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My Process – from source to design

My Process – from source to design

15 days ago I went out for a walk in the countryside in search of inspiration. I had an overwhelming need to get back to ‘who I am’ and create from the heart. I love the design process, it’s a game, like chess, played out by head and hand.

I came back from my walk inspired and determined to start working on something new, something very different and hopefully by the end of the process I would have made a piece of work to be proud of.

This blog post is about my journey, the thoughts and actions that took place, the concept for a finished piece of work. Kind of a fly on the wall but inside my head.

I love texture and I find rocks, moss, lichens, and bark very inspirational, textures  and abstract pattern always get me fired up. I must have hundreds of these type of photos but a newly taken picture is so much more interesting, everything of that moment is still fresh in the mind and the senses.

I chose a couple of photo’s that I particularly liked.  P1310403My sketchbook, watercolours and a range of drawing materials came out, notes were made; what colours did I like? While working on my sketches I was thinking about how to interpret my ideas, what materials and techniques would work best?

P1310405I knew I wanted these pieces to be mixed media pieces, for a very long time I’ve wanted to combine ceramics and textiles. So I started thinking of how I could achieve this. My first thought was to have the main body of the work as textiles and add on ceramic, or even metal pieces so a quick sketch was made with notes about ideas for making textile textures. I started thinking about using subtle colours on some pieces but strengthening the colour for other pieces.
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The journey of making an actual ‘artwork’ began, I started making a textile picture. The picture needed 3 dimensional elements made from either enamelled copper, or ceramic clay, so I set about and made both. I will finish this piece and I will show it at a later date, but this is where I went off on a tangent and started making some clay pieces.

The clay pieces needed to dry, they were then fired. They were coloured and refired, interestingly I went with my favourite colour palette and deeper hues than I originally intended. I had quite a wait, ceramics is a slow process and sometimes the excitement waned, but once my tiles were fired my enthusiasm returned.

I have spent the last couple of days working on the textile part, more scribbles and notes were made. This was a journey of discovery as I had to learn several new techniques along the way, including soluble fabric, (which is amazing). I discovered needle felting from the wrong side could push the fibers through the fabric giving a fabulous mossy effect.
P1310401I have literally just finished my pieces, I want to write this post when everything is still fresh and exciting in my mind. So here are some photos, I still need to frame them but that’s for another day.

Now I need is to think of a name for my new body of work. I’m not finished yet, there will be more to come.

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I need to take a step back and assess the finished work, I like to look at them for a few days and think about how I could have improved on them, what will I do differently with the next pieces, how will I finish the predominantly textile pieces. But for now my head needs a rest, I feel content but quite exhausted.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think, good or bad I’d love your feedback.

Jill