Textiles: A Creative Approach - Assignment 4
This assignment was learning about creating textile structures, as opposed to decorating or manipulating them.
Exploring the qualities of yarns by sorting through and thinking about them for stage 1 was both educational and inspiring. It made the knowledge I have already acquired about this explicit to me, and also corrected some misapprehensions eg that wool feels a bit different than I had thought because of most knitting yarn being mixed or pre-treated; and that man-made fibres have more interesting and attractive qualities than I had thought.
Stage 2 explored different possibilities of structure. I found the ways different colours and types of paper interact interesting. And the effect of different techniques of rope making and different materials also seems like a fertile ground for more work. Like Anne Sutton, I found that the restrictions of these exercises channelled my exploration into areas I may not have otherwise tried.
Learning tapestry weaving was made very simple by the combination of the coursework instructions and Nancy Harvey’s book (although I didn’t have time to work my way all through it). At first I was delighted to find I could do it neatly, and then worried that this might translate into a lack of opportunity for creativity. However, what transpired is that the creative opportunities were somewhere else - in the textures and colour combinations within the structure. The regularity of the stripes and holes and lumps that are made with different techniques and different yarns particularly appeal to me. And the counterintuitive idea that you can see more than one colour in one row because they are compressed together.
I spent a lot of time and thought on planning the tapestry weaving sample, using what I learned in the previous sections of this course. Even so there were of course things that I didn’t know until I started making it, so I had to adapt the design a little and start again. I think the final result is good in that it gives the feeling I wanted it to, and I think it has the subtle colour changes, narrow repeated vertical lines, shadows and perspective that I was hoping for.
My use of weaving in my theme book reminded me that exploring things that intrigue me and looking at them in detail my sketchbook leads to new visual understanding and new ideas. I have been doing lots of drawing and finding how much taking that bit longer over it can take it to a new level - the more I look the more I see. And the more I do in my theme book, the more I want to start making my final piece.
Looking for contemporary artists for the research point was inspiring. I had lots of new visual ideas, and conceptual ideas too, which I have started to explore in my sketch book and theme book. The set question about textile art, design and craft was one which I have read around a lot during this course. I found that having to write about it again focussed me on thinking about what other aspects of the context of textile art I am interested in, and I worked on that in my sketchbook too.