Art · ATV - Part 5 - Building a collection · ATV - Reflections · Feedback from tutors · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

ATV – Assignment 5 – Capsule Collection – Feedback

Rebecca’s comments came as a huge relief after I’d really felt that I’d sent my capsule collection off unfinished. 

I’d aimed high with my intentions without enough thought to timescales, in hindsight I could have reined in my ideas but I’m still glad I didn’t, working on the garments was very interesting and they felt full of potential. 

Overall Comments

Well-done Sally for getting this work to me even though you feel this assignment is not yet complete. The first thing I want to advise you is that you shouldn’t make anymore work for this course. The final pieces you have made along with the development work are more than adequate for this level. The work for level 1 courses should be experimental and developmental and what you have sent is beyond this going into pieces ready for sale or exhibition. I suggest you conserve your time and energy – preparing the work for assessment and planning the next course. Remember you are only at the very beginning of your degree with two more units at level 1. I understand your feelings of knowing when a piece is finished and when to let go of a project, these are common amongst creative practitioners and why time frames are so important.  

 This section gave me the confidence to go ahead and officially enrol onto the next unit Mixed Media for Textiles.

The work you have sent me is professionally and cohesively organised. There is evidence you understand and use research material, drawing, reflective thinking and sample making to come to textile solutions. Your blog is well organised and articulate with analysis of both your research material and your own creative output.

I’ve highlighted in bold the comments from Rebecca that I’m focusing on as I go forward into MMT. 

  Demonstration of Creativity
This assignment clearly demonstrates you have understood and digested the previous four parts of this course. There is evidence you understand the value of using drawing and research material to inspire fresh work. The drawings and the textile samples are experimental with evidence of regular risk taking. They also show your ability to compose pleasing and meaningful compositions in adventurous colour palettes. The work shows you are able to make skilled judgements when deciding which samples to take forward. For example the design with a central yellow circle in print and collage. You go onto develop this in various fabric-stitched versions playing around with creating line, texture and form. This follows your line of thought as you reflect and adapt your ideas for future use. I suggest you continue to work in this way using reflection and the analysis of your out put to develop ideas and come to solutions. You have used many textile techniques and materials in this assignment in a consistently sensitive way. This attention to detail is very pleasing with interesting combinations like the putting together of soft and harsher materials. I suggest in future projects you consider using more unconventional textile materials. You will be introduced to some in the next course Mixed Media for Textiles

I better get over myself and my reluctance to draw more often. I do love using a thin pen but I’m going to have to expand my repartee and it’s not for lack of implements.


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

You have used drawing to inspire and develop ideas in this assignment using a range of media. These link beautifully with your developmental textile samples and the final more resolved work. I suggest you continue to work in this way and also add in using drawing as a tool for reflection by sketching your textile samples and final outcomes. Continue to broaden the range of drawing media you use and consider drawing at a much larger scale – especially when you intend to make large scale stitched work.  

I shall continue working with my research as before but I do need to develop my descriptive vocabulary, my range is very limited. I tend to think in pictures and without emojis and cartoons I’m a bit lost. I have tried some critique building exercises but they were looking at ways to make arguments for a view point. I don’t think I need to go that indepth yet I just need some better words. 


Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

For this assignment you have looked at a wide variety of research material that is well organised on your learning log and your workbook alongside your creative process. This has assisted you in shaping the direction of your creativity and demonstrates the links you make between your sampling and the work of others. I suggest you continue to work in this way – making your research material work for you by analysing it carefully taking from it what you find interesting or useful and developing this in your own work. 

After peaking with my blog being highlighted in the 2015/16 Student Handbook I’ve had a love/hate relationship with it. I’ve really got to admit that it’s a brilliant tool and when I don’t blog I miss it and I never get the satisfying feeling of completion when I don’t review what I’ve done on here.

Learning Log

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

Your online learning log is well set out and easy to navigate. There are a good number of images of your own work along with the work of others. I feel that you could develop the way you discuss and reflect on your own work more. I understand that self-criticism can be quite difficult but if you try to look at your own work the way you look at others this will give you the distance to be more detached. My feeling is you are very hard on yourself and that if this work belonged to someone else you would be more impressed. It is good to push yourself but also give yourself some praise and a pat on the back when you have made something pleasing. For example when you have created a pleasing sample or drawing go further than saying “I love these shapes”, attempt to understand why the shapes are so attractive and how you can develop this.  

