Module 5 – Chapter 3

Texture and relief in paper

I chose four of the photographs of rocks that I had taken and edited to show the textures more clearly, and then used a selection of papers to try to translate the texture using paper.


Image 3.1

Image 3.1 shows, in the centre, my photo of smooth, cobble-like rocks with deep gaps between them.  The paper representations are, from the top clockwise: 

  1. scrunched up balls of tissue paper trapped under a sheet of tissue, and then the top layer was cut to make the gaps.
  2. waxed tissue, heavily creased and then snipped
  3. tissue paper torn into strips, twisted, then knotted and twisted again
  4. torn patches of waxed tissue layered on top of each other, with a single layer over the top

I think that samples 1 and 3 were the most effective as they had the height required to represent the cobbles, whereas 2 and 4 were 2-dimensional.

image Image 3.2

Top left is my photo rock with numerous layers of loose shale.  From the top:

  1. rolled strips of tissue trapped under a smooth sheet of tissue
  2. waxed tissue paper scrunched up, flattened and then creased sideways
  3. tissue paper folded, ripped and cut along the folds and then opened out
  4. thin strips of torn tissue paper layered on top of each other

I think sample 1 was effective in terms of having some height, but could be adapted to make it more effective by using longer rolls of tissue.  Sample 2 was probably the most effective in representing the texture of the layered rock as it had both height, and contrasts in the colours formed where the paper was layered.

image Image 3.3

Top left shows two photos of which has layers of strong block shapes between fine layers of shale.  Clockwise from the right:

  1. tissue paper torn into strips, creased along the strips short-ways
  2. Knotted linen thread trapped under creased tissue paper  so that the creases run the same way as the threads to add more height
  3. waxed tissue paper heavily creased then torn into strips

Seeing these samples on my computer screen makes me realise that a sample with a combination of all three would produce a good representation of this rock, with sample 1 representing the blocks, and samples 2 and 3 adding texture and the impression of fine layers.

image Image 3.4

In this sample I creased some waxed tissue paper and then tore it in to block shapes which I layered and trapped under another sheet.  I was very pleased with the textures, and veining,  that were created using this layering method.


Module 5 – Chapters 1&2

Texture in landscape

The design inspiration for this module was textures found in natural landscapes.  I am a frequent visitor to my local beach and am always impressed by the huge variety of rock formations and fossils that I observe there and so decided to use this as the basis for this module.  I started by taking some photographs of rocks there, representing some of them in paints and inks and then applying some effects on the computer.  These are shown below:

imageImage 1.1:  rocks with different shapes and textures, some smooth and some sharp edges, some hard and some flaky.

image image

Image 1.2                           Image 1.3

Images 1.2 and 1.3 show sketches in inks and pastels of rock formations.  Image 1.3 shows interesting wave-like formations in shale rock.


Image 1.4 – layers of hard rock, shale and rock pools creating layers of colour and texture.

image Image1 .5 – thick and thin veins of white on grey

image Image 1.6 – naturally formed ‘cobble pavement’

image Image 1.7 – huge ammonites – wavy white lines on grey.  Smooth ripples.

image Image 1.8 – smooth loaf-shape blocks – rich orange, gold, cream and grey

image Image 1.9 – Image 1.8 represented in paint


Image 1.10 – cracked surface, rough layers, sharp edges


Image 1.11 – contrasting shapes, textures and colours


Image 1.12 – Layers of strong blocks, pebbles, smooth flat shale and flowing, bubbly sea weed

Images 1.13 to 1.15 below show examples of different effects applied to the photographs to try to accentuate the shapes


Image 1.13


Image 1.14


Image 1.15


Chapter 2 – Paper relief investigations

In this chapter I investigated the qualities of different types of white paper.  For each type of paper I tried tearing it in different directions and folding it to see how it creased.


Image 2.1

In image 2.1 I tried:

Handmade paper:  this was difficult to tear in a line, but it pulled apart well to create soft edges.  It folded well and created a stronger shade where it was folded double.

Old envelope:  this ripped in straight lines when tearing along the grain of the paper.  It was opaque and so didn’t create any change in shade when folded double.

Newspaper:  tore in irregular shape with nicely jagged edge, but the print detracted from the shape of the edges.  Folded with sharp edges.

Parcel wrapping paper:  this ripped in straight lines when tearing along the grain of the paper.  As it is not transparent it didn’t create any change in shade when folded double


Image 2.2

Tissue paper:  tears well with natural looking edges.  Folds with sharp creases and change in tone created where folded double.

