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Part 2: Stage 3: Recording Outcomes

Part 2, Stage 3 is to record the outcomes of the work I have created and researched for joining and wrapping samples. I have faithfully recorded outcomes as I have worked on each of the projects. I feel that it is imperative to write down my outcomes and thought processes as I work on each exercise, if I leave that until later then the ideas and initiatives that led to the work and samples, would be overwhelmed or evaporated by the next project.

I will reflect here on what I have done in Part 2, using the following questions from the OCA manual to help this process.

Did you feel comfortable with the exercises?

It took some time to research artists working in wrapping techniques and then come up with my own unique interpretation. At first I could not work out the point of wrapping and did not fully appreciate what Christo et al were doing wrapping landscapes and other objects. My husband, with his science background, rolled his eyes when I told him about it. It  was also reflected in artist friends comments, who visited my home, they saw my work and asked what  I was doing, with a degree of puzzlement.  It can be unmotivating working from home, particularly out of the UK, where students do not have access to ‘study days’ and neither have other students and tutors to interact with. Fortunately I am quite thick skinned and like other artists, I expect some knee jerk reactions about what constitutes ‘art’.

On the other hand, trying to interpret this strange art form, I did not want to simply wrap domestic objects, just to get the technique out of the way and finished and then move onto the next project. Once I had done enough research and then found my own expression for the wrapping exercises, I felt in the flow of creativity and enjoyed the process. My theme, that I am passionate about, is my driving force: Searching For Sacred.

Were there particular materials and techniques you enjoyed working with?

This question could not be explained simply with the adjective ‘enjoy’. It was only by exploring and manipulating materials and techniques over and over that I found that they worked for each individual project. I live on a small island where buying specialist art materials is next to impossible. Buying on the internet can be expensive, and may mean a long wait, and expensive customs duties. New  products can be  frustrating and disappointing to work with, unless I have had some experience of it. I have to know my materials to work with them, and given the unusual nature of this art form, it would mean backtracking to experiment and be playful before I could start work on a sample.

I have therefore begun to rely on materials close to hand, which usually means materials gathered from the house, my husband’s workshop, the beach, my garden or car boot sales.

The whole  process of finding the right materials, took much longer than I could have anticipated and led to a drawn out process of discovery, the time allowance for reflection does not come close to the advice that this course should be considered  to take approximately 8 hours a week.

How did the various materials respond to the techniques?

Research, experimentation, serendipity, resourcefulness, resolving material choices, artistic inquiry, undoing and redoing.

Were you able to achieve interesting textures and colours in your samples?

I spent a lot of time considering each sample and what I could achieve with the materials I had.  I felt that my choice of materials, colours and textures were suitable for each project that I worked on. In some cases, like the purple color used for the Libertas figure, it was led by the original design idea for the Statue of Liberty and not by its eventual choice of materials. For the Cucuteni goddess sculpture, I kept to earth tones as it was a pottery and an archaeological find. For the endangered species project (the tiger) I used blood red, due to the threat of man the hunter.  If a particular project didn’t work out, I took it apart and experimented with something else.

Which outcomes were successful? Which were less so- and why?

I have endeavored to explain my successes and failures as I worked on each project. I have photographed everything, the things that were successful and the samples that did not work out. I have given lengthy reports during my summing up of each one during the sample making process.

What are your thoughts on the artists, designers and makers you’ve

researched in Part 2?

I have found new inspiration by studying an array of artists, designers and makers using wrapping for this section. I did fall in love with Judith Scott’s quirky wrappings and so has the art world. Outsider art is gaining in popularity. I have also been following Jason de Clares bandaged wrapped figures that he created in Lanzarote with interest. They are now laying on the seabed off the coast of the island where I live. They are attracting a great deal of international interest. I have learned more than techniques in this section, as I study the artists and makers I have come to appreciate how each have a unique voice and the role that wrapping has to play as an art form.

