Friday, August 31, 2012

Part Three: Project 6 - Stage 1 & 2

Stage 1: Preparation.
This involves sorting fabrics into colour groups in preparation for stages 2, 3 and 4.

Stage 2: Developing Ideas.
This stage is always the most scary, the part that you want to skip - knowing the finished piece won't be as interesting, or as thought out if you do.

With this in mind I have walked around the area in which I live and taken some new photos.
New photos should equate to fresh inspiration and a new train of thought.

I have been inspired by the research that was undertaken before the start of this project in Understanding the Textile World where I looked at the diversity of style and design in textiles.
Also by Shirley Craven and Hull Traders and Jacqueline Groag:Textile and Pattern Design.
(I will write up my research based on these designers in a separate post)

I intend to concentrate on colours inspired by the 1950's, vintage and nostalgia in my final samples.
Not only did the research on different artists, craft workers and designers lead me in this direction, but also because I currently live away from the United Kingdom.
Living away from a country can make you a little nostalgic for it (even though it rained and was cold last time I returned!!)

Select six interesting drawings or other source material with potential for further development.
These should be drawings that are not too complicated, that have an expressive quality or rhythm.
There should be an interesting composition of shapes, patterns and textures within the picture.

These could be developed by:
  • enlarging all or part of the drawing, change the colours, reorganise the shapes, introduce plain areas against patterned areas or repeat some areas.
  • enlarge or play about with the shapes. Photocopy, cut up and reorganise the shapes.
Drawing 1: Palm tree (trunk)
This is a photo that I took when visiting the Eden Project this summer.
Cross section of the trunk of a Palm tree
I liked this image, it seemed to have potential as well as being an interesting picture.

For a picture of a dead tree trunk there is a beauty in the shapes and structure of the image.

What I noticed:
  • texture around the edges of the trunk which contrasts with the smoothness of the central area.
  • a central dark triangle which contrasts with the lighter circular surrounding area.
  • the outer area is heavily patterned which contrasts with the plain central triangle.
  • there is a rhythm to the image - the curvy lines which surround the centre.
  • large shapes sit next to small shapes.
This image reminds me of the work of Angie Lewin (this post here), the trunk shows a formality and symmetry which only nature can provide.
By developing the image I hope to change, to alter, to get to know the details and make them my own.

Word associated with the image:
Spiky, dying, curvy, prickly, static, still, decaying, wither.

Sketch 1: A simplified, stylised drawing in marker pens (various shades of grey - black)
A simplified stylised drawing of the palm tree trunk
The notes that I made are:
  • lacks texture
  • stylised drawing - Art Nouveau (*)
  • deconstruct the drawing to make pattern design
  • centre could be created in reverse applique / trapunto - this would add depth (**)
  • could use Italian / corded quilting to create curvy lines (**)
  • sample could be made in shades of a single colour, but with different textured fabrics
*   Research into Art Nouveau will be added as a separate post and will be linked here.
** Samples will be made demonstrating the techniques listed above in stage 3 & 4, a link will be  included.

Sketch 2: Not really a sketch, but....
This is the centre triangle from the tree trunk cut out and photocopied several times.
The triangles were placed in a random pattern and photocopied.
I left the size of the triangle large.
Repeated images of the triangle
On looking at the negative spaces, the white areas, I began to see petals and flower shapes.

Words associated with this image:
dynamic, energy, movement, tension

Sketch 3: Leading on from the last image.
The last image, sketch 2, was reduced in size by 50%, photocopied several times and glued down to create this picture

Triangles reduced in size and repeated
I like the way this turned out, the words associated with the image are the same as the last sketch.
I also like the way the white, negative spaces between the repeat patterns are formed.
This adds interest to the initial static design.

Sketch 4: These (the black marks) are parts of the pattern that surround the central triangle in the original photo.
These were placed randomly on the paper and photocopied several times.
The image below shows the pattern repeated six times
more shapes deconstructed from the design and repeated
I like the way the pattern formed, it has an energy and tension like the previous two sketches.
The pattern would be too intricate to form any applique technique.
It would make a fantastic printed pattern, using either screen print or lino print techniques.
A great background or design used to 'fill in' empty spaces.

