Do you feel you made a good selection from your drawings to use as source material for your design ideas? Which interpretations worked best and why?
Yes I think I made a good selection to both use and continue to adapt. I enlarged my designs quite substantially to enable me to pick out shapes that had initially been small, involved with other aspects of my drawing and complicated. By doing this the images became more obvious and easier to use.
Which fabrics did you choose? What particular qualities appealed to you?
I tried out most of my initial fabric selection made in Stage 1 with the exception of:
White muslin – it was simply too open weave and flimsy to lie out evenly let alone get a decent print that would sit properly on the grain.
Silk velvet and watermarked taffeta – by the time I got to these I had already decided (see Conclusion section in Stage 3 where I have previously written this) that I wasn’t keen on some of my samples being done on a white background. I decided to keep these two fabrics, dye them and use them in the future. I’m sure we will be building on what we have learned as we continue and I’ll have the opportunity to use them then.
I liked working on the various cottons, polyester satin and the hessian. The first two gave a good even print (with a sheen coming through the paint on the satin), the colours sat well on the surface and the images were clear. The hessian was at the other end of the scale giving a rustic, less defined and ragged appearance to the print which I also like. When using the silk noil the ‘bobbled’ effect of the surface was enhanced by the printing and stippling which added to the design.
Is the scale of marks and shapes on your samples appropriate to the fabric? Would any of your ideas work better on a different type of fabric, for example sheer, textured, heavyweight?
Yes I feel the scale and shapes was good, considering the sample sizes. It’s hard to say how the ideas would translate onto other fabrics but I don’t see why they couldn’t be used across a wide range. They are simple, strong, definite images which should perform well on home furnishings, wearable fabrics and lightweight sheers and organzas. They could be re-sized, print colour changed and layout varied.
As can be seen from recent posts, I am particularly fond of the design shown again here. I have used it multiple times. It has been rotated and used randomly, kept in the same direction and abutted in a grid pattern, multiplied, rotated and joined giving a completely new look and far bigger pattern and I’ve suggested keeping it the way it is and extending the swirls out randomly. By using these techniques and changing the colours it gives huge scope to what fabrics it could be put on and what it could be used for.
Do the marks and shapes seem well placed, too crowded or too far apart? Were you aware of the negative shapes that were forming in between the positive shapes?
Yes I was very aware of the negative spaces and in most samples I kept multiple prints close together, basically trying to keep them unified. Some of the background had painterly techniques applied first to help with this.
Whilst the sample here looks quite disjointed I was concentrating more on sitting the same, but resized, shapes together to see how they would appear. The bottom right hand side with the three main pieces and smaller three curves is particularly nice and could be worked on further. I would abandon the top and left hand side parts.
What elements are contrasting and what elements are harmonising in each sample? Is there a balance between the two that produces an interesting tension?
I used painterly effects on the backgrounds, mostly indefinite linear in effect, to give a contrast to the curvy sharp edges of my main prints. I believe this gives an interesting difference and tension. Multiple uses of the same print with sometimes small colour variations gives a harmony and unity to the focal interest in most pieces. Looking back at the piece above, where a resist was used, the cream of the silk noil is very dramatic against the sponged yellow, orange and red.
How successful do you think your larger sample is? Do you like the design?
I love the design and the finished product. Right from the start I decided I was designing a cushion cover
I pondered long and hard about the stencilled centre and how to position the tear drops. I was tempted to make both vertical lines the same which would have unified it beautifully but would also have made it predictable and boring. I like the slight optical illusion that the drops on the right hand side (with the ball end to the outer edge) appear to make a longer line than the left hand side.
On top of that I went with my favourite colour scheme, greens, deep red and dark brown.
Have you recreated or extended your ideas from the smaller samples so that there is a visible development between the two?
Yes I have, and I also picked up a small part of one of the designs I worked on in Project 4 Stage 4.
Does your repeating design flow across the surface, without obvious internal edges, or do the shapes and marks in your single unit sample relate well to the size and shape of the fabric? Do they make an interesting composition on this larger scale?
I did not resize my swirl block because I wanted a lot of stamped repeats to make the main border feature of the piece look busy, filled and interesting. The block has been placed in rows but moved horizontally along to differing start points so that the stamp joining lines are staggered. I feel this has given a very interesting effect and has minimised possible stop/start vertical lines. To give a contrast to the busy borders I divided the central portion into 8 areas – two columns of 4 repeats – and enlarged my tear drop stencil to fit. This has given a large, clear, uncluttered central focus area. The two plain strips, where the resist was, provide a quiet area to break the busyness of the borders.
I feel I have achieved a good harmony in the piece using the repetition and rotation aspects shown, a contrast in size and proportion of differing areas, a unity of design using asymmetry and a stimulating complimentary colour scheme.
If I were to do this again I would experiment with different positionings of the tear drops. I would also do a sample using blue, aqua and purples to see how the effect changes with a completely different colour scheme.