Continuing 2.2- paper manipulation

I spent some time looking back over the samples I had done and the drawings I had chosen. I decided I wasn’t happy with some of the samples and I felt this was because of the drawings I had chosen. The creases in the velvet (drawing) I felt didn’t give me enough scope for making samples- once I had crumpled, folded and sanded I felt I couldn’t take it any further and I couldn’t see how I would move it onto the stitching part. Same with the waistcoat creases. As I used the paper to make the creases I didn’t know what stitches I would put onto it. I liked the technique and the look of the burnt holes for the moth damage, but again, I felt there was not enough texture in the drawing to take this piece any further.

So, back to looking at my folio of work and this time I used a viewfinder window to really ‘see’ the different lines and marks in the drawings. I replaced the 3 drawings with the collage of the moth damage as this had more texture and marks to play about with. I wanted to keep the moth damage as I felt it was one of the more interesting pieces but just not from the ink drawing I had done.

I chose the pencil drawing of the lace veil as this had lots of lines and marks to continue forward and I picked the detailed drawing of the frayed hole on the blue dress as this gave a good range of textures to experiment with.

20180119_141600 (Small)

I kept the chard leaf, the watered silk and the lace veil drawing as I was pleased with the samples I had created for these.

Project6 (Small)

So, I started with samples for the frayed hole. The centre of the hole was a herringbone pattern so I focused on this first. I used white copy paper and scored lines at regular intervals then scored alternating lines using my scoring board, creating a herringbone effect. I also tried this with brown parcel paper and both resulted in a good strong pattern. The material around the hole had a bumpy look I used a textured ‘dotted’ piece of cardstock. I cut a hole in it with scissors and then used a Tim Holtz distresser tool and a nail file to rough up and distress the edges. I cut into the edge of the hole and sanded those pieces, creating the frayed threads.

I was beginning to get a bit despondent with the samples. I felt like I was getting nowhere fast. I realised I was trying to re-create the drawings which I felt wasnt the direction I was supposed to be going in. Back to my learning log and I photocopied the drawings I had chosen, used the veiw finder to find an interesting part of each drawing then cut that out from the photo copy and stuck it in my learning log. I then  looked at each image and wrote words which described each piece.

Project8 (Small)

With these words in mind I went back to the frayed hole and made some more samples. I used a piece of textured watercolour paper and pleated it into a strip and then foled it into squares. When opened out it gave me a sort of square pattern like the bumpy squares of the drawing. I then got a piece of rough handmade paper and spread an orange net over it and then applied texture paste before removing the net. The result was bumpy diamond shapes, irregular and textured. In some places the net had pulled away a layer of paper when it was removed but this just added to the irregularity of the piece. This is one of my favorite peices so far. It is quite heavy but still fragile, bumpy, irregular and rough.

I then cut strips of kitchen towel and tore them into irregular rectangle shapes. I covered a piece of white card with PVA and began layering up the pieces. I kept going untill I had about 5 or 6 layers of towel. The towel is soft and bumpy but the glue and the backing card have made it quite stiff all over. It looks a little raised and padded.

Feeling happier and bit more freer in my approach I moved onto the pencil drawing of the lace. Project10 (Small)

For the first piece (top and bottom right photo) I folded pleats into a piece of white deli paper and then I covered those pleats with black tissue paper, above and below the pleats so you could still lift the pleat up. Looking again at the drawing I was reminded of the handmade paper that has the flowers and petals trapped in it so off I went to the craft store. They only had a silky type of handmade paper with bits of bark in it but I liked the look of it. I crumpled it up several times, making it really soft to the touch. I then cut thin strips of black tissue and glued them over the top. I was still liking the idea of petals or flowers trapped in paper but as its January and I have no petals available I looked at the picture again, tring to see it as just marks rather than the flower pattern I had drawn. This helped with making the next piece. I folded a strip of black tissue paper into pleats and then cut very fine strips off of it. I scattered these over a piece of crumpled white tissue and then I sprayed another piece of crumpled tissue with some glue and placed it over the top trapping the black inbetween. This looks like squiggly drawn lines. I am pleased with this sample, simple but effective.Project9 (Small)

For the collage picture with the moth damage I first stuck crumpled and creased tissue paper to white card. I wasnt too happy with this as I felt it just looked like the collage. I then found some blue copy paper which I crumpled up repeatedly untill i had a nice texture. I then used blue crepe paper for the centre as it has a sort of lined ridge texture to it. I then used cut out pieces of the handmade bark paper and stuck them on. I am happier with this piece as it has more texture and potenial for the next stage.