So am I going to put my work in for assessment? It’s nerve wracking but I think I’m going to. I better get looking at the guidelines.

Pointers for assessment
Reread your feedback forms to check you have used all the tutor suggestions

• Look at the learning outcomes and the assessment criteria to judge whether your work has met the requirements

• Refer to the assessment guidelines on the oca website, Research ▷ By Course Area ▷ Textiles ▷ scroll down to page 2 ▷ Assessment Guidelines: Textiles

• Aim to organize your work so that the assessor can see the five parts of the course clearly, that samples can be handled easily and your strongest work first



Art · ATV - Assignment 5 - Your Capsule Collection · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

ATV – Part 5 – Capsule Collection

What a wonderful experience this first course with OCA has been. It’s had it’s ups and downs but in the end I can confidently say that I have learnt loads during the process and I am so glad that I persevered and got to the end, even though I had to skid across the finish line just before the deadline!

I made the decision 13 March to submit what I had completed up to the point for feedback from Rebecca my tutor. I did it with trepidation because I personally didn’t think the 6 capsule pieces were completed, luckily Rebecca didn’t agree but more about that in the next blog.

In the package to Rebecca I posted the cheesecloth shirt. I labelld the front of the garment up as 2 pieces. Further details are on my previous blog post

 On the back of the garment I made a piece with some of the manipulated paper that I still had after completing Part 2 of ATV and one of the design trials I had done during this part of the course that was a my translation of the lines made by the folds in fabric smocking. I also wanted to try another experiment with the rippled yarns that I’d been working on at various stages during the course.

It was the movement and the scrunched up textured nature of the layers of fabric that appealed to me here. There is a rough look to it that points towards the traditional use of layers (smocking, kantha, quilting) to make a piece of fabric stronger and more hard wearing then I have used delicate lines and fragile fabrics to soften the image.

 I really wanted to do far more work on piece 5.  The garment I used as the base is a treasure and it’s made with some delightful linen and white fabric. It’s simple lines are practical and clean. It made a perfect flat base for a fabric painting.

After reading an article in Embroidery magazine I was drawn to the story of the Kibbo Kift, a group of storytellers, nature loving types and illustrators. I don’t have much to say about their politics, that is also for another time but I loved their hand made symbology and garments. They used simple, almost pop art methods (before it’s time) to develop their designs. 

For this part of ATV I had also wanted to use parred down images with strong tonal contrast. I had worked a number of different paper and fabric samples using the image of folds in smocking and the one I thought worked the best was this digitally manipulated design translated using fabric paints and machine stitch.


 I didn’t think I needed to do much with this idea other than enlarge it and trace onto the front of the garment. 

It took quite a while to get the paint mix right to paint in the black, white and greys. I trialled various mixes, from simple textile pens to screen printing paint (to maintain the straight lines) but finally I was able to get a fairly matt and densely opaque finish with acrylic mixed with extender and a fabric medium. 

I could have spent forever trying to get the surface finish exactly as I wanted but time was of the essence so I started the extremely fiddly job of machine stitching the lines. In truth I would have liked to have added loads more stitch, I don’t think it needed more colour but just loads more stitch.

The final 2 pieces I completed on another linen garment that I’d been able to buy off eBay. The fabric on this tunic is very dense but it was perfect for printing on and dyeing.

My first experiment involved using the Lino print block that I had made for my stitch samples. I can see me doing far more Lino printing, the blocks are very easy to make and give a nicely finished print on a variety of fabrics. The lines on the shoulder I did on a whim because I had enjoyed painting directly onto the fabric so much.

For the final piece I wanted to work more freely and organically with a mixed of materials, bringing together my photographed images of the original source documents, my Lino print, my colour palette dip dyed threads. I only managed one collection sample before I ran out of time. I’ve learnt that I need to speed up my approach to the design stages and devote more time to the actual making.

Art · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

ATV – Part 5 – Quick Catch Up

Towards the end of ATV I have fallen out of love with blogging, we never had the smoothest of relationships and I’ve always found it the most demanding of my friends in the digital world. 

