21 Oct. 2017
I mainly experimented on observational drawings today, based on my previous primary researches for the 'Public Art Project'. I started off in the morning by producing detailed pencil drawings based on the firsthand photographs, the same way as how I used to to do. After drawing two of them, I figured out that I had to vary my drawing style and adopt the techniques I learnt from the past weeks. I then tried to drop my mindset on focusing on the visual outcome of observational drawings, but more on how to presenting the silhouettes of the public arts that I visited. By the end of the day, I finished three quick observational drawings involving the media of pencil, fine-liner, soft pastel, oil pastel, and inkjet print. Although they were produced in far less time than the technical drawings that I used to do, but they have given me inspirations and will for further development based on such drawings, rather than producing seemingly visually pleasant drawings for the sake of it. I wish to further experiment on my observational style tomorrow.
20 Oct. 2017
Library research for both 'Public Art Project' and 'Tactile Structures Project'
As my Fashion & Textiles group has not I have not been confirmed yet for next week, so I researched for both projects in the CSM library. I realised that both projects shares similarities to our previous 3-day projects, but I intentionally researched on different books, as I wish to follow my visual instinct more for my initial research.
The Dries Van Noten book (Bruloot, G. 2014) I researched for the 'Tactile Structures Project' has really given me s strong impression, both in terms of DVN's designs and the layouts of such book. For example in one of the double-page-compositions, the involvement of the ceiling of the salon of the Hotel de Ville in Paris as the background really helps to bring out the similarity in colours between Peter Vernon’s photography and DVN's garment. As both images are in deep blue tones so both appose the yellow tone background, thus the blues would automatically stand out. Although such two pieces also show similarity in textures, but it was their relation of tones that stood out the most for me.
Further more, as I was photocopying one of the page from the Dries Van Noten book, I accidentally left a piece of bookmark paper on the scanner. When I uploaded the image on my lab top, I thought the piece of paper was part of the design on the page. This inspires me to use the photocopier as a tool for collage making.
20 Oct. 2017 - Bruloot, G. (2014). Dries Van Noten. Paris: Les Arts Decoratifs.
18 Oct. 2017 - Exhibition Review
Alison Jacques Gallery
Sheila Hicks: Stones of Peace
4 October - 11 November 2017
This solo exhibition of Sheila Hicks held by Alison Jaques Gallery, is comparatively small in scale and evolves around the theme - 'Stones of Peace'. My first impression of the exhibited works, was that they were pleasant and highly decorative pieces. I could feel both the subtlety and expressiveness from the works, which allowed them to be visually engaging.
By the start of the exhibition, there was a framed print of Hicks' sketchbook researches for South African textiles and culture. Her research images on braids were visually related throughout the exhibited pieces, and I thought by placing Hicks' research at the entrance of her exhbition is certainly helpful to interact with the observers, as I personally kept recall back on her research images when I was looking at there works. I could quickly recognise that Hicks had enlarged the South African braids, and manipulated the textiles into a more fine art installation piece, rather than worn over the body.
As I mentioned before, her works seem subtle but definitely in a positive way. I personally think that they are greatly impactful, because of the subtleness and the touch of details and 'sparks'. Hicks' use of traditional materials (such as linen, wool, cotton, acrylic fibre, polyester etc.) balances out the unconventional forms and use of scales, in her pieces. Such harmony allows of Hicks' work to be delightful to look at, and each work with an individual 'spark' and focal point.
Although all the exhibited works were textile pieces, but I was not able to categorise them into one type of art form. I would conclude that Hicks' had successfully combined elements from both fine art and textiles, and the results are extremely visually engaging.
17 Oct. 2017 - Fashion Illustration Development Based on Progress Tutorial
In this fashion illustration, I used soft pastels, oil pastels, fine-liners and acetate. When producing this illustration, I tried to avoid my usual habit in drawing fashion illustration - as I used to draw out exactly what a garment looks like in my mind, I would always make a drawing looking finished so end up adding too much details.
The process of creating this illustration was rather the opposite of my habits from the past:
- I started off this drawing on the page gap, which I used to never do.
- I first drew the garment rather than the model or character.
- I did not draw the outline of the garment, so I allowed the raw edges of soft pastels to represent the silhouette - as I used to concern a lot on the refining the outlines.
- I also considered the backgrounds, and did not fill in the background with one solid colour, as I used white and blue oil-pastels and will as orange-hue soft pastel. This is more process driven compare to my results-driven mindset before.
- I used continuous-line technique to portray the face, the arm and the feet - which differs a lot compare to my earlier illustration style.
- The paper-cut-and-fold techniques show a development from past projects.
Looking back on the feedback from progress tutorial, I realised that I used both techniques - 'continuous line' and 'bold block colours' recommended by my tutor for illustration. I wish to further explore collage for my future projects, which I think I am personally weak at. I realised that although I felt I was open-minded to new techniques, but by talking to tutors and peers would really help to prolong my development further.