Sketch 5, 6 & 7: The wavy lines represent the design that is formed around the central circle in the original photo.
This image shows the lines at their largest size.
Sketch 5: Curvy lines from the tree trunk
I then went on to copy the lines at 50% of the original size.
Image shows this repeated 4 times.
Sketch 6: lines reduced in size and repeated
The lines became more interesting once the size was reduced.

The following picture shows the design repeated and rotated. A mirror image 
Sketch 7: Repeated lines - mirror image
This is my favourite image from the curvy, wavy lines.
It has a sense of rhythm - like the original image did.
I will try this design out using colours in the white spaces, this will change the design further.

Sketch 8, 9 & 10: revisiting the large triangles from sketch 2, I thought I would lay them out in a more formal flower design - if you look at the white spaces.
Sketch 8: Flower formed in the negative spaces
From this I made a repeat pattern:
The shapes were photocopied, cut out and stuck down.
Sketch 9: repeat pattern - flowers
Although an interesting pattern was beginning to build up - I felt the original random patterned approach worked better.
Within the random pattern (sketch 2 & 3)the flower shapes appeared when you looked for them - I feel the pattern being created here has no surprises.
This may have worked better if white flowers were printed onto black fabric.

I then moved onto the computer to try the repeat pattern:
Sketch 10: repeat pattern using the computer
The seven petal flower was just too difficult to play with - there are spaces between the shapes, but they are not as interesting as the spaces left behind in sketches 2 & 3.

Sketch 11: From this I decided to use a six petal / triangle design to create patterns with:
Sketch 11: repeat pattern - flowers with six petals
Although the design is formed along straight lines, the design becomes more dynamic.
The eye does not settle in one fixed place when you look at the image, it is constantly moving across, up, down and sideways.
The lines that are formed within the pattern are vertical and diagonal.
The focal point of the design are the flowers which are formed from the negative spaces.

Sketches 12 - 16: I decided to revisit sketch 8.
This is a close up of the image.
Sketch 12: close up of sketch 8
 This is sketch 12, repeated and rotated on the computer
Sketch 13: mirror image of sketch 12 x 4 repeats
This is sketch 14, four repeats of sketch 13
Sketch 14: eight repeats (mirror images) of sketch 12
As the pattern builds up the design becomes more interesting.
Sketch 15: Further repeats of the design
A final repeat pattern based on a close up of sketch 8
Sketch 16: Repeat patterns
I like the way the design began to build up using repeat patterns and mirror imaging.
The source of the design was a close up, abstracted image - so the final result is very different from the original picture.
It would be interesting to change the colours within the design, I think this would again develop the pattern.

Having enjoyed the process of repeat patterns, I looked at and manipulated another close up from sketch 8.

Sketches 17 - 20: Using a smaller section of the design in Sketch 8.
Sketch 17: close up section from Sketch 8
Sketch 18: pattern repeats of sketch 17
Sketch 19: further pattern repeats
Sketch 20: Pattern repeats from sketch 17
The design built up in the same way as sketches 12 - 16.
Interesting shapes and patterns began to form.
This pattern is simpler and has a less complicated design than the previous one (sketches 12 - 16)
Reversing the positive and negative colours in this design would make an interesting development.

Sketch 21: Repeat pattern using a black and white copy of the original photograph.
Sketch 21: large and small tree trunk - repeat pattern
This design has become quite 'square' - the negative white spaces appear as crosses within the design.
At the moment the design looks like a quilt.
Indirectly this has happened because of the photocopying - but it may be worth trying the design out in this format.
I think there would be some potential in this design - adding patterns from some of the sketches above to the negative spaces.
Although the design looks quite static - the placement of the images encourages the eye to move around the whole design, this adds interest to the pattern.

Sketch 22: With a feeling that sketch 21 may have been too still, too formal, I revisited the first sketch of the tree trunk.
Enlarging and reducing the image created this pattern:
Sketch 22: Repeat pattern - large & small version of sketch 1
This is immediately more interesting than the previous sketch.
The curvy lines that surround the design, the large dots, these all add to the overall design.

I have deliberately left all the design work and patterns in this stage as monochrome.
That way I can concentrate on how the pattern is built up.
I will 'play with colour' later on in this stage.