Waxed tissue paper: lovely paper as it creates a soft fibrous edge when ripped which is slightly whiter than the rest of the paper.  Creases with sharp edges and creates a change in shade created where folded double

Bottle wrapping paper:  folds easily but no change in tone.  Rips in straight lines and layers come apart creating variety of shades.

Draftsman’s tracing paper: creates a an interesting rough edge when ripped .  Creases with sharp edges and creates a change in shade created where folded double.


Image 2.3

Dressmaking pattern: pleasing fibrous texture along edges when torn.  Folds with sharp edges and change in shade when doubled.

Lens tissue:  doesn’t rip in a straight line; creates soft blurred edges. 

Deli paper: tears in a straight line.  Folds with sharp edges and slight change in shade when doubled.

Cartridge paper: Tears in layers.  Folds with a sharp edge and little change in shade when folded double.

image Image 2.4

Image 2.4 shows an experiment to see the effect of scrunching nine different papers up.  Each piece was A4 in size and was scrunched down to fill the 1/9th section of an A4 page.  The papers were, from top left, clockwise:  Waxed paper, bottle wrapping paper, parcel wrapping paper, tissue paper, toilet paper, recycled tissue paper,  newspaper, handmade paper and, in the centre, dressmaking pattern paper.  This experiments showed that some of the papers form stronger shapes when scrunched.  For example, the thicker papers such as parcel wrapping paper and newspaper created harder edges where they were folded.   The tissue paper and waxed tissue paper were still slightly transparent in places and created less pronounced shapes.


Manipulated tissue paper

Using tissue paper, I tried a number of ways of manipulating the paper to see the effects.



Image 2.5

From top left, clockwise:  torn and creased; strips snipped across and then folded; torn creased and hole-punched; fringed and twisted; twisted and knotted;  scrunched; creased into lines; torn and twisted in strips.


Image 2.6

From top:  gathered tightly; gathered in patches; block shapes torn and trapped under creased layer; block shapes torn and trapped under smooth layer; small pieces scrunched and trapped; torn and woven.

This chapter has demonstrated to me the variety of effects that can be created from simple layering and manipulation of various papers.  I can see several which will lend themselves to representing my rock surfaces.

Module 4 – Chapter 12

Study of three artists

Cas Holmes

Cas Holmes spent four years at art college training in painting and drawing before becoming involved in stitch.  This background combines beautifully in her work which has been described as ‘painting with cloth’.  Cas collects overlooked ‘ things’ left behind by others on streets and hedgerows and uses them in collages to create meaningful artworks.

Relevance to this module:

  • using scrap paper to create artworks.  Whilst I used scrap paper to make paper pulp, Cas often uses it as part of a collage
  • creating interesting book forms – Cas combines fabric, stitch, paper and print to create fascinating ‘books’.  I created several experimental book forms before settling on a design for my final assessed piece.
  • text in art – many of Cas’s artworks feature a word or phrase either printed or stitched in to the piece to help tell a story.  The base fabric of my assessed piece was designed by overlapping several layers of text as a rubbing, print and stitched form.
  • stitching into paper and fabric – having created a mixed media background, Cas stitches on top.  I experimented with ways of stitching into handmade paper on a fabric grid and used this technique for the sails on my assessed piece.

image image

Images 12.1 and 12.2 Stitched books combining papers and fabric


Image 12.3  Using text in artworks

Lois Walpole

Lois Walpole graduated from Saint Martins School of Art, London with a B.A.(Hons.) in Sculpture in 1975 and obtained City and Guilds qualifications in Basket Making from the London College of Furniture in 1982.   Since then she has worked full time as an artist/ basket maker .

The materials used are often recycled materials…“These artefacts combine the techniques and often the forms of basketry with the detritus of consumerism and the natural materials of my immediate environment” Lois Walpole.

Relevance to this module:

Using recycled materials – in this module I used waste paper such as old dress-making patterns to create pages for some of my experimental books, as well as the basis for paper pulp, and old vegetable nets for paper-making grids.

image Image 12.4 – Basket made of recycled paper


Image 12.5 – basket made from drinks cans

Ineke Berlyn

I bought three of Ineke’s books last year and was very sad to hear of her death earlier this year.  She was an international prize winning textile artist, who combined her love for colour, fabric and travelling to create a collection of work and sketchbooks. 

