I have absolutely enjoyed this project the most by far- within 3 weeks, I feel like I have learnt an incredible amount of new skills, and ways of thinking which I’ve never encountered before. I am confident about the body of work produced on this project, even though it was a very difficult brief.
- Learning how to finger knit and crochet
- Building on from the skills learnt in previous project- weaving, rya knots etc
- Improving in 3D thinking skills
- Experimental and observational sketching at the museums
- Research from a variety of sources (crafts magazines, technique books, online and videos)
- A1 Moodboard/ Research sheet presentation
- Establishing a colour scheme immediately
- Good angles, textures and colours in photographs
- Improving on making visual connections and gathering visually similar images
- Use of A1 foam board (recommended by Lucy) to organise collected materials
- Confidence in using a landscape A3 sketchbook
- Idea development sheets
- Unable to complete the final piece by deadline on 2nd December- due to the longer time spent on the moodboard and model making
- Did not realise sooner that the subject being explored would not be executed best through surface pattern printing
- Difficulty and time in finding the exact materials needed
- Designs being slightly restrictive at first
- Could be improved with more experimental necklace model pieces
- Establishing my audience
After a week of research in both the Natural History Museum and Pitt Rivers, I decided to design for Pitt Rivers, because I really wanted to work from an artefact that was already extremely textural, and had a lot of 3D elements to it- and this would be the Japanese Samurai armour collection.
I was proud of one particular page of sketches- and this was the exploration of lines and tonal qualities in the Samurai armour. The practice of mark making whilst observing the object encouraged me to use watercolour brush pens, which I now absolutely love and as Catherine explained, good pens become an essential medium for a designer.
I wished I realised sooner that surface pattern prints for this artefact would not have been the best way to execute my designs for the museums. I am glad that Catherine suggested to produce jewellery instead, because I clearly wanted to create something three dimensional. It also challenged me in research, as I had to form a link between textiles techniques and jewellery, which led me to discover “Jewellery using textile techniques” by Sarah Keay, one of the best books I’ve taken out as it introduced me to so many designers who found such innovative ways of using materials like wire, such as Mary Lee Hu.
My moodboard took a few days to finish, but I am proud of the rich collection of research in colours, textures and patterns of the armour, and next time, I can improve on completing this level of quality in a shorter amount of time.
I found out how much I loved model making for jewellery, and I learnt that no matter how much planning I could do on my designs, I honestly learnt most from just constructing the shapes, feeling the materials and manipulating it. I quickly learnt that the wire I planned to use for my final prototype was too hard to weave with, and it didn’t have the most refined look. Thankfully, lucy gave me enamelled wire and craft wire which completed the job perfectly. It was also exciting to think about the significance of the jewellery on parts of the body, and I wanted to construct a neck piece, as the armour really emphasizes how this part is most vulnerable, and must be protected.
The hardest aspect of the project was the audience- I aimed for young adults of 18 to 30 year olds, but I personally could not purchase this type of neckpiece, as it would be too expensive. I realised later that females within late 20s and 30s would be more likely to buy this product, as it will have to be hand crafted and therefore an accessory to gift others, or to wear occasionally.
This project has taught me to use all these strengths and to take it further for the next- and to not only sketch, but to make samples or models immediately to truly understand what I will be working with and how it will be made.