My degree show work has been thoroughly enjoyable even if it was quite stressful. I am so happy with my space, my final products and designs. After this year I feel like I know where my strengths lie within textiles much more clearly than I did last year and feel like I know where I want to go onto in my career. This year has helped me to learn organisation skills and time management skills. I started giving myself small deadlines that I had to meet and stay on top of so I will definitely be taking this into my life after university.
A year ago I started thinking about what I wanted to do for my degree show when I was helping out the year above. I think seeing how much work they had to do scared us all into thinking about it straight away. I decided to do ironing board covers because I really believed it was a gap in the market and something I hadn’t seen anyone do before as a degree show. The buddy system helped us all immensely especially with all the staff sickness so close to the deadline we have been having to work very independently.
I started this project using stitch. The feedback I got was no where near as good as the feedback I got on my collage in the previous project so I made the scary decision to to change completely half way through this project. My previous project was the live brief with International Greetings and I decided that collage would translate well into greetings cards because it creates depth and texture whilst being completely flat. I am so pleased I did change to collage because I love my designs and they have come out exactly how I had hoped. The only bad aspect to collage is how time consuming it is to do. It also takes a while to scan in and make it digital. I think my designs are quite unique because I haven’t seen collage on fabric before. I was worried when digitally printed that you wouldn’t be able to tell how they had been created as this is such a long process it was important to me that it was clear. My theme is English Country Gardens. I chose this because I am from a small village in Wiltshire and gardens are a staple part of life there. I am so pleased that I chose this because I really am happy with my final designs.
I wanted to make my display as clean and professional as possible so I made sure everything was white wood and matched. I am so pleased with how it turned out and it really makes the colours stand out more. They look even brighter and more eye catching against this perfectly white space. It is also a contrast to the rough edges of ripped paper collages again exaggerating my techniques. I decided to make some products for my display because I really wanted three ironing board covers, one from each family, and coordinating peg bags hanging above. The ironing board covers were much easier to make than I had anticipated however the peg bags were much harder. All the stitching and main bits were hidden behind the ironing board whereas everything is on show with the peg bags so they took me much longer.
My strengths in this project have been managing time after I changed the project as well as my actual collages. I looked back over notes from previous years to make sure I used as many different types of design as I could otherwise they would look repetitive. I think areas that I need to work on are my CADS because I struggle with them. I also need to work on keeping up with my sketch book because I do bits and pieces throughout the project but never collate them all together and annotate them until right at the end.
Before university I had never really done textiles before I had always done art so I have learnt more than I could have imagined over these three years. I had done screen printing briefly on my art and design foundation year but never really done stitch before. The workshops in first year that taught us the basics were really useful for me because I had never done anything like it before. I still look back through the folders we made to inspire and remind me what is possible.
This university experience has been so valuable for me. I have learnt so much about my craft as well as who I am as a person and would recommend it to anyone straight away.
I have completed my peg bags today. They again took me a whole day because I wanted to get them perfect. I think they go well with the ironing board covers as well. I was worried there was too many colours but I think they look good together. I now have all the main parts of my exhibition done I just need to concentrate on the smaller things.
After my feedback I want to resubmit a few changes to my final card collection. My first change was to create a back to the cards. To do this I created a collaged logo for the collection of a Christmas lunch and wrote a couple of lines about how the cards had been produced. I can see why this was in the feedback because some people wouldn’t necessarily know how I can made them.
I then started making subtle changes to my place setting card. I have uncreased the size of the holly, changed the colour of the plate and changed the proportions of the napkins slightly so they aren’t so even. These are all such tiny details but they have definitely made the card look better.
I also made changes to the candy cane card by adding ribbons to fill the empty space and changing the colour of them so they stand out more. I can now see the card was too bare around the edges and this has really added a sense of fun and movement.
To my mince pie card I rescanned the original collage because it looked slightly blurry in places and I also added shadows to make them look more realistic and less flat. I added the holly to break up the brown colour and it also helps it tie in with the rest of the collection because every card now has a hint of green somewhere in it. I am so pleased I bothered rescanning because it made a lot more work but actually it has made a massive difference to the quality of the collage.
I have redone the gingerbread men completely because apparently they were scary. I have used a much simpler form and kept the composition spread out not overlapping like they were previously. I had got such different reactions from my previous gingerbread man card I didn’t know what to believe but actually this much simpler happier design makes it look so much more professional.
Finally I also made quite a few changes to to the champagne card. I have made it portrait so you can see most of the glass now and made it look like it is sitting on a table similar to my wine card. I have added a bauble to make it more festive also. I really liked the previous composition but actually this works much better for a greetings card.
Today I had an exciting day because with a bit of help I have got my space all ready I just need to put my work into it which I don’t want to do yet in case it gets damaged. It took a lot of measurements and maths to get everything in the perfect places so it looks as professional as possible. I am so pleased with all the choices I have made with the white simplistic theme and going out of my way to find white simple ironing boards that aren’t too bulky so they don’t take any emphasis away from my designs.
It has taken me all day but I have completed my three ironing board covers in my designs. I am very happy with them and pleased I chose to make a prototype because I knew exactly what I was doing and could just take my time to make sure I was getting it perfect. I have bought the heat proof underlay that you put under ironing board covers so they look professional too. Maggie informed me that an option for the edge of the cover could be done with bias binding to get a smoother curve however I have never done this before and don’t have time to learn and practise a new technique so am going to stick to my process as I have confidence in it thanks to my practises. I also don’t think it would matter too much because this is the bit the elastic goes through and will be hidden on the back as well as gathered up.
Today we finally found out which spaces we will be exhibiting our work in which is lucky considering we start putting it up next week. I handed in my plan a while ago which was really simple and I didn’t have much room to play with so I was hoping I would get enough space. I want to make three ironing board covers with three peg bags hanging above them that coordinate so if I didn’t get enough room for this I would have been disappointed. When I initially saw my space I was a bit disappointed however when I measured it all out it was actually the perfect size and I am excited to start putting it all up.
Today I have been practising how to make products from the same sort of fabric as my designs will be printed on. My ironing board cover was surprisingly easy I think because I can just adjust the elastic at the back to make it fit the board. The peg bag was a bit trickier because I had to get it to fit the hanger. I have a design for the peg back and will be making one for the ironing board so I don’t have to waste time when I get my fabric back. The peg bag is going to be difficult because I will need to pattern match which I have never done before. I will practise lots and tack the bags before I stitch to make sure it looks perfect.