Drawing 2: Grass
A photo taken near our house of grasses.
We live  on a compound in Saudi Arabia - the plants and grasses that grow here are well maintained and watered, this means that we can live in a 'green' landscape. 
I liked the colours and textures of this image.

What I noticed:
  • the softness of the heads of the grass against the rougher texture of the grass stems.
  • the light colour of the grass heads against the darker greener stems.
  • the rhythm and movement of the grasses blowing in the wind.

All the close up photographs that I have taken of plants remind me of the prints that Angie Lewin creates in her book Plants and Places.
How she captures the beauty of these everyday plants, weeds and discarded objects that she collects on her journeys.
I can't do her work justice - but can be constantly inspired by it and this encourages me to look at these objects and study them more closely

Words associated with this image:
Wispy, textured, dry, moving, soft, arid.

A single grass stem: I thought it would be a good idea to separate out an individual stem of grass.
A single grass stem
Sketch 1: 
Using a range of grey marker pens I recreated the individual stem of grass
Drawing in marker pens of grass stem
The notes that I made are:
  • This seemed a little formal.
  • I like the stylised image but feel I have lost the movement of the initial photo.
  • Stylised image could be translated into fabric: trapping cloth and threads between layers of fabric 
Words associated with this image are:
Static, stylised, still, quiet, angular.

With this in mind I attempted a second sketch of the grass:
Sketch 2: Using grey marker pens
Second drawing of grass
This second image creates the movement and the texture of the grass.
It is freer and softer than the last sketch.

Words associated with this image are:
soft, fluffy, swishing, moving

Although I prefer the second sketch - the first one seems easier to work into a pattern.
I may go back to the second sketch later.

Sketch 3: The first sketch reduced in size, photocopied and rotated to form a pattern
Initial sketch repeated and rotated to form a pattern
This created a nice pattern
I didn't reduce this further in size as the colours were too light.
I wanted to look at 'large and small' versions.

Sketch 4: The first sketch with smaller repeat patterns from sketch 3 placed around.
Variation of grasses pattern
I feel this is a good pattern, but without 'playing' with different background colours I cannot see that it works at this stage.

Sketch 5: Repeat copies of the grass, cut out and placed into a new pattern
Grasses - repeat pattern
This works better, it has diagonal lines as well as vertical lines that form the pattern.
The eye moves around the picture.
The pattern created becomes more interesting.

I then went on to the computer to create 'grass patterns'

Sketch 6: Using a grey background and a new placement of the grass image
Computer grass pattern 1
Sketch 7: using sketch 5 as a basis for the placement of the grasses
Computer grass pattern 2
With this many repeats you can see the interesting pattern that is created.
The angle of the leaf creates a diagonal line across the image.

I am happy with the designs that resulted from the image of the grass - but by singling out just one piece of grass, I lost the movement and contrasts of texture that were in the original photo.

Drawing 3: Leaves
Photo taken at ground level near my house
Ground cover: Leaves
I liked the shapes of the leaves and the contrast of textures between the leaves and the dying undergrowth.

What I noticed:
  • simple leaf shapes against a textured background.
  • fresh green leaves against a dying, brown undergrowth.
  • symmetry of nature in the leaf patterns
  • interesting spaces surrounding the leaves
Leaf patterns from nature appear in the work of William Morris and Cath Kidston (previous blog post).

The notes I made are:
This could translate well into a design using nostalgic colours.
The patterns from the leaves would work well big or small.
The simple leaf shapes would work well with lots of fabric techniques: various forms of applique; folding, pleating, gathering fabrics for the textured background.

Words associated with this image:
smooth, texture, dark, light, symmetry, natural, regrowth, dying, living.
It is an image with lots of contrasts

Sketch 1: leaves
I chose one cluster of leaves and photocopied them in various sizes.
These were then placed into a pattern, some shapes overlap.
Sketch 1: leaves
I like the design - but it would be more interesting if I had tried out various colour combinations.
The negative spaces create interesting spaces - it would be nice to recreate texture in these areas.
Reversing the positive and negative shapes would be interesting to try.

Close up of the sketch:
Sketch 1: close up
From seeing these images I took another photocopy and added textured lines to the background.