Me and Instagram aren’t as close as we once were since she got into bed with the Facebook team of dictators who seem to think they know me and my likes and dislikes better than I know myself but we still meet on a daily basis and I use her simple platform to post pictures of my work. It’s still my digital full stop; my moment to pause and reflect and I’m grateful to her for that. 

But this blog? Well, I’m lucky if I bother to meet up fortnightly let alone daily! I’ve tried, lets face it, it’s hard work, and strangely  lonely. All my other digital meeting places are quick, the post is quick (unless I’m having a huge rant) and the response it often just as quick too. I don’t have to use many words and I can select and edit what I want seen and heard, to hopefully, make it as inoffensive and interesting as I can. I know I’m there with lots of other people wasting time, sharing, promoting their talent (keep it clean!) and that is comforting and reassuring. 

Blogging is a whole different kettle of sprouts, it’s time consuming, its unrewarding and its sometimes far too personal. Over the last 2 years, yep I’ve been at this for 2 years, I’ve had some lovely comments from people and I’m unbelievably flattered by and grateful for them, without them I’m sure I’d have given up this method of keeping a learning log long ago.

So back to this relationship, it’s gone into the ‘silent’ zone. I’ve not been here for a while and now it feels like too long, am I welcome back here?  It’s like that unanswered text, should I start with a jokey apology? Say I’d lost my phone, forgotten my password? Gosh doesn’t time fly, ha ha, gulp! 

Well I’m back, hopefully without another huge break after this, but I’ve decided I’m not going to add 1 post after another in a traditional studying kind of way, in that long winded and tedious catch up way of filling in paperwork at the end rather than as you go along.  This is going to be where I’m at and how I got here, all a bit back to front but I’ve got to make it interesting to prepare or I’ll die of boredom writing it.

Despite being away from the blog my work is progressing, not as quickly as it should but I can see the end of ATV, the finish line is in sight!

My capsule collection is coming together. I have 2 pieces almost complete, 1 in progress and the final 3 planned but not started.

The nearest reaching completion is being worked on an old cheesecloth top of mine.

I thought long and hard about what types of surfaces I wanted to work these final pieces on and in the end I was drawn back to the original garments that I’d viewed at the textile archive. They had been practical linen items with smocking, embroidery and signs of wear and tear and over the time my working designs had been parred down to various simple lines and motifs. I wanted to remember and acknowledge those original garments and therefore decided I would source 3 similar garments to use as the canvas/fabric base for my textile pieces.

For reasonable sums, less than the cost of a metre of good linen I was able to buy 2 vintage linen garments off eBay (one of my best digital friends) and then after a rummage through my own wardrobe I settled on this top which I’d never liked wearing anyway.

I had a think about what I could do and how I could use all of the interesting ideas that I’d gathered.

This bought on that little spark of excitement you get when you’ve got something new and exciting to work on. I actually felt like I was transforming my research, my mark-making, my sampling into something; into a real thing! I still wasn’t sure how I could make the piece speak, how I could make it tell a story or generate a feeling/reaction in the viewer but this was a good place to start.

As I worked I used my sketchbook ideas as a basic instruction and then thinking about Rebecca’s wise words about development and exploring I added elements that presented themselves as I worked into the material. Rubbing to create tears and pulling threads to make ruffles of texture.

I moved to the left side and couched down some yarn that I’d made, by then I’d found the lost yarns and remembered how much I’d liked the ruffled explorations.

I experimented with 2 ways of attaching the yarns, the top is stitched into a slit in the fabric and lower one is simply couched down.

At this point I did a quick review of where I was and decided, as my sketchbook shows that I needed an element to create interest.

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of adding embellishments that do not relate to the design because you have them and I was keenly aware of this at this point. Then there was the old adage of ‘less is more’ but I really wanted to add more. In the end I decided to use the photo and I’m hoping to use more of them as a visual marker to link the pieces together. 

The photos are of my workspace and add a personal element; this whole module, all of ATV, has taken me on a hugely significant and important journey. It’s not just the source material playing a part in these final pieces it’s also me and how I am developing as an artist, it’s about how I am becoming true to my own voice and my desire to be creative. It’s about how I am learning, with help from my hugely supportive friends to give myself permission to be an artist. My workspace is now becoming true to me, it’s a symbol of these changes and the changes to come. 

