Reviewing the sampling process proved enlightening. Stepping back from my work and viewing as independently and critically as possible was a valuable, if quite challenging, exercise. However, I had been quite thorough in evaluating each piece so I had already started the process when I reached the sorting exercise.
A number of the pieces were relatively easy to discount at this stage. Some simply because they didn’t fit the requirements of the course, being too simple, unchallenging or not offering scope for interesting development; others because they quite frankly didn’t work!
I looked at each piece from several perspectives:
- Extent to which it met the course brief
- How well did the piece work
- Did the techniques/colours/textures work together (or could they be developed)
- Was the outcome satisfying and successful
- What was my gut reaction. Did I like the finished sample; did it feel right and would I enjoy working with it further
Rightly or wrongly, even those pieces that ticked all the right boxes did not make the cut unless I was really enthused to follow them further and really explore their potential.
- Great outcomes but insufficient scope for further development in the context of this module
Crochet and Knitting
- Very much within my comfort zone. Quite successful but not stretching enough. Could possibly be adapted by combining with another technique but just not very inspired.
- Several different approaches were taken within the sampling exercises revealing lots of work with colour and texture. Interesting scope for combining stitch with dyeing, felting, surface manipulation and a wide range of prototypes.
Drilling down further into the felting samples I decided that the simple flat felt was lacking in spark and excitement. Whilst I loved the felt ‘meteorite’ it wasn’t quite grabbing me. The surface was a little limited in terms of the shapes and cuts that could be made. Good potential for colour but not so much for shape and texture. Possible options to stitch into but not quite enough to make me keen to pursue it at this stage.
The felted vessels were my favourite pieces. The fungi sample was a reasonable success but wasn’t particularly exciting.
The felt bowl was good in theory but it was really disappointing that the most interesting part of the piece (the outside) was barely visible! Clearly to take this idea forward would require more attention to placement to take advantage of the most successful part of the piece. Placement is something that I am confident I can work on.
I liked the potential for playing with colour; the possibilities of adding layers of different fibres and colour placement within the layers.
The stitched chenille gives excellent texture and was the most successful interpretation of the spiral motif. It also taps into some of the pieces by the artists that I researched.
Taking all these factors into account, my plan is to take forward the felt as a medium, to play with the colour (maybe add in some more hand-dyeing) and to work out a better way to showcase the chenille stitching. The vessel is still an option – maybe a different shape? We shall see.