Comments
A beautifully presented resolution to the course, with a clearly documented body of playful development work.

Feedback on assignment
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

Project 1: Developing Visual Research
You reflected on your previous visual research critically, extracting salient points to build upon. Your early contextual research is good – it is all relevant, focussing on textiles or materials-led work, but sourced from a range of art and design contexts. It’s great that you’ve chosen to focus on the practitioners’ processes rather than outcomes too, to help inform how you work, not just what you create.
You developed a good body of visual research based on your photographic compositions. These photographs are full of colour and form. It would have been good to see the camera lens used to zoom in to capture sections of your still-life or different angles/views, but the overall composition is considered and tested. You’ve employed
a range of media to develop your drawn imagery, some of which is more traditional and representational in nature, others more graphic and stark drawings. The point at which they started straying towards surfaces, rather than still-life drawings, filling the whole page and selecting elements to focus, on was particularly interesting. It was good to see some monochrome and visually quieter imagery amongst the riot of colour that you capture so well. I had hoped for more left-field drawing experiments within this, like the lawnmower drawing developed earlier in the course. In future courses, continue to explore the boundaries of what drawing can be.

Project 2: Building a Response
You’ve selected interesting practitioners whose work relates to natural forms, from both 3D craft and textiles disciplines, which you’ve discussed objectively and in relation to your work.

Some beautifully sensitive surfaces have emerged through your paper manipulation exploration. Through cutting and piercing you’ve invested the materials with more interest and value, which you’ve then photographed beautifully, using light and shadow to alter the surface. Your evaluative drawings during this phase are strong, sensitively translating structure and form.
The sensitivity to texture and pattern continues as you incorporate stitch to create surface patterns and textures.
It was great to see development design drawing playing a part in your exploration of linear forms, particularly for yarn concepts 1 – 3 where multiple ideas were explored on paper. Some really playful linear concept samples have emerged from this investigation, particularly those that incorporate negative space within their form.

Project 3: Experimenting and Taking Risks
This phase sees you logically summarise and review each mini-collection of visual imagery (e.g. tulip, catkin….).
The new samples clearly extend the visual information within your mini-collections, experimenting with the structure, form, pattern and colour. There’s an increasing investment of time and crafting into the samples as you progress through the projects, with high quality delicate textural stitching and detail within these samples.
You’ve explored material qualities well, selecting appropriate found materials or manipulating them to fit your chosen idea.
The strongest mini-collections developed through this project are those in which you’ve developed multiple iterations, visualising the qualities in multiple manifestations. I enjoyed the deceptive subtlety of catkins #10, which required light to energise the details within its surface. Despite the bold colouration of your subject matter, it was great to see such restraint and subtlety in your translation of the subject. The tulip and plum tree
samples are particularly experimental with surface and form, both extending the surface with structural elements and incorporating negative space in the way your linear samples did.
Assignment 5: Capsule Collection
You’ve translated earlier surface qualities well, such as the tufting and cut surfaces, though some of the more playful structural elements haven’t been incorporated. The collection has a more traditional sensibility than the earlier sampling but it forms a coherent and lively body of textiles, showing strong potential for an interior
On one hand I lamented the loss of some of the delicacy and subtly of earlier samples, such as the subtle cut and stitch work of the plum blossom or the delicate extrusions of the early three-dimensional catkin samples, but you have explained on the learning log in project 3 how you have narrowed down to a bolder, abstract, uncluttered,
pattern-led aesthetic, which demonstrates clear active decision making and personal selection.
The final collection is varied in surface and pattern and yet coherent due to the consistency of material and colour palette, the constraints you successfully applied at the beginning of the assignment. Overall the collection demonstrates a sensitivity in the translation of visual research, a sympathetic approach to materials and
techniques, and forms a solid conclusion to the course. That work is presented beautifully in the collections book, referencing methods used and knowledge gleaned earlier in the course.

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity
The workbook crisply presents the work but is lacking the organic development of a sketchbook. Because the work has been presented rather explored on the pages, I was conscious of the gaps in between the samples, where ideas had been explored and decisions made but not explored in the book. These gaps are generally filled
in by the learning log commentary but there’s a gap where more immediate, intuitive responses could be. Whilst I felt there were a few gaps in the decision making, there is a clear visual logic through the work, as a simple idea and clear visual identity is manifested in mark, line, fibre and structure.
This is something to continue to explore in future courses. Refined work can be presented more formally and crisply, as you have done in the collections book, so consider the sketchbook a place to test and make errors, as well as documenting as you have done.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays
Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
Overall, your log presents an analytical, structured approach to synthesising inspiration and practice.

