I have collaged some carrots in my sketchbook to make a carrot pattern. I used a combination of ink papers and acrylic papers for the carrots. I aimed for the paint strokes to run horizontally across the carrots to create a more realistic effect. I decided to do a variety of colours as I thought this would be more visually exciting than just orange.
Once I had scanned the collages in I started to edit them in Photoshop. First I used the eraser tool to neaten up all the edges and then I used the Hue/Saturation and Colour Balance tools to adjust the colours to match my colour palette.
Cut out carrots – right hand side shows edited colours
I then copied the carrots into Illustrator and had a play around with different pattern compositions using Object > Pattern > Make.
I tried a small busy pattern, a stripe design and also played around with different scales and background colours which can be seen below.
I preferred the larger version of the busy pattern as I think the textures in the carrots can be appreciated more. I thought that the smaller stripe design was more successful as the continuation of the repeat is more clear. I chose to have these two designs in the colours shown below to be sent off to be printed onto fabric. This gives me more options of what will be part of the final collection, as I can see which colours work best once printed onto fabric.
I collaged some peppers in my sketchbook using different textured papers and they worked really well. I think that the acrylic paint textures worked the best in comparison to the crayon. I also think that the vertical paint strokes work the best as they create more depth in the peppers.
I tried making them into a pattern on Illustrator but I am having trouble deciding a background colour that works well with the colours. I initially used all of the colours of the peppers and thought that maybe that was my issue as there was too much going on. Over the past few days I have been creating different versions of the pattern and trying different colour combinations. I am still unsure how I am going to develop the pattern further as I’m not happy with it at the moment. I might try combining it with another motif and see if that helps.
I started by using the eraser tool to neaten up the edges of the peppers, and used my colour swatches from my colour palette to adjust the colours using the hue tool.
When initially testing different background colours from my colour palette I found that yellow, dark green, and purple had potential to work well, I also like the white background. I think in these patterns the purple peppers are too bright.
When trying to develop the pattern further I used the Shadows/Highlights tool to add more texture in the peppers. I then tried some different scales and compositions. I found that the colours stood out well on darker shades of purple and green. I also tried adding a slight texture on top of the background colour (far right yellow design) but I think its a bit much. I will come back to this design in a few days with fresh eyes to hopefully make some successful changes.
I visited Roath Park again for some inspiration and got some photos of lily pads. This gave me the idea to try collaging some frogs and lily pads to create into a pattern.
I collaged some frogs in my sketchbook using textured paper I had painted with acrylic paint. The frog on the far left was my first attempt, but I wasn’t happy with the face and the arms and legs look a bit odd. I chose to try collaging some lily pads to go with the frogs, as I thought they would work well together as motifs. The paper I used for the lily pads was painted with ink. The sitting frog in the middle worked much better and looked more realistic which I was happy with. The frog on the right worked well as a fun character, but I wasn’t sure if it would work as well in a pattern. My second attempt at a jumping frog worked much better and I think the textured lines in the colour from the paint work really well.
I scanned in my sketchbook pages and started to edit the motifs in Photoshop. First I made slight changes my using the eraser tool to neaten the edges and the hue tool to adjust the colour to match my colour palette.
Once I was happy with the motifs I put them into Illustrator and used the Pattern tool to create a repeat. I chose a 1/2 brick repeat for this design. I love the simple combination of greens with the flower on the lily pad, and the jumping frog creates movement in the design.
Once I was happy with the placement of my design I had a play around with backgrounds, I am always drawn to white backgrounds but I think my collection needs a variety of backgrounds to be successful. At the moment I quite like the yellow background, I can imagine it working well on a dress or some leggings for a child. Overall I am really pleased with this design, I think its fun and fits my brief well. It has been good to try out completely new motifs from what I was using last term, as they are working much better than some of my previous designs.
Today we went to Griffin Mill to look around Pegasus Art and the Gloucestershire Printmaking Cooperative. After we went to Victoria Works Studios and I met Lizzie Mabley who I emailed a few weeks ago asking about work experience.
GLOUCESTERSHIRE PRINTMAKING COOPERATIVE
I really like the lino prints in the photos above as they are so detailed. The third image is the process of creating an embossed print.
The print above was my favourite thing in the GPC, its a collagraph which is a technique I’d like to try in the future. The colours in the print are lovely and it has such great marks and textures. I also love the addition of the embossed word ‘Tidelines’ at the bottom.
There was a little girl in the print room screen printing her drawings and I thought they looked really cool! In college I did my FMP based on children’s drawings of monsters and made them into stuffed toys, so I think thats why I was drawn to this!
I loved the work in Carol Honess’ studio, a lot of it was based on plants and the drawings were so beautiful and detailed. The middle photo shows small ceramic tiles that have been imprinted with plant textures, she said she used air drying clay and layers of watercolours to create this effect.
I love the earthy tones of these ceramics and the textured effect the glazes create.
LIZZIE MABLEY - MY BLUE SHED
A few weeks ago I emailed Lizzie to ask if I could do some work experience with her over the summer as she runs her own textiles business called My Blue Shed which is something that I am interested in pursuing after I graduate. Unfortunately she said she doesn’t have any work experience available for me but that she was happy for me to come to her studio for a chat, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity. We had a chat about her work and how she makes her prints. Her designs mainly start off with lino prints which she then develops into patterns. She asked me about how I work and I told her I’m mainly working with heat transfer and digital currently, which interestingly she said she hasn’t done much before. She said she worked in an office after getting her degree and that it took her a few years to get back into textile design, which has motivated me to keep working on my textiles once I graduate. She advised me to get work experience with a bigger company to gain useful connections, which I plan to do once I finish 3rd year. I have been researching into graduate schemes and internships to see what is out there. I found it really helpful to chat to Lizzie and she said to keep in contact which is great.