I am also inspired by a number of contemporary Textiles artists, for example, I like the way Ali Ferguson joins her canvases together to form individual stories. I would love to experiment with the concept using my ‘Searching For Sacred’ themes.

How did the research you carried out inform your own work?

I had not been interested or studied artists that specifically use joining and wrapping techniques prior to working through Project 1&2. I may have been subliminally aware of this art form. But would not have had any experience or interest in following their work. The course manual asked students to be experimental and playful.  It was my own theme that informed most of my work, along with the wonderful shapes and wrappings  that inspired Judith Scott and her followers.

 

 

 

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Part 2:Project 2: Ex 3: Uneven wrapping

For the work for this group of samples we are asked to create in dimensions of approximately 20cm. The ideal is to find objects with protrusions or a combination of objects that create complex shapes. We are asked to wrap in an experimental way, by taking the objects shape as a starting point. Any lumps and bumps can be an opportunity to change the direction of the wrapping.The suggestion is to be playful, using knotting, tying, stitching, braiding, or weaving techniques.

The first sample arose from a book I have been reading ‘When Women Were Drummers‘ by Layne Redmond *1. The goddess Hathor, or the Lady of the Horns, is one of the oldest Egyptian deities. Her image appeared around 3,100 B.C.  At this time horned cows were deemed to be magical and sacred and some of them were retained in temples. Hathor is often depicted wearing an elaborate headdress with horns in honor of them. She was also a goddess of culture and used a frame drum in their sacred ceremonies. Below is my rendering of Hathor.

My finds for this wrapping sample were found in my husband’s sacred place (his workshop). They include old washers, a broken ratchet, a piece of electrical cable, and a plastic darning needle. I had plenty of separate pieces and I used stitch  to attach them to each other and I had plenty of protrusions to work with.   I used scraps of torn fabric, threads, yarn and gold wire.

hathor0

wrapped hathor
2.3.1 UW

With my husband away for 10 days, I moved into his workshop and searched for objects for my next sample. They were ready for the scrap heap, except for the bull dog clips.They all have interesting protrusions, I particularly like the curved piece of wood and the spiky object, I am beginning to see what I want to emerge from these finds.

wrap finds

I began by gluing some parts together before adding bulk to make this figure look more feminine  and voluptuous. Next I began wrapping in purple fabric.

The story behind this Statue of Liberty look-a-like, is that Edouard de Laboulaye, a Frenchman,  proposed the idea of a giant statue replicating an ancient goddess for New York harbour in 1865. It was intended as a gift from France to the United States. Laboulaye  in France and Joseph Pulitzer in America, eventually persuaded their rich citizens to raise the necessary finance  to create this sculpture.

The goddess was known by various names, and another Frenchman, the sculptor Bartholdi, who was commissioned to create it,  referred to her as “Libertas”. Part of  the intention had been to create a welcome signal to all the refugees, which at the time were finding a safe welcome in the new Americas. But it began as a gift from France to commemorate the friendship between the two nations. Finally it was also to commemorate the centenary of the Declaration of Independence of the United States. Libertas was also known to the Romans as  the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, she was referred to as the goddess of personal freedom and liberty . This is my interpretation and process.

libertas1

libertas2

The colour purple was originally the colour reserved for the elite of Rome. Called variously, Tyrian Purple, Phoenician Purple, Imperial Purple, Byzantine Purple or Tekhelet. It was very expensive to produce (250,000 marine shellfish yielded an ounce of dye).  The first designs for the Statue of Liberty were intended to have the robes made as a mixture of scarlet and purple, but it was altered to fit in with the final choice of materials used (iron frame and copper casing). I used their original purple idea with reference to Pliny the Elder’s book 8 Historia naturalis, explaining the method of extracting the colour from marine snails.

