Process and Progress

Hello Everyone!

I thought I would have more posts on this blog by now but I have been so busy developing my sketchbook that i’m having to do fewer, but more detailed posts, which could be a good thing. One thing I wanted to push for this module was the amount of initial drawing that I have done in my sketchbook, every semester I let myself down by sticking to working on CAD and not getting enough drawings in my sketchbook. But I am very proud to say that I haven’t really used Photoshop or Illustrator as of yet, i have two designs that I have created for the hand in tomorrow which were made on illustrator but that is all. Another thing that I have been working on is my illustrator skills, the pen tool is still my idea of a nightmare but it has been quite handy when creating the two samples for tomorrows deadline.

As tomorrow is the first hand in day, I have been working on a variety of techniques and samples, some that I have never done before like hand painting with acid dyes onto fabric, and some that I have done before but wanted to develop, like screen printing. I am at that stage in my degree where I really need to consider my options for next year, and this module is helping me each day with my decisions. Through experimenting with all these new techniques and laying them out tonight seeing what worked well and what didn’t, I think that i’d really love to specialise in print and CAD, two completely different areas but two that work so well together, which I found out this semester. Through scanning in my hand drawn images and manipulating them slightly on illustrator, I was not only able to create a screen to print with but also able to create digital pattern designs which I aim to create into cushions in the next stage in the project.

However, I still haven’t decided what my end products will be for the next half of this module. Original thoughts were more fashion based, I have been hugely inspired by the work of Vivien Chong ( I shall insert images below this), the fashion pieces are absolutely stunning, so much detail into the fabric manipulation. There is a strong geometric feature to them and also areas that
look like cutwork, but could possibly be experimented with divoré in the next half of the module? I think i’m going to try and see how that goes.

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The journey so far…

When we first received the brief I was quite intrigued as to what I could possibly create from it. Our task has been to create a response to the Bolton Textiles Archive, through research, drawing and development. This has been an amazing opportunity to use the archive and its value to both the individuals and the museums involved, with so much to choose from and explore I was spoilt for choice! From walking through the archive, I was drawn to the rails of dresses from all eras, but mostly drawn towards a collection of boxes, just a few of thousands! All by an artist named Constance Howarth. I have mentioned Constance Howarth in some of my other posts, as she has been the iconic figure of inspiration for me throughout my development. Through my initial studies of her designs, to developing my own designs whilst keeping her style and representing the work that she created. One thing that I LOVED about her designs was the use of a certain thing, felt tip marker pens. I have used things like sharpie pens before when drawing line work, but never have I done drawing with felt tips. Throughout this brief I have done all of my drawing work purely with felt tip pens, the occasional fine liner for added detail, but mainly just the pens and I love the effect that it gives. The Constance Howarth collections that I explored were the 1950s designs, with bold colours and shapes I was really inspired. I don’t usually go for working with colour, I prefer a darker colour palette if I have the choice, or Blues, but for this I have used a wide range of colours from Reds, Yellows, Greens, even Pinks! And I have loved every minute. I have also found a love for working with inks and water colours, media that creates mess that once dry you can refine and create beautiful and intricate designs. I have done a lot of work with wet media this module which I used paper backing to absorb any excess dyes and inks, which came in quite beneficial for developing my sketchbook. Once the paper had dried I took to cutting parts and ripping segments up to collage in my sketchbook, using an overlay of cutwork so that not all the colour was showing, and on one sample page I even used the acetate from the screen that I exposed and embroidered that to the page to create a memorial collage with an illustration of Constance Howarth herself.

Towards the end of my development period I have introduced geometrics, mainly hexagons and triangles, in order to take to the next half of this module and develop into a potential patchwork piece. I have taken the idea of trapping memories, I was inspired by how the archive kept safe all of the designs that Constance Howarth created, keeping a part of her alive, her thoughts and work processes, her memory. From this I have been looking into memory quilts, in the hopes of developing my fabric samples into patchwork, but maybe then taking it one stage further and creating perspex wall pieces for the gallery to display, but as of now that is just an idea to discuss.

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I have had so much fun pushing boundaries with this project, experimenting with new techniques and stepping out of my comfort zone and I can’t wait for the next half to see what I can turn my sketches and designs into!

Thanks for reading!

Shannon 🙂



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