Archive for August 29th, 2015

T1-MMT-P3-p1 Sketchbook and change of plan

After the session using composimold (26-August-2015) I felt the need to step back and think about next steps. Wanting to examine results so far more closely I worked on my photographs in gimp (GNU Image Manipulation Program).

First I manipulated individual photos.

Then I tried layering.
Photos layered in gimp

Photos layered in gimp

I like the combination of the different materials, so I tried printing out photos (glossy), carefully tore them (Assignment 1) and then combined.
Woven photos

Woven photos

The layers of photo paper separated as I tore, effectively widening the photos in one dimension. This meant they didn’t fit neatly overlapping when combined and my attempts to force the issue caused distortions. I want to carry forward the idea that a combination of materials can create tension and distortion.
I’ve also spent quite a lot of time handling the samples themselves – looking at them, bending and stretching, layering them in different orders… Below are a couple of my favourite combinations.
Sketch i

Image i

Sketch j

Image j

Sample p3-9, composimold impressed using a computer card, is the most effective as a top layer. There is enough patterning to create interest without obscuring the lower layer too much.

I want to take composimold further, plus I want to use it in combination with polymorph. The two materials seem to have an affinity – they are both 1 part molding materials that soften with heat. Both can be reheated and reused multiple times. The honey and white, transparency and translucency work well together. On another student’s blog I read about El Anatsui – “He feels it is important to work with a newly discovered medium until you really understand it and can “get something intrinsic out of it”” (

I’d planned to move on to moulding with some silicone and some plaster that I purchased at the same time as the composimold. Instead I’ve decided to use the time to explore deeper rather than wider. It means I’ll work with few materials than suggested in the course notes, but I’m confident it’s the right choice.

Post edited to add a detail of image d, which was based on an image of sample p3-11 (26-August-2015). Zooming in based on Lottie’s comment it looks like human skin under the microscope.

Detail of image d

Detail of image d

With colour inverted it looks to me like fibres, a closeup of felt. That suggests development possibilities.
Detail of image d, colour inverted

Detail of image d, colour inverted


T1-MMT-P3-p1 Sketchbook and change of plan
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 3: Molding and casting
Project 1: Sketchbook and change of plan

T1-MMT-P3 Tutor feedback on Assignment 2

Last week I got feedback from my tutor, Rebecca Fairley, on Assignment 2. In my own review (6-August-2015) I was pleased and excited about the work, and happily Rebecca was also very positive. She even asked my permission to put a write-up on the WeAreOCA blog, which you can see at

It’s a great confidence boost to get such a response. I’ve enjoyed a happy haze for a few days, but now I need to take care to focus on the detail – the why of the positives and the what next. I need to continue and to develop in:

  • being brave and taking risks, not just in sample making but in the way I approach drawing. On the drawing side in particular I think I can learn/steal from some fellow OCA students who are doing exciting work in A Textiles Vocabulary, the other new level 1 textiles course. Examples include Charlotte/Lottie (, and Julie ( One of the exercises involves sketching as a way of exploring archive textiles – not drawing to make a picture, but loose and inventive discovery. Drawing as a useful part of the way I work, not an end itself.
  • building up, blending, linking – of technical understanding, knowledge, research… I now have a framework, a scaffolding. I love the feeling of broadening, strengthening, enriching that, making connections. Rebecca points out this will both inspire and inform my own creativity and making.
  • review what I record about my own and others’ work. I need to do this more – sometimes I wonder if I have the same “new” insight or revelation over and over again. Plus I may understand more fully with a little distance and time.
  • Rebecca recommended “continue to develop the language you use to discuss and reflect upon your own work and the research material you collect. Nothing is too wacky or too strange, record your thoughts honestly…” Similar advice was given in her feedback to Assignment 1, and although I experimented with language a little it was all rather stilted and awkward. I think editing out the wacky/strange part could be being afraid of appearing stupid or obvious or wrong. So what? I can develop, extend, change ideas later, but not if I’ve forgotten them. And as for sounding awkward, I suspect it’s that I don’t take my own work seriously. It’s just student work, it’s just a sample, it’s only a bit of fun. Being self-deprecating is a defence. To treat my work seriously, to write about it as an artist writing about her work, is to be vulnerable. I think that’s a new revelation (see point above). The work is playful, fun, exploratory samples by a student – but it’s still serious, and deserves to be treated as such. So going forward I’ll try to be less safe, less hedging my bets. And I’m going to try to be conscious of how other artists write about their work – not just the content, but the language – then note the bits that resonate with me and try to copy them.
  • T1-MMT-P3 Tutor feedback on Assignment 2
    Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
    Part 3: Molding and casting
    Tutor feedback on Assignment 2


    No Instagram images were found.

    Calendar of Posts

    August 2015
    M T W T F S S

    Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.