My reflection on the feedback, above.


  • Work is well presented, clearly documented and developed playfully.
  • Summary of previous visual research useful.
  • Contextual research relevant and sourced from a range of artists and designers, especially study of their processes as well as outcomes.
  • Photographic compositions provided good visual research (colour and form).
  • Good range of media explored in drawings, and good mixture of representational/more graphic work.
  • Paper manipulations produced surfaces with interest, relevance to the subject and value. These were well photographed in different lights. Evaluative drawings were useful.
  • Paper manipulations with stitch showed sensitivity to texture and pattern. Design drawing ideas well explored.
  • Playful linear concept samples: those exhibiting negative space as part of their form were the most successful.
  • Logical summary and review of work gathered and created as visual research.
  • Clear development of ideas and themes, with increasing time spent on later samples.
  • Material qualities well explored. (Use of found materials, manipulation of materials.)
  • Development of multiple iterations of an idea led to best outcomes.
  • Good use of restraint and subtlety in Catkin sample #10; experimentation with surface and form in tulip and plum tree samples.
  • Logical decision-making when selecting processes for final collection. Surface qualities well translated in final collection. Clear visual logic through the work. Coherent collection with potential for interior context. Clear visual identity.
  • Beautifully presented work (Collections Book).
  • Learning Log presents analytical, structured approach to synthesising inspiration and practice.

Needs Work

  • Not enough experimental drawing (eg my lawnmower drawing).
  • Playful, structural elements not incorporated into final collection. Too traditional? Loss of delicacy and subtlety compared to earlier samples.
  • Lack of organic development shown in sketchbook.

To Do

  • Carry out more experimental drawing.
  • When using the camera, zoom in to focus on details and different angles, as well as the overall composition.
  • More drawings focused on surfaces that fill the page, and of selected elements of the subject.
  • Use my sketchbook to test and make errors, as well as for documenting the work carried out.

Development Notes

  • Drawing: explore the boundaries of drawing. Draw more often and focus on details and textures, as well as line and form.
  • Research: continue to study a wide range of artists and designers.
  • Development: use more drawing and notes in a single sketchbook to show the development process. Make more variations on a theme at the sample-making stage. Keep introducing constraints, where appropriate.
  • Sketchbook: explore work during the development stage rather than simply presenting drawings (ie include ideas, notes, decisions, intuitive responses, etc).
  • Evaluation and Reflection: use drawing to evaluate work created. Continue to regularly pause and reflect on what works and what doesn’t.


I was pleased with my feedback, which I felt was positive overall. I had made a concerted effort to carry out more drawing and sample-making throughout the process, and will now strive to add notes, ideas and decision-making into that book, rather than purely reflecting in my learning log. Drawing seems to be the key to this creative endeavour, and I will aim to include more variety and experimentation in this area.

Formative Feedback: Part 4, and Reflection

Thank you to Cari for my latest feedback. Lots to take on board and reflect upon!


  • translation of aesthetic, material and structural qualities of samples into yarn concepts
  • range of shape, form, structure and material investigation in 2D and 3D
  • constraints in colour palette worked well for red, black and white drawings
  • strong crafting skills without over-precision
  • exploration of scale, however, delicate/intricate samples most successful
  • exploration of translucency with hints of colour (eg, ice and hair yarns)
  • interesting use of objects to form yarns (eg, jelly beans and coat hanger yarns)
  • some yarns combine materials into something new and interesting
  • construction and interior of yarn book, crisp and well-organised (minimal use of text)
  • thorough discussion of the journey of the project/decisions made and good evaluative summaries
  • strong drawing work (good use of sympathetic media/techniques to capture material, tactile and visual qualities; quality and nature of drawing varied according to role, eg, functional planning drawings, more fully rendered drawings of samples)

Needs Work

  • close up snake yarn sample felt inelegant and heavy (however, it works at a distance when overall pattern becomes clear)
  • some materials feel as if they are fighting each other, not working together
  • photographs: do they successfully capture and communicate samples? (eg, ice yarn – background of trees too busy)
  • cover of the yarn book not successful (too strong and not my own design)
  • too much technical information in learning log
  • ‘Research & Reflection’ sections confusing to navigate