Sketch 2:
I liked the result of adding lines, there are so many mark making techniques that could be tried out at this stage: dots, dashes, swirls etc.
Sketch 2: with lines added to the background
A close up of Sketch 2:
Close up of sketch 2
By adding a colour / texture to the background, you begin to see the negative spaces- not just the leaf images.
This adds more interest to the pattern.
It makes the overall design more lively.

Drawing 4: Tree Bark
Taken near my house.
I love the marks and patterns on the tree bark
Tree bark
I decided to enlarge an area of the picture to see the bark more clearly:
You can now see the marks, patterns, texture and colours that are in the bark

What i noticed:
  • smooth areas which contrast against textured areas.
  • light areas against dark.
  • directional marks.
  • Harmonious colours.
  • layers
The notes I made are:
There is so much texture in this piece which contrasts nicely with smooth areas.
It seems calming - there is an overall pattern in soft, harmonious colours.
There are many layers - these could be represented by various fabric techniques: slash, stitching, bonding.
Some of the shapes could be picked out and repeated to form a bark like pattern.

Words associated with this image:
peeling, flaking, calm, harmonious, aged, flowing, marked, torn, layered, soft.

Sketch 1: This was produced using a range of grey marker pens.
Sketch 1: tree bark
The notes I made:
I liked the soft tonal marks that this sketch produced.
The colours are harmonious and flow from one to another.
The sketch lacks the interesting marks and definition of the photo.

I added darker grey to emphasize some parts of the image:
Adding dark grey to the sketch
This added focal points that were missing in the sketch.
You can now see layers of the bark within the pattern..
This may have turned out differently if I had created a collage - will try to work on that later.

I like the way the image turned out but want to tackle it in a different way

Sketch 2: This pattern was created by cutting out areas from white paper with a scalpel.
The dark background was created by placing dark paper behind the white sheet.
Areas cut out of white paper
By looking at the image while I cut out areas, a bark like pattern is created.

I photocopied this four times to see what a repeat pattern would look like:
Repeat pattern using sketch 2
The pattern flows well.
This would print well using a lino printing technique.

There is a lot of potential for this drawing, the tree bark, whether using print or fabric manipulation techniques.

Drawing 5: Calm
Going back to earlier work I thought I would revisit this piece (link is in the picture caption)
Project 4, Stage 4
This was a piece which had been woven together.
The shapes that appear are interesting, it has been developed and abstracted from the original work.

What I noticed:
  • interesting shapes appear.
  • light colours are next to dark.
  • free-flowing design 
  • interesting lines formed because of the weaving.
  • it is like an aerial map of the landscape
  • abstract pattern
The notes I made:
I really like the design, but it seems too complicated to work from as it is (limited resources for printing) - it would make a great screen print.
A repeat pattern using a smaller section might work well.
The original piece was worked from a sample for the word 'calm' - the woven design appears calm, there is nothing to disturb the eye, you look across the design smoothly.

Words associated with this image:
flowing, rippling, mapping, interlocking, watery, gentle.

I took a small section from the bottom left hand corner:
Small section
This was repeated and rotated to form this:
repeated image
This design works well, it still looks like a woven picture and the design still flows.

What I noticed:
  • flowing, woven pattern
  • optical illusion - the pattern advances and recedes
  • linked areas of the design
  • new shapes are produced by the layout
  • depth is produced from the dark and light areas
The notes I made:
The design now seems more manageable.
I haven't lost the flowing, woven effect of the original.
This could start off as a woven design in fabric and move on to different applique techniques.
I really like the optical effect that has happened within the design.
This reminds me of the work of Pauline Burbidge, (link here later), who in the 90's made quilts based on water reflections, which had been developed from photographic studies.
A link to one of Pauline's quilts is here.

Words associated with this image:
Advance, recede, ripple, linked, smooth.

Drawing 6: A series of drawings:
I took a series of photo's and made some sketches based on them - it is currently too hot to stand outside for any length of time.
Having walked past these areas so often, you know the colours, textures and patterns that appear in the landscape.

I thought it would be a good idea to record some of the shapes and textures of the area around me - this might become useful if I want to combine images and textures in the following stages.