I thought I would have another go at the chard leaf sample as I liked the fact that the previous sample had colour. I used green and red copy paper (the colour of the original leaf) and I crumpled them both up and then layered them on top of each other. I cut away sections of the green to reveal the red underneath in lines and I also made a few holes through both layers. Not really happy with this piece as it looks like a piece of rubbish ready for the bin! I also tried the frayed hole again using a piece of the scored brown parcel paper and a piece of silky handmade paper. I made a hole in the handmade paper and roughed up the edges with a nail file. I then pleated it and folded it into squares before opening it out and gluing the scored paper behind the hole. This piece is quite simple but I like it.

So, I am ready to move onto the next stage. I have enjoyed exploring different methods of manipulating paper to create surfaces. I have learnt some new skills on how to look at the original piece of work and see how it can progress into the next stage. Some ideas in my head didn’t translate well onto paper and others like the heated tyvek paper came out really well. This is what it’s all about, experimenting, finding out what works and constantly re-evaluating what you are doing by going back to the original piece and seeing how you can move it forward.

Exercise 2.2 Paper manipulation library

I chose to make samples based on the lace veil drawing first. The first sample was white copy paper, a 4 hole punch and a Crop-a-dile punch (a crafters hole punch). Neither of these tools would let me get very far into the paper so I had to fold it into pleats and punch it that way. It didn’t come out very even. I could have used squared paper if I had any to maybe line the holes up better but I actually quite like the unevenness of it. I also tried using a crafters circle punch but the holes were really big and again I couldn’t get to the middle of the paper with it, only round the edges. I then took some black card and tried using a burning joss stick to make holes. This worked quite well but very tedious as it took a while for the joss stick to burn through the thick card. I then decided to try using a soldering iron. This worked much better and quicker than the joss stick although the holes were still quite uneven. I then twisted black tissue paper into strips and glued them over the holes to create the stitch pattern shown on the drawing. I then glued black tissue paper all over some black card creating creases and swirls basing this piece on another of the lace drawings but I was not happy with that sample at all, it looked awful and did not inspire me to take it any further.

While searching my craft room for different papers I came across some sheets of reinforcement rings, the sort you used to use around the holes of your A4 lined paper before putting them in a folder. I cut a sheet of black tissue paper and began sticking on the rings. In the drawing the rings slightly overlap in places so I randomly overlapped some of the rings. This changes the shape between the rings and the spacing which I liked as it took away some of the ‘uniformness’ of the piece. I liked the white on black, it reminded me of 60’s fashion prints.Very Mary Quant and ‘Mod’ like. (The image below is from Pinterest, and had no other link). 60s print - Google Search

I also found an old hand punching tool I had- this was the solution to being able to punch holes anywhere on the paper! It didn’t work that well on thick paper so I tried it on some deli paper and that was much better. In places I didn’t hit the hammer hard enough for the punch to cut all the way through but i quite like that some of the circles are hanging on. I then decided to use the punch to put some holes in the tissue and reinforcement ring piece. This worked really well as the punch was the exact same size as the circle in the middle of each ring. I only did a few as by this point the constant hammering was giving me a headache, but I may go back and put some more in. I also like that piece from behind with the light shining through it- it hides the white but still gives you the circles.

Project3 (Small)

I moved onto the chard leaf drawing. First I experimented with crumpling up white copy paper over and over again. This softened the paper and gave it texture but I felt that the texture was too small. I then used a piece of Tyvek paper and ironed it. This gave me some texture but not as much as I had hoped for so I got another sheet of tyvek and used my heat gun on it with much better results. This really shrivelled the paper up creating large ‘bubbles’ and ‘wells’ and smaller clusters of bubbles and holes. I am very excited by this piece and the texture is so good!


Moving on to the watered silk drawing. I used vintage ledger paper that had lines printed on it. This gave the paper an aged feel from the start. First attempt was scoring lines using a Martha Stewart scoring board. I went right through the paper in some places as it was fragile. The idea was to score the lines in the opposite way to the printed lines and then pleat the paper in the direction of the printed lines. I ended up scoring too close together, going right through the paper in lots of places and then not leaving enough room to pleat folds. I started again, scoring  lines gently and then with a sharp craft knife, in the opposite direction to the printed lines, cutting short lines close together. This worked well but they didn’t really stand out so I took some time to bend and fold the cut lines in different directions creating a sort of 3D effect which I was really pleased with.20180112_123643 (Small)

Next I pleated some lining paper and used torn strips of black tissue paper to create the darker lines. I wasnt that pleased with this sample as it looked a bit messy. Then I used some corrugated cardboard. I drew the designs of the wavy lines on the card and then cut and peeled away the layers between the lines. I really enjoyed this so I made another bigger one. The result was really pleasing with the contrast between the corrugated part and the smooth part.

