Material Matters | Formative Hand in

Today was the our deadline for our subject module Material Matters. We were required to display 6 stitch samples and 6 print samples we believed were out best outcomes. Our second best to be lay out on the desk and third to be annotated and neatly put in our files. Each piece of work was mounted and ironed and our files, sketch and any loose sheets were to be in front of our boards to be assessed.

– This was before I completed my board so two are missing, I unfortunately do not have a completed image. I’ve spoke about pieces I want to display previous posts.

I struggled deciding on 12 which made I a challenge to set up my board but the whole process was an enjoyable experience for me. I love playing around with colour and pattern. I was initially nervous about presenting my work but after I got started and explained some of my ideas behind my samples I found myself a lot more relaxed.

Overall I am pleased with my hand in, I feel I could of gone for some stronger colours after getting my feedback. I wanted to use muted, pale colours but others commented on how it could have been a bit brighter to draw more attention. I appreciate this useful feedback off my peers


Stitch week 3 | Dissolvable Fabric

During our third week of stitch we we taught how to use dissolvable fabric. This was a completely new experience for me as I had never used this material before. IMG_1882[1]I found it a little tricky at first and my practice sample didn’t go as I had hoped. I made the mistake of not moving the needle fast enough resulting in tears and holes in the fabric as well as the thread dropping due to me not using vertical line through my horizontal ones.
After trying a few more I found the exercise a lot easier. I used some of the drawing from the museum visit for my designs. I used a simple leave design for my second attempt and it turned out a lot better than my first one.

The leaf print below was taken from one of the books I looked at during our museum visit, It is a close up image of a petal from an iris flower.

The flower below is again taken from one of the books in the museum, this time i decided to draw the whole iris and it turned out perfectly. I made sure the lines were all joined to prevent the thread dropping once the fabric had dissolved and dried. I am also very pleased with the thread colour I used, its was a perfect match. I also decided to use more than one thread which also worked very well with my design.

National Botanical Gardens of Wales | Trip

Monday 23rd November 
Compulsory to our course, we recently got the chance to visit the National Botanical Gardens of Wales. This was the first time I had ever visited, I was completely overwhelmed from the moment I stepped foot inside and was intrigued to visit somewhere new. As a group we were given a tour around the dome, being given information about what came from where and what conditions they live in.

The size of the gardens were huge and so deceiving from outside the entrance.

The view from outside the dome: I love the illusion it’s peaking over the hill.

The view from the inside: I tried to capture the domes beautiful shape and structure.

During my time here I also got the chance to take a lot around the tropical heat house, this is a very humid and damp place. The temperature is kept at a much higher level in order for the pants to survive. I enjoyed this place especially as being such a cold day it was an opportunity to get in from the cold and do some detailed drawings.

I was intrigued by some of the distorted shapes the trees had formed, they were massively different in comparison to the tree growing just outside of the house.


It was obviously that some of the flowers and leaves growing inside here looked exotic, they were massively different from the flowers I see growing in the UK. Some of the textures and the appearances of them seamed like rubber, almost like fake remodels.

London Trip – Constellation

As part of my constellation study group for After Modernism my group and me were taken to London to visit the Tate Modern and the Tate Britain Museums. I found the whole experience very overwhelming, only visiting London a handful of time and to the museums once previously it was so fantasizing to see the beautiful city and I was so taken back by just how busy and large the city actually way as I was travelling through. Coming from a small town in the countryside the city life completely memorizes me and I cannot get enough of the scenery.Sigmar-Polke-at-Michael-Werner

During our time at the Tate Modern we looked at some of the art movements we had been studying and discussing in class and were also given free time to discover some of the artwork we were interested in independently and take a look around the museums and discussed minimalist and post minimalist artwork by artists Donald Judd, Frank Stella, Richard Serra and Lucio Fontana as well as many others.

One of the most interesting parts of the trip was getting a chance to visit the EY Exhibition – world goes pop. Taking a journey through the history of pop was an amazing experience as a lot of the work was familiar to me and I recognized a lot of the artwork that was displayed from previous studies in class, so seeing them in the exhibition was surreal for me. It was interesting to learn more about the artists and where the work came from. Before visiting the Tate Britain we were given free time to check out the city independently and during my time here I got the chance to meet up with a friend studying in London. Grabbing a bite to eat and exploring the city some more was fantastic and the trip was such an eye opening experience for me as it is always visiting London.

