Bradford course

This was in October.  It seems so long ago, I will only briefly mention it.  My tutor supported my decision to drop the PVC idea and the caterpillar inspiration (Inspiration is a bit of a strong word for it).  She made some noises about how, if I’d cut the strips narrower, it might have worked.  But we both acknowledged that the limiting colour from paddling pools was driving the project.  This isn’t the way we have been taught to work.  The inspiration is supposed to drive the project and determine the choice of materials.  Not let the materials drive the project.    Is this the way all designers work ??  I am reading the book about Ann Sutton (Sheehan and Tebby)

and her inspirational use of materials seems largely to drive her projects. This is a photo of her famous Love Seat – made by stuffing woollen tubes (made on a sock machine).  Surely this was a material-driven project ??

  A different way of working…. I need to think about this some more.  How does anyone else work ?  I’d be interested in hearing any views.

I presented my 3 samples that I had worked on using my Estuary theme, and got some very helpful advice (and time to try out) ideas on how to achieve texture in samples without resorting to novelty yarn.  Not that there is anything wrong with novelty yarn, but distorted weaving seems to have more energy.  More on my estuary work in next post.

Making pvc yarn from paddling pool

Making pvc yarn from paddling pool

A long time since I last blogged. I think (in hindsight) that this was because I wasn’t too happy with what I was working on, so wasn’t too keen to share. But Now I Have Ditched It (well I think i have – is this post a therapy session to come to terms with this, I ask myself?)

Lets start at the begining….. Our next project is supposed to be about recycling (or at least a nod in the direction of environmentalism). I tried weaving strips of plastic bags and thought they could be a useful garden-type textile. I have tried plastic bag weaving before and not been very enthrawled, so not sure why I grasped this idea. Anyway, I grasped at this straw very strongly and went off running with it. Plastic bags are in short supply at our house (being environmentally minded and having one child still in night-time nappies- OK not disposable) Perhaps using strips of toddlers paddling pools, PVC would be better.
I sourced several punctured paddling pools from all over sheffield – lots of colours. Feeling proud of myself, I was.
Now….. on with artwork. What would make good use of all these bright shiny colours.mmmm. Caterpillars… they are a bit comical, bright and colourful and garden-y.
Io_moth_caterpillarMAX00761More on caterpillar art in my next post.  I think I need to get all this out of my system before I can pick the subject for my next project and time is running out…!

my original post from yesterday gave a least one reader the impression that the Bitesize course would only run for one year and then stop.  As far as I am aware, they plan to continue it.   It has one year’s duration.  Oohh the dangers of Semantics. 

Jane (lesson learnt)

Yesterday I went to a course meeting at Bradford college as course rep for our year.  Amongst other things, progression after the HNC was discussed and their plans for Bradford HNC.

As you probably know, funding changes have meant that the HNC cannot continue in its present form.  It is likely to be replaced by 2 things.  A programme of short courses and a Foundation Degree. 

The short course would be over a one-year duration.    The idea is that people could buy into the entire year or just  one short course.  The first session would be 7 or 8 days in one stretch which would cover drawing skills, some design development and learning the basics ie, warping etc.  Over the course of the year there would be 3 lots of 3day courses- each with a different theme or technique explored.  There would also be summer school of about 5 days which would explore a more advanced technique. 

The Foundation Degree details were a little fuzzier.  It is going to be aimed at those who had already done the HNC. (and presumably those who had done the ‘bitesize’ course.).  They were looking into it being over 2 years  and although the format wasn’t really decided, they were looking at distance learning.   Modules will have Credits.  It seems probable that this won’t start until sept 2010.

 There did seem to be a bit of uncertainty about things, but the ripples from funding changes take a while to settle.

I went up to Bradford today for 2 reasons   

  • to have a tutorial with my tutor
  • to have a look at the Year 2’s final show

Wow – really impressed with the variety of work the Year 2 s have produced.  It shows how free the students are to follow their interests.  I think the fact that this is a largely distance learning course means students influence each other less and so produce work that is so startlingly different.  For example, one knitter, Liz Holmes,had produced wildly imaginative outfits for 2 foot high dolls.  Her inspiration was pheasants’ plummage.  The dolls had masks, or had strangely arresting expressions.  Very different but equally impressive was Theo Wrights woven scarf collection based on wildfowl plummage.    Is there a bird thing going on  ???

The Yorkshire Craft Centre cafe was the venue for the displays and I think this works well an attracts many more casual visitors. Overall the exhibition looked very professional.  Well done to all involved!

I am planning to write an article discribing the exhibition in more detail for the Journal of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers so more later.

My tutorial went well.  I think I was at a lull.  I tend to work in short bursts and my burst of enthusiasm had recently popped.  Life gets in the way of weaving, sometimes for weeks at a time.  We discussed my 3 swatches so far, what characteristics (pinecone wise) I was hoping to bring out, and she suggested a new threading which would work better than my current one.  Great!!  (I know in the longrun this is good but I have about 8ft of warp already threaded up with a different threading,  hey ho – I think I will weave it off as a scarf which will be one of my samples for July).   So how many weeks til the next Bradford Weekend ? Five…. hmmm.  But it is great to talk to someone about my work and I feel like I have recharged my weaving batteries.

I am going to Bradford again tomorrow for a meeting and should find out what Bradford College is planning next year to replace the HNC.  Will feed this back when I know….