This is the first piece as it stands now. I might yet add to it but for now I’m actually quite happy with it as it is. 

Art · ATV - Part 5 - PJ 2 - Building a Response · ATV - Pt5 - PJ2 - Develop Yarn & linear concepts · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

ATV – Building a Response – Develop Yarn and Linear Concepts – Pt1

This is going to be difficult to write, somehow during a quick tidy up of my art room I lost all but 3 of these yarn concepts. I’m sure they are there somewhere, probably in that safe place that I put them but then why did I find 3 just lying on the floor? It’s distressing but I’m not going to rip the place apart looking for them yet, I’m going to wait patiently and if they haven’t come back before I need to send everything off for assignment then I’ll have a good search. 

So let’s get back to it. As is my usual habit I threw together a quick mind map to get some ideas for the yarns and what I could do.

I then started to sketch out some ideas for how I could make some yarn that would twist and turn so it could be couched onto fabric in undulating lines. I kept seeing those wooden snakes that you can buy in zoo gift shops. 

I decided to use cocoons to create a tube that could be bent. Very creepily theses cocoons still had their little silkworm inside. More little mites. The resulting thread is cute, albeit a little fiddly but still pliable. I’ve also just found a bag of even more cocoons so I can make more later if I need to.

After this I went onto have a go at making the concertina  yarns.

They really are quite nice and I particularly like the one made with the lash sari silk. They make lovely shadows.

Art · ATV - Part 5 - PJ 2 - Building a Response · ATV - Pt5 - PJ2 - Develop textile concepts · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

ATV – Building A Response – Develop Textile Concepts – Pt4

I really can’t believe how behind I am with these blog posts. It might be quite difficult for me to remember exactly what I was doing but it might be nice to go back for consolidation before I start the capsule collection.

After making the textile concepts with the Lino prints I wanted to have a go at making some collages using some of the papers I had left lying around including the photocopies of the photographs of the vintage smocks. This feel right, as if I’m closing the circle between the original source and where my experiments and explorations have led to.

I started by layering up some papers.


Then I added some colour with liquid watercolour and a nice circular focal point.

 I’m not sure if I was in a dark mood when I was building these collages, or maybe it’s these John Connolly books about Charlie Parker that I keep listening to on Audible whilst I work but I really felt a need to add lots of black using pastels and oil sticks to this collage.


I particularly like the way the pastel highlights the edges of the circle.

This next sample has gone off in a slightly different direction, it’s still abstract but there are grasses or leaves. It makes me think of underwater forests of seaweed.

And there just wasn’t enough black, I wanted lots more black! I like this composition and I like the way the photocopy works but I’m not going to make it into a sample. I’m just going to carry forward the idea of using the original images.

This final sample was a total conglomeration of all the remaining stuff, all layered with some more black. 

Ooh I do love layering up papers and I thought I should stop having so much fun and add some thread so that at least I vaguely look like I’m doing my OCA work and making textile concepts!

Art · ATV - Part 5 - Building a collection · ATV - Part 5 - PJ 2 - Building a Response · ATV - Pt5 - PJ2 - Develop textile concepts · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

ATV – Building a Response – Develop Textile Concepts – Pt3

It’s been a while since I made these pieces but I’ve been out of sync with the blogs for this part of ATV so I’m sorry if this blog sounds a little stilted. I decided today that if I didn’t get this blog up to date then I wouldn’t be sleeping tonight.

For this batch of ideas I decided to work with a lino print, I’ve never made one before, even though I’ve had the equipment for years (typical!). I found the cutting surprisingly easy and I’ll definitely be making more.

I’m really pleased with the print that I get from the stamp, it works well on flat/smooth paper and more textured paper and I especially like it when used to make blocks of print. I’m hoping it will also work well on fabric.

Sticking with the idea of repeated prints and keeping to my black, white and yellow colour palette I started to put together some ideas. They aren’t as simple as I had originally planned but I’m not going to force myself to keep to my original guidelines if my instincts start to take me in another direction. 