libertas4

The 7 spikes on the Statue of Liberty have had several interpretations. Ishtar the Roman goddess had spikes radiating from her head as an early form of sun worship. The National Park Service say the spikes were to represent the 7 Oceans and 7 continents. My find has only 5 spikes, I wrapped them in purple felt and a first wrap of purple thread to keep them in place. My next wrap was in silvery blue thread, I liked the play of light from the silver thread and the next wrap was silver wire.

libertas

The torch that the Statue of Liberty is holding,  was originally designed as a golden cup filled with the wine of freedom. The cup  was made in Bartholdi’s workshoops, but the New York port authorities requested a different idea before it was shipped, so that an eternal flame could be used as a navigation aid. The cup was sold to the then Czar of Russia and in the following revolution it disappeared. I have used artistic license for the cup/torch idea on my little figurine and looked for something interesting in to be wrapped and stitched to Libertas. I discarded the heavy screw due to the weight. I attached all the other items together with felt,  stitch and silver wire.

libertas items

 

libertas cup

libertas5
2.3.3b UW

My final sample was inspired by an ancient European Cucuteni Goddess figurine.

She is characteristically shaped with voluptuously large buttocks, narrow waist, stumped arms and an anonymous head. She is also covered in incised lines and marks particularly a girdle like decoration. Archaeologist, Marija Gimbutus, in The God and Goddess of Old Europe suggests a date for this culture to be mid-fifth millenium BC.

cucteni front back view

Encouragingly, once I had engaged the idea of the shape, I visited the monthly charity sale SARA (which raises funds for abandoned animals in Lanzarote) for suitable materials that I could use. As you can see below, the wooden jewelry holder I bought for €1 was a really good starting point. The shape is barely changed from prehistoric cultures.

cucteni2
Charity sale find

I only made a few adjustments, by narrowing the legs with a hand saw and enlarging the buttocks, next I created breasts from soft padding wrapped in fabric. I have a lot more protrusions to work with. I am getting quite astute at using tools other than needle, scissors and thread.

cucteni6 cloth
Eco-dyed cloth

The fabric I decided upon for the first wrap, is eco-dyed 100% cotton sheeting. I used India Flint inspired ideas and shoveled dead leaves into the middle of the sheet, sprinkled it liberally with water and lemon juice and left it wrapped in plastic wrap hanging in the garden for two weeks, like a giant butterfly pupa. Some of  the resulting marks also arose from unexpected mildew growth. Though I like the marks, I was disappointed that the fabric did not stain darker. Perhaps putting the fabric in a bath of tea or coffee might lead to the desired effect, or rust dyeing? I have yet to experiment further.

cucteni3

cucuteni4

 wrap of black thread

 

cucteni7
Dark brown yarn and side view

 

My final wrapping included lighter brown yarn and spiral stitched marks on the protruding buttocks, typical of the Cucuteni figurines. I could spend many more hours creating stitched markings on the rest of the figure, but this is a sample and I cannot afford any more time. It may be one of a series of ongoing goddess wrapped sculptures.

Overall I was pleased with all my choices and wrappings for these samples. I am confident that other objects can be wrapped with all manner of materials I have yet to explore.

cucteni5
Final wrap: 2.3.3. UW

 

The next wrapping came out of the story of an archaeological dig in northern Israel. It was said that, the find, which appeared to be a bundle of plant fibers wrapped around a broken clay pot, contained earrings believed to be 3,300 years old. Experts believe the earrings were used for trade purposes before the use of currency. “The jug and its contents appear to be Late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age, in the 13th century BC, the time of the Exodus and wilderness wanderings described in the Hebrew Scriptures...” archaeologist Robert Mullins, an associate professor of biblical studies at Azusa Pacific University said “….This is one of only 20 silver hoards ever found in Israel.”

