Experimenting With Alternative Colour

Whilst experimenting on Photoshop with this repeat design of a promarker sketch. I decided to manipulate the settings and came across these tones of blue. I also found the grey and pink work well together as well. Seeing this design in blue gives it a different feel, it makes it more cold, and the mood isn’t as uplifting as the colours at the top. This is why I chose teals and bright pinks as I wanted to give my collection high spirits and a colourful vibrancy to it. The other colours are also nice, they just suit to a different client and perhaps a different room within an interior. Perhaps a bathroom as often people have blue in their bathrooms. It is good to see what an effect colour has on a design and how different it looks.


Design Development; Sketchbook

Above are a few of my original sketches that I’ve decided to take further digitally and enhance to create into patterns. After the studio design talk on repeating structures it has made me more aware of how a pattern should be constructed and what it should look like. I am now thinking of how my designs will look as a pattern and which repeat will look the best.

First Design 


On Photoshop, I converted for smart filters, and used the stamp tool to create this block silhouette of the leaves. I then experimented with colour ways within my palette.

Stamp Image Color Ways

These art boards aren’t best quality as I had to save them in a different format on my laptop. However, the design itself is in a high quality file. Out of these colours I think the bottom and top right worked well. I love the vibrant purple and orange! Also this time around I plan on using the purples more as well as grey. I then moved these designs onto Illustrator where I could then put my motif into a pattern.

Below is the orange motif pattern. I have chose Brick by Column and altered the width and height to ensure the motif wasn’t overlapping and cutting the design off.

illustrator pattern example 2

I then experimented with the purple motif and used a much smaller scale. I have enjoyed experimenting with these designs and can now add them to my collection.

illustrator pattern example

Second Design

Below is a screenshot of my drawing that I had scanned in to create this ‘stamp effect’ although in the end I decided to use the ‘graphic pen’ as the lines were a lot thinner and it was closely related to the original drawing.

stamp pattern

Below is the graphic pen filter to increase the thickness of the lines, to showcase the silhouette and then changed to orange. I also used the multiply filter to increase the colour strength. (left) I used the same motif, creating it into a brick by brick pattern, then adding the spiked flowers in oil paint on top.

Experimenting with this enabled me to create my designs into a pattern and see what works well together and what doesn’t. I enjoy both of these designs, and I feel that it’s interesting to see the difference when the same motif is enhanced with scale and other motifs together.

Third Design

I scanned this drawing in from my sketchbook. I had used crayons for this and gold marker pen. When using the filters I wanted something that was playful and would decrease the gold on the edges. I found that the orange didn’t really work well, and it was only made lighter. This did not fit into my colour scheme at all. So I decided to use the pink flower.


I had then created a pattern, increasing the scale of the flower and using the filter to make the flower motif less harsh and more desirable as a design. I am really pleased with this and will use it in my final collection. This was a quick mock up on Photoshop, although before I use this I will need to put it into illustrator to ensure the pattern is correct.

pattern 1

Fourth Design

I have already used this design in Part Two. Although I used it for digital stitch and it wasn’t loose fitting with my theme. I then decided to draw the spiked flowers in oil pastel, to give them that hand drawn feel. The left is the previous imagery of the spiked flower and the right is the recent oil pastel motif.

I then decided to use this spiked design as a motif for a pattern which is below. I used the very first flower and then filtered it to look digitally done and then used the lasso tool to draw around the white parts. I then added the teal background. I am very pleased with this design over all and will continue to work this way.

Pattern spike


Studio Design; Repeating Structures

B L O C K ,
H A L F  D R O P ,
S C A L E ,
C R O Q U I S ,
& N E G A T I V E  S P A C E

I had attempted the repeating structures design task on Monday. I found it very difficult to begin with and wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do. During the group tutorial on Tuesday I had shown what I had managed to do so far to the tutors, I explained how I found it difficult and they suggested I used a simple motif, as the one I used was quite complex.

At first, I wasn’t understanding what I needed to do as I was finding it to be an issue to visualise the pattern by hand. I attempted the structures again and I’ve learnt a lot from my previous mistake. I am going to keep all of these repeating structures, especially for my own personal reference. I can look back on them for a reminder of what to do and what not to do. I used the half drop within my collection in the last term, this was done digitally via Illustrator so was a lot easier for me to generate a pattern.

