Evaluation and final bits!


How do you feel about the resulting conclusion?

I am very pleased with my final resolved sample.  I spent a lot of time just thinking about how I would create the final sample…the school runs became valuable thinking time!  I decided very early on that I wanted the piece to show gradual disintegration.  I thought about the way that damp climbs up a wall, or how rot creeps along a piece of fruit, and wanted to replicate this spread of disintegration in stitch.

I think that my sample is effective in showing this ‘creeping’ disintegration. By peeling back just the top layer in the ‘growth’ area and increasing the numbers of layers revealed as I moved through the piece it created grades of disintegration.

I was also very pleased with my selection of dupion silks.  These really helped to add the opulent look that I required for the sample to look like an old religious relic, as well as producing beautiful frayed edges.  The addition of layers of frayed sari silk added height to the frayed threads which were exposed.  Using gold acrylic paint to create added richness to the fabric surface in the growth area and a paler, plain surface in the disintegrated area added to the contrast.

To conclude by answering the question “How do you feel about the resulting conclusion?”directly…I feel proud of it and I thoroughly enjoyed the who process of researching and producing it!

Is it fit for purpose? Give reasons.

I think that I have met the requirements of the specification for the resolved sample as follows:

Theme – Growth and disintegration:  My resolved sample represents the theme through the use of colour and techniques.  I used richer colours in the area of growth i.e. gold paint, rich coloured silks, embellishment and I used techniques such as reverse appliqué with multi-layered contours and chenille slashing to produce an area of disintegration.

Use a repeating design from a star or cross shape:  I used repeated cross shapes.

Interpret a design using the techniques you have used in this Module: I used the techniques of printing on fabric, designing with pattern, reverse appliqué, multi-layered contours and chenille.

 If you were asked to make it again, what changes would you make to the way you designed it and the way you made it?

  • I might try some synthetic layers in the reverse appliqué which could be melted with a soldering iron to create variety in the textures of the raw edges.   I didn’t do this as I wanted to use dupion silks which would fray well and reflect the light.  In hindsight, some different textures could have been interesting.
  • I would get to grips with some design software to be able to play about more with digital layouts.  In the absence of a design package I used power point to layout photos and do limited editing with them to create faded colours.  This just about served the purpose but didn’t allow for much creativity.
  • I would be more structured in the writing up of each section of work in Live Writer rather than trying to do the whole module, in one go. 
  • I would talk to Sian when I felt restricted by the brief (8” by 8”)…it became clear afterwards that I could have agreed a different shape with Sian.

Costs and time

Chapter Cost Time
1 £18 14
2 £20 4.5
3 £0 6.5
4 £0 5.5
5 £16 2.5
6 £0 12
7 £0 16
8 £0 20
9 £0 7
10 £1 2
11 £0 7
12 £17 25
13 £0 4
Total £72 126 hours

Health and Safety:

Use of iron for bonding: it is helpful to leave the iron whilst making various bonded fabrics but care should be taken about where it is left so that no-one can accidentally touch it.

Use of bonding fabrics and iron:  Make sure that a layer of greaseproof paper is used underneath and on top of the ‘bonded bits’ fabric when using the iron.  I accidentally touched the Bondaweb directly with the iron and then had to clean the melted glue off once the iron was cold.  For future reference I found that using a slightly abrasive cleaning product called Astonish was quite effective at getting the burnt glue off the iron hotplate.

Use of inks: make sure the table is very well-covered with newspaper before using Brusho inks. I coloured my papers on a granite kitchen surface with just one layer of newspaper underneath.  Because Granite is not absorbent I thought the ink would wash off easily. This was not the case and I found that, despite giving it a thorough clean after painting, there was still slight ink colouring on my dish-cloth for days later when I wiped down the worktop.

Use of the scalpel : always use a proper cutting mat and put the cap on the scalpel whenever it is not in use to avoid accidental injury. Make sure the blade is as sharp as possible so that it cuts easily and accurately; a blunt blade is less easy to control and can veer off the cutting line.

Use of sharp pointed scissors:  I used small sharp-pointed embroidery scissors to cut the layers in reverse appliqué.  Care is needed to avoid cutting flesh as well as fabric!


Module 1 – Chapter 13

Study of three artists

Artist one – Herta Puls

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Examples of Mola embroidery

Herta Puls studied the Mola embroidery of the Kuna Indians in the Sans Blas Islands.  The word Mola, is “Morra” in Kuna language and means the outfit of the female Kuna and it has a deep relationship with nature.