17 Oct. 2017 - Fashion Illustration Development Based on Progress Tutorial
15 Oct. 2017 - Günther Förg at Greene Naftali + Colour Swatches For Samples
15 Sep. 2017
To conclude my further development on 'What's The Point Project', I produced two more samples. One of the samples was using the same mesh fabrics and velvet ribbons, but to add them between a page gap of a cheap vintage book, rather than creating precise canvas pages myself - I personally think this sample is more impactful and less time consuming than the final piece from previous project. Another sample was a development from the book mark samples I created on the previous day. For this sample, I hand-crafted a book using the book Making Books from my research. It is small in scale and produced using white cartridge paper, with relatively large book mark inserted inside with the same materials I used from previous bookmark samples, but in white with a faint hint of red. I decided to stop developing on 'What's The Point Project' during this study week, as I realised although I still have a few more ideas on sample developments, but they are rather just variations of previous samples, and if I continue to develop it will then continue on and on.
Further more, through my sample making process, I used spare papers to test on the oil-pastels colours and their combinations. I had realised that such colour swatches strongly remind me of Günther Förg's exhibited paintings at the Greene Naftali from my research. I refined them by sewing PVA materials over them, and made them as samples in themselves.
13 Oct. 2017
Based the resulting piece of 'What's The Point Project' and tutor's feedback from yesterday, I came up with several sample ideas which I will note down:
- Acrylic plastic seems like a good combination with vintage books - but not sure what sample I will develop from this combination.
- To create a book mark - vivid-tone ribbon crunched up in two small rectangular pieces of PVA (similar to what I did for the blue book mark), but leaving a length of ribbon loosely hanging out of the PVA pieces to represent a bookmark.
- To buy a small old book and sew a zip around it, and add flower-like materials inside - so will pop up when one unzips it.
- A small book with textile-made stick notes sew on the side.
- A minimal birthday card made by thin natural fabric and thin PVA as its cover.
12 Oct. 2017 - Week 5 Project 'What's The Point' - Group Reflective Film
11 Oct. 2017
'What's The Point Project' - self-directed study
I mainly focused on producing the final outcome today - the textile-book, based on my sample yesterday. It was time consuming to make ‘each page’ precise using canvas fabric, even though it was already the softest type of canvas in the store. However, I like the curved structure that the canvas ‘pages’ create, so it then has saved me more time to sew more pages if I had purchased a softer fabric. I enjoyed placing the gathered mesh fabric and velvet ribbons between the page gap, and I liked the resulting colour combination of such materials. Further more, to balance up the visual outcome or this piece, I made a deep but vivid blue-tone book mark, but in a more glossy surface texture compare to all other matte textured materials. The blue tone would also add ‘spark’ to the other warm tones. I originally planned to make a heavily-embellished bookmark, but after finishing the book I realised its visual impression is eye-catching enough because of the gathered fabrics and ribbons, so by creating a simpler version of bookmark can create a more harmonious visual balance.
Additionally, I also wish to develop more on the coffee mug stains samples, and I may produce the stains on a comparatively larger light blue tissue paper with more rounded stain patterns overlapping one another.
9 Oct. 2017
'What's The Point Project' - 1st day
Through our group discussion in the morning, we each presented our past projects and on how our 10 new research images related to them. I was advised to photocopy my original prints and develop my samples further from the photocopied prints. This idea can be applied to my use of Washi tapes, as I may stick Washi tapes on a photocopier, and enlarge the images on my laptop for further experimentation. I did not progress much during lesson time, as we mainly concluded our past projects and suggesting vague ideas for further development.
I am certain that I will develop this 'Whats The Point Project' towards both the idea of 'unintentional damage' and on books. I will produce more fabric based samples rather than only using papers, inspired by such two ideas. Further more, I am planning to find various 'unintentional damages' or 'imperfections' through my daily objects, such as the items that I would through away - used cotton pads from removing makeups, tea stained tissue papers etc. I wish to experiment more on scale and surface contrasts for my samples.
6 Oct. 2017
After my textiles workshop induction today, I started gathering ideas for the 10 images that I am required to bring on Monday. I have noticed that my further research is leading towards the elements of unconventional compositions and also paper based pieces. The material - paper, has been a major theme through out my 'Jacket Project' and 'Practitioner Project', it is really versatile, as it creates impactful results in a less time consuming way.
4 Oct. 2017
'Practitioner Project' - self-directed study
During my self-directed study, I developed several tactile paper samples, mainly based on the elements of weaving and paper-cuts. I also experimented on manipulating the scales and colour tones within such samples. Such as bringing neon colours in earthy and raw tones, and exaggerating the scale contrast in a piece. I've been really fond of the texture combination of cartridge paper with calico, and tissue paper with transparent sequins. Both are exceptionally versatile to create impactful and less time consuming pieces, in a both refined and expressive way.
Further more, apart from finishing seven tactile paper samples, I also managed to produce 20 layered compositions of the samples from my various collections, and also three collages showing my inspiration images and the resulting samples. As shown through the samples, I mainly experimented paper-cut-and-fold along with weaving. I have engaged at least one texture contrast in each sample. Such as the paper-cuts-and-folds add subtle textures to oil pastel mark makings covered with acetates, or that transport sequins also add soft texture contrast to matte and sheer tracing paper. Lastly, in terms of my choice of colours, I have noticed that neon colours add playful contrasts to complicated or rather dim colour blends. Thus I personally think Washi tapes and highlighters are useful to portray neon tones.
