Overall Comments

Angela, you have submitted a wonderfully, creative body of exploratory work, that, investigates successfully three, dimensional, form and surface texture. It is clear that you are brave and expressive with mixing materials, techniques and applications. There are many examples, of pushing the parameters, of an idea, via extending an idea or concept. I love the way in which you have fun with the tasks and there are clear signs of a developing, personal voice. Your lines of enquiry relating to research are very interesting, personally very poignant, and therefore, lead to unique, design ideas. Via, your online learning log you continue to document this exciting journey with excellent commentary, good photographic images, making processes, testing and experimentation. Well done!


I understand your aim is to go for the Textiles Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, providing you commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the potential to succeed at assessment. In order to meet all the assessment criteria, there are certain areas you will need to focus on, which I will outline in my feedback.  


Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

Stage 3: Applique Fabric Technique

Angela, this first sample, evidences very competent technical and visual skills. Clearly drawing has informed this piece, as you found inspiration, through revisiting a collage study, of a sunflower. There are many layers, techniques and applications applied to this sample. You have successfully layered hessian, silk and organza, to form, an effective design. To create a further dimension, you printed with actual, sunflower, leaves, and stems. Definition was added with couched, metallic yarn, central beading on the hessian, plus twine and raffia. Unhappy with the backdrop to this piece you then applied heat, via a hot to crinkle, this again, plays bravely with processes. Well done!


From the very representational, sunflower piece, there is an exciting departure into more intuitive, playful, sampling. Tyvek, Angelina and Bondaweb, have led to such a wonderful discoveries! I am very excited about these more abstracted studies!

Layers of white organza, Angelina and Bondaweb, entrap beautiful soft petals. It is good to see you documenting discoveries, on you blog, evidencing, the impact of light shining through, experimental sampling. Using Tyvek, metallic, fabric, paint was applied, prior to heat. This heat reaction is such a transformation – into delicate, lace, fragile elements. The base, of green cloth emerges giving an, almost antique, relic; feel, which is very effective. You have applied delicate, bronze, stitch work with metallic beads. I would only question, the use of yellow/red Indian silk to mount this upon. I see this piece sitting in a white space, more contemporary, clean, allowing the rich, design elements, to be the focal point.

I understand what you say here, and thank you. I think I was working with this piece when I had access to the India silks and I just wanted to try more techniques on the background base. It is a bit excessive, I agree. An example of me trying things and not always leaving them to be simple.

It is great to see the way in which, you test, and experiment with materials. Your exploration of Lutrador and Tyvek, are documented well, within your blog. The samples submitted evidence this testing and investigation. Here, you paint both materials with gouache. The Lutrador is more absorbent, giving more strength of colour. These pieces were fixed to a purple, felt, and heat was applied via, a hot iron. Tyvek reacted quickly, dissolving, away, leaving behind a delicate, lace, plasticized finish. However, prolonged heat on Lutrador had no impact, you progress to testing a hot, air, gun and soldering iron! The transformation is very effective. Your findings were: Lutrador, is strong & dynamic, versus, Tyvek, giving a soft, delicate, quality. This evidences your ability to research via making. You are creative, taking risks with imaginative and successful outcomes. Well done!


Other interesting samples include: An Indian, block, print being used, to create pink, embossed, medallions on a vibrant, gathered silk. The interpretation of a necklace of beads is a very complex design; using, Bondaweb, organza, beads, thread, paint and metallic yarn. I love the way that you exhaust, the possibilities, stretching the parameters, with layering of technique, application and materials. I agree that, perhaps, the beading is, too much, in places. The silver beads, are taking the focus away, from the delicate, layered materials. Consider being more random with beadwork. Perhaps, scatter the beads, allowing these to fall into unexpected places and crevices! Thank you. I really worked with this but felt dissatisfied with the ending. I much prefer the delicate aspects. I got too fixed in interpreting the original drawing.


Stage 4: Raised and Structured Surface Textures

Angela, you cannot resist the temptation to apply other techniques! I am not surprised this assignment took you so long to submit! The teal, finger, fold, sample is really fun! I like the way in which, you have filled, formed spaces, with interesting applications. There is part of me, questioning, whether, this is too much, with, fabric paint, hand stitch work, sequins, etc. However, I love your bravery, with materials, the ‘playfulness’ of this sample! Yes, too much. My initial fillins, with stitching only, worked well but the move to netting etc almost trivialized the whole piece. Learn to stop.


