Final Evaluation:

WEEK 15:

29-4th June

I have been encouraged to let myself be more open-minded and contextual based when it comes to looking for influence in my projects opposed to responding to only visual aids. This teaching has had a serious impact on my thought processes when it comes to Art, thus my basis for influence for this project has developed from more relevant issues within the world, leading to a rich and sundry amount of possibilities in my design. This subsequently impacted my sense of involvement within these issues and opening my eyes to the problems alongside raising awareness on the issues too. This has provided me with a stronger sense of ownership of my work. The exploration of concepts and how to channel this within my work has revealed many possibilities for development consequently preparing me for my next stage as an undergraduate.

My proposition for this project I decided to look into the mankinds way of life today, the pollution and litter (Modernity) and how these subjects are essentially engulfing and suffocating nature. I had hoped to develop and extend my skills in textiles, installation and also film. I have integrated textiles and installation into this project but unfortunately not film. I have gained numerous technical skills including felting, weaving, garment construction, machine skills, printing and finally translating a two-dimensional design into a three-dimensional outcome. The proposal has encouraged me to really push myself out of my comfort zone as I decided to use a conceptual influence, and I feel I have achieved a significant amount of learning and work throughout my project. I have succeeded in experiencing new processes and techniques and have improved planning of time using a work plan to ensure I made good use of my time by planning and organising.

To gather my research I used the internet to firstly educate myself on various sorts along with the issues of pollution, in history and today- and most importantly what is being done on the matter. I felt it was important to fully explore this aspect and contain this knowledge as I knew it would enable me to pay attention to detail within my work, and really dig into the concepts behind my creations. I did, however, watch film screening about the Chernobyl Disaster, I indulged so deeply into the movie it really affected me personally and really kickstarted the ambition in my project. I also visited an exhibition where they displayed recycled plastic bottles to create beautiful light shades, this also helped with my project as it gave me hope that designers are concerned about our way of life today.

At times I was not happy with the development of my work when a process did not develop as I had anticipated or a design came out wrong, I felt disappointed however this is where I would change my ideas slightly to ensure I made use of the problems and liked the next outcome. I have developed my ideas though trying out little experiments that have been inspired by my research and took the next step from there. As my work developed I ensured my project as a whole adapted to it.

My artist research played a big part in my overall project, and even through to my final piece. None of my chosen artists was fashion based, however, I feel due to this it allowed me to be more flexible at the beginning of my project and explore different stances and areas of art including sculpture and installation type work, then transferring this into then fashion related work (however difficult) then proved to be the right decision as the work inspired by my artists was so innovative and different yet fit the concepts of my project really well.

My chosen artist also inspired me to use more innovative and obscure materials within my work such as vegetation or women’s cosmetics, once I had completed the samples of work inspired by then- I still had the urge to be experimental within my work, such as creating patterns through the use of petrol, combined with water, oils and food colourings. This I felt was really successful as the patterns generated were so on point and couldn’t get any closer to ‘water pollution’. I also experimented with different textile processes such as weaving, printing, melting, however, the one that deemed most successful was the felting, thus I used it in my final piece.

I feel though out this project my skills have really been pushed this project, in terms of learning so many new processes, ways of thinking and especially keeping track of time. In previous projects, i have really struggled to prioritise my time efficiently and this has resulted in not completed it in time due to deliberating on possible ideas for too long rather than just getting stuck in. Forcing myself to work off a work plan, however, and writing up my week every week has helped me massively.

In this project, I am sorry the practical element ended when it did. I feel my project still has considerable potential for a much larger collection that I would have loved to complete.

After the sample of felt, I created in week 7 and referring back to it when thinking about creating a final garment I knew I had re-created it again, thus I did. My final garment is made from large sheets of wool that I felted together, yet infused other samples of natural materials in such as raw greasy sheep wool, cotton, vegetation juxtaposed with litter/pollution I picked up and washed from the streets of Bolton. I used this contrasting combination, and the amorphous oversized engulfing shape and silhouette of the garment as a hope to illustrate my original proposal that mankind’s way of life today, the pollution and litter (Modernity) and how these subjects are essentially engulfing and suffocating nature. I wanted to ensure the garment covered the model’s mouth and nose, similar to the smog mask fashion as well. Looking at the photographs, and the fact my model nearly passed out when wearing the garment proves it works.