My reason for selecting her for this chapter is because of her frequent use of text in her stitched works.  Sometimes these were used as ways of turning sketchbook pages into quilts (image 12.6 below) and sometimes as a way of creating pattern (image 12.7 below)


Image 12.6 – Obama’s inauguration quilt

image Image 12.7 – Indigo words

Relevance to this module:

Ineke  used text as a way of both creating narrative in her artworks as well as layering the text to create pattern.  This was a technique that I used in my assessed piece in which I used the words ‘Jolie Brise’ and the degrees of latitude e.g. 42°N, to tell the story of my travels, as well as layering the text in several ways to create pattern.

Module 4 – Evaluation of assessment piece

The completed embroidered assessment piece for Module 4 is a photograph/sketch album based on the design topic of media.

How do I feel about the resulting conclusion?

I am very pleased with the final piece.  It feels very pleasant to the touch as the Calico has softened due to handling and has a slightly brushed feel.  I feel that it shows quite a lot of creativity in the various elements that I used to decorate the fabric and in creating the marine parts e.g. sails, rigging, ropes and cleat.  It also has an emotional connection in that it represents a special sailing adventure that I am undertaking.

Is it fit for purpose?

Yes.  It meets the brief as it is an embroidered panel, larger than A4 in size, which has been folded to create an item related to media.  I used several techniques from the Module including:

  • lettering made from rubbing over raised letters
  • machine and hand embroidery lettering and doodling
  • making grids from drawn thread work
  • paper making
  • stitching into handmade paper
  • making interesting book forms

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

  • I would probably dye the Calico a slightly darker manila colour before starting stitching as it has become slightly grubby-looking after all of the handling, printing, stitching etc.
  • I think it would be interesting to have a contrast of the text size by adding in some tiny text in as well as the larger ‘Jolie Brise’ lettering.
  • I would overstitch the ‘rigging’ and ‘rope ladder’ with a silky thread in order to give a contrast to the matt surface of the cover and make it stand out more

Module 4 – Health and safety considerations


Safety precaution

Machine stitching

Use chair with back support and easy access to pedal.

Keep flexes out of the way of tripping or damaging wires.

Mono printing

Protect surfaces with newspaper to stop inks and paints transferring where not wanted


Wear protective gloves and clothes

Work in ventilated area

Dispose of excess bleach safely

Cutting with blade / rotary cutter

Use self-healing mat

Put cover on blade when not in use

Cut away from yourself


Protect surfaces.

Do not touch wet glue when using hot glue gun


Switch off when not in use

Ensure flex is not trailing to cause trip hazard


Protect hands, clothes and surfaces from dye

Paper making

Ensure proper use of blender when making pulp

Module 4 – Storage of materials and sample

Storage of materials and samples


Storage place

Ideal conditions

Design work in progress

Flat pieces attached in sketchbook, 3D pieces kept in plastic containers

Away from sun, dust, children, pets, liquids

Completed embroidery

Attached in sketchbook

Wrap in acid free paper

Completed design work

Stored in plastic container with lid

Wrap in acid free paper

Papers for design work

In sketchbook


Inks and paints

Stored in plastic container with lid

Upright, lids secure, cool dark conditions

Glue, bleach, sprays

Stored in plastic container with lid

Upright, lids secure, cool dark conditions and away from children and pets

Embroidery work in progress

Stored in plastic container with lid next to my desk

Accessible to continuous work, away from usual hazards


Stored in plastic containers with lid. Sorted by colour and type of fabric.

Dry, away from sun. Flat or rolled in colour or fibre order. Acid free tissue paper


Frequently used threads are on a wall mounted bobbin holder, others are in plastic lidded containers by colour.

Dry, away from sun, untangled and in colour/type order

Beads, metal threads etc

Stored in plastic container with lid. Beads in small plastic pots.

In acid free tissue, not plastic bags.

Dyes, paints etc

Stored in plastic container with lid

Lids secure, cool temperature, lidded container.

Sewing machine

On desk in working position with cover over it when not in use. I have separate desks for sewing and messy work

Normal room temp and humidity. Kept upright. In working position ready for use.

Other electrical equipment

Stored in plastic container with lid

Dry place with flex tightly wound.

Module 4 – Costs and time

Module 4


Time (hours)







Ink and bleach – approx. £3 as already had it



Approx. £2 – for small pieces of grid materials that I already had



£0 – used scrap paper for pulp



Approx. £5 for linen and dye which I already had



Approx. £10 for linen, threads and beads that I already had






Approx. £5 for fabric and threads that I already had



Approx. £5 for



Approx £10 for fabric and Khadi paper that I already had

£8 for Procion dyes