A3; Tutor Feedback

Feedback from my tutor, Cari Morton for Part 3:

  • Overall Comments
    This is an investigative and playful body of work, supported by a thoughtful, challenging and reflective learning log in which you question the process, material and yourself. You integrate theory and practice really well, both in the sketchbook and learning log.

    Assignment Feedback Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis, Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity
    You’ve produced a body of samples varied in colour, texture, surface, structure and form. You’ve been really inquisitive about the various materials and challenged what they’re capable of. Your curiosity about the potential is clear in the range of approaches you’ve taken (moulding, casting, extruding, dipping and manipulation…), as well as in your use of different casting forms and inclusion of materials. Latex discs are great as a series due to the colour variation and subtle changes in form – like a series of Petri dishes specimens in a lab.

    Expanding foam can be difficult to control but the extrusions through the lace have produced more controlled wave-like forms. It’s great that you discuss the connotations of the materials you use, such as the sexual and feminine connotations of lace, even if you are actually avoiding using building on these ideas at this stage. You’ve deeply analysed your contextual research, considering the nature of the work and relating it to issues you’ve been exploring (e.g. imperfection and irregularity). That you relate back to it so often through the discussion of your own work in the log and sketch book is a real strength, as it integrates the inspiration into both your process and evaluation of outcome. It’s also great to see so much varied and strong drawing. Your sketchbook integrates thinking, making and recording really well.

    The process of experimentation was thorough and logical but you’ve allowed yourself room to play. It’s great that you’ve stopped planning outcomes and instead focussed your energy on constraining the nature of the initial enquiry, so you are more likely to be surprised by the outcomes. Setting yourself the aims such as “to preserve the transient“ was a great way of providing a conceptual goal for the material investigation. And your constant questioning raised the level of the investigation, e.g., “Am I capturing the texture of another material or am I creating a new one?” This interplay between what is real, what is a copy and what is completely “new” is a really interesting question relating to innovation and the creative process. At what point do two materials combined lose their innate personalities to create something wholly new?

    Similarly, “I can’t decide whether it is a creative solution or a tangential response?” Whilst I’ve encouraged you to have of more focus for your exploration and consider more critically what you’re trying to achieve, sometimes it is the tangential spurs that take us to the most interesting outcomes…

    By being less precious about the need for things to be correct or perfect, you’ve generated a really enthusiastic body of work. You’ve responded to this direction so positively and so thoughtfully. It’s interesting that whilst you feel happier, you are more apprehensive about sharing the work. Is this because the work feels more raw? If you’ve been less controlled about its creation, perhaps people’s responses are less predictable? Your enthusiasm about the work versus a resistance to share is an interesting conflict.

    Learning Logs or Blogs Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
    Your evaluations are critical and detailed, with clear evidence of continual evaluation of your approach in relation to your aims and your response to the work , referencing my feedback and your contextual research. – The evaluative questions were designed more as prompts, and I hadn’t intended for you to respond to each of them in every post, but your answers are really interesting and it’s clear the questions have made you think differently about the work. – The questions have given you more structure for evaluation, resulting in a thorough but quite long discussion. Your entries for Part 3 alone total over 12,500 words. If each part was this long, the total for the module would be 60,000+ words. That’s a PhD thesis! I’m wary about asking you to reduce the word count in future posts, as I don’t want too much stripped out– the discussions you have with yourself about the outcomes, the process and even the questions themselves are fascinating. Consider how you can discuss your work to the same level, with practice and theory integrated and evaluated so well, but more succinctly. – “I should have kept my contextual research focussed on the materials and the process.” I think analysing the aesthetic qualities and the ideas behind the work is important as it relates to the use of materials and processes, but I agree that spending time doing a detailed drawn copy was not necessary.