To Do

  • consider how my samples read spatially and how the viewer may interpret them (eg, snake yarn) [ongoing]
  • reflect on how the materials have been transformed by my interventions when evaluating future work, eg, two intertwined materials – are they integrated and transformed into something new? [ongoing]
  • photograph samples sympathetically against a neutral background (show different lighting options and how they may change a piece) [all work now photographed against white backgrounds, eg, images of workbook from Assignment 5]
  • present work in a visually quiet way, or use aesthetic details from the contents to hint at what’s within (redo covers of both yarn book and colour book) [latest book cover can be seen in this photo collage]
  • use neutral grey for presenting light coloured work, rather than black [ongoing]
  • emphasise evaluative commentary over descriptive commentary (ie, more about the aesthetic/visual read of samples) [ongoing]
  • refer to evaluative summaries in learning log when working on Part 5 [Review of coursework and feedback here]
  • integrate research and reflection with the relevant coursework and assignment work in the learning log [all relevant research is now linked both to the coursework and assignment parts and can be reached by clicking on those links on the side bar, as well as through the Research link. The latter link also has other personal research included.]
  • move ‘yarn research file’ to the beginning of the Part 4 Coursework section [it was not possible to insert a blog article at an earlier date, so I have added the yarn research file to the research article for Part 4]
  • use more appropriate drawing media for proposed samples (helps to assess aesthetic qualities of resulting samples) [ongoing, eg, tulip on tracing paper; blossom on tissue paper; chard leaf in melted plastic]
  • more sketchbook work for Part 5 (extensive drawing to capture samples, as well as planning for them; visual/theoretical/contextual research to underpin and inform the sampling) [ongoing – some pages from my latest sketchbook]
  • keep working both inside a sketchbook and on other appropriate grounds outside the sketchbook (small sections of coloured paper can be stuck into the sketchbook)
  • view Cari’s Pinterest boards on sketchbooks, drawing for textiles and design research [my own Pinterest boards for sketchbooks and textiles inspiration have been updated with some of Cari’s suggestions, and some other examples that I find inspiring. I found this website through a link on Pinterest, which has a useful guide to making an art portfolio with some ideas of what to include in sketchbooks. Interestingly, I had just seem some excellent examples at Gracefield Arts Centre‘s exhibition of Advanced Higher Art Selection, such as the work shown below by one of the students.]


Megan Nodwell, development work for, and images of finished wearable art jewellery

Development Notes

A big area for future development for me is use of the sketchbook. I need to show in images (photographs, pictures from magazines, books and the internet, etc) and in sketches, where my inspiration for work originates, and how I have selected and refined my ideas, along with technical notes and experiments, samples, colour palettes etc. Then drawings for planning the projects, using appropriate media, grounds and techniques, and evaluative drawings of samples and finished pieces.

Another area for improvement is to present my work even more simply, with regards to the backgrounds in photographs (neutral and plain), and in the covers for my books (simple and plain, or more appropriate to the contents).

One of my first tasks will be to go back to the beginning of my Learning Log, and add links for the research to the relevant parts of each section of coursework and assignments, and to move the yarn research file.

In future written work, I need reflect evaluatively on the processes I have used and on the work produced, together with weighing its aesthetic appeal, (Rebecca Fairley’s article “How to look at textiles” will come in useful here). I need to write less about the technical aspects of the work: I will keep the majority of these notes in my technical notebook. I have re-read my summaries for Part 4 and made notes to refer to in Part 5.




Accessed 25/03/17 Accessed 25/03/17 Accessed 25/03/17 Accessed 26/03/17


Reflection on Formative Feedback for Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary: Assignment 3

Formative Feedback from Cari, my tutor, followed by my reflection.


Overall Comments

A playful, varied and well-crafted body of work.

