Monday, 19 July 2010

Time to reflect

geraniums in the garden

I have now returned form my second London show- New Designers 2010 -which I found very inspirational. The standard of the work there was extremely high and it really encourages you to push yourself within your own work. I had some interest shown in my work and made some contacts which was really encouraging. I have since had time to reflect and organise my future work practises. To be true to one's own ideas and inspirations is the ultimate goal. I have an inkling of what my next set of designs will be based on, but will let it simmer along a bit more for now.

Monday, 28 June 2010


I have returned from Graduate Fashion Week last month, which was all very exciting and nerve racking at the same time.
There was some interest shown in my work which was encouraging. My decision to showcase some of my extra designs within a sample book (that I recycled from the upholsterer who recovered my chair) was very successful and made my work look very professional.
Our stand was put together using our pattern cutting tables and some old science glass bottles/jars to create the idea of our mixing the old with the new, regenerating constantly. The result was a very dynamic and diverse display of our students work.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Presentation day

On Monday I did a professional presentation about my work and future plans to a group of year two's and the tutors. For once I actually had my name as first on the list (my surname starts with a V)so that was brilliant. I found that I did not have so much time to get nervous, so it went better than usual, I probably did talk a little fast, but I felt (hopefully) that I managed to get across my passion for drawing and nature. Showing my work alongside the presentation really helped as it showed how I had developed my designs over a period of time. The picture of my chair with the chicken in it always goes down well, something about animals seems to make people smile. I will now have to get on and approach all those companies with my CV as I said I would.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Paperwork and Presentations

I am currently attempting to sort out my file for the PDP module and the powerpoint presentation which is quite a large proportion of the final mark......I have been concentrating on the practical screenprinting aspect of my work, so this side of my work gets put aside. To make a marvellous coherent presentation is my aim, but invariably I stand up and forget my name...but the powerpoint side is looking good, I have chosen to omit a lot of the writing from the slides as when it is shown on a laptop I will probably be unable to read them (as I am now the proud owner of 2 pairs of glasses, having one for reading!) Making sure that I cover all the learning outcomes is really important, as I know I sometimes stray a bit. This time tomorrow it will be all over with, then I can concentrate on all the other aspects of my final major project, which I feel is progressing rather well. There have been a few changes made in the past week, which I need to consider...

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Reflecting on my designs

These are some of initial screen printing designs, which came from my studies of winter flowers and silhouettes. My first foray into colour was somewhat brighter than it is now , as I have gradually evolved and altered it. The designs themselves don't really line up very well or use the space as well as they do now. This has been a steep learning curve for me, as I last attempted screenprinting back in Year 1, which although achieving a reasonable result at the time it, I was not overly convinced me of the possiblities that I could acheive with this process.

The other day at college when I was laying out my fabrics for a selection process to try and deduce the best line up, I realised that my work has really evolved a great deal and designs which I originally very pleased with have faded into the background almost as other designs have come forward.My colour scheme has become much more harmonious and my placement of the designs has also improved considerably. My screenprinting skills have improved a great deal, even to the point of now being able to manouver the much heavier wooden framed screens, which I had previously found far too cumbersome. I am up to date with my current schedule of work and plan to keep printing for as long as possible to acheive the best results from my designs. After much consideration I decided to call my collection "Fragile Things" as it is based on botanical drawings of plants in winter, which can often be far more fleeting and fragile due to the harsh weather, but can also be more delicate and beautiful at the same time.

Monday, 3 May 2010

The chair is finished...

I have finally picked up my chair from the Upholster's. It was really nerve racking leaving the fabric, that I had screenprinted by hand with him last week. I almost wanted to cut it up for him...I think I am used to doing everything myself and getting another person involved leaves you feeling a bit unsettled, as you lose a bit of the control process.
After collecting my images from the photographer at college (more on that later) and yet another bout of screenprinting, I finally returned to my hometown to collect my chair. It was just as I wanted it to be, with beautiful dark legs set against the oatmeal coloured linen. The foiled part of the design glistened and caught the light in a very subtle way, contrasting well against the black printed treestars. In all the whole design for the chair has materialised really well, resulting in a contemporary, yet natural looking organic design.
The decision to photograph it in my garden alongside one of the chickens (Tilly), whose feather colours were part of my colour story, was deliberatly natural looking, as I did not want it "staged" within a sterile photographic studio. So phew, one more thing to cross off my action plan for this project!

Very Sanderson -150 years of English Decoration

Whilst in London for the New Designers' preparation day, I took the opportunity to visit the Sanderson's exhibition at the Fashion & Textile museum in Bermondsey Street. This was an exciting display of their archive material, moving on to the present day. They had chosen to reconstruct the display layout used in the 1950's using some of the original designs from that era, these worked extremely well alongside a selection of designs that were reintroduced from their archives to celebrate their 150 years anniversary. I have found their range of designs to be very inspiring and influential within my own work. To see the breadth and scale of some of their designs up close and read the information explaining the way the design evolved was extremely helpful.

Petula Clark in her swiss chalet, 1976.

The designs from the 1970's made me reminisce as my late father (he was a painter and decorator) was well known for his love of clashing bold colours and there was not a wall left unpapered in our house when I was growing up, let alone our matching painted skirting boards and doors!

One of the features of the exhibition was a display of shoes in a glass case made from Sanderson's fabric, the design was reintroduced from the 1890's. They were by footwear designer Tracy Neuls (she collaborated with contemporary artist Nina Saunders, alongside Sanderson's back in February, when she opened her shop TN29 in time to coincide with London Fashion Week). They were a stunning use of the vintage design over a 3D surface. Sanderson are again forging links with current contemporary designers and artists and encouraging innovative design.