I started my designing by sketching – I picked images of cells and other aspects of the human body from the Wellcome Image Database. I tried a lot of drawing techniques for example stippling technique, dry brush effect and many more. The handout on specialist techniques for designers provided a good starting point. I also experimented with different types of drawing media and papers to create a wide a variety of sketches; I shall use these as inspiration to create my croquis designs.
I also did some primary research at the National Museum of Wales, in their archive they have images of microscopic cells such as pollen cells. I drew several types of pollen cells and decided to include these in my collection.
Here is just a selection from my sketch book:
One of the workshop tasks for this term was looking into colour theory – this involved learning about the colour wheel as well as different types of colour combinations. I learnt about contrast, discord and harmonious colour schemes. I also experimented with the greyscale by adding some colour to the original.
I also had to look into alternative colour ways for my final collection and this workshop helped me by understanding about the values and intensities of colours and how they work with each other.
This week was all about writing about our work in not just a descriptive way but a reflection as well. We had to think about our emotions and what we felt while being creative and making. In order to do this exercise we had to make something; Cathy set us the theme of ‘Flight’ and we worked in groups to create a 3D object. After completed we then had to create a piece of reflective writing on this.
Reflecting on Making:
Reflections on our 3D mobile.
We started off with a brainstorm to share our ideas and come up with our initial deign idea in relation to the theme of ‘flight’. We came up with many ideas such as planes, butterflies, dandelions, bees and dragonflies. We decided on the theme of butterflies.
We thought of butterflies as it relates to the work we had been doing in the studio. Some of our materials, such as paper, notebook and drawings also had butterflies on them. Butterfly prints are also very on trend at the moment. This subconsciously prompted us towards butterflies during our brainstorm. We chose to combine our butterfly theme with a hanging mobile to fit in with the 3D aspect as well as the theme of ‘flight’.
As textiles students we decided to think about the textures and patterns of our materials. We used our materials as inspiration and thought of origami – the art of paper folding. We googled several tutorials on how to make an origami butterflies, we found a quick and simple method. The internet was a very useful resource for generating and refining our ideas. The initial folding for the origami butterfly was very therapeutic but as the design got more complex it got more stressful. We had to keep pausing the video to help each other. This worked to bond us as a group.
We experimented with different textures and patterns, we also tried paper cutting, which proved very effective. Each butterfly was different and reflected our individual interests and skills. This lead to a diverse mobile with everyone’s input. We attached the butterflies to the mobile using wire – this gave the effect that the butterflies were flying.
We felt great sense of achievement, relief and proudness as we hung the mobile from the ceiling. Overall we worked well as a group – everyone had their own ideas and we were able to put all of these in our final piece to create a beautiful 3D object.
I found this week hugely helpful – I have always found writing about my work difficult. Cathy was able to give advise on how to reflect on a creative process. I feel I have greatly improved as a writer and designer throughout this week. It was also very fun to do some group work – most of our studio work is individual so group work was a nice change and created a very diverse piece.
The research aspect for this project culminated in creating mood boards for our chosen client. Mood boards provide the client an environment in which to view the design collection.
This is done by creating several boards that include a client boards – looking into the target market, the type of person who is going to buy your product and their lifestyle. This will enable me to create designs that will perfectly fit my target market. For this project I looked at Sanderson’s target market for their contemporary – which is very large so I decided to narrow it down to the young professionals.
It is also important to look into other companies for which a competitors board is created. I looked at companies such as Laura Ashely, Cole and Son, Farrow and Ball and many more to get an idea of the competitors and where Sanderson’s fits with these.
A colour board provides the potential colour scheme of the collection – which usually relate to an upcoming colour trend. I used Worth Global Style Network for information on colour trends and chose a trend called ‘Made’ which links to my theme. I then created my own colour scheme from this to make it unique.
My theme board acts as a reference point for the collection; which is all about using the science of the human body as inspiration. I gathered images for the Wellcome Image Database and researched designers who had done a similar thing to create my theme board.