Additionally, I have noticed that process-driven or unintentional development tend to create more impactful outcomes than those which were originally planned. Such as the sequinned embellished tissue papers, were accidentally stained by red paints - creating flower-like marks, which then reminded me of the gathered textures from traditional Kuba garments.
2 Oct. 2017 - Paper Weaving
2 Oct. 2017
'Practitioner Project' - 1st day
My research had really helped to prolong my development during lesson time, as the images on Kuba clothing involves seemingly simplistic but impactful patterns. During the pattern development today, I realised more correlation between the Kuba traditional clothing and the rice straw hand brush - the practical object I bought. As I had involved different observational techniques that I learned during the past two weeks, so quick observations are becoming more helpful to me, compare to the start of the term. I had also been more experimental during lesson time, as I tried to pay less attention on the precession of my samples, and being more progress-driven rather than intentionally producing a sample which I had already planned in my mind. Such as for the paper weaving piece, the patterns were not originally drawn for the purpose of weaving, and the washi tapes were originally used to fix the papers together. Such unintentional elements all add up to the final visual outcome of this weaving piece, and it differs from what I used to produce.
However, when I was further developing samples at home, I was not as progressive or expressive as I was during lesson time. This was because I had longer time to consider the the final visualisations of the samples, so although there were some developments, but not as much as the rather short workshops during lesson.
29 Sep. 2017
I concluded the 'Jacket Project' by producing two more observations of the final reconstructed jacket, and a collage work of the photograph I took of the garment. I wish to produce one more sample for this project, if I have spare time after researching for next week's project.
I started online research for the next project - 'Practitioner Project'. I intentionally did not research into the Chinese imperial garments from the Qing Dynasty, even I have a lot of insight resources for this topic. This was because I already have a fixed impression towards such garments, and as I am trying to be more process-driven, so I wanted to start fresh on a type of traditional garment that I did not know before. I realised that this was the right decision during my research, as I discovered the Kuba traditional textiles and clothing. I noticed that the patterns of the fabrics greatly compliment the creases or silhouettes, they convey a sense of rawness but also in a restrained manner. I have also reserved a book on Kuba textiles from the CSM library, which I think will be helpful for my next week's project. However, I will not research really intensively before starting this project, so I can be more open minded for initial development.
I have not decided on the objects yet, which I need to think through during this weekends.
27 Sep. 2017
'Jacket Project' - self-directed study
I had produced various tactile samples inspired by the first sample - by gathering the trench coat fabric and the satin-finished fabric. This sample was finished before developing the final reconstructed jacket, and has also lead me to use the simple gathering technique rather folding individual pleats (which I did during lesson). I will write a more thorough self reflection after this 'Jacket Project', as I am now busy producing samples. However, in general, I have been exceptionally enjoying producing samples and finishing the reconstructed jacket, particularly my self-directed development. I wish I could have comparatively more time for this project, as I have a lot of ideas for the samples, as well as different variations I could make of the same jacket.
25 Sep. 2017 - Assembling Two Jackets on The Body
25 Sep. 2017
'Jacket project' - 1st day
23 Sep. 2017
I had purchased a coat for the 'Jacket Project' next week, from a vintage store called 'Wow Retro'. It is a men's olive-coloured trench coat from Reiss, includes lining and relatively rigid compare to other coats. Its rigidness was the main reason for me to choose this coat, as I am planning to reconstruct it into a more structural piece. There was another coat which caught my eyes first as I entered the store. It was vintage Burberry Brit coat in its signature camel colour, and bright green label on its inner surface. I also bought this coat, which I wish to reinterpret for my later projects, as it was comparatively expensive, and I wish to spend more time to reconstruct it. There were also other interesting vintage jackets in the store, such as police man jackets, different types of military jackets and even 7-11 salesman bombers. This vintage clothing store mainly sells British made clothes, therefore there were a variety of jackets and coats (due to the British climate), and especially vintage Burberry trench coats. I will definitely revisit this store in the future, as by browsing and feeling the clothes really have given me lots of inspirations for fashion designs.
Further more, during my visit to the Covent Garden, I have also visited a Ballet clothing store - 'Bloch', that primarily sells body suits for ballet dancers. I bought a dark-tanned body suit, which I may use with the deconstructed jacket, because I am planning to create a theatrical and feminine piece using the Reiss trench coat. The dark-tanned tone also works well with olive, and I could also add colourful embellishments on such neutral tones.
21 Sep. 2017 - Jula's Sketchbook Page
21 Sep. 2017
One Day Project (3) - Your Interpretation
Through today's illustration project, I have learned several useful techniques which transformed my perspective on conveying my fashion designs:
- I need to focus comparatively more on presenting the textiles part of a garment, as I was only concerned on illustrating, the prints and the silhouettes of a design.
- I learned the technique of only drawing the backgrounds, which automatically allows the silhouettes of the garments to appear. There should be no outlines of the silhouette, which I used to always draw for my fashion illustrations.