Materials required:

  • 1 sheet graph paper, A1 size or 2xA2 size
  • Several sheets tracing paper, A3 size
  • 2B pencils
  • eraser
  • long ruler
  • set square

My first attempt was a block repeat. I decided to go straight to the half drop instead this time, with doing this I was able to photocopy the original and shrink it down to show I can do this in a much smaller scale. It was great experimenting with the size as the pattern looks completely different. After checking the flow of the pattern I was pleased with the outcome. The only downfall I would say to using this by hand technique is all of the paper and tracing paper that is used during the process. It is making me think about how it could be more sustainable. The half drop is a simple motif to create a repeat pattern by hand, mathematically (right image) I also used the block print from a croquis design (left image).

By using this technique it has enabled me to see the missing spaces, and allowed me to recognise how a pattern should be, so this means that the top and bottom must match up and left to right. This is the key concept to generating a successful pattern. I am still in the process of finishing these off and have started to paint the half drop repeat in a smaller scale. I am then going to scan this in which could be used as a potential design!

Small scale, half drop repeat, painted version

Repeats recognised from last term: 

My aim is to carry on with this technique so I can become better at it with practise so it is like second nature to me. It will benefit my designs in general and help me understand how to create a pattern by hand as well as digitally.

Negative Space was one of the difficult ones for me, as I was worried about leaving too much white. I took one of my designs and used the leaf structure as a half drop. I continued this and then painted the background.

I was then getting into the repeating structures by hand and started painting up this half drop design on another A3 piece of paper. I have really enjoyed these tasks and have done this painting for fun! I hope to continue this task in third year as once I got the hang of it, it has become very enjoyable.


Shibori Workshop; Michelle Griffiths

Today we had Michelle Griffiths come in and teach us her Shibori skills. We were booked in for 10-12 pm for her to cover the basics and share her knowledge. In my foundation year we focussed a lot on structure and manipulation of fabric so I was really familiar with this technique, that originated in Japan. It is a Japanese technique although it is often used across various cultures, such as in India, Africa and Indonesia.

Issey Miyake is a huge inspiration to the manipulation of fabrics and re-constructing them. The Shibori technique is a great way to create pattern and texture as well as structural pieces.

Michelle had showed us two white samples of her work and she mentioned how they were Japanese influenced and the indigo dye was Chinese influenced. My favourites were the bounded and compressed pieces, they were just so interesting and fascinating to feel and stretch to see the pattern made. I can remember looking at it from across the table and it looked like the texture of a bath towel, but when I had the chance to feel it I noticed I was completely wrong. I love the illusion Shibori creates.

Michelle then let us have a piece of polyester organza to use, it was a beautiful two-tone colour. We used a long peg to used elastic bands to wrap around the fabric to keep it compressed and tight. We were creating a textural piece with 3D movement. Michelle had also given us some tips that if we were to use anymore heat substances and if it was to be put back in water the texture would be lost.



We used clingfilm to wrap the piece of wood as it has natural dye substances of it’s own inside and we didn’t want to ruin the fabric. This was a good tip as I didn’t know this before, so if I was to carry on with Shibori I know to use clingfilm on anything that can harm my samples.

We then had to cook the fabric once everything had been finalised. We looked in the handbook to see how much water to put in and the cooking time was for 30 minutes.

Michelle had pre-warned us that if we were to do this at home, we would have to use a separate cooker as it can contaminate our everyday cooker that we use for food and it can be harmful. Also she mentioned the time and how in Japan they have industrial pressure cookers so they are able to do things on a much bigger scale and get a lot done at once. This would occur for the workers of Issey Miyake especially. We were advised to just purchase a domestic pressure cooker of our own if we wanted to do extra shibori work at home.

When we were waiting for our organza in the pressure cooker, we then started on another piece using various things such as coins, marbles, nails and woodpicks. Wrapping them tightly with elastic, we were gaining texture by adding these things to gain a surface texture.

Before the end of the workshop we were able to see our sample. Waiting for it to cool down we then took the foil off and this is the final result

You can see that the top of the peg was circular so it has gained this shape and also the organza is slightly twisting. I find the outcome aesthetically pleasing and sea life theme came to my mind straight away as I think you could get beautiful shapes and structures if you were looking at shells, jellyfish, coral and other sea related things.

More work from the successful Michelle Griffiths



Natural Soap Making!

The natural soap making workshop was really interesting and at the end we were able to take some soap back home with us which was great. It was in the hospitality suite in the management building at Cardiff Met, run by Green workshop, which is a campaign that thrives for a greener lifestyle within Cardiff. Their goal is to make it greener and by doing so they run various activities such as bee keeping, fixing bikes, up cycling fabrics to make clothing and now soap making. There is a sense of community spirit which I thought was really nice. It was also pleasant to see a great turn out, there were quite a few of us!