Rocks, Aloe Vera and ground cover
I like the textures that appear next to each other in this image, soft, smooth rocks next to spiky, prickly Aloe Vera plants
Rocks, Aloe Vera and ground cover
What I noticed:
  • different textures.
  • small ground cover plants next to large plants.
  • dark shadows next to white rocks.
  • perspective - large rocks recede, zig-zag path moves into the distance.
The notes I made:
There are so many different textures in this image.
I like the sense of scale: large next to small.
The colours are all light and airy.
A peaceful, quiet scene.

Words associated with this image:
spiky/soft, light/dark, peaceful, textured,

I made 2 sketches based on this photo, one in charcoal, one in pen and ink.

Notes: sketch 1:
The first sketch is drawn in a soft charcoal.
I left the image deliberately light.
The focal point is the aloe vera plant, the eye then follows the diagonal line (the wooden structure) out of the picture.
A second image appears on the paper, the image of the large palm frond at the top left is not meant to be part of this picture, (it was a separate drawing on the page) but, I am quite happy with the placement of the palm.
The textures have been omitted from this quick sketch.
Sketch 1: Sketch in charcoal
Notes: sketch 2:
A textured drawing in pen and ink.
I concentrated on a limited part of the photograph in this sketch.
A sense of scale was achieved: the aloe vera plants - nearest one is significantly larger.
The marks made by the mapping pen helped to create a textured image, I may have lost some of the smoother areas using this technique
Sketch 2:Sketch in pen and ink
I like both of the sketches, and I am happy with the result achieved by only drawing a portion of the picture.
The effect of the 'unfinished' white areas adds to the final drawings.

Trees in a line:
The planting here is quite formal - you get a real sense of perspective when looking at the rows of trees.
What I noticed:
  • clusters of leaves swaying in the wind.
  • repeat image, trees get smaller when they are further away.
  • deep green leaves next to pale blue sky.
  • textures of the hedge next to smooth surfaces of the walls and roads.
  • shadows cast from the tree onto the ground.
The notes I made:
The textures of the hedge/leaves could be recreated by snipping, layering and stitching small pieces of fabric - a kind of collage (look up work of Richard Box - add here later).
The trees are formed in a diagonal line in this image - this would be a good way of laying out the design.
The only movement / signs of life in this picture is from the trees - it was such a quiet, sunny day.

Words associated with this image:
Still, quiet, swaying, leafy.

I made a quick sketch using a mapping pen and ink:
The mapping pen created texture where the leaves, hedge and grass is - more pen marks = heavy texture.
The eye follows the line of the trees - this gives a nice perspective to the image.
I concentrated on the parts of the photo that I thought were most important - leaving out houses, bins, lamp posts.
Quick sketch in pen and ink
I am happy with the final sketch, I may develop the image further, or use the studies of texture in another piece.
I like the shape of the trees - the spindly trunk and thin branches.                                                                -------------------------------

Palm leaves:
There are many types of Palm Tree - this is one with a fan shape to the palm fronds.
I like the way the sun shines through the leaves, and the noise they palms make when the wind blows through them.
Palm Tree
What I noticed:
  • the shadows cast by the overlapping palms.
  • the spiky leaves.
  • the changes of colour: yellow at the base of each palm frond, bright greens and dark shadows.
  • from this angle it hardly resembles a tree - just lots of overlapping spiky shapes.
The notes I made:
Definitely one for the fabric manipulation stage - pleating and gathering of fabrics.
It could also make a nice print, overlapping shapes, colour combinations - very tropical.
This image could be used on it's own - palm prints etc, or added to another design.

Words associated with this image:
Spiky, sharp,

I made a quick sketch in charcoal of a single palm frond.
This was very basic - just to capture the shape of the palm.
At some stage I will experiment with folded paper to make the palm - a flat drawing doesn't capture the incredible shapes and shadows that make up each 'leaf'.
Quick sketch of the shape of the palm frond

Fabric Selection:
Having studied my drawings, I now have to select fabrics that will 'go' with my images.

I have fabrics in many categories: smooth, soft, rough, shiny, textured, sheer, opaque.
They are also in many colours.

So far I have limited the colours in the sketches to a monochrome scheme - using the fabrics will give me the opportunity to add colour.

I will select the fabrics whilst studying the images.