- I also learned that to allow white spaces in illustrations would convey the emotions of a garment just as well as the filling in the whole page.
- More over, I particularly liked using a double-page, as I used to always start from the left side of a page. By starting in the middle of the two pages may enhance the overall aesthetic of an illustration.
Through our group reflections of the three-day project, we concluded that by researching too much informations before the start of a project rather limit our initial developments. As by browsing over book pages seems no different from flipping through social medias. Therefore, by researching comparatively fewer facts at the beginning and to carry out further researches by the end of a projects is more helpful for our creative process. We all noticed that by going back to our photo albums on phones is exceptionally helpful in giving us relevant inspirations, researching from books can then help for our later project developments.
Additionally, through our group discussion, one of Jula's sketch book page had really inspired me. I especially like the involvement of neon-yellow sticky notes with acetates, although she did not put such materials intentionally together as art pieces.
In overview of our three-day project, I was first really overwhelmed by the speed of our developing from observational drawings, but I am getting much more used to it towards the end of this project. I had managed to research before each project, but I did not find the bibliography and the websites on the brief much helpful to provide inspirations, but did give me general views of the projects. I wish we were told the purpose of observational drawings in each project (such as prints our structures) before drawing them, as I struggled at the start because I was too slow and focused rather too much on the details. However, I have really learned the importance of first hand observations and how could them develop into various outcomes, which I did not learn from my A-levels.
19 Sep. 2017
One Day Project (2) - Your Data
For today's project, we started off our development by producing a series of quick observational drawings, similar to yesterday. However, I did enjoy much more of this observational process (differ form yesterday), because I managed to pay less attention on the actual visual outcomes of my drawings, and followed the teachers' instructions more precisely. Observational drawings can lead me to develop a topic, by drawing visual connections with other seemingly non-related objects with my topic, they also allow me to quickly brainstorm ideas. As I would normally spend much longer time completing a drawing, which might be visually appealing, but not necessarily help me to think more broadly for my initial research.
On the other hand, I don't think my final textile-development went as well as the beginning of my project (constructing installations and producing observations), because this textile-print making process required more time to create outcomes, and I did not spend much time in planning and thinking through them. Another reason of this, is that I did not complete my research for this project before this morning, so I was being less experimental on making textile-print and print projection.
18 Sep. 2017 - Completing Group Presentation for Ideas Factory
16 Sep. 2017
Further research for 'Your Project': Day 1 - Your surroundings
It seemed that I had made more progress today than yesterday. I have discovered more playful ways of employing the material paper, which would be versatile of applying to textile and pattern designs:
- One or two creases of a paper - it is minimalistic but impactful
- To combine linear crumbling with bridge crumbling on a paper - works well on lightweight but relatively rigid fabrics
- Acrylic paints on paper
- Subtle texture contrast between paper and plastic, and heavy weight paper (such as kraft paper) with PVC
I have also noticed other materials that I can consider for my garment design in the future:
- Coloured acrylic and layering harmonious-toned acrylics
- Aluminium - it creates subtle but playful contrast with relatively matte surfaces
- Hechima tawashi (luffa sponge) - will work well with delicate materials
- Mulded pulp - normally used to protect fragile objects, such as eggs
I have noticed that I am undoubtedly drawn by the Japanese culture of infusing different elements together, as portrayed through their designs. During my last visit to Japan, I have found out a type of cuisine called - 'Yōshoku' (western food). It is a reinterpretation of western food through Japanese aesthetic and lifestyle. I am particularly intrigued by this concept, and I may further develop this concept for my later projects
14 Sep. 2017
Our group did not manage to present our project, because we did not spend enough time planing for this group presentation. I personally think the reason for this, was because we rather spent too much time on researching, although we did narrow down our design ideas and inspirations through research process, but we struggled to decide on a final design outcome, thus it was difficult for as to prepare for a presentation with a vague idea of the final design.
There were two presentations particularly inspired me. One of the group was given the material word - porcelain. As while one of their group member briefly explains the process of making porcelain which involves the cycle of crashing and forming clay, the other group member used plasticine-like material acting out such process, they then metaphor this porcelain-making-process as the relationship of a loving couple. Another group explained their interpretation of the material-mesh by sticking post-it notes on a 'nude' card board body. Both groups involved imaginative interpretations of their given words and also presented their ideas in a interactive way, I personally think these two points would make a presentation successful.
It has been my first time working on a group project, intensively for three days. I have recognised it was helpful to brain storm initial ideas and research as a group, because I would have a broader understanding or be more open minded of a topic before developing. However, I found it was difficult to come up with one single creative idea in a group, just as we struggled in this project. We originally produced an image-based powerpoint with divided script for each person. Instead of this plan, we will record a video presentation and involve creative interpretation and presentation technique.
12 Sep. 2017
Museum visit and library research.
As part of our research process, we visited Natural History Museum and Science Museum in the morning. During our visit, we have narrowed down our research towards the topic of microscopic images, space, mobiles, and structures. 'Crick and Watson's DNA model (1953)' had given me a strong visual impression, so I am planning to develop a spacial piece with repetitive patterns. We researched in the CSM Library later in the afternoon, which then lead us to consider of developing a spacial puzzle piece as an outcome.