Project4 (Small)

I liked the shape of the moth damage holes in the ink drawing so this was the part I wanted to work with. I started by burning holes into deli paper with a lit joss stick. This worked well. The paper burnt easily and it was easy to control so that I got the shapes I wanted. I used the same technique on some of the same magazine paper I had used as the moth damage on my collaged piece. It was a little harder to burn through the glossy paper but I still had the same amount of control.

Project7 (Small)

For the drawing of the waistcoat crease I used a sheet of Tim Holtz’s Glassine paper. It has a waxy sort of feel and a nice shine to it. I managed to crease the paper to get some soft creases and some sharper more defined bigger creases. Where the paper creased it made the paper much softer.

My daughter had a parcel arrive and the packaging material was 2 long ‘sleeves’ of brown paper with a seam up each side which had puckered creases emanating from it. I felt this was perfect for the waistcoat drawing and I just reworked some of the creases to give them a bit more definition.

Project5 (Small)

For the creases in the velvet drawing I used Core-dinations cardstock. It has a coloured core, different to the outside. The first piece I crumpled up in my hands several times and then I used a nail file and sandpaper to sand the creases exposing the coloured core. This gave a really good defined texture of light and shadow and the crumpling had made the cardstock really soft. For the 2nd piece I folded lines into the card at different angles and then sanded the folds. Again this gave really defined creases.

I want to work on a few more pieces as I have had some more ideas before I commit to the final samples.

Part two: Surface and stitch Project one, creating surfaces, exercise 2.1 Selecting

“In projects one and two, you’ll carry out some exploratory work that will give you a sense of the skills, methods and scope of sampling that you need to move towards textile creation. These exploratory samples will in turn direct the creation of textile samples in assignment 2. All of the work you generate will be based on responses to your folio of drawing through a hands on exploration of a combination of surface and stitch.”

These are the six drawings I have chosen to work from for project one. I chose images that I felt had the most potential for creating surfaces and mark making with stitch. I was excited by the chard leaf  drawing especially as it contained lots of marks and texture that I felt would translate well in this project. Also the watered silk drawing had an interesting combination of marks. I am already starting to formulate plans in my mind for how I can create surfaces for these two pieces.

Project1 (Small)

Reflection on tutor feedback

Reflection on feedback for ATV 1


I was very nervous about my first Tutor feedback. Having been out of this world for 20+ years it was very daunting sending my work off to be examined and critiqued.

However, I was very pleased when the feedback was returned. It was very positive and encouraging. It was obvious that the tutor had taken the time to look through my blog and make comments in the formative feedback. I was worried that there was a lot on my blog as I had made the decision to put all of my learning log on the blog and just keep a paper learning log for my rough notes, and that because of this it would only get a cursory glance but I am very happy that this was not the case.  I would have liked a little feedback on the essay type questions, especially the ‘how textiles can tell a narrative’ piece as I worked hard on that piece and it would have been good to know how my research and essay writing skills stand.

The overall comments were very good and confirmed that I was working along the right tracks, something that I was unsure of due to working alone with no feedback until it was all completed.  The critiques were all very helpful and detailed and mainly about needing to do more self-evaluation and to keep referring back to the assessment criteria.  I liked that comments from my blog were referenced to clarify what the tutor was saying and references were made to specific pieces of work- it wasn’t just a blanketed, generic response. My tutor gave me lots of pointers for the next assessment and I found the feedback extremely helpful and it has boosted my confidence and I feel a lot more secure moving on to part 2. I was asked to write a list of my strengths based on the feedback and also a list of areas for development which has also been extremely useful.