Abel-Beit-Maacah-fibers-620x620

The earrings and other silver pieces were cleaned by Mimi Lavi, conservationist in the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Photo: Gabi Laron, Institute of Archeology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

I have a box of old jewellery that I have been hoarding for such a project. The image of the find reminds me a little of one Shannon Webber’s more beautiful natural pieces (see below). It looks rather organic, not unlike a bird’s nest. The blue/grey tint of the Israel find reminds me very much of handmade felt. I have some banana plant fibers and wrapped wire and I want to experiment. Now where will I find a broken pot? Yes, I could buy something cheap and break it, but first I will search my stash of household objects and my garden as well as my husband’s workshop for other materials.

 

sweber2
Photo: With permission of Shannon Weber, the artist

After a half day of research, I realised that I cannot mimic the Israel hoard without a lot more effort and time. Making the right type of felt will take a day, even if I had the supplies (which I don´t). I live on an island where getting hold of art supplies means that I have to order everything in advance. Shannon Weber can take months for her works to mature and I think this idea may be on that time scale. I have to be realistic, the work I do  for this project is all about sampling and then maybe later considering how to evolve the idea. I have to use what is to hand, in my home and around the island. I have therefore gone with the banana leaf idea, wrapping some objects that look like the Israel earring finds. Oddly enough they did not arise out of my jewelry stash, but my husband’s electronics supplies.

The fresh green banana leaf idea did not work for the wrapping experiment, even though it is a leaf that I use to wrap fresh caught salmon and bake in the oven. Delicious! But I am rambling away from artistic endeavor.

The green banana leaf wrapping broke and did not yield to being wrapped around my small objects. I abandoned the idea and looked at the dried leaf alternative and cut them off the plant. I have plenty to choose from, there are 6 banana plants in various stages of growth and decay in my garden. I wrapped the objects and then tied them with cotton string. I left the strings long and uncut. I found a tiny wooden chest and placed them inside, like treasure. A very different outcome than I had first thought, but I was pleased with the process so far given the time frame.

banana4
Fresh and dried banana leaves

 

bana wrap3
Electrical components
banaa wrap2
Wrapped fiber bundles
banana wwrap1
Bundles in ‘treasure chest’

2.3.4.UW: Finally I wrapped the box in shiny fabric, then a layer of thick string wrapped in felt which helped mold the wrapping into a more organic shape. The next wrap was torn fabric wrapped with thread. Two more layers of  less dense threads criss-crossed each other in satisfactory layers and colours.

 

israel hoard sample
2.3.4.UW

Refs:

*1 When the Drummers were Women: A spiritual history of rhythm, Layne Redmond

*2 Statue of Liberty story http://www.libertyellisfoundation.org/statue-history

*3 Marija Gimbutus, The God and Goddess of Old Europe

*4 Israel Dig http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/02/prweb11607980.htm

Pt 2:Project 1: Ex 3: Joining curved edges

Ex 3 Joining curved edges

For this section of the manual, students are requested to cut a series of curved edges into their chosen  materials, and then asked to join convex and concave curves of varying sizes in a variety of ways.
The samples are to demonstrate:
a curved edges that fit neatly together
b curved edges that create a gap
c curved edges that both touch and leave gaps
Ex 3a. Curved edges that fit neatly together….
The Vinland map (1*) is claimed to be a 15th century map containing information about the Norse exploration of North America. A lot of publicity accompanied its  exposure as a “genuine” pre-Columbian map in 1965. Many experts have since examined the paper and ink and there seems to be a consensus that the ink has 19th century components. Experts are still haggling.
I cut my copy into pleasantly concave and convex edges, taking little care about boundaries and land masses. I rejoined all the curves, refitting them neatly together on the reverse of the map, with masking tape.
vinland map2
2.3a.1a The Vinland map

 

vinland map reverse
2.3a.1b Vinland map reversed

For this sample 2.1.1c, I used a red pen to create my own boundaries, content to reclaim landmasses or give it back like a medieval war lord. I liked the blood red colour on this map and it also made a statement about the misery, fury, murder and war that is evoked by changing boundaries.