I started my sketchbook development today. I was clueless on where to start for my development, so I decided to create an oil-pastel piece of the microscopic image of muscle cells, it was rather a time-consuming process, so allowed me to think about my development while I was drawing. I enjoyed deciding on the colours of dots after drawing the striped muscle cell patterns as I was making distinctive choices for a time-consuming drawing. The resulting visual outcome also relates back to my research of Guanzhong Wu's art pieces.
20 Oct. 2017 - Photocopy Mistake
19 Oct. 2017
I was not sure which group I will be in for the nest two weeks, so I picked the 'Public Art Project' to start my research. I visited six public art sites in London today and took various first hand photographs. The weather today was rather gloomy, so the lightings in such photographs did turn out well, but I personally think the British weather has add 'emotions' such art pieces, which I will further interpret in my observational drawings.
18 Oct. 2017 - Sheila Hicks: Stones of Peace, Alison Jaques Gallery (Primary Research)
16 Oct. 2017 - Progress Tutorial Feedback
17 Oct. 2017
Progress Tutorial with Frances
I was glad to hear that my workflow is great, and I will just need to carry on my research and reflection as I have already done. Frances had answered my doubts I perceived while working on workflow: I do not need to purposely limit the amount of pictures I upload on reflections (as long as they are relevant to my writings), and although it is beneficial to reflect as thorough as possible but I do not have to reflect on every single fact or concept - which means I will need select the more essential parts to reflect on. Moreover, Frances had also mentioned about editing my profile page, so I will need to work this out during my workflow tutorial with Pauline.
There are also several points that I will need to consider and improve on for my future projects:
- I need to develop my illustration style (such as collaging) - I will start experimenting on illustration based on my resent self-directed development from 'What's The Point ? Project'.
- To create silhouettes in bigger scale, such as draping on mannequin. I may look back to projects and develop fashion silhouettes.
- I should explore and experiment more on other unconventional materials, apart from acetate, oil-pastels, PVC fabrics or sequins.
14 Oct. 2017
I developed a few relatively smaller samples based on the resulting piece from the 'What's The Point Project'. I was particularly fond of the idea of bookmark, and I was experimental on scale and colours when producing samples based on such theme. I am pleased with the bookmark samples, because I had considered the scale relation between the book and the bookmark, as well as the colour and texture contrasts. The sticky notes sample that I also produced turned out to be the same as I expected, and I may need to try other materials to further develop this idea, as it gives me lots of inspirations. However, I do not comparatively like the gathered material bookmark in between PVS fabrics, even though this was the most time consuming piece. I thought this sample would be impactful when I first thought of this sample idea, I think if I wish to refine on this idea, I may need longer time to plan for this sample and choose a different texture combination.
Further more, I am planning to create an all-white bookmark sample using the same materials as the previous two, except that I will make a hand-crafted book myself.
12 Sep. 2017 - Final Piece
12 Sep. 2017
'What's The Point Project' - last day
As an overview of this 'What's The Point Project', I am pleased with my gradual development in this project, as my work style has became much more process-driven. This project had been developed from the 'stained' tissue paper samples from the 'Practitioner Project', mainly on the idea of 'unintentional-mistake'. My further experimentation on the idea has lead me on to the theme of vintage books, hence the resulting textile-book samples. Although I was also fond of the 'coffee-stain' samples, but I chose the vintage book idea, as I had many inspirations and visions on developing textile pieces based on such idea e.g. canvas book with PVA cover, red book mark, sticky notes as textiles etc.
Further more, even though I had briefly evaluated the final sample previously, but I will write a more thorough reflection on this object:
In general, it is a textile book constructed by four-hole stab binding. The book itself is produced by a relative soft and none-dyed canvas fabric, I chose this fabric to allow the silhouettes and embellishments of the book to stand out rather than the fabric itself, as it is rigid and neutral in colour. I purchased the mesh fabrics while I was browsing through Cloth House, and I thought that they would create playful and appealing contrasts with canvas. The mesh fabrics contrasts with canvas in all aspects except they both have matte surface textures and are both in relatively warm hues. Thus the book mark balances out both the textures and tones of the overall visual impressions, as it is in a dense and vivid blue tone with glossy finish. The use of oil-pastels and PVC material relates back to the weaving sample from the 'Practitioner Project'. The book is constructed using the Yotsumi-toji binding from my research, and the thread is also specialised for book-binding. Lastly, the use of velvet ribbons was also decided when I was browsing through Cloth House, as I thought the mesh fabrics alone are too subtle to contrast with the canvas fabrics. Although they are vibrant in colours but softened when layering with other fabrics due to their textures, so that velvet ribbons would help to darken and deepen the tones.
Overall, I am satisfied of this resulting outcome, but there were two elements I need to improve on:
- By sewing two pieces of fabric together to create a 'page' makes the outer edge of the page comparatively thicker than the centre, and it especially more obvious when layering several 'pages' together. For the next time, I may allow the frayed edges to be seen rather folding them inwards.
