Thursday, 3 July 2014

Strolling Down Memory Lane

I have packed my imaginary picnic basket (wicker with red gingham fabric lining) and am taking a walk down memory lane. Would you like to join me?
I have been thinking about my journey through university, and all of the various projects that I have had to do. Some have been quite bizarre- like the Chrysalis project in the first year (photo above), but others I have quite liked. The best bit about having a blog is that I get to revisit all of these projects and see how I have progressed and grown, so here we go!!

First year was very random, with lots of strange drawing projects that were supposed to get the creative juices flowing. I quite liked the still life painting one, called Vivid Voyage.

My first trial roundabout was Construct, where we learnt weaving and knitting on the machine. Ah, I remember my first few attempts- weaving was definitely the stronger of the two for me!! Knitting was ok, although I do remember it kept falling off and getting ladders, eurgh so annoying.

I was quite relieved when we handed in. I think I knew then that I was not destined to be either a weaver or a knitter. I had my beady eye on the final samples of those lucky ones who had been doing the Mixed Media Roundabout.

In between the roundabouts we had more drawing projects, so my next drawing project, based on birds and feathers came (somehow) from the theme, Obsessions.

I drew an awful lot of peacock feathers!

The feathers turned into English garden birds and the beginning of the Print Roundabout was born! Print was definitely not my forte- all that faff with exposing the screen, getting the ink ready, taping off the screen, squeege-ing through the ink, washing it out, waiting for it to dry, repeating the process from the taping off, over and over and over. Nope, definitely not for me!

The final hand in for this project was such a relief. Although really we had two hand ins for this project as we had started a CAD class alongside it.

Ooh, I've just come across a really random project- Innovative Thinking!

It did sort of lead into my favourite project of the first year-- the Mixed Media Roundabout!! Ah, now we're talking!! We learnt how to heat press, and do pin tucks on the machine....fab stuff.

We also had lessons in hand stitch, and applique...

I was very sorry to see this project end. So here endith the first year of university!! A mixed bag, saving the best until last.

The beginning of second year started quite well, with a project I enjoyed. The summer project we were given was on the theme of Multiples, so I went straight to The Brother's bug collection and began to draw.

We had a technical block that ran alongside the Multiples project, which basically taught us how to use the machines and tools in the workshop. We learnt the princess pleater, machine shirring, button holes...all sorts of things.

I thought this was quite an innovative project- using the ends of cotton buds as beads, and crocheting circles then hardening them with Paverpol and forming them into little cups. I made lots of samples for this project and was very pleased with the final hand in.

The next project however, really took a turn for the worse. I don't know if it was the change in tutors, or that the project theme didn't inspire me, but I got some really quite low marks for my Eden project, and struggled through it from start to finish. Another one I was glad to see the back of.

After such a low from the previous project, I was determined to do much better on the next one and put my absolute all into it. I think it was generally because I couldn't cope with the abstract theme, I like to play with textures and surfaces that are found in nature, so when my mouldy mushroom project came along, it was a sigh of relief!

The brief was based on a competition for a company called Purvaai, who were interior based, and I could make my first cushions!!

The final project of the second year, was a self set, Consolidation project. I decided to try and bring back the crochet that had worked quite well for me in the first project, although it ended up going downhill and being very uninspiring. The best bit about this project for me was the chance to really practice my drawn thread work, although because it took so long to do I wasn't encouraged to do any more as they wanted speedy samples.

So second year ended in a bit of a slump for me. I was very upset that only two out of four projects had been awarded good marks- they do say that second year is the hardest!

Again, I felt I had to make up for the failings of the previous project, so the summer task for the third year was a bit of a relief as I absolutely loved doing it!! The stitched cows were a favourite of mine, and Dad's too, even though the actual Pre-Collection project changed so dramatically to poppies!

I was very pleased with this hand in. I had created my own technique using fabric and sequin tape, played with textures and experimented with digital designs and digital printing, I had 3D and 2D samples, and experimented with dyeing my own fabrics. Lots learnt in this project, which set me up nicely for the Final Major!

Of course, you've seen these photos hundreds of times. This is major in more ways than one. I really feel that this project has set me up nicely for the future, I have finally clicked!! The tutors all say that you will eventually click and know what you want to do and where your strengths lie, and I never believed them until I began to stitch these chimney photos. I have so many ideas for different kinds of stitched photos, different houses, colours I could use, techniques I could play with- maybe taking commissions to stitch client's houses! I was very proud at the final hand in for this project- and it turned out to be a fantastic FiRsT!!! The only practical project I was awarded a first in.

So there we have it, my wander down memory lane. Of course, the projects I have mentioned are only about half of the projects in total as there were promotional projects, essays, research projects, CAD projects, websites..even Facebook projects!! Haha, but if I went through all of those we would be here all day! So thank you for coming along with me, I hope you enjoyed the walk- it is certainly a beautiful day for it!! And hopefully we can wander along together for many more days to come. xx

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