List of strengths based on feedback:

  • Strong drawing skills
  • Clear affinity for colour
  • Willingness to challenge myself and try different approaches
  • Conscientious approach to visual research
  • Good balance of careful studies and quicker, freer renderings
  • Used lots of different marks and lines to depict objects
  • Good start with the learning log/blog
  • Artist research was well critiqued and thoughtful and questioning
  • Selection and manipulation of collaged papers demonstrates an affinity for mixing patterns and textures
  • Good crafting skills
  • Sketchbook used well-investigative and experimental for natures larder

Areas for development based on feedback:

  • I need to be more critically self-evaluative
  • I need to evaluate my work against my own intentions of what I wanted to achieve as well as the course content
  • I need to critique my work as I go along, what I like, what I didn’t like, what I could have done
  • I need to state what I have achieved and what I am struggling with to help build confidence and demonstrate evaluative skills
  • My research on point 2 was more biographical rather than what I thought of the work so I need to include a more personal response to the work
  • I need to focus on evaluation as much as documentation on my blog

How to extend the strengths:

  • Continue trying different approaches, experiment more and try to think outside of the box
  • Don’t get hung up on ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. I feel as long as I can explain why I have done a certain piece that should be more relevant than thinking I might have done something wrong. I am coming to understand that there is not really a right or wrong way, everyone’s approach is going to be different. I just need to know why I am doing the things I am doing.
  • Look at other students work to inspire- don’t compare!
  • Understand that some of the work I create won’t turn out how I expected-learn from it and move on- try not to be such a perfectionist!

How to build on the weaker areas:

  • Read the recommended articles and books my tutor has given me to help with self-evaluation and drawing research. (I have purchased Vitamin D by Emma Dexter but The drawing book by Tania Kovats is out of my price range, I can’t find it cheaper, or an online copy and my local library doesn’t have it!)
  • Self-evaluate more. This does not highlight my weaknesses, it shows that I can step back from my work and be able to see what is going right or what is not working. It gives a basis for helping make more decisions in what directions I can take my work and how I can improve on something.
  • Same thing if I am struggling with something- say why I am struggling, what I am finding difficult? Look at how I can overcome this, is there another way or method I can use or do I just need to pass on this and move on to something else.
  • Keep going back to the project criteria to make sure I am covering what’s needed
  • Sum up my blog posts with a review of what I have achieved, how I achieved it and what else I might have done
  • Give more personal responses to artist research, not just sticking to biographical or fact giving

So, all in all very please with my first feedback. The encouragement has really boosted my confidence and made me feel much better about moving onto part 2. I shall be checking back at all my pointers to help improve my work in the next stages. Thanks Cari!

Tutor Feedback for ATV 1

Formative feedback

Course/Unit A Textiles Vocabulary Assignment number 1

Type of tutorial :written

Overall Comments

You’ve made a good start to the course, Sam. Well done. You’ve got strong drawing skills, a clearly affinity for colour and demonstrated a willingness to challenge yourself to try different approaches.

The feedback below makes a few comments about the strengths and areas for development in each project.

Assignment Feedback

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity, Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

Introductory Project: Natures Larder

This project introduced me to your sensitive drawing skills and conscientious approach to visual research. You’ve gathered a good range of initial imagery and carefully deconstructed the theme through mind-mapping. There are some beautiful drawings within this body of investigation. You’ve used a range of approaches which has resulted in a diverse collection of drawing. I particularly enjoyed the careful rendering of the mushrooms, sweet chestnut, baskets and fabrics, as well as the lively energy of the quick line drawings of your gathered objects.

You’ve achieved a good balance between longer, more careful studies and quicker, freer renderings. It’s great to see you exploring different marks and lines to depict objects in your sketchbook (e.g. your multiple drawings of baskets and hessian).

You’ve made a good start in your learning log for this project but you could have been more critically self-evaluative. E.g. “This is the feeling I am trying to capture with this theme of ‘Nature’s larder’. I am not sure if I have achieved this but I have thoroughly enjoyed interpreting this theme “. Rather than saying you aren’t sure, articulate how you feel you have achieved it and how it could be improved. Refer back to your earlier mind-mapping and the intentions you set out at the beginning, so you are evaluating your work against your own intentions as well as the course content. Similarly, critique your work as you go more regularly. (Like when you stated you liked your white prisma pencil drawing of cheesecloth: I like the contrast of the white on the black paper.)

Your end of project evaluation was good – you evaluated yourself, the methods and the work. Your artist research was well critiqued and thoughtful – you pose interesting questions about the work. Great start.

Project 1: Select and identify

The thoughtful, questioning approach evident earlier is continued in your discussion of what textiles is, and in your analysis of your chosen archive items.