I live in Stroud where the SIT (Stroud International Textiles) Festival takes place every year, so I came home for the weekend to visit the open studios. I find the festival a great opportunity to meet new artists and experience lots of inspiring artwork. When studying at college I did work experience with SIT and learnt about the set up of the festival which was a great experience. On Saturday we visited Frogmarsh Mill, The Clayloft, and Alison Vickery’s studio. This was a great day which I found really inspiring and interesting.
Artists that I found most inspiring here include Annie Hewett, Cleo Mussi, Abbott and Ellwood and Rhiannon Evans.
Annie Hewett’s ceramics were inspiring for me and I was particularly interested in the sgraffito technique she uses to decorate the clay. After learning how to make ceramics in Field in term 1 I find it interesting to look at the different decorative techniques that are possible when creating ceramic pieces.
I love Cleo Mussi’s work, I have seen it before in other local exhibitions and it never ceases to amaze me. I think the process of using broken china and porcelain to make new work is a really clever idea and the pieces have a sense of fun and narrative to them.
Kim Ellwood and Michael Abbott create decorative jewellery and sculptures. I found the work particularly interesting as they are fun and whimsical and seem to tell a story. The work involves colourful characters and patterns which is something I am drawn to. I thought that their work links well to my current Subject project designing garden themed prints for children, as the figurative imagery has a similar style to my collaged work.
Rhiannon Evans is a ceramics and jewellery designer whose work stood out to me because of the lovely blues and greens combined with textures. Her studio was in her garden which was really interesting to see, and I had a chat with her about her process and work. It was really helpful to speak to an artist who has their own business. She attended the same college as me to complete her Art Foundation and it was great to meet her as she was very friendly. Her garden studio was so lovely that I want one!
THE CLAYLOFT - INCHBROOK MILL
After we went to Inchbrook Mill to see the newly opened studio the Clayloft, which has been opened by potter Tom Knowles Jackson. He was a finalist in the Great Pottery Throwdown on BBC, and creates ceramics with beautiful textured glazes.
There was a gallery area upstairs where some of Susie Hetherington’s work was being displayed. She is one of my favourite local textile artists and creates beautiful printed fabrics for interiors. Her work is recognisable by its linocut style combined with monochrome colours.
Downstairs was an open access studio area where we could see ceramic artists in the process of creating their work which was exciting. I love being able to see inside the studio atmosphere that people create their work.
The work of Jenny Bowers and Marcus Walters was displayed in Inchbrook Mill. Both artists have a very colourful and graphic style which I love. Jenny Bowers work involves lovely mark making and textures, and I am drawn to the collage style of the prints, as I am currently doing a lot of collage work myself. The stencil style of the Marcus Walters prints work really well and I am considering trying some stencil screenprints for my current project as I love the look of them.
Alison Vickery’s house was the final place we visited on Saturday. This was actually part of the SITE Festival Open Studios which is a separate festival to SIT.
Her house was filled with amazing work, I particularly enjoyed looking through her sketchbooks which had beautiful watercolour paintings inside. Some of her work involved layered applique with delicate stitching which looked beautiful and created wonderful texture. Some of her landscape paintings involved a combination of watercolour and collage which worked really well, especially to create a layered effect for fields and hills.
I came prepared today with my heat transfer collage pieces and a stencil to try out foiling bird feet. First I got a plain screen and tested the foiling glue to see how well it printed onto polyester suede. The test worked surprisingly well with my stencil so I decided to go ahead with my plan for the day. Next I put my collaged design in the heat press and printed it onto the polyester fabric. The colours came out slightly brighter than I had planned but it was successful.
After I arranged my bird feet stencil onto the plain screen and printed the glue through. Unfortunately it didn’t work as well as my test did, the glue came out a bit thick and lumpy – this may have been because I pulled the glue through too many times. Once the glue was dry I added the foil to the design in the heat press. On reflection I’m not sure if foil is suitable for this particular design, it doesn’t look quite right. I think it would look better if the bird feet were neater and less thick, but this is difficult when using a stencil. I think it might have worked better if I had collaged the bird feet with heat transfer paper too, as I would have more control over the shape and neatness of them. I am keen to try using foil for watering cans and spades in a gardening tool design, I think this will work better as the shiny element is more relevant to the motifs. I have decided to experiment with this design digitally on Photoshop for the time being, as I will have more control over the colours and arrangement of the design. I then will be able to digitally print it onto fabric and try adding stitch as an extra element.
I used a bird motif for my full drop repeat. The technique to create an accurate repeat is to draw the corners of a square using a grid and to fill the top left section of the square with your chosen motif. You then trace this square two more times and join the corners up. As you can see in the first image, my motifs overlapped when I joined my squares as I had not left enough free space at the bottom section of the square. This mistake helped me on my second repeating pattern as I made sure I left plenty of room in the first square in order to avoid the same problem. Once I had successfully joined all 4 identical squares for my patterns I used a light box to draw up my final pattern in pen.
I found practising this process very useful and interesting as I normally create my repeats using Photoshop and Illustrator. It is a useful and important skill to be able to create accurate repeats by hand and I will definitely make use of this technique in the future.
I am pleased with the style of the bird full drop repeat, as it is busy and well spaced. I prefer my style of drawing for this bird over the bird with wellies used for my half drop repeat. I would like to try using bird motifs with wellies in my project as I think they are fun and will work in a variety of colours. I will try collaging different birds and see if they will be successful as a heat transfer print.