Research (including sketchbooks and samples)
Context, reflective thinking, analysis, Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity
Your research throughout this module has been meticulous, from your initial analysis and deconstruction of what the section entailed (detailed in your blog) to your detailed colour mixing and careful crafting of your collages.
You’ve balanced this carefulness with some lovely playfulness. I love your response to ex.3.1, pt.2 where the stripes emerge from the frame of the fabric to meander out towards the viewer.
The yarn wraps are also really enticing – there’s a great range of textural, tactile and surface qualities in the wraps. Fibrous yarns sit next to matte and glossier surfaces, which creates a varied, dynamic aesthetic. You’ve carefully translated the colour proportions of the painting, using both traditional and non-traditional materials.
The accompanying tables where you record the material quality and source of the yarns are great – use a similar approach in future to record the ‘technical’ information, so you have a good technical resource for future inspiration.
Your handling of both the gouache and watercolour is careful and your colour mixing generally very good. It’s interesting to read your comments about the effect of the light on the accuracy of the colour. Your crafting is consistently careful with all media and processes, with your collage studies particularly well crafted.
The collages (ex.3.4) are varied and playful. You have thoughtfully translated shape, form and colour information into the 2D collage. Your use of materials to capture the different surface qualities was particularly pleasing (e.g. the glossy surface of glass compared to matte linearity of yarn). Collage #3 was ambitious but the result is really effective.
I particularly liked your translation of the Bali image into textile samples rather than flat swatches of colour.
You’ve matched the colours in found fabric samples well but they also match more than the colour – the tie-dye and diffuse colour of some samples has a sense of tropical holidays, which fit the exotic plants and acid brights within the image.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays
Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
The blog is consistently well laid out, with a good number of suitably sized and appropriately collaged photos.
You use photography well to capture different aspects of the work, e.g. for collage #2 you zoom in to capture an abstract section of colour and shape, which could be translated into a beautiful textile design.
In your contextual research, you use detailed, descriptive language to critique artists and designers use of colour and demonstrate your understanding of colour theory through appropriate use of key terms, e.g. optical mixing.
Your summary succinctly states what you’ve learnt from each designer/artist. Similarly, your review of the colour palette generators was suitably critical, both the functionality and ease of use.
The learning log clearly details the development of the work, with evaluation of successes and weaknesses. You continue to use descriptive language well to explain what you see and the connotations of colours. (e.g. “The strong contrasts gave the resulting palette quite a dramatic look, with the green and yellow adding a feel of early spring – like glimpses of green shoots and primroses on a grey day.”) Your summaries at the end of each post sum
up the work developed but are most insightful when you reflect on what you’ve learnt, e.g. the importance of tone in the collage section.
Your analysis of the yarns wraps focusses more on the process of creating the wraps and the accuracy of the proportions. I wanted to know what you thought about the overall aesthetic of wrap- how do the proportions of colours work together, do the different textures help or distract from the read of the colour, would the wrap translate effectively into textile designs? For example, I find wrap #2 less pleasing because there is too greater a difference in scale between the flat ribbons, the fibrous cream on the right and the gold braid. In contrast, I find #3 too consistent in scale. Yarn wrap #1, with its varied range of textures and surface qualities pleased my eye far more, there is greater nuance both in colour and surface quality. This is subjective, however, so I wanted to know what you thought about the palettes potential as useable colour palettes.

Feedback on assignment
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity
Your colour book very simply but crisply presents the best work. You’ve been selective, careful to present only the best work, and the consistent presentation on a white ground means all the focus is on the work itself. The written descriptions are simple and discrete. Your introduction clearly articulates what you’ve learnt and why you’ve chosen these pieces. Well done! I like the cover but I pondered whether the title square could have better reflected the contents by using some aspect of an aesthetic contained within rather than the rainbow palette.
Your written reflection and self-evaluation against the assessment criteria are thorough and critical. I’m really looking forward to seeing how you develop your use of colour in the next two parts.

Suggested reading/viewing
– Here are a couple of artists/designers whose use of colour excites me:
o Sanne Schuurmann, especially her colour magazine:
o Margrethe Odgaard, particularly her Color Diary Japan:
o Raw Color:
o You may have seen this 1692 example of a colour book online but it’s worth sending again even if you have 🙂

Pointers for the next assignment
• Reflect on this feedback in your learning log.
• Ensure you reflect on the overall aesthetic / visual read of your work as well as on the technical aspects.
• Continue to develop colour palettes with gouache and watercolour using the methods you have in this module. Reflect on what mood they communicate to the viewer.

My reflection on the Formative Feedback, above.


Cari mentioned my thorough research (analysing the course and assignment work on the Learning Log (LL), and in the colour mixing and collage making. A playful approach; enticing qualities in the yarn wraps; good use of technical records; careful handling of paint, and colour mixing generally (!) good. Careful crafting in different media; variety in collage work (especially use of materials linked to surface qualities of source image); selecting appropriate textile samples for an image found in a newspaper.

The LL is well laid out and appropriately illustrated. The contextual research demonstrated understanding of colour theory and learning from the studied artists and designers. Development work is set out and evaluated clearly.

The colour book showed my best work in a simple format, demonstrating good selection skills and consistency in presentation; the introduction and simple labelling were good.

Written reflections and self-evaluation against the criteria were appropriate.

Needs Work

More reflection on what I have learnt in each exercise. For example, yarn wrap exercises concentrated too much on creation and not enough on the overall aesthetic of the wraps (analysis of the proportions, textures, possible translation into textile designs) and potential for using the finished wraps’ colour palettes. Two of the wraps showed too much or too little variation in scale.

