Reflection – assessment criteria (part 2)

Demonstration of technical and Visual skills

I have tried to use a range of techniques and materials within my work.  I have a good knowledge of sewing and traditional embroidery techniques and I love to learn new skills.  Since starting this course I am enjoying learning about other practitioners and the wide variety of exciting textiles being produced.  I consider that my design and compositional skills are my area of weakness and I need to work on developing these areas to bring an individual quality and confidence to my work.

Quality of Outcome

I have worked through Part 2 following the brief, considering the information given along with the criteria required and made decisions based on my current knowledge and skill level along with some personal research.  I enjoy working on my learning blog, recording my processes, decision-making and progress together in one place.  I still need to use my sketchbook more to bring together my ideas and would like spend more time drawing and sketching and allow myself time to develop this skill.

Demonstration of Creativity

I have tried to be original and experiment with a range of different techniques some of which have been new to me and I have enjoyed them, some I have struggled with. I understand the need to develop my imagination and be more innovative and I am confident that this will happen as I progress through my journey within textiles.


I have tried to be objective in my reflection on the work I have completed and will always be realistic about my strenghts and weaknesses.  I have enjoyed the research that I have undertaken to inform and inspire me in the relevant areas.  I still work full time so going to exhibitions and museums will always be difficult, however I am conscious that this is an important part of my research development.



Written reflection (part 2)

Part 2 has given me the opportunity to continue to work with the outcomes from the mark making and drawing exercises in Part 1, to understand more the creative process using these sources and the exploration and development of ideas from these starting points.

I have enjoyed trying out different techniques with the manipulated paper surfaces, using my drawings as the inspiration to create interesting textures and surface qualities with different types of paper and card.  I have not played with paper like this since I was a child and it was very inspiring although I nearly managed to set fire to my study!

The stitched paper experiments were very interesting to work on, especially when a paper and a stitch technique were complimentary to each other but then there were frustrating times when the manipulated papers tore at a critical moment. Understanding the strength and surface of the papers was crucial when deciding how to stitch and what type of thread to use.  I would like to experiment with mixed media more in the future as these projects have really inspired me.

Further translating the paper samples into textiles proved quite difficult, I did not know quite where to start, normally I have an idea of what I want to produce or what is required as an outcome.  I had to put self doubt aside as there was little option but to jump in, start experimenting and see where it would take me.  I selected the same elements from the original paper sample and worked on evolving them within the three samples using different techniques within the same theme.

Part 2 has taken me a lot longer to complete than I had anticipated but will provide me with a good foundation to continue to Part 3.

Part 2 – Surface and Stitch

Exercise 2.1 – Selecting

Laying out my drawing and mark making exercises again I am excited to start the next stage. I am looking for the most interesting visual qualities, variety and those that I will enjoy working with for this new work.  I have to select 6 from my strange collection.

I have selected drawings that I find interesting and that will translate into interesting surfaces.  Each one has been drawn using a variety of different mediums, tools and techniques.  They are all drawings that I like either by the process of creating them or by the outcome.


Exercise 2.2 – Paper manipulation library

Laying out my drawings I can see that I need to create strong lines, soft lines, parallel and curved lines, spirals, blocks, holes, ridges and dragged lines. From the list of ideas I can identify folding, crumpling, creasing  and cutting which I use to start my ideas forming. I have gathered a few different papers to play with but I start with copy paper as it is the cheapest to experment with and I start with creasing and pleating the paper. I have alread carried out some experiments with burning different materials so I get my soldering iron out and use this to burn the creases of my folded paper. I want to create holes so I experiment with pleating then use a hole punch through the pleats and further burn the holes with the soldering iron. I try individual burn marks to suggest the rows of my marks and I use a similar method to show a spiral of holes. I try a pyrography tool to puncture and burn paper to replicate the marks made with an Elderberry brush.   Burning paper is quite hazardous and I do end up with a few burning a bit more than I required! This maybe useful in the future but not at the moment.

left to right – pinch folded – stabbed and burnt -pleated and burnt – burnt in swirl pattern
left to right – burnt – folded, hole punched & burnt – folded, hole punched & burnt

I am still pleating/folding and combining with cutting out holes, I know that I need to keep part of the paper joined or I will be left with a plain hole and I want to retain the cut piece.  I try different combinations of this process and am happy with the outcome.

folding and cutting experiments to create holes


left to right – rubbing – rubbing, cutting & puncturing – scrunched

I think about what else I could use to alter the surface of the paper,  I place tracing paper onto a rough concrete floor and rub over quite heavily with a stone this produces a good surface with a few small holes appearing which I like, they are random and there is no control of what happens. I combine this with specific slashed cuts. I use a sharp knife to cut curved slashes into manila paper removing some of the slashes to leave spaces.  I think that this has lots of fabric potential along with melting techniques rather than direct burning.

left to right – curved slashes and voiding – surface rubbed with electric sander in circular movement

I have some soft cardboard and I experiment with an electric sander to remove the surface in circular patterns, it creates lots of dust but although you can’t see from the photograph it has created raised areas not touched by the sander. This doesn’t work on paper, it has to be something with enough body and thickness to withstand the motion of the electric sander.

left to right – slashed & twisted paper woven through – scoring, layer removal

I am still using slashing and cutting to depict the heavy marks made to represent the solid stitching on the English stays.  I  cut slashes into some light card and then twist soft recycled paper into a ‘tread’ which I weave through the slashes.  Luckily we had some lovely thick corrugated card from some furniture that we had delivered and I experimented with stripping away some of the layers to leave raised areas indicating the same heavy marks. I have kept this quite regimented like my mark making but both these could be used in a more random and relaxed way.

Some close up photos of my paper manipulation experiments; pleating, scrunching and rubbing – copy paper, baking parchment and tracing paper


Close up images of pleating, punching and burning experiments – brown paper and copy paper and recycled paper.

pleating and burning – copy paper

Folding & cutting – copy paper and handmade paper

Manila paper and soft carboard

Slashing, voiding and rubbing techniques.

I have really enjoyed this exercise, all these techniques have great potential to be developed in a much looser and more experimental way and I look forward to doing this in the future.