So week 2 of constellation was all about process and how to describe it and document it. We started off with something simple, an everyday process we all do. My group chose the process of making a sandwich. We had to discuss the process first before documenting it in the form of a diagram using pictures. Then convert these images to bullet points. This exercise made me think about how much we take for granted and assume people know – for example that you butter bread using a knife. We had to go back to the very basics to complete this exercise.
We then applied all we had learnt and described a process in our practice. I chose screen-printing – after our discussion we formed a word-based diagram explaining the process. I had to be very methodical and think about very step making sure we had given clear instructions. We made our diagram like a recipe with ingredients and a method. These exercises will prove very useful when writing about my work, or explaining it to someone.
The next activity was the marshmallow challenge; this evolves a handful of spaghetti, masking tape and a marshmallow. The challenge is to build the biggest tower the will support your marshmallow at the top. We worked in groups and started off with a brainstorm discussing how we could make a tower, we came up with using a cube structure. Each individual made sections of a cube that we then put together. It turns out spaghetti isn’t the easiest tool to work with, it kept snapping and wasn’t very strong. However we kept going and managed to make 3 stories of cubes, which were placed on top of each other. It turned out the cubes weren’t as strong as we hoped and our tower sadly fell over. This taught us we were too ambitious at the start and should have gone for something simple. But the challenge made us work as a team, which proved very effective; we also had to think outside the box to come up with ideas to strengthen out cubes. We used our discipline to help and weaved the spaghetti together. However this still wasn’t enough and didn’t support out tower.
In the afternoon we had a talk from Leah on documenting practice, her research is on film and she has filmed several artists at work. I learnt about how film can be used as documentation, you could film yourself in the studio to keep a record of your creative process. Alternatively audio recording, journals or sketchbooks will work. She showed us the importance of keeping a record of our work and how it can give it more meaning. This was a great help and has inspired me to start a journal.
Overall week 2 of constellation has proved very fun and immensely useful. It has also made me make a few improvements on my own studio practice.
An important part of this project is making your collection fit in with upcoming trends. I researched trends on Worth Global Style Network (WGSN) for Spring/Summer 2015 and chose to base my collection around the trend of Bio-dynamic. WGSN sum up this trend “Bio-dynamic sees the way we understand form, structures and even our own bodies completely revolutionised […]. Scientists, sociologists, artists and designers are […] finding hidden secrets in the vital substance of life.” (WGSN Creative Direction team, 2013).
I chose to focus on the use of science as inspiration for the starting point of my collection. I discovered designers who were already doing similar things such as Brooke Roberts, who uses x-rays and CT scans as inspiration. I shall use the Wellcome Image Database to provide the images on which to base my sketches.
These pictures were taken from WGSN and show the upcoming trend that relates to my collection.
I chose Cathy’s Describing Creative Practice as documenting and describing work is a key part to textiles; it is vital for exhibitions as well as advertising and promoting your work. These are all important aspects of being a successful designer. I also chose it as it has a practice side – I work and learn best through doing so this module was perfect for me.
The lectures started by trying to refine our senses, which is a very useful skill to have as a designer. Cathy started off by giving us lots of different objects that we had to either feel, look at and smell them. We than had to describe and record what our senses where discovering. This was on the whole not too difficult, however when it came to describing a smell it became much harder. I found this very difficult to do without it referring to something else. This exercise also expanded my vocabulary as it made me think for new words to describe these objects.
The second part of the session Cathy gave a lecture on creativity and how as creative practitioners we go from a starting point or idea and it develops into a final piece or idea. I found this every interesting as I could relate to each stage of creativity as it has happened to me.
The final part of our session was all about exploring our creativity, the brief was to create a sensory object out of the materials provided. We worked in groups and after an initial period of experimentation and playing we had decided on a sea theme, inspired by the blue colours of the foils we had. Ideas started going around and we finally decided on making a sensory jellyfish. After a while of making our piece we thought it didn’t look much like a jellyfish but actually worked well as a hat. Therefore we changed our course and carried on making a hat. This was very successful and when the hat was worn it gave an interactive sensory experience. We applied what we had learnt in the morning to make our piece so successful.