By the time I got to start on this assignment I understood completely how the rest of the course prepared me for the process of the final project and that the discipline of progressing through conceiving an idea, developing and then making is going to stand me in excellent stead for continuing my studies. Until I was actually working on my theme book, sketching and making notes using a multitude of resources, I had not realised how much potential development work I could have from this little collection of bits and pieces. I am really looking forward to the next project, now I understand how stimulating this way of working can be. With my theme book I found that once there was a personal connection, a way of putting part of myself into the project, even if only a tiny part, this made a huge difference to how I felt about the work and how motivated I became.
I found I did take a lot of time to think about the initial development, once I had decided on an end “product”. I think this helped to avoid too many big changes of course as I had pretty much made up my mind about how I wanted the piece to look. I also restricted myself to a handful of fabrics and threads with a neutral colour scheme, apart from the odd accent of colour and I believe this went a long way to help make sure I wasn’t going to keep changing my mind and waste time and materials.
I used a fair proportion of recycled fabric that I re-purposed, using tea and onion skin dye and resist techniques to provide texture and colour. I endeavour to tread lightly on our earth in my life in general and, even though it might mean I am restricting myself in the materials I have access to, I firmly believe that I will be able to source most things that I need in an environmentally aware way. As long as I can be ingenious with the resources that I have I intend to keep this environmental focus uppermost during my studies, as I do in the rest of my life. As my final piece incorporated my ideas of memories, ageing and time I believe I achieved an effective result using my “pre-loved” fabrics. In the end the only item I purchased for the final project was the ivory voile fabric. All the threads and the rest of the fabrics were already in my collection, either remnants from other projects, gifts and charity shop finds.
I could not have anticipated chosing to produce a curtain-style hanging final piece when I started out this project and that has been one of the joys of this particular exercise. Once I started on the journey of design from initial idea to final product there was a real feeling of excitement in exploring all the avenues of possibility, like travelling to new countries and finding nuggets of treasure on my way to add to my collection. I was also surprised at the feelings of attachment I found I had to the project once I had made the journey a personal one, looking at my family environment and my own development into an adult. I feel more prepared to explore my skills in textile art, rather than textile purely as a craft, now I have got to this point of the course.