The title square logo on the cover was not appropriate to the contents of the colour book.


To Do [My updates added in square brackets]

  • Continue to keep technical information tables and samples for future work [ongoing]
  • Translate detail of Collage #2 into a textile design [Textile Design here]
  • Continue to include evaluations and connotations for work (eg colour palettes) [ongoing]
  • Reflect on the learning achieved from each part of the course. [ongoing]
  • Consider the aesthetics, visual read and potential for the work created, as well as strengths/weaknesses. [ongoing]
  • Add some thoughts about the yarn wraps’ potential as useable colour palettes. [edited section added after summary to Yarn Wrap article]
  • Make a new, more appropriate title square and back page logo for the colour book.
  • Develop my use of colour in the next two parts of the course. Continue to make colour palettes in paint for work created. [ongoing]
  • Research Sanne Schuurmann and her colour magazine [Colour Research]
  • Research Margrethe Odgaard and her Color Diary Japan [as above]
  • Study Raw Color [as above]
  • Look at the 1692 colour book [as above]

Reflection on Formative Feedback for Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary: Assignment 2

Formative Feedback from Cari, my tutor, followed by my reflection.


Overall Comments

Thank you for submitting another varied, playful, lively and enjoyable body of work. You’ve clearly acted on advice from earlier feedback and are constantly evaluating your work and reflecting on your approach to it to ensure continual improvement. The work is all well-presented, clearly structured and well-labelled, making it very easy for me to move through your response to each of the projects and exercises.

Feedback on projects 1 & 2

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

You’ve submitted a great range of samples in response to projects 1 & 2. The paper manipulation library incorporates such a lovely range of techniques, scale of mark and varied materials, which have been employed to alter both the surface and structural qualities of the papers. I particularly like the cut and layered paper samples and those which use paper like thread, e.g. to create raised loops on the surface. This translation of textile techniques (like hooking) is a real strength. There is a wealth of approaches in this body of work that you could draw on in future projects – use this like a dictionary and return to these processes to exploit in future.

I’d have liked to see a clearer visual journey of how you developed your selected drawings (ex.2.1) into these tests. Whilst there is some sketchbook work for the assignment, there isn’t much use of drawing to analyse and develop work for earlier exercises or to propose the myriad ways that they could be developed into patterns, textures, processes and materials. You work so well in response to the tactility of the materials and processes, but try to shift some of the emphasis onto using drawing to help you analyse, plan and propose throughout the development process. You’re using your blog very well for this but using a sketchbook throughout the journey of the course would prompt you to draw more regularly.

Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

You’ve documented your research well on the blog and in how you’ve presented your small fabric tests alongside your larger, refined samples. The logic of how your ideas progress into physical investigation of materials and processes, and then into the final piece, is clear.

You’ve done well to challenge your urge to jump straight into creating larger samples without the prep work, and the small tests of different techniques and processes have had a clear impact on the development and success of the refined samples. Now you’ve seen the value of smaller samples, increase the quantity of this testing and start to use drawing as part of this preparatory, exploratory process. (You said it yourself in fact: “More sketching needed”.)

You’ve used drawing to plan out different compositions in for the assignment pieces- the range of media used to explore piece three is particularly effective. Try to draw far more extensively to test different compositions. I really like the texture, pattern and colour of piece two but something about the composition feels contrived and the shapes distract me from the wealth of detail within. I wondered whether this could have been resolved with more planning.

Consider using drawing to propose further developments for the pieces as well – like a form of visual evaluation. For example, your inspiration images for piece three show a sense of repeat pattern. What if piece three repeated in a similar way? Whilst making this sample would take far too long, a drawn idea of how you could extend it could provide a way of further reflecting on and evaluating the strengths of the sample. Again, this could be done in a sketchbook. This will all hugely help your exploration of design and composition, which you felt needed more practise. The close up photo of piece two in your log shows the huge potential this piece holds for further refinement too – I’d love to see it as a repeat design, or equally as a simpler design that focuses on selected elements.

Applying constraints to the development of piece three has worked very well- I agree with your evaluation that the simplicity that this approach created is the strength of the piece. There’s a lovely sense of rhythm in the regimentation of the design, which highlights the nuances of each knot beautifully – a feeling of ordered idiosyncrasy. The change in scale provides variation without distraction, so there’s an overall sense of harmony. You stated that the earlier two pieces are comparatively too busy. Piece one is nicely unified by the monotone palette – the muted tones allows the eye to focus on the movement of the cuts and details of the stitch, though there is quite a lot going on.