Having spread the fabrics out, laid them next to each other, overlapped them and experimented freely, I have come up with the following combinations:

Tree Bark:
This was the original image:
Tree Bark
I noted that there were many textures within the image: smooth, soft, coarse.
The fabrics that I want to look for should represent these qualities.
A combination of sheer/opaque, shiny/matt, heavy/light fabrics

This is the fabric selection I made for this image:
fabric selection for tree bark
I selected a range of soft, natural colours.
Fabric range: coarse hessian, soft wool, shiny silk, matt muslin.
Most of these fabrics have a tendency to fray, this should add another dimension to a piece created using these fabrics.

Palm Tree trunk: stylised image
Palm tree trunk
The fabrics that I want to look for to go with this image are: sheers/solids, shiny/matt.
I would like to be able to build up layers of fabrics.
The fabrics should have a tendency to fray if I want to try out ripping, cutting, tearing to add texture.

This is the fabric selection I made for this image:
Fabric selection for palm tree
I selected a range of monochrome fabrics.
Fabric range: soft suedette, metallic knitted silver, voile, net.
Some of these fabrics will fray.
The sheer fabrics will allow materials to be layered together.

Palm Tree trunk: triangles
Palm tree: triangles
The fabrics that i want to look for to go with this image are: sheers/solids, shiny/matt, harmonious/complementary colours.
This could be a great design:
  • in a single colour created with different textures (shiny, matt)
  • in a single colour, sheer fabric with shadow quilting (sheer - opaque)
  • in complementary colours - eye-catching.
This is the fabric selection I made for this image:
fabric selection for:palm tree - triangles
I selected a range of monochrome and also complementary colours.
Fabric range: matt cottons, shiny satins, sheer voile/net
The sheer fabrics will allow for layering and shadow applique.

Calm: watery design
Calm: watery design
The fabrics that I want to look for to go with this design are: blues, soft/rough fabrics, sheer/solid, shiny/matt, possibly a complementary color.
If I can find the right combination it would allow the design to work - there would be separate layers of fabrics, the woven effect would be maintained.

This is the fabric selection I made for this image:
Fabric selection for the calm, watery design
I selected a range of blue fabrics with many different textures and finishes.
Fabric range: soft suede, rough net, metallics, cottons.
I may need to gather some darker, greyer coloured fabrics to make the design successful.

The fabrics that I want to look for to go with this image are: linens, lots of texture, against a smooth background, cottons, sheers? Shiny opaque fabrics to go with nets(sheer, rough texture)? Layers of sheer fabrics.
Lots of potential for applique techniques.

This is the fabric selection I made for this image:
Fabric selection for leaves
I selected a range of different textured fabrics.
Fabric range: soft wool, linen, hessian, cotton, shiny 2 tone fabric, net, white satin (added after photo taken)
I may need to add more sheer fabrics to the collection to ensure I can experiment with shadow applique.
I am happy with the selection of the textured fabrics that can be applied to smooth or shiny fabrics.

The fabrics that I want to look for to go with this image are: harmonious colours, sheer fabrics to overlay. I want to find fabrics that will tear/fray to add texture. Shiny and matt fabrics. Some darker colours to add contrast.

This is the fabric selection I made for this image:
Fabric selection for grass
I selected a range of textured, natural coloured fabrics.
Fabric range: hessian, muslin, cottons, sheers and satins.
The sheer fabrics will tear and add texture, the shiny satins will add contrast.
There are both dark and light fabrics.

The fabrics that I want to look for to go with this image are: Monochrome - grey, black, white; sheers and solids to build up texture and layers.

This is the fabric selection I made for this image:
Fabric selection for trees
I selected a range of monochrome fabrics with different textures.
Fabric range:calico, suede, cotton and net
Layers of net should create an interesting texture for the leaves, as well as creating shades of black when the layers overlap.

I placed two layers of overlapping net to create this image:
overlapping black net
As the net overlaps, the black becomes darker.
An interesting visual effect also occurred as 'flower' shapes began to form where the net overlapped.

Fabric Collages:
Having selected fabrics that will work with my drawings, I now need to experiment with some of the materials.
I need to make a series of small collages trying out different arrangements:
  • different proportions of fabric next to one another
  • long thin strips against wider strips
  • tiny squares scattered or placed close together
  • formal or overlapped
Sample 1:
The pieces of green seem brighter when placed on the red.
The red strips seem darker on the green square.
The eye moves around the scattered design, yet rests on the lines in the design at the top
(green square).