The Mola embroidery pieces are relevant to this Module as they are made using the reverse appliqué technique that we studied.

Kuna reverse appliqués are created using intricate patterns on several layers of fabric which are cut out of the top layers to reveal the more colourful layers underneath.  The edges are turned and stitched and the edges of the patterns may have multiple coloured edges.  The colours come from the principal colours:  the red, black and orange.  During the module we tried reverse applique where we turned and stitched the edges to create clear definition as in the Mola embroidery.  We also made samples where we left the edges raw to create less defined edges.

The following website http://www.molaartandcraft.com/links.php?27219#.VQAkAU1yZdc shows the stages of creating Mola embroidery.

Artist two – Kandinsky

Examples of Kandinsky’s use of overlapping shapes in composition.

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‘Composition 8’                                  ‘Yellow, red, blue’

Kandinsky was a Russian artist who is regarded as one of the great masters of modern art and in particular of abstract painting.  He invented a language of abstract forms with which he replaced the forms of nature.  He felt that painting possessed the same power as music and that sign, line, and colour ought to correspond to the vibrations of the human soul.

In terms of relevance to this module, I think that Kandinsky’s use of composition and shape is relevant.  His skill of composition is very inspiring.  During the module we had to create asymmetric designs by folding and cutting shapes and then placing them on top of each other.  I found this element quite uncomfortable as the shapes didn’t appear balanced.  I can see from Kandinsky’s art, that there is a real skill in producing something that appears abstract, but which has balance and enables all the elements to work together.

I also note that Kandinsky frequently used cross shapes, which are relevant to this Module too.  For example, the illustration below shows a part of the top left corner of Composition 8 which has similarities to the Russian Orthadox cross, which I drew as part of my early research on the module.  In many cases crosses were formed by the overlapping of lines and shapes in his compositions.

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Artist three – Antoni Gaudi

My choice of artist is Antoni Gaudi, the Spanish architect. I first became aware of Gaudi’s work during a trip to Barcelona about 20 years ago. I remember being stunned at the sheer beauty and extravagance of his work and feeling grateful that someone had created such amazing buildings that we can all enjoy.


Gaudi was born in Reus in Spain in 1852 and died in Barcelona in 1926.

Gaudi’s work is described as Catalan Modernism and has a highly individual style. The vast majority of his works are situated in the Catalan capital of Barcelona, including his magnum opus, the Sagrada Família which is one of the most visited monuments in Spain. Much of Gaudi’s work was marked by the four passions of his life: architecture, nature, religion and his love for Catalonia.

Gaudi integrated into his architecture a series of crafts, in which he himself was skilled, such as ceramics, stained glass, wrought ironwork forging and carpentry. He also introduced new techniques in the treatment of the materials, such as his famous trencadis  (mosaic) made of waste ceramic pieces.

Gaudi’s work transcended mainstream Modernism; it had an organic style. Between 1984 and 2005 seven of his works were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.


The Sagrada Familia

In his later year’s Gaudi became uninterested in his appearance, having dedicated himself completely to his work and to his religion. On 7 June 1926, Gaudi was walking towards the church where he went daily to pray and confess. He was knocked down by a tram. Assumed to be a beggar because of his lack of identity documents and neglected appearance, it was a while until anybody came to his aid. Finally, a policeman stopped a taxi and took him to the hospital. The next day, the chaplain of the Sagrada Familia, recognized him but it was too late. Gaudi died on 10 June 1926, at the age of 73, at the height of his career.

Relevance to this module

It was only when I was looking through some of my text books whilst researching artists for this module that I realised the relevance of Gaudi’s work to this module i.e. the cross shape and the colours.

Gaudi was a devout man and crosses can be seen in many of his works; a fact which has led to his being nicknamed “God’s Architect” and calls for him to be beatified.  A frequent motif of Gaudi’s work was the four-armed cross – see images below.

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Gaudí created this cross to symbolize the way the Gospel is ever expanding, spreading out to the “four corners” of the globe.

Gaudi’s use of colour is also relevant to this module as he often used the blue and gold/orange/yellow colours that I chose to use for this module.



An architect may seem an unlikely choice as inspiration for textile art. One may tend to think of the hard architectural materials, i.e. bricks, concrete, steel, and the functionality of many buildings which do not always display much beauty. This could not be further from the truth for Gaudi. The jewel-like colours, intricate decorative patterns, variety of materials and decorative techniques, and the organic design of his buildings provide a very rich source of inspiration for any artist.