I used the base print and a print of one of the original textile archive photographs and added an almost transparent organza and some simple stitches.

I wanted to keep the black blocked shapes from before even if I wanted to go with more detail so I used a couple of paper cutouts to frame the composition.

I’m really loving these black solid shapes, they are perfect for framing and every one I cut is slightly different. This happens because although I set out with a sense of curving I’m not always sure what I’m cutting, my hand eye coordination isn’t brilliant and often I just have to run with it, letting instinct take over. I’m never going to be able to cut like Matisse!

This next piece is a much simpler composition and although the circle is an often used focal point I just felt I wanted to have a go and add one.

Eszter Bornemisza often uses a circle in her beautifully delicate and expressive pieces. It works to draw the eye into the piece exactly where she wants your journey as you view her work.

In the first 2 concepts I used screen printing paint to make the print so with the next one I chose a different medium and used Indian ink to print onto white and white acrylic paint to print onto black. These I added together and drew in some detail to test out where I might add some stitches if I was working with fabric.

As I often do with my last piece of work of the day I had a little bit of fun with the bits of paper left over on my desk and randomly I threw in a bit of green.

Art · ATV - Part 5 - Building a collection · ATV - Part 5 - PJ 2 - Building a Response · ATV - Pt5 - PJ2 - Develop textile concepts · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

ATV – Building a Response – Develop Textile Concepts – pt2

Continuing to work with the sweeping shapes that I had previously manipulated and played around with.

The black bent shapes I cut by hand and I particularly like these shapes. I think it would work well in appliqué using Sheila Frampton-Cooper as an influence. Sheila works in far brighter colours, I’m wondering if I could work a slightly bigger composition with these shapes as a focal point as she has done with Kelp.

I’m a great lover of happy accidents and reusing stuff that has been cast off so the next 2 compositions are made with the carbon paper I had left over from making a couple of tracings of the original sketch.  

I’m very drawn to the first composition of thin lines on the black, although I do not particularly like the paper translation. I can see it worked on chiffon or organza. I looked through some of Maggie Grey’s work because I know she likes to work with these types of fabric but I think her work is too detailed for what I’d like to do. I am more drawn to garments and gowns, like these Art Deco dresses.

When I think of these textile concepts I think of drape and soft handling. I think of flowing lines and naturally folding material and I could well be getting towards a way to translate these ideas. 

Now the paper version of the 3rd composition is much nicer than the 2nd but I’m not sure if it can be translated to keep the qualities that I want of softness unless! I could use nuno felting, now that would work. Very light, gentle wool tops worked into light black chiffon. Now that I like the idea of that! 

I haven’t done any nuno felting for a long time and it would be lovely to do it again.

This white layered piece reminds me of the wonderful dress design I saw at Manchester Art Museum by Xenia Telunts. She had made a simple but very moving design called Restriction. Xenia took her inspiration from the women who during WW1 because of mental distress found themselves committed to asylums.

I don’t want to copy Xenia’s fabric choices but I would like to test recreating the layering with heated synthetic fabrics and black felt.  The base layer could be similar to Emily Sladen’s work.

I think the black shapes would be best made out of felt or boiled wool because that will ensure that it is very opaque like the black card. 

For the black dotted piece I can see tambour embroidery but can I do this? Can I stitch with beads like this? I really like the simple and elegant beautiful work of Narciso Rodriguez.

If I used this technique then I could continue using light chiffon type material that is starting to become a theme running through my designs. I like the way that Chanel stretch the base fabric on frames, I never studied tambour embroidery so I would only be doing an approximation but that would be interesting and exciting in itself.

The third composition I made with the concept of ‘near and far’ in my mind. I really like the layering and it reminds me of the work of Holly Fulton in the Fashion and Freedom exhibition at the Manchester Art Museum. I spent a lot of time looking at this beautifully structured garment. It’s so very different from anything that we would wear now.

 I love the layering and the attention to detail and I wonder if I could use elements of Holly’s construction techniques.