Overall I am happy with my final piece and am proud of my work and innovative ideas and concepts behind the garment. However looking at the exhibition- I don’t feel as proud as I should be- there is still room for improvement such as more garments, to make a collection? Or an interactive video alongside the garment? Maybe leaflets or a lookbook of my model wearing the garment in a location shoot.

 

 

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University Interviews: Choice’s

WEEK 11:

1-7th May

University of Westminster/ Fashion Design sandwich year. Once we laid our portfolios on the desktop, we were given a quick tour by some second-year students who answered any questions we had. Once this was over we were called in one by one. I sat down with two of the tutors with my work in front of me and they asked me the following questions “Why Westminster” “Your favourite designer” “Your worst designer” “Know any students here?” “Post students?” “Did you visit any open days?” I felt I answered all the questions really well, and had a good rapport with the tutors and had a laugh. I felt really comfortable being there and It made me like the university even more. *UPDATE* I received a conditional offer and I made it my firm choice.

Central Saint Martins/ Fashion Design with Marketing. Before proceeded to lay our portfolios down, we were told we have been very successful to even get this far along- and there are only 5 places left on the course. Once laying down our work we were asked to leave the room while she called in each student for an interview. During my wait of 5 hours, I was lucky enough to sit and talk to a second-year student who was so lovely and chatty, answering any questions I had in detail. Once I was called in for my interview, Rosemary (the course leader) asked me to talk through my portfolio, which I happily obliged to do so. She told me she really liked my work and how she thought that my understanding of pollution and the fashion industry has a part to play in this and bringing these issues though to my work was important as she too has her concerns. I talked about how I felt about this course and the university and how it truly fit me, how I gain so much influence from students here, and how my design style and how its so important for me to be successful in everything I do and how going to CSM will elevate me to do so. She seemed impressed with and loved how I was a ‘Northerner like herself’ my work and thanked me for coming down. *UPDATE* Today I received a rejection email from CSM.

I also gained conditional offers from:

Liverpool John Moores and University of Salford.

Water Pollution Designs:

WEEK 8:

10-16th April

After being really unhappy with the results of my projection experimentation, I decided I would make use of the acetate images I printed off as I still really liked these and the detail they provided. After documenting them in my sketchbook a design flew to mind- Using the bubbly shapes the image contained I immediately pictured a big bubbly ‘jumper’ in my mind that almost engulfed a model and decided to put this idea on paper. The image below is what I came up with:

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As stated previously I took the bubbly feel off the photograph and transformed this into a garment. On each design the models face is partially covered- I got this idea from my research on ‘Smog Mask Fashion’ where all the model’s mouths were covered as a statement to try and raise awareness of the fact that in countries such as China- wearing a smog mask to stop from trying to inhale the poisonous pollution is almost becoming a fashion- thus I wanted to use this in my designs too- but rather than an actual smog mask I wanted the jumper to almost be the pollution that is suffocating the model.

For these next three designs, I simply took a photograph of the previous ones, uploaded them into photoshop, used the ‘Polygon Lasso’ around the inside of them, and cut and ‘special paste’ ‘paste into’ the designs. I pasted in a photograph I had saved from when I previously took the images of the oil. I then adjusted the ‘Hue and Saturation’ of the image to change the colours. I do like these designs- just not as much as the first three due to the fact again the intricate detail has been lost, and they look a little plain. Thinking realistically It would be very expensive to print too and don’t think it would look effective. In the sketchbook, I layered some patterns I created before hand using the Karla Black technique- and this did improve the designs I feel as it added more detail.

