Abstract Textiles

I was told in my feedback from the formative hand in that ‘there are a few real gems in your sketch book that have been ignored.’ I started to flick through my sketchbook to try and identify what these could be. As I had not spotted them myself, I started to use oil pastels – something I love using and had completely forgot about! Exploring with old medium has enabled me to think more about my design development. I also asked one of my peers if anything stood out to them within my sketchbook. One had said this stencil painting below:

I then started to think about my sketchbook. As I was getting into it I realised a lot of my work is abstract related. I then started to create a board on Pinterest to give me some general ideas. With this mood board it has influenced my design concepts further as I have explored other artists work who use an abstract take on print and digital within textiles. It is a surface pattern technique and I feel I can now push my designs from my sketchbook further to create new and exciting designs for this collection.

Other designs in my sketchbook that I would like to take further are





Library Session

J O U R N A L S 

I went to the third floor of the journal section today, and if i’m honest I don’t particularly look at these! I realised after looking at ‘Bloom’ and reading through two of them I have definitely missed out but there is still time to change that! I will definitely be visiting the journal section more often and can’t recommend Bloom enough. It was so interesting and I found a really inspiring conceptual artist that relates so strongly to my work, Mandy Temple.

At first I wasn’t sure if I was in the right section as I couldn’t find anything textile related, but there was a class in the second floor journal section so I didn’t want to go in there and interrupt. I kept looking through the shelves and found ‘Bloom’. I assumed it was going to be floral relate due to the name and I was right, the trend magazine is about the relation of flowers and plants towards fashion, interiors and other industries and it is also the first to do this!

I chose issue 16 for my first read as the imagery stood out to me the most, I then took issue 17 with me at the table to read as we can’t take these out of the library. As this was around 4pm it was really quiet and no one else was using the room so I could just relax and enjoy the magazine.


Foliage, Issue 16.

Above is the trend magazine bloom ‘foliage’ which was such a good read. I found it interesting as I was introduced to a different perspective of botanicals, herbs and flowers. A few images I was interested by:


Above were just a few introductory images that inspired me from the start. I loved the simplistic line drawing affect these botanical concepts portrayed. They look stitched and although I won’t use free hand embroidery in my collection, I will be using the stylised approach for my botanical and oriental designs, which is why these inspired me. I liked the minimalist concept as they had a massive impact on how I want to design my upcoming collection. The opposite page to this was beautiful and I found it so inspiring.


Li Edelkoort beautifully explains the importance of nature within our world, it is shown strongly as they wrote ‘we owe them big time’. This inspired my collection deeper and made me realise that the botanical theme for my high spirited collection links perfectly as the plants give life to the environment which is what I want to show within my collection, a healthy lifestyle with a sense of spiritual energy.  Leaves are also designed to capture light in our world, which I found fascinating to read as it is something I often forget in my everyday life, and I have now been reminded that botanics is the right choice for my collection as I want it to brighten and give the clients home a sense of place and light. Botanicals are also nourishing and pleasing to look at because of the naturalness. I am so glad I read this journal!

I also found the work of MaryTemple, which is incredible and closely links with what I want to design. Her work consists of creating an illusion of a shadow within an interior, as if the light is shining through the window and creating a reflection of foliage. Although this illusion works, I then found out that it is actually painted. Temple paints the shadow affects into the interior for this desired illusion. Website

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Imagery from Mary Temples Website

Her work is very inspiring to my collection as I’m focussing on the silhouette of outdoor botanicals, such as trees, plants and leaves as well as florals. Looking at them in a structural and graphic textured way I will use these approaches within my designs.

Above are the imagery I took from the Journal Bloom ‘issue 17’ – foliage. I was fascinated how her images look like photography with the silhouette from the light shining through when its actually painted on with acrylic, she mentions on her website.  I am glad I looked through this journal as I have found a very inspiring artist to look at for inspiration within my own work.

This was other imagery that inspired me for my upcoming collection, and other images I simply liked the aesthetic of it. I looked at Bloom ‘issue 17’ – eroticism. At first I wasn’t sure if this was a journal for me as I couldn’t find any inspiration, however I enjoyed these images below.

I liked the naturalness conveyed wtihin these images. The first two are stylised botanics that really inspired me for my own work. I also liked the fruits, simply because of the bright and alluring colours. The other images are aesthetically pleasing and inspire me for backgrounds when I display my final collection.

As I’ve mentioned display, I found a really cool image in the journal ‘Art in America’


Display ideas came from this image:


A little about Adjaye Associates:

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Article title: Adjaye Associates
Website title: Adjaye.com
URL: http://www.adjaye.com/about/profile/

I like the use of the metallic foil laminated between the glass as I think it looks so effective. I would like to make something like this for my display for my collection. i would like the metallic foil sandwiched between perspex. I am going to try and source some glass first to see how achievable it is, although mine will be on a much smaller scale. I am also considering clear adhesive film as well, as I know this is fairly cheap and you can have metres of it. I aim to experiment with this further into the weeks. I am going to source the metallic bronze foil online from eBay as I know it is fairly cheap on there.