Project 2: Record and capture

You’ve researched your items well through drawing, photography and taking notes. You’ve drawn both fabric and form (e.g. cut of the waistcoat), which gives you a great range of information to use later. Overall, you’ve developed a varied body of drawing with sensitive mark making, playful exploration of quick line methods and varied choice of composition. Your selection and manipulation of collaged papers for ex.1.5 demonstrated an affinity for mixing patterns and textures, which I’m looking forward to seeing extended in future work. Definitely refer back to collage as a drawing method in future projects.

“I found the lace net background very frustrating to draw. It is so structured and precise that it would take hours to draw it correctly but a lot of the other marks I tried didn’t really capture it that well”. You have captured the structured repetition well, even if it is not as regimented and exact as the fabric. Try to state what you have achieved, as well as what you’re struggling with, to help build confidence (and demonstrate your evaluation skills). This will also help you move beyond “right and wrong” to consider what’s appropriate in the context of an exercise and your intentions.

Whereas your research for the introductory project analysed the nature of the work, the research for Research Point 2 focusses more on biographical detail, rather than how they portray florals and what you thought about the work.

Project 3: Picking and portraying (collect flowers, select media, draw flowers x10)

Lovely looseness and fluidity in your use of watercolours, alongside more constrained and controlled line drawings. There’s quite a graphic quality to some and more painterly approach in others. You’ve used colour really well – you’ve applied the media carefully (good crafting skills) and combined colours sensitively (pink and green can be hard to combine well). The lino cuts were a great way to extend your drawings. It’s a fantastic way to test different colour combinations (e.g. monochrome) without the labour of redrawing an image. A clear interest in pattern and motif has emerged through this work, as well as an affinity for colour, which has resulted in some striking images.


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

– Your sketchbook was well-used in nature’s larder and contains lovely drawings for Project 3. It felt most investigative and experimental in natures larder, where you explore lots of ways of making marks e.g. for the basket, so keep using the sketchbook in this way for future projects.- Make brief evaluative comments about the drawings as you go (in addition to notes about the media/technique). This more intuitive evaluation is great to capture in project, rather than waiting to write it up on the log.

Learning Logs or Blogs

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

– Focus on evaluation as much as documenting what you’ve done. Consider summing up each post with an evaluative review of the work you’ve posted, to ensure you are critically evaluating what you’ve done.

– Evaluate the quality and quantity of the work against what you were asked to do in the project/exercise and your own intentions – what were you trying to achieve, have you achieved it?

– To ensure contextual research informs and influences your work, choose examples which relate to your ideas/processes/theme etc., and analyse the examples in relation to these elements. Biographical information provides an idea of context (era, intentions, method, where the work is seen) but focus more on your interpretation of the work, supporting this with research into what the artist, critic and/or other commentators think.

– The research for David Hockney wasn’t included on the log. All artist research contributes to your grade for ‘Context’ in the assessment criteria, so ensure you include this research on the log for assessment.

– Reduce the size of the font so it’s possible to view more content per page. (It looks about size 14-16 at the moment, so size 11-12 is more appropriate.)

Suggested reading/viewing


I was really interested in your view of what is and isn’t drawing. To continue your drawing exploration, look at the Jerwood Drawing Prize (2017 and earlier years) and the following books: The Drawing Book by Tania Kovats; Vitamin D by Emma Dexter. You talk about the boundary between “drawing and art”. Drawing is a process used by practitioners in art disciplines (e.g. sculpture) and design contexts (e.g. fashion, product, architecture). Have a look at Debbie Smyth and Monika Grysmala and how drawing can become 3D and spatial – at what point does a line moving off a page become sculpture and vice versa? Equally, at what point does a drawn image become a ‘design’ or a drawing a pattern? I’m not questioning the line you have drawn– I’m just giving you more food for thought…

Look at these blog posts about reflection:

Pointers for the next assignment

  • Reflect on this feedback in your learning log.
  • Write a list of strengths (most important to build confidence!) and also areas from development based on my feedback above. Consider how to extend the strengths and build on the weaker areas in the rest of this course – make notes about how you want to act on these.
  • Also evaluate your work against the assessment criteria. These personal evaluation skills will lead to growing confidence and an understanding of what you’re being assessed against if you decide to go for assessment. (Do this at the end of each part from now on.)

I really enjoyed your first assignment, Sam. I look forward to Part 2.

Tutor name Cari Morton

Date 8th January 2018

Next assignment due TBC by email