Art · ATV - Part 5 - Building a collection · ATV - Part 5 - PJ 2 - Building a Response · ATV - Pt5 - PJ2 - Be inspired by an artist or designer · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

ATV 5 – Building a response – being inspired by an artist/maker – pt2

When on the search for artists to focus on for this section of ATV5. I love this quilt and it’s very likely that some of the influences work it’s way into my work. Unfortunately their is very little information about the maker Jayne Larson.

After Jayne I looked at the work of Helen Parrott, I love her book on mark-making and I’ve always been in awe of her ability to use repetitive marks.

In my previous post on ‘inspiration from an artist maker’ I talked about Diane Firth. Her work is so simple and it’s going to be a challenge for me to work in a similar way.

Art · ATV - Part 5 - Building a collection · ATV - Part 5 - PJ 2 - Building a Response · ATV - Pt5 - PJ2 - Identify & present a colour palette · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

ATV 5 – Building a Response – colour palette – pt2

Once I’d decided on my colour palette I started to think about materials and proportions.

First I selected some paints that I felt matched the ones I had in my head.

A lovely friend had reminded me that my choices had a very Mondrian feeling to them. 

I found this particularly interesting quote from the man, Piet Mondrian, himself:

I construct lines and color combinations , in order to express general beauty with the utmost awareness. Nature (or, that which I see) inspires me, puts me, as with any painter, in an emotional state so that an urge comes about to make something, but I want to come as close as possible to the truth and abstract everything from that, until I reach the foundation (still just an external foundation!) of things…

I believe it is possible that, through horizontal and vertical lines constructed with awareness, but not with calculation, led by high intuition, and brought to harmony and rhythm, these basic forms of beauty, supplemented if necessary by other direct lines or curves, can become a work of art, as strong as it is true.

And, it looks like not only his colour choices appeal to me. I love his views on abstraction coming from truth and his ability to create simple beauty from complex forms like nature.

My colour palette comes from very simple sources; the black and white from the shadows on the smocks, then the blue and yellow from smocks made from denim, or serge. A fabric very similar to denim from France. In Belgium the walloons wear blue smocks as part of their national outfit.

After deciding on the colours, I looked at proportions and selected the bold, contrasting white and black as the main colours with blue and yellow as a smaller elements to add interest.

My time completing Part 4 of ATV and making yarn/linear concepts has left me with an interest in reusing old materials, especially in the form of thread. Either as recycled yarns or threads that I have pulled from fabric and weaves.

I chose some provisional materials and then ordered some beautiful recycled yarns from YarnYarn

Art · ATV - Part 5 - Building a collection · ATV - Part 5 - PJ 2 - Building a Response · ATV - Pt5 - PJ2 - Be inspired by an artist or designer · ATV - Pt5 - PJ2 - Identify & present a colour palette · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

ATV 5 – Building a Response – Colour Palette – pt1

This was a relatively easy decision. I already knew that I wanted to work with colours that make a striking contrast between light and dark. I didn’t want colours that had too much range and were likely to be miss read.  Think of all the different shades and tones of pink! At some point I think my hair has probably been most of those!

When making colour choices I often look to the subject matter for inspiration, but with the smocks I had already done that in Part 2 and after looking at colour palettes in far more detail in part 3 I thought I might look further for inspiration. 

This I duly did until it just became evident to me that the best colours to create the perfect contrast were black and white.  Not the most exciting but it feels right. 

So I had a little look round Pinterest and found 3 that I think use black and white to great effect:

Firstly Dianne Firth, this master art quilter lives in Australia and makes beautiful quilts using very limited colour palettes and strong solid shapes.

I’m also very taken with Marina Kamenskaya and this beautiful quilt of horizontal lines, they make me think of Kandinsky and the mighty Joan Miro. Such wonderful artists that were able to make sense of their worlds by stripping back to the bare lines, highlights and shadows. 

Finally I’ve been drawn to the work of Elizabeth Barton and particularly this piece that uses black and white to great effect. I really like this but I do think it’s drawing me back into a more detailed approach and not the bold repetitive effect that I am looking for.

Red and yellow are often used as the contrasts for black and white and they work very well being good primary colours. So just to bring a little variety I have decided to use blue, the other primary colour with yellow.

I’m going to be working on my capsule collection during the winter months and black, white, blue and a flash of yellow feel like the perfect colours for dark nights and short days of frost, blue skies and sharp sun.