Saturday, 27 February 2016

Textile Course

I signed up recently for a textile course at my local adult education centre but unfortunately the course was cancelled. I was disappointed as I really want to do some 'proper studying' of textiles. I looked on line but all I could find was City and Guilds courses and I didn't want anything of that depth. Eventually I decided to buy a book and I bought 'How to be Creative in Textile Design' by Julia Triston and Rachel Lombard.

It's turned out to be exactly what I wanted. It actually takes a sort of 'City and Guilds' approach and anyone who's done any art course at all might find it too basic but it's perfect for me as it deals with how to design, rather than the technical aspect of how to actually do and it's always the designing that I struggle with.

So far, I've only got as far as chapter two but I am having a great time putting together a sketch book and trying out different things as I work towards designing my own textile piece. Here are a few pages from my sketch book.

At the moment I am exploring buildings, particularly ruined ones and ones with tiles. This led to a whole exploration of textiles depicting tiles which I've really only just begun. I produced a very quick, rough mosaic practice piece using reverse appliqué here:

Then I decided to make a small patchwork mosaic square. This isn't at all what I want for my final peice but I became interested in all the mosaic patchworks I kept finding on the internet and I though it wouldn't hurt to improve my machine sewing skills as well as my design skills. I knew I was going to find it really hard to match up different materials so I spent a lot of time analysing other people's work. Then I produced 20 different mosaic designs on in pairs, with just one variation in each pair. The pair below, for example, shows the difference between straight or 'wonky' lines
After that I chose my favourite one and analysed the 'fabrics' in terms of whether they were plain, printed, geometric, big print, small print, pale background etc etc. Then I went through my stash of material and chose four prints and some background material. I thought I could start sewing then but I still couldn't get it quite right so I photographed the materials and went back to to play with some designs. In the end I didn't quite stick to the design but I followed the main principles. This is the final result.

Now, it may look very simple but I am really, really pleased with it. I find it very hard to combine different materials successfully and I think this works well. I also quilted it properly too.

So far then, my experiments with the textiles book are going really well. Can't wait for chapter three!

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