- The canvas fabric would create friction with the thread while I was trying to create the Yotsume-toji binding, so I could not use one continuous thread to recreate the original version. For the next time I will need to find a thinner and smoother thread to bind a 'book'.
Additionally, I though this sample was too time consuming as I tried to make the 'pages' as precise as possible, because I wanted the attentions to be more focused on embellishments. If I wish to develop this project further, I will need to create samples in a quicker and less precise way, as long as they convey my ideas.
10 Oct. 2017
'What's The Point Project' - 2nd day
During lesson time today, I experimented on producing a book out of textiles, which will then lead on to my final piece. I am planning to produce a precise and minimised book out of canvas, which also involves an eye-catching 'spark' - such as a red heavily embellished bookmark.
During my later visit to Cloth House in soho, a several mesh fabrics caught my eyes immediately. Although the mesh fabrics are in rather vivid colours, but have been softened due to their sheer texture, so I thought they would go great with the none died canvas fabric. Through browsing the shop, I also bought several velvet ribbons, and the combination of the ribbons and mesh fabrics inspired me to add gathered strips of them between one of the page gap of the canvas fabric book. This means that the 'book cover' would be completely neutral, whereas while one opens the book, the colours would then be the centre of attention. Due to the colour tones of the materials were relatively in a warm-tone, so I am also planning to produce an Klein-blue book mark.
7 Oct. 2017
Further research for the 'What's The Point Project'
During my online research in the morning, I had been attracted to the construction and composition in books, so I then primary researched in two vintage book shops later in the afternoon - Bryars & Bryars and Marchpane. The reason that I only visited vintage book stores, was because vintage (or rather old) books had been perceived differently compare to contemporary books, when internet was not so vastly used - I wanted to first discover books that were made for simpler or straight forward purposes. In this way, I personally think I can manage to develop more thoroughly for this 'Whats The Point Project.
Moreover, there are several inspirations and interesting points that I want to note down:
- The Secret garden (Lauren Child) book involves layering of delicate paper patterns and is designed to be placed in an acrylic box. The layering of the matte and glossy surfaces visually relates back to my samples from the 'Practitioner Project' - which I layered cartridge paper with acetate.
- A pale greyish blue colour works well with the vintage books, as they generally seem to have a dark orange tone.
- In terms of the compositions within a book, the page gap is an essential element for the overall visual impression. By cleverly manipulating the relationship between the page gap and contents, will create impactful outcomes even though the pages may seem simplistic.
- The torn and stained pages remind me of the stained tissue paper samples from my 'Practitioner Project', because of the idea of unintentional damage.
- Similarly to acrylic, acetates also create playful texture contrast with worn books. Transparent book covers can create this contrast.
5 Oct. 2017 - Further Sample Development Based on Group Discussion
5 Oct. 2017
Concluding 'Practitioner Project'
By the start of the lesson, we further developed our resulting samples, by producing another piece based on the feedbacks from group presentation - as shown on the noted papers along side the sample. As I had to create this sample in a short time frame, so I just focused on the texture and colour manipulations. According to the comments, I decided to create another weaving piece, also involving acetate, but layered with a kraft paper bag originally from the store Petersham Nurseries (where I purchased the rice straw hand brush for my research). Thus this piece links directly back to the initial starting point, but also inspired by the feedback from my group members - to make the links more clearer and to experiment on more materials. The Washi tape is also a major element in this sample, and as I mentioned in my previous reflection, it is exceptionally versatile to create impactful outcomes in a short time frame. Similar to my previous samples, I carried on with scale and colour contrasts and manipulations.
I was given comparatively more positive feedback on the simplicity of my samples and presentations, compare to the 'Jacket Project'. Maybe because I started with complicated observations and initial samples, so by gradually refining the samples could make this simplicity of the resulting samples a more positive thing.
Additionally, one essential thing that I have learned through my process, is that the more precision or the longer the time has been put into a sample, does not make it as visually impactful as a piece produced in a short time frame. Most of my inspirations for further development came from the seemingly short workshops during lessons, whereas during my self-directed study, I would try to exaggerate and refine the elements from such inspirations.
In overall, I have became much more process-driven through my developments. As I have learned that quick observations can help to push my development when I am stuck. Through theses three weeks, I discovered the excitement of a process-driven project and I trust myself more to gradually develop toward a successful outcome, in this way, the final piece would be more meaningful to me.
3 Oct. 2017
'Practitioner Project' - 2nd day
Today has been a really productive day for me. I managed to finish the nine paper samples within the given time frame during lesson, as I am getting used to the quick work progressions. I personally think by developing various pieces in short time intervals have been really helpful for my creativity and I have became more innovative and free in producing samples. This will be a rather short reflection, as I will later produce a more thorough reflection on my development within this project, reflecting from the initial image researches to the resulting tactile paper samples.
30 Sep. 2017
The African Textiles book on Kuba is not yet available for me to collect from the CSM library, so I had been primary researching by Covent Garden today. During my browsing in the homeware and furniture shop - Petersham Nurseries, there was a hand brush made out of rice straw, which caught my attention immediately. Its unusual curve, and stiffness draws a visual and texture correlation with the Kuba garments. However, they both seem unrefined and organic so I may need to think of how to balance this roughness for my next week's project.
