Claire Coles

I have recently been looking at designer Claire Coles embroidered textile prints and artworks. Having just done a mixed media week, I am in love with her work. The detail she is able to put into her stitched samples are amazing. I like the vintage feel of her designs, the use of mixed materials and colours are feminine and delicate. She also has stitched wallpaper, all embroidered! Time for a change of scenery in my room I think!

Semester 1 Finito!

The Textiles assessments were under way this week, we had to create a space to display our work and samples from our material Matters module. Included was our sketchbooks, presentation boards, life drawings,photoshopped images and  fabric and knit samples that we did in semester 1. It was surprising to see all of our work I had accumulated over a few months, looking around the studio everyone’s work was amazingly presented and looked professional. I found the first semester of second year fun, it was exciting to learn new methods of transferring our designs into textile forms. I still need loads of practise as I had a few hiccups with print, for example when in the dye lab I forgot a key ingredient which caused my half an hour of stirring over a stove to become irrelevant when the dye washed straight our of the fabric! Or in the print room when my colours were so light they could barely been seen, when knitting my fabric sample fell off the entire machine… three times! But I have learned from these mistakes (hopefully) and will take my experiences into semester 2, bring it on!

Context Board – I decided to make Lady Gaga wear my knit samples, One can dream!

My Desk Pre-Assesment, we had to cover our desks in white paper for a professional finish and lay out all our work neatly

My knit samples from my pigeon project

An image from my Drawing sketchbook, some experiments using stitch

My idevelopement board, images that have been taken from my sktchbooks to show my developement process

Inspiration board, images to show the general theme of my project, a Mood board if you like.

Print Workshop

This week ive been printing in the workshop, we have been learning how to mix specific dyes for specific fabrics, so many rules apply and ingredients I have never heard of before in my life! It’s a long process but using a power hose to blast your screens clean is as fun as sounds. Mixing the correct colours at first was daunting, straight from the pot gives you a horrendous neon colour which caused me to go heavy on the indalca to dilute it. My first few prints turned out quite faded as I may have went overboard trying to dull down. The process was all about layering so it kind of worked out for me, the lighter the colour the more layers could you could see. I found the process very enjoyable, although all that time on one print that could so easily go wrong may send me over the edge. Next week knit…

Natural Pattern Progress

For my Natural Pattern project in textiles I have decided to go with pigeons and explore feathers through colour and collage. Through research and drawings from D’Arcy Thompson and the McManus Museum I was able to get a head start and collect a few drawings of birds which could help me relate to the texture, layout and variation of feathers on birds and the natural pattern they create. I am struggling with colour, I wanted to mask the dirty black colour that overwhelms a pigeons feathers with a more diluted grey. I wanted to focus on the colours of feathers on the neck of a pigeon and how they are compacted and ruffled and create and amazing shine.

I started with some collage of mixed coloured paper, after a few continuous line drawings I felt that by using only block colours without the harsh outline of a black pen I would be able to see what colours are coming through and where they are placed. The variation of size of the feathers vary and on a closer inspection they are very detailed and specifically placed to allow movement.

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Art By Laura Parker

I have been recently been looking online for some artists research for my natural pattern project, I have now decided that birds and feathers will be my main focus, while looking online for some prints I found an artist called  Laura Parker, I took a look at her website and I was amazed by her illustrations and paintings,

It was this image that grabbed my attention, I found the detail of pattern outstanding. Her illustrations of her pet cat also grabbed my attention , unrealted to my project but still…

I like the glossy flat image that her drawings create, the detail and use of colour are controlled and contrast with the jet black block colour of the cat. I find these drawings quirky and sweet as she captures “Izzy’s” characteristics. Her drawings appear to be a visual diary of a boat trip recording every detail of her travels.

Here are some more drawings, I felt these had a Textile feel with there use of colour and collage,

Mr D’Arcy

Yesterday I attended a talk on the D’Arcy Thompson Museum, I’ve been to the museum for some drawings on birds for my project and found it very interesting. The Museum is crammed with many specimens to looks at, including animal skeletons of all variations, from rabbits to hippos. They have stuffed animals on display to recreate the size and form of the species and also many drawings and notes explaining the developmental stages in which they have evolved.

We were shown various images and photographs relating to D’Arcy’s work as an evolutionary biologist. Here is a photograph of D’Arcy’s old museum before it was relocated and re-furbished courtesy of University of Dundee website,

I was very interested to hear that many artists have used D’Arcy as inspiration for their own art work; a few examples were given such as illustrator Lauren Gentry with her detailed black and white drawings including a character which may well be D’Arcy himself catching specimens. I love the work that has went into this particular drawing, I find the sense of quirkiness is effective and like the cartoon form that it has taken. The range of size is also interesting, that some animals are block shapes this highlights the detail more in the others.

Another examle given was photographer Susan Derges who used the mathematical form and studys that D’Arcy created as an influence in her work.

Below is a photograph Derges took using light and tadpoles in a jar,

I find it very exciting that all of these radically different concepts have steamed from the findings of D’Arcy’s work, I am hopeful that I can use the museum to my advantage and allow it to help me with my own project.

Here are some bird drawings i created while visiting D’Arcy’s museum on campus,

I also managed to take some photographs of coloured feathers to help me with my colour theme,




Pretending Pigeons

I’m looking into Natural pattern for my textile project (Material Matters) and im thinking of using bird feathers as a starting point, I surfed the net and found some quirky work by an artist called Laurel Roth. I found images of an instalation in which a pigeon was dressed in a knitted jumper to make it seem like a more superior bird like a woodpecker (above),grouse and even the extinct dodo. I instantly loved the humour of this work, part of me wanted to choose the pigeon because I felt they we under estimated because they are classed as dirty and disease ridden. On closer research they have beautiful merging colours of metallic greens and purples, although the thought of dressing them up seems far more exciting!

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