Back to school! Term started last week at Morley College – this year I’ve enrolled on the Intermediate Textiles Workshop, which runs for the whole day every Tuesday. A whole six hours – what luxury! Three hours in the evening just wasn’t enough.
It’s a popular course – 17 people have enrolled, so it will be busy if we all turn up. And although there are focus sessions on technique, like using disperse dyes or silk fibre bonding, we can carry on working on our own projects if we want. The idea is that we have our own studio space and equipment for the day, to use as we wish.
There are some areas I know very little about, like screen printing, so I’m looking forward to the eight-week block on that later on this term. Otherwise it’s developing and building on techniques I learnt last year, such as using the heat press.
Last week we had a more formal introduction to mark making, using black dye, bleach, wax and various tools to explore different kinds of marks and textures on paper, inspired by natural objects such as bark, shells, dried seaweed and so on. Some tools were conventional (paintbrushes), others less so (washing-up brushes, twigs, skewers, straws). See photo above for examples.
Then we tried to recreate some of those marks in textiles, using craft Vilene, paper string, raffia, wire, wool, calico – anything that came to hand – with techniques such as knitting, crochet, soldering irons. It was a very good introduction to encourage us to think about the main elements of art and design, such as line, colour, pattern, texture, tone, shape and form.