Assignment 2 – A Reflective Commentary

Assignment Two – It’s been a love/hate relationship fraught with: guilt for not completing sooner; uncertainly about whether I was on the right track or not; frustration with not always having the right materials/equipment at the right time and  anxiety due to all the above.  I did, however, love all the practical work and enjoyed experimenting with printing techniques and working on my own patterns and designs.  The frustration was caused by not always understanding what was expected of me and not knowing when I had done enough.  On a positive note, I feel that I am becoming far more aware of my environment as a stimulus for designs  – I take my camera everywhere and make notes and sketches when I can.  I am developing a far greater appreciation of textiles and for Japanese textiles in particular and make the most of every opportunity to learn more.

I hadn’t expected it to take me so long to complete Assignment 2.  I had almost finished the practical exercises by July but then had to return to Europe from Japan for 4 months.  During this time, I was living out of a suitcase, travelling every few weeks and found it very hard to get down to work.  I did, however, manage to do a number of workshops and visit exhibitions and galleries in London which was a great bonus. (Still to be written up on learning log!)

I started off well with Project 3 – I love colour and enjoyed the practical exercises.  I spent a lot of time making colour mood boards and organising my photos in colour categories, as well as my fabrics and yarns.  I should have done more sketching in colour (I work mostly in black pen).  Moving on, I shall aim to put this right and start working more with colour.  I have lots of photos of old boats and peeling bark which I love for the wonderful colour combinations.  I intend to do some colour sketches and collages of these.

I enjoyed Project 4 as well.  I focused on pattern in my sketchbook, deconstructing patterns around me and looking for pattern everywhere.  I was able to use my sketchbook well when developing my design ideas.

Moving on to Printmaking – I had really looked forward to this part of the module but traveling and printmaking together were difficult and I felt frustrated at not having the space and materials to do what I wanted, in order to work on my large sample.  My workshop at Studio Preniac couldn’t have come at a better time – it gave me the inspiration, space and ambience to get stuck in again. Although I still wasn’t sure I had ‘answered the brief’, I feel that I went through the required processes and learned a lot about developing design ideas.  I was able to just go with my ideas spontaneously and not worry about the outcome. This was very refreshing to me.  I feel that the samples I produced were part of my creative journey, a journey that I am looking forward to continuing in Part 3!

Aims for the next part: distance learning can be very lonely and I realise that I need to get out and study more with other people.  I leave Japan next August and I want to make the most of my time in larding as much as I can about Japanese Textiles.  To this effect I am going to spend at least one day a week on a Textile Workshop just outside Tokyo learning about Indigo, Weaving, Katazome and Shibori – all of which will feed back into my studies with OCA.

AND I need to be far more organised in recording my experiences and uploading photos and reports to my learning log!

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