Rotation 4 Evaluation: Textiles

In textiles we investigated printed textiles and surface design, basing our design work around a visual journey that we took through Newcastle. We indivudually recorded observations around the city, keeping in mind how our images could be used to inform a range of surface designs that could communicate that journey. Below are a selection of the photographs I took during that research.

After returning with our own images we were given the first research task; to create responses to some of them using a variety of mediums and reflect on the photographs in a way that could be used in developing a print design. I have four pages of this research and I used techniques including cut-outs, oil pastels, coloured pencil, fineliner on acetate, drawing with thread and watercolours to respond to the photos. This wide variety of methods was a good way of looking at the photographs in new ways and it brought out elements of them that I hadn’t seen, such as the shapes that can be picked out from architecture. Following these responses we were asked to think of five adjectives that described the journey we had taken, and respond to these words using a different medium each time to come up with a motif. The words I chose were busy, flowing, urban, autumnal and wandering. All of the motifs are monochrome and I used charcoal, pastels and ink for them.

I then moved into the developing stages of my print design, looking at mirroring as a technique. Working onto acetate and tracing paper I was able to quickly create intricate print designs by using simple shapes taken from my own photographs. I also took some imagery from maps of Newcastle – reflecting the theme of ‘journey’ – and thought about how negative space would work if the designs were to be developed into real prints, so there are some blocks of colour in some motifs. After this the pages become more colourful as I used watercolours to experiment with possible colour schemes. I also went back to the mark-making I had done earlier and added colour to some of those motifs.

After this development I refined my ideas into two potential surface designs that both incorporate many of the ideas I developed through the project. I feel that they both reflect the theme well, particularly the design that is more suited to a placement print (below, right).

Overall, I think that one of the successful parts of my textiles project was the number of techniques and mediums I used. This was very useful for translating my original photograph starting points into an abstract and visually interesting print design(s). However, I think that there could have been improvements made to the first parts of my research where I responded to my photographs as I think some of them look unfinished and not as effective as they could be. I also think that my final pieces could have been improved by doing some experimentation with colourways before deciding on the final prints.

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