    Suggested reading/viewing Context
    MMaterial by Fernando Mastrangelo is a series of cement furniture with salt, sand and other inclusions, which relate to your samples with fibrous inclusions. – This is a great reference for material investigation but it’s also interesting for print. The Colour of Hair project by Fabio Hendry and Martijn Rigters http://www.thecolourofhair.com

    Pointers for the next assignment

  • Reflect on this feedback in your learning log.
  • Continue to use drawing to record and develop your prints.
  • Consider using your drawing from pt1-3 as visual inspiration for your prints.
  • As the process in pt.4 gets more 2D, can you use processes from pt.1 to create a surface relief or sense of 3D? Consider how to demonstrate what you’ve learnt so far within the print section.
  • Continue to explore and build on my feedback and your own evaluative pointers from pt.s1-3 to pt.4.



1.2; Joining: Straight Edges with a Gap

I wanted to handle the joins that spanned a gap a little more loosely that I perhaps would have in the past. My first sample involved creating a rouleaux and joining it with straight, parallel stitches of equal length.

It would seem that the sample is fairly even and controlled but as I drew it, I noticed the threads do create a slight sense of movement. In the past this imperfection would have really bothered me, now however, I feel it adds a touch of character, a celebration of hand over machine. This difference maybe imperceivable to someone unfamiliar with my earlier work but it feels like a huge progression to me.

I looked closely at the freedom of Jane Bowler’s designs, where the inclusion of fringing really extenuates any movement. I felt her early collections from 2011/12, with their cascading strands of plastic, were particularly were reminiscent of textile thread installations. My organised brain was not ready to tackle anything quite so ambitious but the lightness and ‘swishy’ elegance certainly inspired the next samples I produced.

I reviewed an earlier attempt to join a flush edge with machine stitching and could clearly see why it didn’t work. It is unsympathetic, it doesn’t work either with or against the join, which might as well not be there. By creating a gap between the sides, I hoped to use a similar arrangement of stitching but in much a freer manner:

I sketched my ideas for traversing a gap between two pieces of felt. I realised that the first design was reminiscent of the Meredith Woolnough inspired stitching I did for Part 5 of ATV: a web of dense stitches that support one another after the temporary stabiliser is washed away. The second drawing made with ink on a very dry paint brush promised to be much looser and freer. Since I already knew what the first would look like it seemed unnecessary to spend hours stitching it. The process of sampling is to experiment and inform so decided to work on the latter.


The resulting sample was useful because it was not a repetition of what I already knew. I really like the way machine stitching sits in the felt. The lines are wonderfully fine and slightly embed themselves into the deep pile of the felt which has a thick lumpy texture. In contrast to these smooth, delicate lines the threads that cross the gap are barbed and loopy. The shapes become more disorganised but remain recognisable.


One area I was unhappy with is the loop photographed here. I had to alter the shape of the right hand curve mid-stitch to make it reach the edge (if not it would have collapsed). The additional density of stitching and uncertain path of the threads spoils the delicacy I was seeking.

Drawing the sample helped me to appreciate that the shape itself is also a distraction. I don’t like the area that looks like an ‘&’ sign or a pretzel, if I stitched this again I would keep the design more simple (back and forth loops, without a tangle). I made the second drawing on the right by scratching into oil pastel over black paper because I found it difficult to record the fine lines of stitching in pencil.

_copie-0_dscf4398The drawings made me consider the quality of the stitched lines also, this sparked an investigation into other methods of stitching across the gap. I found using different techniques created different effects. This discovery inspired the next sample:

I used yarns of different thickness to join two twigs looping them in reference to the Jane Bowler designs I looked at. It made a lot of sense to join three-dimensional objects rather than flat sheets but I struggled to understand why.

My final sample exploring these multiple parallel lines of stitching was made in plastic.

I used drawing to plan out how the strips would interact as they overlapped mid way across the gap. In this instance I found drawing as a planning tool incredibly useful, unfortunately this is not always the case which I will discuss in my next post.

The decision to simplify the strips was made because I had identified the distraction of the knot in the previous sample. This simplification has created a more dynamic composition that demonstrates the sense of movement I was looking for. I pinned the sample to the dummy because I felt I could see the influence of my earlier corsetry research, even though this was not actually my intention. I find it is often the case that previous themes and topics resurface when I’m not expecting them.