This final assignment demonstrates a good level of visual fluency and a confident and appropriate choice and use of suitable techniques, processes and materials with which to realize your intentions.
The quality of your chosen final piece shows that you are very capable of producing work of a good standard and presenting it in a very professional and organized way. There is evidence of your ability to make sound judgments regarding the progress and development of your ideas and the ability to make modifications and changes in the light of this.
Your theme book demonstrates the extent to which you are able to conceptualize your thoughts and to communicate your intentions to a wider audience. Your work also shows that you are strongly creative and prepared to move beyond your immediate comfort zone.
Your reflections on your work and that of others show a very good understanding of the wider issues within art, craft and design. Your analysis and synthesis of Japanese textiles in particular shows a good intellectual understanding of the key issues underpinning cultural traditions. This is a very good assignment which more than demonstrates the progress you have made through undertaking this course. You should be very proud of your achievement and attainment.
Feedback on assignment
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity
Stage 2: Focusing on a theme: Early Japanese textiles
Your theme is very well articulated through the wide range of references you make in your Japanese theme book. You have been consistent in your aims and this has helped you demonstrate very clearly how your thinking and ideas have progressed. This is well supported by entries in your learning log which highlight how you have arrived at your decisions and why. There is a very pleasing level of coherence between earlier projects and the various ways in which you have drawn directly on your learning to support your final piece. Annotation of drawings and associated visual material show a pleasing level of analysis in terms of how these images might inform your work and there are many avenues which I feel you could return to in the future which may take you off in very different directions
References to artists’ and designers’ work at this stage gave valuable insights in terms of how similar starting points have been used but developed through to very different outcomes. I feel that at this stage, this was very significant in shaping your thinking about the format of the final piece, the Japanese bag. There was also some wider experimentation with the constructional elements which was very useful at this stage in preparing the way for further development of your ideas.
Stage 3: Developing your design ideas
You were very disciplined in your approach and I felt that your extensive research enabled you to develop a very clear design ethic even at this early stage. This was summed up in your learning log where you stated that you wanted to create ’a contemporary piece whilst using traditional Japanese techniques and aesthetics.’ This in itself was very consistent with your love of Boro and the concept of wabi sabi.
By far the most valuable element of this stage was your sampling and evaluation of what was working or not in terms of your stated intention. You also gained a great deal from looking at the work of contemporary practitioners such as Dorothy Caldwell and Matthew Harris, particularly in terms of stitch techniques. It was fascinating to read your judgments of when a technique is achieving what you are aiming for. In your case, you discovered that less is indeed more. I was interested to note your comments re the red stitching. Even though it was tried out on paper alone, it was enough for you to see that it became overpowering. However, in your later sampling, you incorporated a single square of red fabric. What led you to this in terms of using a more solid shape? How do you think earlier work with compositional elements helped you to decide where to place this for maximum impact? This is an important element in the development of your visuals skills.
Stage 4: Making a textile piece:
Although you did not attempt to complete the final piece, largely because of time constraints, you made it very explicit as to how you would proceed. The mock up bag showed a concern for the aesthetic from a number of viewpoints and the larger samples gave a clear idea of how the four panels would interrelate. The one panel you did produce showed a concern with the quality of outcome and a desire to incorporate those elements which you felt to be key to the overall feel of the piece. The shibori resist was a very good foil for the final panel. To what extent do you feel that this was down to the choice of fabric combined with the resist? Were there any other techniques that you tried which you felt would have worked equally well?
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity
Although you didn’t send me your sketchbook, I have had a look at it online and feel that you have maintained a steady input. This, together with your theme book really supports your project work and you make it very clear how your ideas and thinking have developed.
Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays
A strength of your work is the extent to which you document and then analyse what you have seen. This is particularly evident in this last assignment where you synthesize those elements of Japanese textiles and culture which are directly pertinent to your studies at this time. However, your theme book goes well beyond this and I think you have a significant amount of material in here which will support the development of your ideas for a very long time! I think that your theme book also gives a very clear sense of the emergence of a personal and very creative voice, together with a particular style. Hold this dear.
You might want to extend your research to look at other cultures that have employed similar techniques to that of Boro. Kantha is an obvious example. It is fascinating to see how common approaches cross cultural boundaries with ease. What are the common elements?
Pointers for the next assignment
I have really enjoyed working with you throughout this module Amanda. You have been very diligent in your studies and I think have recognized the value of process over outcome at this stage. You have learned a great deal and applied it systematically and consistently to your learning. This will stand you in very good stead for subsequent courses. Good luck!