Now the questions start to arise. How could I extend this idea? Could I stitch lines across the join? Could I punch holes into the boundaries and join them with staples, threads, or wire for example? Could I use a sewing machine and sew all the names of those involved in this ‘fraud’ across the landmasses? Could I have raised the cut areas above the original on some board and painted in my new boundaries. Can I work this idea with other maps, perhaps something more personal or in connection with my personal theme (Searching for Sacred)?

vinland map red
2.3a.1c
My second sample (2.3a.2) is influenced by Jennifer Davies work, I used the convex edges of cocktail sticks and also the convex edges of kebab sticks that can easily be joined by laying them side by side. I cut the kebab sticks into irregular sizes and glued them with the cocktails sticks onto 15 x 21 cm mount board. I can imagine this being taken further by laying them in different lengths to create an assemblage, another thought is to layer them across or to use as a background for further work, or perhaps painting them. Or, like Jennifer, I could wrap my objects before joining them together.
curves
2.3a.2
Ex 3b Joining Curved edges that create a gap….
2.3b.1 : I have begun a community art project. I am asking school children and adults of any nationality in Lanzarote to create a simple weaving on  discarded CD’s. Most of the people I have asked  all have a the same complaint (“I’m not creative” they say). My response has been that together we can be creative and I offer a simple solution. I have 25 completed works hanging in my hallway. When I have more time I want to find a community space for them.
I had been considering how to join them together, and they were beginning to add up in piles in my studio. It was left unresolved until I worked on this project. I had rejected stitching them together on the reverse side due to  my own time constraints. A pack of brightly coloured paperclips was a simple solution and I joined rows of several CD weaving’s together quickly. I like simple solutions sometimes, I also like the way they hang, move and change with the light. Everyone who visits my home are intrigued and want to ‘have a go’.
CDs
CD’s

 

cds paperclips
2.3b.1 paperclips

 

convex1
2.3b.2

For the sample 2.3b.2 above: I have cut paper from a diary page and created concave and convex shapes, which I then stitched together. This a quick and simple sample and I gave it little thought. There are obvious limitations to using such fragile material and it is likely to get damaged. I could glue it onto a surface and cover it in pva glue to retain the shapes. I could also use the idea with other materials like card, painted pelmet viline or felt, or perhaps balsa wood to create a stronger surface.

concave2
2.3b.3
For the above sample I reused sample 2.3a.2. I added small convex objects and stitched them into the mount-board. As I worked I thought it may have been useful to have marked the mount-board first with intended holes before  stitching. Also the knot of thread came straight through the board. I stitched a piece of fabric to the reverse, then I decided to glue it down as it kept moving about. However this did not help, as I pierced the mount-board from the back it didn’t always match up with the mark at the front. I have left unintentional pin hole marks on the board. I don’t feel this is a particularly good sample, but I have learned  what can and cannot be done with certain materials. This is one aspect of making samples, to experiment.
concave3
2.3b.4
For the sample 2.3b.4 I collected plastic tubes of varying widths  and lengths and drilled holes through each end. I joined them together using aluminum wire, along with beads and tubes from discarded jewellery to create varying gaps. I like this piece and have looked around my house and my husbands workshop for more plastic tubing. For sample 2.3b.5 I used cut slices of narrow plastic tube threaded through aluminum wire to create gaps, The curve in the narrow plastic tube has created interesting distortions, there is a lot of movement in this piece. There is a possibility here for a wrapping experiment, which would give the piece more rigidity, texture and interest.  It has the potential for further development.
concave4
2.3b.5
Ex 3c : Joining Curved edges that both touch & leave gaps
I enjoyed the process of discovery for this project. I have been talking to Stone Balance artist and photographer, Matthew William Scott, who lives in Lanzarote.  (I have interviewed him (see interviews above), because he was one of the exhibitors in a collective exhibition I helped to curate. There is a delicate art to his work, with balances and counter balances, where curved edges meet and also leave gaps. Occasionally the stone balances do not last longer than it takes to photograph them, but I am intrigued by the question of having curved edges that both touch and leave gaps.
Stone balances are a feature on the island, people build them as land boundaries, for fun, as a memorial to a deceased animal, or just artists simply unable to help themselves to all the wonderful stone shapes laying about begging to be made into a sculpture.  Sample 2.3c.1 was my first attempt to build my own stone balancing sculpture in my garden using volcanic stone and beach finds. It does not have the elegance of Matthews work and it is difficult to view where the curves touch and leave gaps. However even the strong winds of Lanzarote and the winter rain lashing down did not dislodge it. My cat found its weak point when she decided to use the wood as a scratching post, even so, it wobbled a little without any of the stones being dislodged.
Matthew William Scott Stone Balancing
Matthew William Scott: Stone Balance Artist
3. Stone balance
2. 3c.1 Stone balance