My friend took this journal with her and she spotted this image for me by Nina Bovasso, her work is very bright and gives a warm feel to the mood when viewed, this is because of the bright and vibrant colours that work in harmony together. I am so pleased I looked at these journals as I have now found a lot more inspiration for my work to now edge me further to try new ideas.

Library session


Today was the first day back since November in my own subject, Textiles, which was quite exciting even though I know there is so much work to be done this term. I am happy to be back in textiles as I still believe there is so much more for me to learn. I came back with fresh ideas for my theme, I am not changing my ideas just enhancing some features I have missed out. As I am focussing my project on mark making, I gathered some imagery below from a book called ‘Paint on paper’ although I am not using paper for my project, I thought looking at this will kickstart my ideas for design concepts using mark making.

Angie Franke, 2008, Paint on paper, Ohio, David & Charles

Although the colour schemes may not link directly to mine, I have decided to use the imagery to gain inspiration as this book explains further techniques on how to use certain objects to help with your mark making as well as resists, although I knew most of them it was still nice to see new and interesting ideas for me to try in my sketchbook. The use of batik, bleach, bubbles, folding, and dyes are used within the images below:


I also looked at a water colour book by Shirley Trevena as it featured florals. For my theme I am still using orientals and botanicals and using the silhouette and stylised approach to my work, I just liked how you could see the imagery of the flowers that was taken and how it was then conveyed in a water colour painting. It stood out to me as the flowers were adapted to suit the water colour style.

Shirley Trevena, 2006, Vibrant Watercolours, London, Collins

I liked the bleeding of the colours within the water colours, and they are quite vibrant which is something I want to convey in mine as well as calm and soothing colours with high energy. Below are the images I took most inspiration from below.

I also looked at a surface and pattern design book, Elizabeth Wilhide. I was just looking through to see if anything caught my eye and there were a few particular images that I found were interesting and stood out to me the most.

Elizabeth Wilhide, 2007, Surface and finish, London, Quadrille

Images below:

I looked at these because of the geometrics and the silhouette outline of the florals and botanical design as it closely links to my theme. The last image with the stylised design with various colour ways stood out to me as it is interesting to see something in a various colour way as it can completely change the design and make it appear different. I am going to do that with my design concepts, as I am interested in doing a digital stitch design onto sheer organza, so I will definitely use a different colour way for the thread but the same fabric. I am starting to gain so many ideas from looking at various pattern, mark making and paint books.

I am so glad I have picked up the Print, Pattern & Colour book by Ruth Isset. I found it so helpful I have decided to buy it for my own personal use. I have scanned some of the key images I found inspiring but I found it very helpful as the book goes on to explain tips and certain ideas for your printing process. Such as:

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I am so glad I came across this as I had used laminated sheets and clear acetate in my foundation. It was so much easier to print onto. I used to stick the acetate down at the top with brown tape to make sure it was secure. I would then use my screen and print on top of the acetate. Let this dry and then use the acetate with my print on top to then help me negotiate where to put my fabric to get the desired outcome. We had wooden blocks that would latch onto the screen so we could lift it up and down without it moving, unfortunately we don’t have that here so I will have to think of a way to stop my screen from moving and placing it down as carefully as I can when the acetate is there.

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This book also had a section about choosing colour and the names of the fabric printing mediums. I am really pleased I found this book in the library because I have found a section on bronze powder too. This colour is apart of my colour scheme. I am going to check with Steve Murray as soon as I’m able to if he has knowledge of this bronze powder and I will get some online, the only trouble with this is that there isn’t much time. This book also showcased a lot of tips with how to make marks with using the roller for lino printing. The geometric and energetic colour schemes stood out to me:

I feel like within my colour scheme, this is a similar approach to my design concepts. I want to combine the bold geometric prints with the botanical and oriental theme.


Ruth Issett
Year published: 2007
Book title: Print, pattern and colour for paper and fabric
City: London
Publisher: Batsford

Colour Theory

Over the very long break from uni I decided to clarify my thoughts on colour so I decided to make a board on Pinterest on colour theory, and how it effects the way we view something if it is in a particular colour and the mood it conveys. I also research the psychology of colour too as I believe this is important for my collection, moving on from this I then looked at colour palettes to see what colours looked best together.

Bristol Aquarium & Botanics

My visit to the aquarium in Bristol was really pleasant and they had a botanical section that I wasn’t aware of so it was a nice surprise to see and take some photos. Being inspired for my upcoming collection, ‘High Spirited’. I thought to keep my inspiration and influences flowing I would still carry on research even though our hand in date has already been submitted for Part One of this project.

I took these images due to the composition and colours. I am definitely inspired by the structure of the plants and the colours also feed in too – they are exciting and vibrant. The sea life part was also fascinating as the colours were all so tonal and dark with various hues of a certain colour. The colours stood out to me the most as they are very eye-catching and beautiful. I want to portray this within my High Spirited collection in which the focal point is botanical, oriental theme with a twist of geometric structures and ink blotches.

These images will definitely become a part of my journey for my collection ‘High Spirited’ and I will start to sketch from this primary research and create some mark making.