At first I was a bit disappointed as we couldn’t make the soap ourselves, but as the process was started I understood why. The lady from Seren Soaps was demonstrating to us as she has her own business and now makes soap using natural ingredients, she explained thats why her soap isn’t cheap! We had a starter activity and we had to match the ingredients with the different brand of soap. We had Johnston’s baby soap, dove, and two others which I hadn’t even heard of. I use dove myself so it was shocking to see the ingredients they use, and the lady had referred to them as detergents.

After this starter activity it was crazy to see the correct answers. We then had a break as there were snacks on the table for us. Then we got to the soap making, and if I’m being honest I didn’t realise the science behind it, or the maths! When really it is a combination of both due to the substances used and the correct measurements. We learnt that to make soap there has to be a mixture of liquid, fats, lye solution, sodium hydroxide and distilled water. These combined make the soap. It is important to wear goggles and a face mask as well as gloves to protect your skin.

SH: 142 Grams
Distilled water: 367 grams
Mix both together, stir and put to one side. Fumes should rise, then you have to get the thermometer and check the temperature to see how hot it is getting, it raised drastically from 43 to 63 and then to 70 degrees.
Palm oil: 250 grams
Coconut oil: 300 grams
Both of these temperatures must be at 40 degrees.

It was interesting to see the colour as well as the flavour. We mixed a  dark violet colour as the soap was lavender scented. I was so pleased with being able to take the soap home, and we had to put it to bed and keep turning it every now and then for a month, and thats when we’re able to use it, otherwise it could irritate our skin as it isn’t ready. We were also given a sample of earl grey tea soap as well. I am excited to use this!

Starting up my FIRST ever website!

I’ve decided to create my very own website using Wix. I have known about this for a while now, and how it is useful for any type of website you may want so I took the plunge and started to make my own to feature past and present work on there, to show who I am as a designer and artist.

As you can see below, I am currently in preview mode, to show what the front page of my website looks like. Once you’ve clicked ‘enter site’ it will take you to my portfolio page which I have not started yet. I am also considering if I should have ‘textiles’ or anything on the front page, or just leave it like that and the viewer will just see once they’ve entered.Website 1

Here is my ‘About Me’ section. I will probably adjust the text and maybe write more. I am unsure if I want to over do it on the text or keep it as subtle as I can and let my work speak for itself.

Website 2Last but not least, is my ‘Contact’ page! Which is in preview mode, it is what the public will be able to see, and on the left hand side is an Instagram logo to direct those to see a sea of textile work! I am really excited about this whole website as I have used my own images carefully and selected which ones I want to be featured. I am just eager now to set everything up and start uploading images of my projects and exhibitions I have been involved with, and I also have a couple of collaborations coming up soon after Christmas to look forward to!

Website 3

Displacement Mapping

Below is a screen shot of the Displacement Mapping workshop held earlier in room N202. It was very useful for me as we learnt how to put a standard design onto a fabric sample, such as a t-shirt and cotton. I feel like this will definitely benefit me during this term and next as when I come to my designs in Part 2 I will be able to map them onto a sample for an interior scene that replicates my overall mood for my collection, High Spirited.

Tshirt map 1

The first step was saving our image of the t-shirt as a Photoshop file, then opening the pattern, dragging it out and then pulling it into the same layer as the t-shirt. We then blended them both and used ‘Linear Burn’ as that blended into the t-shirt the best. Secondly, using the magic tool, we cropped out the rest of the pattern to benefit us for when we place the pattern.

Tshirt Map 2

Above you can see the pattern is cropped and the option is changed to ‘background’ and mode was changed to ‘behind’ to get the best results. Then using the liquify tool, arrange the pattern in a way so it fits with the creases on the right hand side of the guys shoulder.

We then used the Polygon Lasso Tool to select the whole of the pattern that remained on the outskirts, then went to ‘inverse’ and then press backspace and define the edges with the magic wand.

Tshirt map 3

It was very satisfying to see the final design on the t-shirt.  I will be using this technique for my future designs and ideas. It’s a great way to show your ideas and it doesn’t take that long to do!

cotton 1

Above is a separate file where we merged the background image with the leaf design. We liquified it and blurred the image to make it blend. Liquifying the leaves really help enhance the design to make it look realistic like it was on the cotton.

I have learnt two new techniques today so I will definitely be using them for my High Spirited collection, as I think seeing your potential design ideas on a product really does enhance digital skills and give the client an idea of what they will be expecting.