This seventh design I took it back to more detail- again using the ‘Smog Mask Fashion’ to cover the mouth and nose- yet added lots more pattern and a bit of colour and texture to the garment and I feel this too is effective:

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I am really happy with these designs and can’t wait to try some more as I feel the route I am going down will create a successful and effective final piece with the context behind it I desire, even though Im not sure how I would achieve the shape of these designs, padding? wire? just lots of layered material? I will need to take these factors into consideration when thinking about my actual garment.

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Tutorial with Tutor:

WEEK 6:

27-2nd April

After being unhappy with my hand woven samples due to the fact the man made and the natural didn’t blend in a fluid manner, I decided to book a tutorial with my pathway tutor Danielle, to share my concerns and gain any advice she may have. To ensure she knew what I wanted and my ideas behind my work I walked her through my sketchbook to help her understand and told her what I didn’t like about the plaster samples, and the hand woven pieces, and if she knew any other textile methods I should try to blend the two subjects together.

She liked where I was going with my project and the context behind my work and she suggested I tried wet felting. She told me this is a process in which you infuse pieces of wool and other natural yarns together using warm water and friction, and I could try to incorporate bits of the litter I had found in Bolton to the mix. Although the litter won’t fully infuse to the wool as it is unnatural, If I sandwich it in- it may work by just infusing the surrounding wool to the wool underneath.

I wanted to get on with this process as quickly as a could but unfortunately I had to wait until the following Tuesday when I had access to table space and materials.

First Designs:

WEEK 6:

27-2nd April

Though I had transferred my context from an idea, to sculpture to textiles, I still felt I needed to start creating some designs using my completed work to help me foresee a ‘garment’ future for my project.  These designs I created by using images I had taken of my work, collaging them together and using other materials such as paper, masking tape, Tippex and pen. The two designs are really rough and shaggy looking and I am really unhappy with how they turned out. Although I incorporated my work into the designs, I feel they do not illustrate how mankind is taking over nature in the slightest and rather just look like litter and pollution on a person.

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After looking at these I made the decision to go down a different route of presenting this, and when I have more of an idea on how to produce a garment out of it I will go back to my textile work as I still feel the felting works amazingly well and go from there.

 

 

Developing Melted Plastics:

WEEK 6:

27-2nd April

As said previously I really liked how the heat of the gun manipulated the litter and the transformation of just a plastic piece of litter to an intricate sample was incredible, and I feel although the sample is made from litter and essentially pollution (man-made, unnatural products) the shape of the newly transformed plastic was strikingly beautiful and really had the shape of a natural form, such as a growing plant or seaweed or something else of the sort, and this made me think about how we as humans are replacing natural things we previously used in our lives thousands of years ago- with plastics and how we are now referred to as ‘ The Plastic Age’. Examples include Wood and Coal as energy supplies to now Nuclear Power, and 90% of the clothes we wear include materials such as polyester and others over animal skins etcetera.

These small samples I created by melting them together I really like, and I feel I may include them further into my project too.

Hand Weaving:

WEEK 6:

27-2nd April

After conducting my research in the areas of pollution, litter and littering becoming water pollution and seeing how the natural beaches are becoming plastic- along with my chosen artists who to combine man-made materials and natural, I desperately wanted to experiment and play with this idea of merging the two together. Having done this in a sculptural way with the Plaster of Paris similar to the artist I researched into Jamie North, and stalling as I couldn’t foresee a fashion related future with this method, I wanted to transfer this context into a more textile based process.

As Tuesdays are ‘pathway’ days this means I as a fashion student have full access to the Textile studio space and all the resources I will need. With the idea in mind of wanted to entwine the man-made and the natural together, I started off with a simplistic method of hand weaving. This way I can combine the two together efficiently.

