Long ago, when I started this blog, its primary purpose was to track and trace my progress through the Open College of the Arts Textiles 1 course. Which, if I hadn’t moved, I would already have finished; my new deadline of mid-November is looming and I still have half the course to complete so I need to step up a gear.
Right now I’m working on producing a textile piece – it can be either a whole or a part of something but the ‘something’ has to exist at least as a design, this isn’t just another sample. I spent yesterday reviewing the work I’ve done in the previous couple of modules – Design, Printing and Painting, and Manipulating Fabrics. There’s a lot of ‘stuff’ and it’s impossible to lay it all out in one place as they suggest: instead I went through it, pulling out anything I really liked the look of or found interesting as an idea, and then ‘collected’ those piece together in Flickr.
Apart from looking for potential in the work I’ve done, I’m also interested in how it impacts on other people, whether it inspires, gives pleasure, moves, communicates or challenges. Only comments really give an idea of that, but this next mosaic is made up of the work that Flickr rates most interesting, which they appear to work out from some combination of number of views, number of comments and how often the work is favourited. There is some overlap with my own preferences, but mostly difference – I should think about the implications of that, but not in this post.
Looking for relationships and themes in the collection of potential work from which to develop a further design, visually I see stripes and edges, borderlands where boundaries are in question, colours merging and glowing, textures combining with pattern, grids and intersections, irregular rhythms and flowing movements, circles, spirals and radials.
In terms of materials and techniques I see fabric manipulation, felt, silk, wool, cotton, paint and dye, and the traces of stitch. While that’s partly due to the constraints of being asked to choose material from the most recent modules, it fits with where I feel myself to be. Things that I’m not seeing, but would also include, are actual expressive stitch, text, and elements of collage or layering.
As for subject matter, well, hmmmm, it almost seems that the surface is the subject? something about the interplay of texture and colour, pattern and shape and light. I note that the work that interests other people is much more varied and includes conceptual and representational work as well. Definitely more food for thought there….
I’ve done a whole lot of playing in Photoshop both with the design source mosaic and with some of the individual images – changing colours, applying filters, wrapping the pixels around displacement maps to create new surfaces. Gathered fabric and shibori make interesting maps to work with and I like the idea of recycling these images of fabric manipulation samples directly back into the design process. I’m ready to start developing the design work into samples now – the ones I may pursue are on Flickr – but here are a couple of them.