Third Year Degree Show – Buddy System.

As the last part of the ‘Making Connections’ module I had to help out with the construction and preparation for the 3rd year degree show. We each had a 3rd year buddy who we had to help them with their work and spaces. Mine was Alex Cann and she was really helpful in the advice and experience she has given me.

One of the first tasks was to prepare and paint her area, this required a fair amount of skill and lots of patience to get the gum tape to apply neatly and get the paint evenly. I was able to learn new skills and techniques that shall be really useful in future years and other exhibitions I have.

When my buddy didn’t need me I offered to help others, overlocking samples was a skill I was able to practice and refine. I had several tutorials from Maggie on best and professional way to finish samples which proved really useful. I learnt the best way to make headers and how to make them look professional. This can lift your samples to another level and it really important for first impressions.

I was also able to learn from my buddy and the work she was doing for the degree show, she showed me how she made her press packs and what was needed in them. Having this knowledge now will make my own show next year much easier, by seeing how things work and the importance of preparation. I have learnt a lot over the past 2 weeks and feel I am much more prepared for next year by being a part of the buddy system and helping out wherever I can. This has made me really excited about my own show and made me start thinking of ideas for my final major project. I am now really excited to be going into 3rd year and looking forward to next years degree show.

Here are some pictures of Alex’s exhibition, I have found it really rewarding to see the process from start to finished and be able to say that I helped make that happen.

Any time I wasn’t doing work for Alex I would offer to help anyone who needed it, as many people had two buddies there was always work to be done.

Final Collection

The main deliverables for unit 2 is a core collection of 20 designs. I decided to split my collection into families of coordinating designs that work together and could be used together to decorate a room. I had a variety of scales, colours and motifs that create a broad collection that will appeal to many different types of people. My design work has been developing throughout the term so my best work, which went into my final collection, was the last croquis I created.

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I also had to do CAD visuals, which involves digitally putting my design into a real life setting. I chose a starting image from Sanderson’s website to input my own images on. CAD visuals allow the client to see how my designs would look on specific products without having to actually make them. This means you can see the real life scale of the designs and over a larger area. This is a really useful tool to have and brings my designs to life.

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Developing My Croquis Designs

I experimented with developing my croquis designs by using digital programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. I tried both creating a digital motif and using a scanned image to create a design. I also experimented with putting in a coloured background and varying the brightness, contrast and opacity to create the most balanced design.

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I also tried using the digital stitch machine to create motifs. I created a digital version of the design by tracing over a scanned image in the Easy Design software. I experimented with colour combinations and outlines as well as the colour and types of fabric. The stitched motifs give the design another texture and raised surface. By using the digital stitch machine I can create very precise stitching that you couldn’t get by hand. This fits in with high quality of workmanship that Sanderson expect.

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Repeat Design Workshop

The repeat design workshop taught me how to accurately repeat my motifs or convert a croquis into a repeat. I chose to use the hand method, as this requires more skill and practice than doing it digitally. After several attempts I got an accurately repeating design using a block repeat. This method creates a subtle repeat.

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We also learnt about spot repeats – by dividing up your croquis into a grid you can create a 3,4 or 5 spot repeat. The 3 and 5 spot creates diagonal lines out of your motifs, the 4 spot creates a more random effect. This method can be improved by using several motifs at the same time for adding motifs into the background.

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Initial Croquis Designs

A croquis is not a precise repeat; rather it is an impression of what a rhythmic, repetitious flow of motif may look like. It only implies repeat.

I started my designs with creating a background – I gained inspiration from my sketches and experimented with splattering and dry brush techniques. These create a random free flowing effect that gives the design layers and depth.

I then experimented with motifs to go on top of the background. I tried using different media such as pencil, charcoal and different types of paint.

These are a few examples of my first croquis designs.

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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:

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Colour Theory

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.

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Mood Boards

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.

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Trend Forecasting

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.

 Picture from WGSN

Picture from WGSN
Picture from WGSN

Picture from WGSN

Picture from WGSN

Picture from WGSN

Research for Unit 1

‘Making Connections’ is the project for this term started off with a research unit. It stated in the brief to ‘thoroughly research into the fashion, interior and paper-based market areas’.

I started my research my looking into magazines and books such as Print and Pattern. I discovered many designers and companies for the interior and paper-based market. I used WGSN (Worth Global Style Network) to gain information on fashion textile designers and companies. My research included looking into the company’s ethical issues, environmental awareness and recycling issues. As well as there design style, market sector and client market.

I had a large number of designers and companies from which I narrowed the down to my favourite 3. I researched these 3 in more detail and gain a Pecha Kucha presentation on them. I finally chose Sanderson for the company to write my hypothetical brief around.

These are a few pages from my research file:

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