To complete a successful hand weave piece you need the following equipment:

  • Cardboard Loom
  • Strong yarn – string
  • Plastic needle
  • Materials to weave with

To create the actual samples, I had to:

  • Dressing the loom up with the strong yarn by pulling holding the string in the centre of the cardboard loom, bring it up to the top and hook it onto the groove. Pull it down to secure on the bottom groove around the back onto the top groove, etcetera until I had the width I wanted the sample size to be. Tie the remaining string left at the beginning in the centre of the loom.
  • Then using the materials, I previously have selected, I cut them into long strips and thread them through the warp with a plastic needle.
  • After threading the needle with my desired material I started weaving the needle with the attached thread horizontally through the vertical string, by alternating up and over it and ensuring there is excess material at the beginning and at the end of each section.
  • Repeat but in an alternate pattern and a different material until the desired length.
  • When completed cut the string top and bottom and tie the loose ends to secure.

To help, I followed these tutorials on youtube step by step. I found them extremely helpful ass they’re really clear and easy to understand.

One of my goals I set at the beginning of my project was to illustrate how arising issues and humanity’s way of life (growing cities, littering, pollution, global warming, nuclear waste) are affecting nature. I want to present these issues through contrasting and juxtaposing ‘nature’ with the ‘man-made’ together through textile means. To stick to this and truly illustrate the point I am trying to get across after my learning about the problems litter, pollution and humans way of life today is affecting nature and essentially starting to engulf it, along my personal concerns on this matter, I wanted to do my part in helping to change this problem. Starting off small I made the decision of instead of buying my materials I wanted to use for these samples I made the decision to go outside and see what I could find.

Unfortunately – though no surprise-  after just taking a short drive into the town of Bolton, to my dismay there was an array of litter and pollution everywhere I looked, and 90% of it was the none biodegradable plastics. Putting on a pair of gloves and ignoring the looks I was getting from pedestrians passing by, I got to work to try and find the cleanest litter to include in my work, and putting the rest in the nearest rubbish bin. After arriving home I thoroughly washed the litter I wanted to use and let it dry in preparation for the following day where I knew I would be weaving It into natural fabrics and fibres, to ensure the contrast was vivid and my point came across with ease.

I created 4 samples in total. This first sample I created I started off small, due to the fact if I didn’t like the way it turned out, I would still have time to spare in my textiles pathway for the rest of the day to figure out a different method of entwining the man-made and the natural together. This sample is the basis for my development, and I decided to combine a black bin bag, a white bin bag, some man made polyester with 100% mohair yarn and sheep’s wool. I don’t really like this sample but I felt It was just too small to really see the weaving method for what it’s worth, thus I decided to create this second piece.

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For this second sample, I decided to use man made for the majority of it. Materials include a black bin bag, a white plastic bag, polyester scuba material, bubble wrap. Again I felt it was too small to look effective, and the string I used to dress the loom to me looked too obvious and unnatural. Due to this the next sample I created I wanted to get more creative.

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To ensure you couldn’t see the weft dressing for the look I decided to use all fair and light colours to match and blend in more smoothly. I also wanted a subtler sample, so the materials I used were natural including cotton in different states and wool, however I also used man made materials that are ‘dupes’ for natural ones. This included crepe and silk polyesters. This sample I created was a lot bigger than the previous two and I prefer the size a lot more as it looks really effective and neater and I can imagine it on a bigger scale.

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However I felt this sample was too subtle and looked just all natural, therefore I created this final weaving sample- my favourite.

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This sample I kept the bigger size as comparing sample 3 with 1 and 2 I prefer It far more. However, decided to go back to the theory of samples 1 and 2 by incorporating the litter I found into it. This sample includes raw sheep’s wool and raw cotton juxtaposing this with bin bags and crisp wrappers. When I had completed it I felt like there wasn’t enough litter incorporated so I decided to melt more on top. The melting of the plastic I really liked as I felt it represented global warming well, and watching the heat manipulate the plastic until it curled up and frazzled was really interesting so I may experiment with this idea further. However though overall I am happy with this final hand woven sample, I felt like the fluidity of the combination of the pollution with the natural wasn’t smooth enough again, as It looks quite structured and boxy. Though I am not happy with this- this is only the method and the context behind it I have come up with for this is what I will take away with me for my next process I need to find that Is more fluid.