The texture and weight of the fabric are equal.
The colours of the design are complementary - the design becomes more lively due to the colour choice.
This lively design could be a match for the palm tree triangles.
Complementary colours: scattered pieces and strips

Sample 2:
The green strips are brighter when placed on the red background.
It is a static design - the eye rests on the green strips.
As sample 1: the wight and texture of the fabric are equal, the colours are complementary.
This design doesn't match any of the images, but is a good illustration of how the fabrics work together.
Complementary colours: static design

Sample 3:
Strips of complementary colour fabrics placed next to each other.
Each fabric has a different finish: one shiny, one sheer, one matt.
The shade of red in the sheer fabric changes depending on the material behind it:
  • becomes brighter when overlapping the red cotton fabric
  • becomes paler when placed against the white paper background
  • becomes darker/browner when placed against the shiny green fabric
There is a difference in the weight of the fabrics: a small strip of sheer fabric sitting in the middle of the heavier opaque fabrics.

The textures of the fabrics are all similar - smooth, this doesn't add interest to the design.

The shiny green fabric appears brighter when placed next to the smooth red fabric (above the green).
This is a lively, cheerful combination of fabrics, although the design is quite still.
Complementary colours: Matt, shiny, sheer fabrics

Sample 4:
A range of different textured blue fabrics with a splash of orange net.
The orange net livened up the collection of blue fabrics.

The difference in texture and appearance of the fabrics made the composition more interesting.
Adding some lighter colours and weights of fabric next to the darker heavier fabrics made the design more lively.

This collage would be a good match for the calm, watery design.
For me this design ripples like water - the position of the fabrics equates to the calm feel.
A range of blues

Sample 5:
This is three samples in one.
With reference to the image of trees:

Pieces of black net were layered together in a cluster, a square of black cotton placed below.
The sample on the left has nothing covering it - the image is clear.
The middle sample has a piece of sheer grey voile overlaid - this softens the image.
The sample on the right has a piece of crystal white voile overlaid - although sheer, the sparkle in the fabric hides the image below.

Layering the net allows different shades of black to appear - the more pieces that are overlaid, the darker that area becomes.

The textures of the fabric are different - the cotton smooth, the net rough.
The clusters of net add interest and appear lively next to the static black cotton square.
The monochrome colour scheme works - although I would use grey, rather than black for the trunk and branches of the tree.
The black advances towards the eye and would compete with the delicate overlays of the net.
Descriptive word: Sombre
nets, cotton and sheers

Sample 6:
A range of textures and fabric finishes.
The photograph does not show the sheen on the central beige fabric.

Matt fabrics sit next to shiny fabrics.
Fine woven fabrics sit next to coarsely woven fabrics.

The colours are soft and harmonious.
The feel of the fabrics next to each other are interesting to the touch.

The widths of the pieces are all different, narrow next to wide, tall next to short.

This does not represent any of the images, but could be used as reference to pieces such as 'leaves' where changes in texture will create a tactile sample.
Descriptive words: soft, warm
mixed textures and shades of beige

Sample 7:
Three pieces of fabric: white satin square, net rectangle, linen rectangle.
I like the balance in this sample, the pieces are even and asymmetrical.

The textures and weights of each piece are different: the satin is smooth and shiny; the net is coarse, yet sheer; the linen is heavily woven.

This is a possible match for one of the earlier designs based on the palm tree: sketches 8 to 20 which were developed from the triangles in the centre of the tree trunk.
Descriptive word: Peace
satin, net and linen collage

I really feel I have developed some of my ideas in this stage.
I have taken design ideas based on the environment I live in, my 'home', and produced working designs, or at least a workable idea, to develop into a textile piece.

The next stage is Applied Fabric Techniques and I will be creating samples based on some of my design ideas.


  1. What a wonderful series of developments! Very interesting fabric selections too. I'm particularly drawn to your mix for the stylised palm tree.

  2. Thank you, the stylised palm tree may turn out to be inspiration for project 7... just got to finish this project first! Just 'popped' over to your blog - I can see that samples for the fabric manipulation take over stage 4 - so exciting to play with the materials, and you did a great job with the photography.