Though the presentation of the assignment is good, I wonder whether it would have been better to send it to me in a simpler manner and then present it later for assessment. The boards have got a bit dented in transit, for example, and it wouldn’t want you to have to waste time re-presenting it for assessment. An A3 sample file of the smaller presentation boards with the large refined samples folded alongside them would have been sufficient for me. (In fact, that would also sufficient for assessment. Some students do submit A2/A1 boards though.)

Research (including sketchbooks and samples)

Context, reflective thinking, analysis, Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

– Playful interpretation of textile processes into paper (e.g. stitches, hooking).

– Strong crafting skills.

– Continue to do small samples and tests to explore your ideas on a smaller scale before selecting those to develop.

– Draw more regularly to think, to plan, to propose and to document and learn from your samples.

– Use a sketchbook to prompt you to explore your ideas visually more regularly. – Continue to use varied media to create lively images that reflect the energy of your samples, as you did for piece three.

– You’ve learnt the value of constraints to focus your creative exploration, so return to this idea to focus future work. (Austin Kleon’s Steal like an Artist book has a good section on how constraints broaden our capacity for creativity rather than diminish it.)

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

– Good ongoing reflection on the process and your evaluation of specific pieces. You evaluate the processes and materials, stating what you’d change if you did it again, and also evaluate the aesthetic and formal qualities of the work.

– Your analysis of contextual research (the work of artists / designers) is highly relevant and discussed critically in relation to what you’re doing. It’s clear the research is informing your work (e.g. into the American quilt books).

– Continue to explore work of both artists and designers to develop a good understanding of the context of contemporary textiles.

– The ‘Strong points of my work’ focuses on the techniques and aesthetics – also consider strengths in your approach, your development process and your thinking around the projects.

Suggested reading/viewing


– Austin Kleon’s Steal like an Artist

– Your playful adaptation of textile techniques into paper reminded me of a lovely book by Francoise Tellier-Loumagne called The Art of Knitting, which is full of knit structures but also inspiration images, like tyre tracks in sand which look like a knitted fabric. (The front cover of the English version looks like rather un-inispiring – the original French book that I have is much more engaging.)

Pointers for the next assignment

  • Reflect on this feedback in your learning log.
  • See bullet points above!


My reflection on the Formative Feedback, above.


Cari had picked up on the fact that I have acted on previous suggestions for improvements made in her feedback for Assignment 1. My presentation was clear and logical, (but could be simpler). I have worked with a good range of techniques and media in a varied and playful manner. The Learning Log blog has been well used in documenting and reflecting on my work. Preparing small samples prior to making bigger pieces of work was useful and should be expanded upon. The use of a monotone palette in Piece One allowed a focus on the movement and variety of stitch. Piece Two showed good use of texture, pattern and colour. Applying constraints to Piece Three led to a coherent rhythm and harmony in the outcome. My crafting skills were strong. Reflection in my Learning Log about the pieces made was good, as was contextual research.

Needs Work

Providing a clear visual journey in the selection process, (eg, Ex 2.1), using drawing to analyse and develop work, and to experiment with ways in which the patterns, textures, processes and materials can be developed. (I am having to overcome my usual method of working, which is to think about alternatives for a few weeks, before starting on the final piece with little, if any drawing, and no sampling. I am becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of drawing/sampling in exploring and refining ideas and saving time and materials with unsatisfactory pieces that end up in my bin!)

Cari noted that the composition of Piece Two felt contrived, and that the use of shapes (circles) distracted from the detail of the textures. (I had chosen circles to represent The Earth, which I thought made sense with the theme I had attributed to the piece, but I can see that sticking to a rectangular shape would have brought the focus back to the surface treatments.) Cari agreed with me that Piece One was rather busy and could have been simplified.

I should stick to a smaller, A3 format, where possible, for submitting Assignment work for tutor assessment.