28 Sep. 2017 - Reconstructed Jacket
28 Sep. 2017 - Reconstructed Jacket Details
28 Sep. 2018
Completing 'Jacket Peoject'
During my initial research process, I was inspired by the subtle contrasts involved in Undercover's 'Drape's collection. Thus I planned to refine the final reconstructed jacket and samples in a sophisticated and minimalistic manner. Moreover, through my research of Victor & Rolf and Undercover (Takahashi, J), I had noticed that no matter how seemingly simple a design is, there would always be a focal point or a theme for a garment. I have also kept this idea in mind throughout my project development. The jacket that I chose was an olive trench coat, so it was relatively easy to create structured creases, and it is in an earthy tone, so fits my idea of to create subtle contrasts. The satin-finished fabric that I bought for further reconstruction, greatly compliments the trench coat material, as both are similar in weight, rigidness and tones, but one is matte and the other has a subtle shiny finish.
The initial observational drawings allowed me to observe more thoroughly on the structure and texture of the jacket, but did not directly help me to develop this project, compare to the experimentation of placing the jacket on a body in various ways. I did enjoy my self-directed development for sample making, and it had smoothly lead me on to final reconstruction of the jacket. I am pleased with this process-driven development.
In the exhibition, I observed completely different approaches of project, particularly through others' sketchbooks and samples, not so much on their garments. I realised that my samples seemed 'simple' compare to other strong and directly contrasting samples, and this difference has also been commented by a few others on sticky notes. I have got a mixed feeling towards this variation from others, as I relatively spent a long time to portray subtle contrasting and minimalistic samples, lead from my research. They did not seen as simple for me, as I was so absorbed into this project, and did not see this as a problem until placing my samples alongside others'. I think the reason for this was because I did not make my development and presentation clear enough to allow others to see the thoughts and progress I have put into such 'simple' samples'.
Additionally, there was a sample I saw in the exhibition that has given me the most impression - it was a repetitive pattern created using small wool balls in two colours, it has conveyed me a different approach to textile mark making.
26 Sep. 2017 - Reconstructing The Jacket with Another Fabric
26 Sep. 2017 - Reconstructing The Jacket with Another Fabric
26 Sep. 2017
'Jacket Project' - 2nd day
I have been enjoying this 'Jacket Project' more than the textiles and prints projects last week. I have found continuous-line technique useful for quick observations for the process of draping, as I focused less on the positioning of pens on the paper, so I would look at the jacket more than my sketchbook. I have a brief idea for the final reconstructed piece, as I am planning to gather one side of the trench coat and machine stitch it with the gathered satin-finished fabric I bought yesterday. Both fabrics are not heavyweight and relatively rigid, so I believe there will not be much technical problem while I construct the two. Whereas for the six samples, I will mainly evolve around the idea of gatherings and subtle texture contrasts, and I will start by producing a few pieces using fabrics, which will then move on to paper-based pieces, or of other materials.
I am personally not good at managing my time on producing tactile pieces, as I would usually end up with time consuming ideas for such pieces, so I will need to focus more on how to convey my ideas more than trying to make every sample looking finished.
24 Sep. 2017
I further developed an observational fashion illustration, based on the photos I took during Friday's session. I just used a 0.3mm fine-liner pen, and only drew the backgrounds, except the models. The white (rather blank) spaces then show the silhouettes of the garments on the two models. As the fine-liner pen was not too thin, so I could create different shades by holding the pen differently against the paper. This exercise has really allowed me to focus on the silhouettes and how lights interact with distinct objects.
I started to prepare for next week's project, and produced two designs that I may create using the deconstructed coat. However, I wish to follow more on my instincts during the process rather than to be result-driver. I did not research so vastly on this topic, as I intend to be more open minded through out the development, and that I will research deeper once I am certain of my path in this project.
22 Sep. 2017 - Finishing 3-Day Project
22 Sep. 2017
To finish my 3-day project, I picked three mark-makings (which I thought would work well together) and reconstructed them in to a three-dimensional structure. I was intrigued by the paper folding and cutting books by Paul Jackson, as from my researching of the first one-day project. I then decided to construct the three mark-makings by using pop-up techniques, because they could easily combine three different patterns together as one visual piece.
As through my previous pattern developments, I figured that tracing paper and acetate are versatile to transform the texture of a pattern, so I used both of them to create the contrasts between glossy and matte surfaces. I also used oil-pastels to show visible mark-makings directions, in order to work along with the pop-up shapes. I picked the colours which I frequently used from my quick observational drawings, but spent longer time on producing the patterns, because I wanted to create a rather more 'polished' look than my drawings from the lessons. I decided to develop this pop-up piece over an observational fashion illustration drawing I did yesterday, because I did not think this illustration would work well on its own on a double page, so rather than ignoring it, I thought if to layer both visual pieces together would involve more textures on the sheets. This is a rather straightforward interpretation of a pop-up design, and I wish to spend longer time to research develop on this technique, in my later projects.
