Planning and organising is a huge part of any project. Before I begin anything, I like to map out my ideas because it helps me gain a better understanding of my next steps, whether that be in the form of a mind map or a rough sketch.
I definitely knew I wanted to produce some form of a garment from the beginning, because I want to try something that I have never done before. I want it to be something vintage, rustic and loose, nothing too neat. With my theme being memory, my intentions are to add a personal touch to all of my outcomes. I want all of my work to resemble people and memories that bring back my childhood.
Throughout most of my work, it is visible that the cherry blossom tree is a big part of my childhood which is how I came to the conclusion that I am going to include this is my final piece.
I wanted to produce garments from the start, I’ve sketched out a few possible ideas. The idea that has caught my attention the most is some sort of skirt with cherry blossom branches painted on it with images of my family members.
Taking inspiration from my sketches, I went out to different charity shops to find a suitable garment that can be used in my project. I am aware that a shop brought garment is not ideal, but due to limited time, I had to purchase one. I want to produce a number of outcomes and I know a skirt takes some time.
I have bought a skirt and have roughly drawn out my design on it. My plan is to paint cherry blossoms on to the skirt and stitch into it.
I presented my ideas to my tutors and have realised I am jumping in too fast. We discussed that the skirt is too white and doesn’t really link to all the samples I have produced. At first, I was adamant that my way was the way to go, but I was wrong. From this discussion, I have definitely learnt to discuss my ideas first and get some input from my tutors before jumping straight into something.
My tutors advised me that the samples I have already produced are strong and that I should produce something to the same standard as them.
I took my tutors advice and produced a number of more gloves and started to pin them onto a mannequin along with some other samples I had.
This is what the outcome was.
Now, when I look at this and then think of the idea that I had before with the single skirt, I definitely find this looks more appealing and correlates with the rest of my work and research. I really like the way this mannequin is presented because it looks vintage, and is personal to me as it has photos of my family and my writing in it. Something I learnt from this is that it is better to just relax and produce a number of different outcomes sometimes rather than plan what the final outcome is going to be straight away. This was surely an eyeopener for me and a great lesson!
I have mainly used cotton and white/cream muslin throughout my whole project as I feel it works better with the look I am going for and the colours are perfectly neutral and simple, however it can be quite tricky to stitch into sometimes which is why I have to use interfacing or be really cautious when I’m sewing into it.
Getting images ready for screen
In order to get my pictures as clear as possible for screen printing, I had to get the colour and contrast right. I used Photoshop to do this.
I really enjoyed screen printing however due to my images all being on one screen and in different directions, I had to cover the screen up each time I needed to use an image, this was time consuming, but I continued working as quickly as possible.
I chose these specific colours is because they resemble my family and me one way or another and they go really well with each other. I chose a mixture of light,pastel colours along with some darker ones to add some definition and contrast.
The gloves I’ve made previously turned out very effective so I made some more but this time out of the materials I had screen printed on. Now, you can see the correlation between my gloves and the rest of my samples, they all link and combine perfectly. My inspiration for producing gloves comes from Mandy Pattulo, her work is personal and really tells a story and I thought the idea of a glove is perfect as hands are something we all use and have and they also tell a story. I have used a range of materials and textures to create a a mixed media effect just like Mandy uses.
My gloves along with Mandy’s
As nice as the mannequin is, I don’t think it is enough to present on it’s own. I chose to go ahead with my cherry blossom idea by constructing a dress. I chose to paint my cherry blossom on because it makes it more personal and doesn’t look too neat which is the look I am going for. Next time, I know not to rush into things and to focus on my current work instead of worrying about the end result because sometimes without thinking about it too much, a better result is produced. I am pleased to have spoken to my tutors about my ideas because it gave me a better understanding and helped be get back on track.
Even with the painted blossoms, something was lacking. I stitched into the blossoms to add some detail and realism. I like how the stitched text makes my dress look, it adds my personal touch to it. I chose to include writing because most of my work consists of typography and it would look boring without something else on it. I wanted to take inspiration from all of my artists and one thing they all have in common (Mandy Pattulo, Shelly Goldsmith, Zoe Buckman, Idris Khan) is they all use typography.
The quote I chose to include is ‘Family, like branches on a tree, we all grow in different directions but our roots remain the same.’
I thought this was perfect as it is about family but also talks about a tree which I resemble with my cherry blossom branches.
This second dress wasn’t planned. It was originally supposed to be the back of my dress however , I realised the back of my dress will not be on display. I ended up making another dress out of what was supposed to be the back of my other dress. I am honestly really pleased with the result, I think both my dresses look amazing! Although my dresses arn’t for fashion purposes, because they have pictures of my family on them, I can definitely see them being displayed in a nice vintage museum or shop.
After I made this dress, I realised one of Harriet Popham’s designs remind me of my dress.
I made an additional 2 long wall hangings after realising the scale of the exhibition boards. It’s nice to have a collection of my work as I feel displaying it will look more professional and appealing. I am really pleased with how they look, they look really elegant in the back when they drape and I can easily see these being displayed in my exhibition. If I had more time, I would have made a whole collection of these wall hangings because they look really effective and I really enjoyed making them.
I have never really researched Cas Holmes, but I recently came accross her work and it looks wierdly quite similar to mine.