To Do [links to examples of my responses in square brackets]

  • Store paper samples carefully to use as an inspiration library for future work. [A chest of drawers purchased for storing work].
  • Spend more time using drawing to analyse, plan, and propose during the development process. [Ongoing, examples in this post.]
  • Use more drawing to test different compositions.
  • Draw further possible developments arising from finished pieces (visual evaluation). [Assignment 2 visual evaluation.][Ongoing, example in this post]
  • Use my sketchbook regularly. [Ongoing, Sketchbook examples]
  • Use my ideas to make more small exploratory samples during development work and to draw before and after making these to aid in documentation and learning.
  • Make a drawn idea for extending Piece Three. [Assignment 2 visual evaluation.]
  • Make visual evaluation drawings for Piece Two (eg, a repeat design and a simpler design focusing on selected elements). [Assignment 2 visual evaluation.]
  • Simplify presentation of my Assignment work. Use A3 format and fold larger samples. [simple presentation and smaller format chosen for Assignment 3].
  • Continue to use varied media to create lively images (eg Piece Three).
  • Employ constraints to focus creative exploration. [eg, colour palette constraints used in this exercise]
  • Read Austin Kleon’s Steal Like An Artist. [Read and reflected upon here].
  • Continue to explore the work of artists and designers to develop an understanding of the context of contemporary textiles. Examples of research into collage artists, designers who use colour effectively, knitwear designers]
  • When reflecting on my work, consider strengths/weaknesses of my approach, development process and thinking around projects (as well as techniques and aesthetics). [Ongoing, example in summary of this article].
  • Read Francoise Tellier-Loumagne’s The Art of Knitting. [Read and commented on in the context of contemporary knitting].

Tutor Feedback on Part One Coursework

Thank you to Cari, who quickly responded to my email with links to the drawings I had made for Part One of the Coursework. Here are her comments in full, followed by my reflection and response.

Tutor Feedback


The “Feedback at the end of Part One” asks you to choose 10 drawings, in response to which I give you brief feedback (because it’s not a formal assignment point), but I’ve got carried away looking at them all rather than asking you to select, so here’s the feedback!

Here’s the feedback:

– Overall: You’ve developed a good range of drawings demonstrating a range of approaches and a lovely playfulness! I want more mown lawn drawings or similar! Your mark making is particularly strong and playful. 

– You seem most confident with mark making and line to depict the subject but you are also starting to explore using larger swatches of media to create the image, rather than relying on linear elements to outline the information. (e.g. larger patches of media without an outline – the block of colour provides the outline.)

– The blind contour drawings in 1.4 are lovely – they capture the sense of repetition in the quilt but in a more fluid, lively manner. Consider blind touch drawings too so you try to capture what you feel rather than what you see . You can see either look at neither object nor the ground on which you are drawing, or you could look at the surface but not the object.

– I love the mown grass drawing! Yes, it’s not as successful as you’d intended but it’s a great idea. The idea of drawing by carving into tufted surfaces would be a lovely one to return to.

– The collage drawings are great – there’s evidence of a sensitive use of colour and all are really evocative of the textile techniques you are drawing from. (ex. 1.5)

– The more graphic drawings that emerged from ex. 1.6 are really striking – I look forward to seeing you work with such bold, flat colour in future, as well as continuing the more subtle approach demonstrated in 1.5. 

Few suggestions to consider in future drawings:

– Vary the ground on which you work: consider darker coloured papers and alternatives to graphite / black media. For example, many of your beautiful textural mark making would look striking if made with a white chalk pastel pencil or a white chalk pen on a grey or similar coloured paper. You work well with colour, as demonstrated in 1.5 + 1.6, so start being more selective with the ground you choose to work on. 

– Consider more varied drawing compositions. Your close up photos of larger drawings demonstrate the potential of zooming in to capture close up sections (of e.g. cuffs, edges, details.) Try making a viewfinder to help you explore which sections of your subject make the best compositions. (You can, if you wish, draw these test compositions as small thumbnails before choosing the ones you like best / think will be most successful.)

– Stand back regularly from your compositions and consider the scale of marks and how the composition works overall. Ex.1.4 The Quilt has a lively almost naive quality with a range of bold linear pattern and mark making – the varied scale and density of the marks made me want to see a more exaggerated scale of mark in other drawings – both larger and bolder and quieter and delicate, and both within one drawing. 

My Reflection and Response to Tutor Feedback

The first thing is to rectify my error of not highlighting 10 specific drawings, but rather linking to the sets of drawings. Here are the links to the 10 drawings I should have picked, with the reasons for choosing them.

1 Quilt Blind Contour Drawing Use of large size of ground (A1); different technique explored.

2 Quilt Mark Making Drawing Use of variety of mark making tools; different ground used: tissue paper, making link with object qualities; mixture of different marks in one drawing

3 Rag Rug Mud Drawing Use of unusual tool (boot); unusual media (mud); connection to subject matter.

4 Grass Jumper Lawnmower Drawing Playful approach; use of texture; focus on outline of subject.

5 Rag Rug Collage Use of different media (paper collage; paint); introduced texture and pattern.

6 Detail Drawings of Rag Rug Use of different scale (3″ squares); graphic, exaggerated style of marks and colour.

7 Digital Flower Drawing Use of digital app and fingers on tablet screen; different types and speeds of mark making; working on bright orange background; use of colour.