20 Sep. 2017
Development of One Day Project (2)
I developed various comparatively more refined prints, from yesterday's textile-print workshop. I frequently used oil-pastels, acetate and tracing paper for the print-making process. Oil-pastels could create both raw and polished textures but more importantly in vivid tones, whereas acetate and tracing paper are versatile to layer mark makings and could also transform the texture of a print immediately. The willow-with-full-moon print is my most favourite one, because it involves more emotions compare to the others for me, so I then designed a 'garment' (or rather a installation piece) based on it.
I also begun researching for tomorrow's fashion illustration workshop. I was more interested in the relatively earlier illustrations, such during the 1910s. I have also noticed that the backgrounds and the 'lifestyle' of the model or character would add up to the overall impression and meaning of a garment. The model's hands in Marthe Romme's La Guirlande (1919), and the backgrounds in Charles Martin's La Gazette du Bu Ton (1920) really stood out for me.
18 Sep. 2017 - Paper Garment
18 Sep. 2017
One Day Project (1) - Your surroundings
An outline our first one day project: we each produced a paper garment, constructed by enlarged patterns from our initial structural observational drawings (around CSM), and also developed a series of observations of such paper garments. I struggled in both drawing exercises, because I did not completely follow the tutors' instructions, so my drawings did not lead onto my further development adequately.
I have noticed that I focused too much on the visual outcomes for both the structural and garment observational drawings (at the start and the end of out project). For the structural drawings, I was only considering whether the drawings would look presentable, not knowing that they were just starting points for selecting patterns. Whereas for the garment observations, I could have been more experimental and focused on the blind and continuous line drawing exercises. These drawing exercises have really taught me drop my outcome-driven mindset, as I have realised why developments are so essential.
However, I did enjoy the construction process of my paper garment, as it was interesting to distort the shape of a human body, especially a feminine figure. My research on paper folding (last week) did not directly direct me for this process, but did convey me the idea that in terms of paper folding, the more the creases of a paper does not mean the result would be more impactful than less or no crease.
Moreover, we managed to finish our presentation of the 'Ideas Factory'. I created an enlarged booklet based on our original powerpoint (from last Thursday), which I thought looked clear-cut on a screen. I rather liked the casual and relaxed impression of this video presentation, but we could have practiced the script more, so we could be more engaged towards the camera.
15 Sep. 2017
Research for 'Your' Project: Day 1 - Your surroundings
Before starting my one-day-project next Monday, I researched briefly online and also through books. I did not gain much informations or rather inspirations from the internet, even though 'my surrounding structures' is a broad topic. However, I gained comparatively more insights by looking though books in the CSM library, later in the day. The book - 'Folding Techniques For Designers From Sheet To Form' has transformed my perspective of employing fabrics, and I consider to buy this book as it could help me to develop my pattern making technique in the future. I also enjoyed browsing through books that were relevant to the books I was originally looking for (according to the bibliography on the handout), such as the pop-up books that were placed next to the paper folding section have allowed me to consider other forms of paper oriented arts.
11 Sep. 2017 - Mind Map
13 Sep. 2017
Further library research and design development.
Our group continued researching in the CSM library, and narrowed down our development towards honeycomb structure, playground structure and repetitive patterns of organisms. We struggled on planning for our presentation tomorrow as we have not yet decided on the final design, but we had done plenty of research (online, museum visit and library books) to show our process.
I carried on my oil pastel drawing of microscopic patterns, and did manage to produce a few designs based on such patterns. It was rather difficult to produce ten designs just in an afternoon, so I tried to draw them in a comparatively smaller scale with no colour.
11 Sep. 2017
Introduction to Workflow and starting group project - Ideas Factory.
Our group has been given the theme - 'hedonism', material - polystyrene and process - 'lift'. Before researching on such three subjects, we first brainstormed our ideas by creating a mind-map. We are particularly inspired by the structure formula of polystyrene (as shown on the mind-map), and the versatility of polystyrene to be formed in various shapes or forms. During my online research, I was particularly inspired by the microscopic photos of different objects, which also remind me of repetitive patterns related to polystyrene. We then planned to visit the Science Museum tomorrow, to research further on the topic of chemical structures.
We discovered a vague correlation between polystyrene and hedonism. As hedonism is mainly associated with lower pleasure, such as the pleasure of food, thus remind us of the common use of polystyrene as food packaging. The idea of hedonism also suggests greasiness, thus the idea of vinegar-olive oil emulsion also seems relate to the microscopic photos of cells I researched. However, we did not discover much link of the process - 'lift' with either polythene or hedonism, nor does it seem as intriguing as the two other topics. We need to make sure not to forget this 'process' during our research and development. This written reflection helps me to organise our scattered ideas from brainstorming, and also help me to realise the direction of our development - microscopic structure.
By working in a team, I realised, could help me think broader on a topic, especially during the research process. As I only thought of going to art exhibitions for our research tomorrow, but one of our group members suggested the science museum, which I would not consider if I were working on my own.
I was rather focused on the visual impact related to polythene and its repetitive patterns, maybe I should research more on the meaning or the making of polythene, which also apply to the two other topics.