Cefn Onn Park

R E S E A R C H  F I R S T  H A N D

On Sunday I went out to explore Cefn Onn Park which was surprisingly easy to get to! It was only a 3 minute walk from the Lisvane/Thornhill train station. I haven’t visited this park before so I was excited to see the scale of it and the various trees and nature that was embedded into it. I was eager to get some inspiring shots for High Spirited so I can start sketching and prepare myself ready for part two. I want to get some visuals of these images ready for a screen print and even a heat transfer. Also some digital stitch as well.

The park in general was quite big and very forest-like. It was beautiful and had a lot of interesting things to take images of. I took my Nikon SLR with me and used the macro lens to block out any unnecessary sun rays. I took over 100 images so it will be proven difficult to narrow my favourite images down! I have made some contact sheets and I will attatch them below.

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Above are my collated contact sheets ready to add to my research file as part of Harlequin, High Spirited. I found this beneficial for me and my research as I love to inlcude photography as it is aesthetically pleasing and gives you and your client a good visual idea of what you want to convey and it’s all about your personal journey throughout design. Below are some of my images I’ve chosen as my best:

My next steps are:

  • use these visual images as a guide for sketching, mark making and background imagery
  • use the colour experimentation book to explore various quick sketches using the looking away, and continuous line technique
  • also keep A3 sketchbook updated


S O U R C I N G   M Y   M A T E R I A L S

I’ve always known about re-create as it is a 5 minute car journey from my house! After visiting for the first time on Saturday I have to say I’m just sad I hadn’t visited much sooner! It has everything you could possibly need or want, and if you don’t, there is always things you can make use out of or use for other things as well as arts and crafts! They have paper, card, off cuts, plastic widgets, cloth and materials, bankrupt stock, packaging materials. They accept most donations that people are most likely to throw it away, its better to benefit the community and reduce the landfill waste.

I was amazed with the amount of things they had, so I bought some off cuts, which are actually really big pieces of fabric! For my upcoming High spirited collection. I bought some purple, bronze, orange and crimson fabric. I was very pleased with my purchases and was eager to see what else they had on offer.

I then come to discover they had a trolley full of sample books from professional companies, I saw a sample book from Villa Nova, who I closely recognised from the London Design Week. I then started to rummage through to see what other companies were there, and I found my chosen company! Harlequin.

I started to flick through their sample books and take some shots as part of my research.

Above are some of Harlequins well known colour collections. It was helpful to be reminded of their work and get to touch their samples and see the detail up close. One of their pieces was interesting and stood out to me as one of their print samples was hand painted, you could feel the dried paint and it was actually a nice feeling. This is something I will consider when I am sampling for part two of this brief.


Concept Ideas


For my collection ‘High Spirited’ I decided to gather 3D imagery and fabrics to create a texture and colour board as well as digital. In the summer I went out to take a photoshoot around Cardiff. In some images you can guess what time of day it is as the sun is setting.  I fell in love with these images and found them to link in with my theme and concept idea. I had these images printed on acetate so you’re able to see the background behind the branches. The contrast of those colours really appeal to me as the rustic oranges and ambers create a haze with the shades of pink. This portrays a very euphoric atmosphere to the board  and the imagery gives it a naturalistic feel to the mood of the upcoming collection. Each of the paper and fabric samples were created in print.

Below are some images from the Photoshoot which link with the theme:


Colour forecasting; Harlequin

I reviewed the forecast of colour trends on WGSN to be informed of a colour palette that will be relevant to the trends in the upcoming year. I found that Amber shades are going to be forecasted for the summer trend. Amber shades such as dark ginger and apricot are said to create a luminous and radiant look which is want I want to convey in my collection. Reds and pinks also complement the amber shades really well. Whilst taking this into consideration I have decided to use those as they will give the collection an uplifting and hopeful feeling.

Woven thread and paper embroidery

Fluidity 15 -fresh Fig- Elena Yakubovich Print by Elena Yakubovich. All prints are professionally printed, packaged, and shipped within 3 - 4 business days. Choose from multiple sizes and hundreds of frame and mat options.
Image Source: Pinterest [accessed:10/18/17]



M O O D  B O A R D S 

I started using Pinterest to collect images together for my general overview of my collection. I created a board and pinned plenty of images to it for my Mood Board.

This became easier as the images were in one folder so I could get a better view of what images actually went together and which ones didn’t go so well, they didn’t quite live up to my expectations for ‘high spirited’.

I then made a board for the Client Profile which I found really difficult at first if I’m being honest. I was struggling to picture who would buy from the new Harlequin collection, then I started to gather my thoughts together visually, trying to convey a trendy elderly woman who is very independent, sophisticated, who lives in the city but loves to get away and enjoy the countryside and the simplistic lifestyle when not working.

I am pleased to say I feel my confidence has risen as I know what I’m going to collate for my client mood board.

My colour board inspiration hasn’t really come from Pinterest as I’ve taken images myself over these past few weeks of the summer turning into autumn. I’ve captured some really nice images that would link and fit perfectly for my particular ethos of a naturalistic but fashionable setting.