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Sunday, 29 September 2013

Textiles portfolio

OMG I have been having the best fun this week! I've been doing a portfolio preparation course for the textiles program I want to start next year. Monday we spent drawing flowers – first with black – lead pencil, charcoal, pen etc; then with a single colour and then in full colour with pencils, crayon, watercolour, collage, whatever we wanted really. We were encouraged to experiment. The last stage was to select our favourites to turn into motifs for pattern-making. I can't remember the last time I did that much drawing – it was a lovely way to spend the day.

Tuesday was spent at the computer. Now I got a bit of a head start here, one, because I know how to use the programs, but two because I knew how long the designs would take to clean up so I spent a good four hours doing that on Monday night, leaving me free to concentrate on repeat patterns on Tuesday. At the end of the day we handed over our two mono files and one colour one ready for the fun to begin on Wednesday.

The last three days were spent in the print room. On Wednesday we got a digital print of our colour files on white linen, as well as a dye sublimation for heat setting onto a synthetic fabric. For that I chose jersey. Then we got a piece of film with the mono version of our print. We also each got a screen that we washed, treated and exposed with the piece of film to create a photographic screen ready for screen-printing.
This was the favourite of my designs but I want to work on it some more before putting it in a swatch book.

Thursday was spent going screen-print crazy! Printing on cottons and linen, gingham and spots, with metallic inks and foils and white opaques on freestyle backgrounds. Not every screen was a success but I was really happy with the day's work. The last thing in the afternoon, we went around and looked at everyone's work, how things would go together as collections, and anything that might be missing from making it a complete body of work.

Friday, the last day, was spent filling in any gaps in our portfolio in the morning and then making swatch books of the fabric in the afternoon. I was absolutely exhausted by the end of the week, I broke every single one of my fingernails and looked like a complete slob for most of the week dressed in things I didn't care about getting ink on, but I loved every single minute of it!

Anti-clockwise from top left: Pencil sketch; coloured pencil, collage and pen; ink silhouette;
swatch book with various print techniques.

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