Saturday, 14 December 2013

Feedback from assignment one

Open College of the Arts
Tutor report 

Student name
Christina Rogers
Student number 
Textiles 1: Exploring Ideas
Assignment number 

Overall Comments

Well done Christina, you have made a really competent and solid start to Exploring Ideas.  It is pleasing to have a contents list along with your work and your reflections on Assignment 1.  The work is clearly laid out within the sketchbook and supported by your annotation.  I can easily see how your ideas are linked to the visual research and then how you have taken these ideas forward into your own work.  The reflection work demonstrates you are articulate and self-aware. You are thinking through your own creative process with a critical eye looking for where things went well and how the creative process could be improved.   

Assessment potential 

You may want to get credit for your hard work and achievements with the OCA by formally submitting your work for assessment at the end of the module. More and more people are taking the idea of lifelong learning seriously by submitting their work for assessment but it is entirely up to you. We are just as keen to support you whether you study for pleasure or to gain qualifications. Please consider whether you want to put your work forward for assessment and let me know your decision when you submit Assignment 2. I can then give you feedback on how well your work meets the assessment requirements."

Feedback on assignment 

Conceptual piece: Reliquary for a soft heart.
A good range of visual research has been explored.  I can see how you have used this imagery as a springboard into the project.  However the research would have been stronger if you had looked at a wider range of contemporary designers who are influenced by medieval artwork.  You could have looked at the Grayson Perry Tapestries.  Though personally I think Grayson Perry’s work and the D&G pieces are too obvious and there are probably better examples.  I would like to know what you thought about the D&G outfit using such religious imagery.  Did it work for you that sacred images were used for the purposes of fashion, possibly signifying capitalism and the free market?  
I like the concept of the heart piece it is both shocking and intriguing.  You are right to mention in your reflection that you did not need to make a complete piece.  A set of samples on your storyboard is fine at this stage.  I am pleased to see in your reflection how you thought through how you were going to create the textures of the heart’s structure using a variety of yarns and fabrics.  I would suggest that you made many more samples showing all the different ways that the surface of the heart could be created.  And instead of making an actual heart could you have produced the same reaction in the viewer through an abstract form?  This would have released you to explore scale and texture more broadly.   

Product piece: Cowrie shell scarf 
Your research for this part of the project is of a satisfactory depth and breadth.  Because your idea for the product was related to the fashion industry you looked more fully at contemporary design.  The drawing for this part appeared more thorough.  There are many drawing of the shells in different mediums as you explore the surface and shape of the shell.  There are a good number of structured stitched samples as you explore which way to create the texture of the piece.  This shows how you have developed your ideas by exploring possibilities.  I don’t think you need to worry that the final sample is too stiff.  You have recognized this in your refection, adding what you could have done to improve the sample.

You have shown you can produce nicely detailed drawings from your research material.  There are a number of painted sketches experimenting with colour.  The quality of your painting could be improved, possibly in a separate sketchbook.  
  • Look at using a wider range of brush sizes with a variety of brush textures.  
  • Try using an ink nib to draw with in a range of colours. 
  • Explore effects using chalks, charcoal and pastels.
  • Sketch from objects around the home or museum and exhibition spaces.
  • Keep using lots of colour.
You created a nice collage of the cowrie shell using corrugated card.  This method could have been developed to investigate other possibilities in surface texture.  I suggest you make a larger number of samples with a range of materials.  For example add in your printed fabrics to a collage using hand stitch to create the detail.    
There is evidence of a number of technical skills including weave, print, stitch to create structure, pencil drawing and painting.  As well as expanding your drawing skills described above I would suggest you expand your range of techniques and materials. 
  • Use stitch to draw, either with hand or machine embroidery.
  • Print onto different coloured and textured fabrics.
  • Weave with found objects and more unusual yarns, for example plastics, wires and paper.
  • Continue to develop creating structures with fabric and stitch by bringing in fabrics, papers and plastics with curious properties.
  • Experiment by combining techniques.
  • Take your ideas through a number of processes, for example 
Draw print draw stitch draw weave
Don’t be afraid to leave you original image.  When starting with a cowrie shell the final piece doesn’t need to resemble the shell.

Learning Logs or Blogs  
Your online learning log is clear and easy to use; it would be useful if you added a category list.  Your Blog along with the reflective work you sent with the assignment shows you to be articulate and self-aware.  I note how you are able to make links to your practice from your research, keep this up.  

Suggested viewing/reading 

Pointers for the next assignment
I suggest you separate your sketchbook from the course project work.  Use your sketchbook to develop ideas related to and unrelated to the course material.  Create a larger number of samples using a wider variety of materials.  Mix up the mediums, stitch, draw, paint, collage and print freely.  Continue to work with a range of colours exploring ways to express mood.  Maintain your good working practices.

Well done. I look forward to your next assignment.

Tutor name: 
Rebecca Fairley
10th December 2013
Next assignment due
3rd February 2014

Reading this I am very pleased that my new tutor has taken the trouble to give me pointers about where to go. It's made me keen to get on with that sketchbook/colour work!

I'm not sure about a larger number of samples - I thought I'd done a lot for this one. And I have had trouble working out what should go in a 'sketchbook' and what in a 'course material' book, because of course they feed each other. I will try separating them for this one and see how it goes.

And this feedback made me think about how I would like to have a look at both historical and contemporary textile artists again - to see what's going on, but that it's difficult to know where to start, and how to know who's considered particularly good or interesting. I particularly like the fiberart greats section, and will certainly be exploring there again soon.

My biggest difficulty with this one is going to be finding good stretches of time to really get into exploring, because I'm just starting a new job. My 'good working practices' are going to have to keep me on the straight and narrow.

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