The next sample uses, folded, pleats; slashing holes; distressing & fraying; glue resist work; dyeing; stitching & knotting, paper thread and extended back stitch. This has a more, subtle, palette that suggests worn, antique, aged factors. This piece works very effectively conveying a sense of layers, or time induced layering. You, extend your explorations with skillfully applied, zigzag gathers, raised shapes and dramatic slashing/cutaway work. In particular, study five, is very dynamic, in vibrant saffron, slashed to reveal indigo, print. This has a wonderful surface, dimension and texture. Well done! Thank you, I felt happy with these two pieces.


Study 7, extends your testing further, with a beautifully, textural sample. The soft ochre, surface has been cut, revealing bursts of colour. The undulating, quilting forms, waves of texture with hand stitching, adding another dimension. This is another accomplished sample. I personally wouldn’t want to see a bag, or waistcoat (as you suggest) made up in this design. I see this more as an art form, standing alone. It could be developed into a larger, more dramatic piece!


The satin quilting with silver thread work is less successful. It appears rather too shiny and fluid. Perhaps, choice of palette is a little too sugary and lacks the earthy, boldness of study 7. However, it is, again, great to see these developments, testing, trying, variations and outcomes. Yes I was disappointed with the satin quilting. I thoroughly enjoyed the stitching process, but the shininess, the lack of dimension and interpretation in it is very naïve. But never mind, a learning curve!


Final piece:

Representing, a tyre, imprint on the sand. You looked to obtain the texture of the sand. Calico formed the base canvas for this piece using: Kantha stitching, moulding, washing, re-moulding with folding and stitch work. This is a very successful, textural sample. It is good to see that you weren’t tempted to work over this with colour, applique or other bold applications. The simplicity of this piece, supports the soft undulating surface. Well done! Thank you.



Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

It is clearly evident that former, sketchbook work has informed this creative design process. You have decided not to submit your sketchbook with this body of work, which is disappointing. In your previous report some of my comments were:


“You are developing a highly effective methodology, identifying your process currently of: research – pen/pencil drawing – then ink tense water colour pencil studies – progressing to gouache painting. Stating within your online log, you say that you are still uncomfortable with collage, however within this work you have included some very accomplished pieces of collage work. These being the ‘Sunflower’ studies using mixed media confidently with bright colour and textured materials. Well done.”


“You have submitted numerous examples of fluent, detailed drawings in various mediums that convey beautifully the subject matter. New ‘looking’ and ‘seeing’ has enabled you to perceive pattern and shape differently – seeing in a broader context. Here, you are appreciating shadow, light diffusion, changes via movement and capturing the essence of the research. Well done.”


“All these elements have built a solid foundation to support moving forward into design. Selection of areas of interest and re-studying them enables you to find unique motifs and pattern work. In particular the extended study of the ‘Sunflower’ evidences a highly effective grasp of ideas and communication of those ideas visually. You work both fluidly and freely plus making more in depth studies discovering detail and surface pattern. Both methods have value within the design process. I really like the free more spontaneous artworks with paint and print (mono print from glass) because these are so expressive!”


The few drawings included within this submission, continue to illustrate your ability to draw very competently, exploring media. I would encourage you to continue building & extending on sketchbook work, as this will be a focus when you come to assessment. In the haste to send everything off, I neglected to put things together on my sketchbook. Also, I would say that I have lost some of my way. I have had to go back to markmaking regularly to keep my pencil moving, or following youtube drawing lessons. I feel dissatisfied by my pen work as I feel when I use other media I am ‘covering up’ or smudging. I am working this through to relaxing with it.


Theme Book

Ideas, for you final project are coming together well. Here, you are following the lines of enquiry relating to, Yemeni Bedouin Jewelry. You include relevant articles, taken from, The Library of Congress in Washington D.C. This report includes informative notes regarding finds of Yemeni jewelry, in Syria and Egypt, covering the period 1900 – 1970. The Bedouin and tribes women, offer a wealth of exciting cultural, heritage, custom, and religious research pathways, as well as beautiful imagery. I also, love the concept of pieces being handed down, dowries, plus, the representational nature, of reflections of wealth. I am very excited to see where this fascinating journey will take you creatively.


I strongly recommend, that you now, begin to build, your theme book. As, with, sketchbook work, start: sketching, sampling, play with mixed materials, find more relevant imagery, and really get to grips, with ways in which you can evoke the nature of this wonderful jewelry. I am glad the theme seems workable. I am finding I am starting to just play with it now, and must make sure I keep things together so I can see what works, doesn’t work and what end outcome it should be.


Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays


Research Point

Angela, I found it very poignant reading about your personal experiences in Bahrain. It is a life in stark contrast to your former career in the UK within race equality. I am fascinated in how western women, would feel, wearing the abaya (gown). Your views are expressed so clearly, articulately with real understanding. Personally, I believe that if we have had life changing experiences, that have altered, or changed our perceptions, and belief systems, these are the factors that will feed, our creative souls. It is great to see your view of the abaya change, over the three-year period that you have lived in Bahrain. The inherent messages, of this garment, are complex, including: fashion, religion, blanket, revealing, and provocative, changing the boundaries of decorum. You investigate further, by looking at the various styles, design, websites and stores.


More investigations lead you to the discovery of Dolce & Gabanna, designers recently launching a, Abaya & Hijab Collection. You state, this had a mixed reception. I can imagine, this ‘mixed reception’ with concerns over appropriation, or merely seeking the wealth, of the Middle Eastern market. It doesn’t surprise me, that, the models were predominantly light skinned. I have researched the data, articles, and reporting that investigates high levels of racism, with fashion and modeling.


Well done. Angela, this is a considered, consolidated body of relevant research. It has real value, in the fact that it impacts directly upon your current lifestyle. You have unearthed materials, embroidery, decorative elements, construction as well as vital cultural heritage, social expectations and surprisingly, imbedded threads of deviation, from social pressures. I am relieved that this topic fitted with the research area, because I thought I should be concentrating on more a c0mpany or a furnishing fabric line. I had to be sensitive in what I wrote, as there are a lot of socio-political aspects that I wanted to allude to but not define. But even an understanding of the demands of the fabric, and the choice made by garment makers is interesting.


Angela, your online learning log continues to develop, charting effectively, your creative journey. In particular, it is great to see your experiments, explanations, images of work in progress and thoughtful, reflective commentary. Well done. At times I find this site, a little hard to navigate. I’m not sure why this is? Perhaps, because, I need to click into each section – rather than, seeing the assignment roll smoothly, down the page. However, on the whole, I found all the elements, I needed to, and this blog clearly evidences your continued progression. Well done!

I will work on the blog navigation. I find it cumbersome myself but can’t quite work out why, so I might have to ask a friend to help me. It seems to go back to front!


Suggested reading/viewing



Cas Holmes & Anne Kelly


Book: Creating Collaborative Textile Projects Batsford






HANCOCK, MI – Finnish textile artists, mother and daughter Riitta-Liisa Haavisto (1930-2009) and Anna-Riitta Haavisto, will exhibit their work at the Finlandia University Gallery June 20 to September 8, 2011. The gallery is located in the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock.

The exhibit is titled “White Forests, Blue Sky: Two Generations of Art Textiles, Paper and Metal Constructions.”



Joan Baxter



Inspired by the landscapes and heritage of the far north of Scotland where she lives, Joan Baxter uses the ancient technique of tapestry weaving to explore her world.

My work is designed to be subtle, thoughtful and subliminal and I intend it to speak powerfully to people on an emotional level. The landscapes of the far north have a particular minimal beauty and are strongly atmospheric. Tapestry designs rarely start with a beautiful view.









NICOLA HENLEY’S textile pieces are made by a combination of dying, painting, and screen-printing cotton calico and texturing the surface with various materials stitched into the cloth. The change of scale from bold printing and painting to the intimacy of close stitching helps to convey the concept of near detail with open space of a landscape or seascape.


Pointers for the next assignment

  • Maintain your excellent working practices.
  • Continue to explore materials, techniques and processes via creative exploration.
  • Don’t be afraid of being selective. In this I mean, perhaps leaving samples in a raw state, without boarders and backgrounds. Yes, I should be more relaxed.
  • Consider whether the sample needs more embellishment – some will, others – not so much. This is discernment, making those choices and perhaps testing on smaller swatches. A very good point, thank you.
  • Extend and develop your sketchbook with expressive, mixed media work, plus, sketching and imagery. An area to keep working on.
  • Start building a theme book for your final project.
  • Continue to find, inspirational sites, including galleries, places, environment, culture and lifestyle. Remember to extend research into contemporary practitioners.
  • I feel that your own reflections, experiences are very interesting, rich and valid. Continue to use this within your work!


Well done. Angela, this is great submission of brave, expressive design work. I look forward to your next assignment!

Thank you very much for all the constructive comments. I do realize that I got carried away several times, thinking that every exploration had to have completion. I think maybe this is part of my development, in that I over-worked beyond my level of satisfaction on some pieces. I love your word discernment and will take that to heart. I have been too self-critical in my sketchbook work, inhibiting my growth, and not discerning enough on some fabric pieces. Interesting!

I really appreciate your feedback.