8 Slug Drawing #3 Original flower drawing in flour/dog food/water is left outside overnight and altered by slugs; working on a black background; experimental approach.

9 Flower Ball #1  Drawing on a 3D surface; use of different media (papier mâché, pen, felt fabric); combined use of different types of mark (abstract, drawn and collaged); use of colour; working on bright, multi-coloured background.

10 Digital Wallpaper/Textile Design Use of software to transform and translate digital drawing into possible textile pattern.

Actions and Improvements

  • Respond precisely to written instructions. I realise now that the reason for choosing 10 drawings was to show my skill in selecting work for appraisal; and also to avoid wasting my tutor’s time ploughing through dozens of images!
  • Make more adventurous and unconventional drawings (eg lawn drawing).
  • Practise blind touch drawings: looking at neither object nor drawing surface; or looking at drawing surface but not the object. [Two pieces practising this technique.]
  • Draw by carving into tufted surfaces. [Two more pieces based on this technique:- Dipped Grass Paper Manipulation; Dense Grass Paper Manipulation.]
  • Choose a greater variety of grounds to work on (eg darker papers with white media). I did make 5 drawings on black paper; one on orange (digital); one on turquoise (painted papier mâché) and one on a multi-coloured, collaged background for this part of the coursework, but I will certainly continue to expand the variety of grounds that I work on. [More works on darker paper.]
  • Make more varied drawing compositions (eg capturing close-up sections). [example drawing].
  • Make a viewfinder to explore different areas of interest in a subject. Draw test compositions as small thumbnails. [I have now made a number of different sizes and shapes of viewfinder in readiness!] The experimentation with small drawings is a great tip that I will certainly use in the next part of the course. [Here they are in action.]
  • Stand back from work to consider overall composition and scale of marks used. [This tip is now in use!]
  • Use more variation in marks made (eg larger/bolder combined with quieter/more delicate in one drawing). I agree that this would add more interest to my drawings.

Some very useful feedback that I will be implementing as I move into Part Two of the course.

Reflection on Formative Feedback for Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary: Assignment 1

My Tutor, Cari, sent my feedback through quickly, which was appreciated, as I had sort of been dreading it. Overall, I was relieved and delighted with my Tutor’s encouraging and useful comments and suggestions, which will help to direct my future study.


I was pleased to find that I have been on the right track for some aspects, such as:- exploration of drawing techniques; the variety of media tried; and experimentation with different approaches to composing and arranging my still life. This came directly from my research into contemporary drawing practice, so, as Cari suggested, I will continue to look at a range of other artists’ work in this area. My learning log was not overly descriptive, but contained a good balance of process, analysis and evaluation.

Needs Work

[I have edited this section, to include examples of my implementations of tutor recommendations in square brackets after the suggestions.]

Cari suggested that:-

  • I increase the variety of marks made within each picture, by varying the pressure of the tool, how it touches the surface, the type of contact, speed and type of movement used, especially in my use of traditional media. [I have now started to experiment with this in drawings such as these: Rag Rug Drawing and Quilt Drawing].
  • To experiment with different media that could be associated with an object (examples such as using varnish to represent the knife blade, or wax for the melon) [I have taken this comment on board with drawings such as these: Mown Grass Drawing and Mud Rag Rug Drawing].
  • I should not write on the front of my drawings, but record any necessary information on the reverse. [Noted and implemented with writing only on reverse of drawings].

To Do

  • Continue to investigate and respond to the question “What is drawing?” through artist research. [Drawing Research; Further Drawing Research].
  • Read “The Drawing Book” by Tania Kovats and “Vitamin D” by Emma Dexter. [Both books now purchased and explored! Observations on Drawing including artists from the recommended books].
  • Explore the OCA Pinterest Site and Cari’s board on drawing. [Ongoing].
  • Continue to think laterally to develop interesting themes to work from.
  • Be as varied and experimental as possible in my approach to the course, in gathering visual research and challenging the use of traditional media. [See Slug Drawing, and Seed Drawing, for examples].
  • Explore more line and mark making. [See Digital Flower Drawing, Rag Rug Detail Drawing, Pullover Detail Drawing, Pullover Line Drawing].
  • Continue to reflect critically and analytically. [Ongoing].