Week 4 | Print

During of forth and final week of print we were shown the technique shirbori. The was also a new technique to me but I have seen a lot of shibori pieces and have been intrigued for a while to see how it was done.

Prior to this workshops we were required to bring in small round objects to be used as part of the technique; this was to be tied around that fabric using string.(I later learnt that maybe small elastic bands would have made life a lot easier).
I used 5p’s, 1p’s, nails, bottle tops and screws to be tied around the fabric, when we were happy with the arrangement and amount they were then placed in the dye. During the start of the workshop we were required to chose a handful of colours to be mixed into the dye baths.

– This print shows the different objects I tied around the fabric to create this design. I also decided to create a graduated effect by allowing only 80% of the fabric to sit inside the dye bath. I love the outcome of the effect.

– this effect was also created a similar method as below but only I am a lot happier with the outcome as the colour is a lot bolder and compliments the technique a lot more. I decided after the print had dried to iron it out and this shows the marks and patterns on the print perfectly.

– For the design below I used just a singular nail that was very long giving me room to wrap the string around hoping for a swirly effect. I feel the colour of this sample was very weak and faint. This was due not leaving it in the dye bath long enough.

Teenage Kicks | Cultural Approach to Dr Martens

Today I attended the very interesting key note lecture held by Cath Davies about Dr Martin boots. She discussed how different subcultures wore the same boots but in very different ways using modification to remake and remodel them into their own subculture identities.

Looking back to the 1970s, Dr Martin boots were symbolic to the Skinheads. The boots were seen as a blank canvas, the Skinheads would customize their boots with motifs. Things like
– Replacing the black laces to different coloured ones.
– Laces tided in a certain way (usual around the top of the boot)
– They wore were mainly 14 hole Docs, so longer than the standard size.
– Usually wore white socks with their jeans rolled up to advertise the boots.
These modifications were things you would only know if you were part of the gang, making it obvious to other that they had remade them to This was a typical characteristic look of the skinheads. This gave the boots new meanings and differentiating them from how other non skinheads would wear them.

The film “This is England” is a perfect representation of the skinhead style and how they modified their  Doc Marten boots to symbolize their own subculture identity.


The punk subculture originates from the late 70’s / early 80’s and Doc Marten were a massive statement of identity. Like the skinheads the would see the classic black boots as a opportunity to customize them. Modifying Docs was important to punks as they used them to show originality, by modifying them in a way that is not seen as fashionable or wearable for others is “anti-fashion” and definitely unique to the goth subculture.
– metal studs / spikes.
– safety pins / plasters.
– graffiti to express and define music taste.
(band logos)

O R I G I N A L | 1 9 8 0 ‘ s

C U R R E N T | D A Y 

When Doc Marten originally started they only came in two colours, Oxblood red and Black. 21st Century Docs can be sold and bought customized, this was something mods, punks and skinheads would have modify themselves.

Because of the subculture styles, Docs were almost always related with “gangs”. This was unfortunate for people who used that boots for working purposes, the boots were created for work and smart wear. Public services and other working class people would sometimes used black polish or paint to cover up the yellow stitching that rubs around the outside sole of the boots. This way they could not be showing any signs of modification like the subcultures would.

Week 3 | Print

H E A T | P R E S S

During the third week of our print workshops we were shown the heat press printing technique. This was new to me so I was very excited and intrigued to give it ago.

I mainly focused on leaves and shrubbery I collected to use for my designs. These were used as a resist between the fabric creating interesting patterns. I painted some backgrounds on my fabric also which worked really well underneath my prints. Complementing colour and texture.


As well as leaves I used things like doilies and lace as an act as resist which came through beautifully on the fabric. By using paler, muted colours it complimented this as the marks from the lace were very delicate and subtle. I used some much stronger colours to make certain prints more visible.


I tried to experiment with pattern in a different way by painting directly onto my resist objects creating a compatible outcome with some backgrounds. I love that pale oranges that were used against the green in this print. I wanted to interpret natural colours as the resist object used were natural also.

I found that using too much paint would leak in the press resulting in a smudged and clogged up print. By looking through some of the ones that didn’t turn out so well I recognized that some prints shown up a lot clearer on paper.

This was a technique I REALLY enjoyed, print is an element of the course that is very important to me as I love colour and pattern so learning new methods of printing will always be enjoyable for me.

(I also collected some of the leaves I used in the press as the colours and patterns left on them worked well as a display in my file and it wasn’t worth them going to waste)