Textile Degree – A Moment to Reflect – Where am I now?

The feedback from my first assignment has arrived, very prompt and very easy to read and digest. Thank you Rebecca, I was very flattered and pleased with my feedback and the suggestions for further development.

I thought now might be a good time to review my progress, my feedback, my working practices and what I have to do next.

No small task, but necessary because if I don’t my brain is going to explode!

Even trying to write this blog so its coherent and makes sense is proving a challenge. I’ve spent some time emptying my head into a mind map in my sketchbook and that has helped. This is where my tendancy to over think and analysis everything becomes a real hindrance to my progress. I find it very hard to see the wood from the trees, to gain clarity and to set my priorities. I’m so concerned about writing too much that I often end up not developing ideas enough, not exploring my thoughts enough and just ending up with them all jumbled up in my head.

Thank God for clear course materials, mind maps, to do lists and lots and lots of notebooks!

Lets start at the bginning then,

Assignment 1 and Feedback

Here I did keep it simple and just got straight down to writing, planning and drawing, I was nervous but I really enjoyed myself. Consistently writing a blog was a new experience and I find it both time consuming and rewarding so I’m not going to stop. More about this later.

I was very pleased to receive positive feedback about how I experiment and take risks and I will be continuing to do this as I work though my projects.

Rebecca recommended that I recorded more about my working practices and my research in my learning log after reading the OCA guidance and following some links to look at the blog learning logs of other students.


The OCA guidance makes it clear that you need to devote sufficient time to recording in your learning log and that it is good practice to genuinely engage in reflective writing.  Now don’t get me wrong I love to talk and I love to write so this shouldn’t present a problem for me but that would be okay if I wasn’t always so busy, if I wasn’t a born procrastinator and if I didn’t like to over analysis myself into a corner. So how do I resolve this?

Knowing what I need to write is a good start so I have sat and read all the guidance through and made lots of notes. One of my main goals for taking this degree course is to learn how to get more integrity into my work. I want to learn how to be more focused and how to explore ideas and learn how to reflect this in my work. So I am more than happy to follow the guidance and put in the hours.

My next challenge was to review how I am recording my actions and if my current methods are serving my purposes.

Learning Logs

When reviewing how many or how few books, blogs, notes etc etc I should keep, the main points I considered were: how can I make them useful? How can I make sure I don’t end up with loads of duplication? How can I make my learning logs look attractive? How can I take advantage of time as it becomes available?

So far I am happy with my blog format, to improve it I will be adding more information about any research that I do and more information about the development of my practical work. There will be more thoughts, ideas, confessions and hopes and fears, I will do my best to keep it relevant and interesting, though at this time I feel I need to relax and let go a little bit more so I apologise in advance if at times I drone on or waffle.

There will be a new tab/category in which I will keep all of my research and throughout my blog I am looking to increase the number of links. At some point I’ll find time to eat and sleep, anybody who knows me will laugh now!

In addition I will be keeping an A4 square sketchbook, I find this size perfect for mind mapping and brain dumping but too big for taking away from home so I have started a new A5 travellers sketchbook to carry with me to gather ideas and thoughts on the go.

My sketches, drawings and mixed media work I will continue to complete on a wide range of different surfaces and for now I’ll keep these in A4 paper folders in a shoe box. These may become a handmade book later.

So what’s next?

Now the real study begins. There are 2 parts to complete before the next assignment (no panic there – my deadline is only a week away. Might need to revise that one).

The first step is to identify an archive and to ask to view 3 textiles pieces. I am finding this very difficult to complete. I got off to a good start, looking at regimental flags but hit a snag when it came to handling the actual flags so I am about to try another couple of routes.

Then the fun begins again with exercises like; mark making, lines & edges, collage & creases for example. Now that I’m looking forward to.

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