 

2.3c.2 I sketched the sculpture in my sketchbook
01423e3cca2362bca3b007093e8bd30105102aab35
2.3c.3 I created different stone balances in the garden with smooth, sea washed volcanic stones brought home from a beach walk. The nature of the gap is minimal and fragile and could be knocked over by the wind or being touched. I used a strong glue to bond the curved edges permanently.
Sea washed stones
2.3c.3 Sea washed stone balance
2.3c.4a and 2.3c.4b. Using water-colour paints, I created more sketchbook work on an inexpensive 110g paper. In 2.3.7a I used fine text to suggest shadows. to be truthful, I was a little disappointed with the murky, blending that occurred, I can redo this at some point making more of the light and dark contrasts on watercolor paper. I did quite like the second sketch and would love to rework it on quality textured paper on a much bigger scale, making more of showing the gaps.
stone balance sketch
2.3c.4a watercolor
stones
2.3c.4b
Sample 2.3c.5. There is a harmonious quality to these stone balances, that I can’t fully articulate. So much so, that I took my crochet needle and created soft textures for these hard looking stones, wrapping and joining these beautiful contours. There is something figurative about these little balances, I can see a lower body, torso and head, like a little goddess figurine. However my crochet skills need more practice.
crochet stone
2.3c.5 crocheted stone

Refs:

1* Matthew William Scott: Stone Balance Artist, my interview and discussions with him

Textiles for Mixed Media: What is involved?

The Open College of Arts (OCA) is based Barnsley in the UK. It is the UK’s only education charity. The basic aims of the Textiles for (Hons) degree course is to:

  • Widen access to education in textiles at undergraduate level through Open and Flexible Learning.
  • Ensure you gain the traditional skills in textiles to form a solid foundation for further development.
  • Provide an intellectually stimulating programme of study based on high quality study material and tutor support.
  • Develop your creative capacities and your ability in interpretation and application.
  • Develop your critical understanding of the theoretical and conceptual issues central to the practice of textiles and the social, historical and cultural context in which it is practiced.
  • Provide an environment in which you have has the possibility of changing your view of the world and your interaction with it both visually and intellectually.
  • Foster high-level ethical and professional standards and an awareness of the possibilities offered by existing and new developments in textiles to expand your application areas.
  • To develop autonomous learners capable of applying intellectual and practical skills in a chosen area of visual communications appropriate to employment, further study, or life-long learning.

My latest course,  Textiles for Mixed Media reminds students that there are a total of 400 hours of work, study and research to get through on this level one course. If my previous work with The Open College of Arts  is anything to go by, then I would double that figure.  It depends a lot on the individuals background in the arts, knowledge base and skill level as well as proficiency with photography. It is also useful to have knowledge of HTML code for keeping an online blog. Personally, I also factor in visiting exhibitions, trade and student shows and learning new skills that can’t be taught by book or YouTube videos. It helps a lot, if students have a grasp of photo editing techniques. Sometimes, because I live in The Canary Islands, I have to take a structured course or workshop abroad, which can entail an expensive trip away from home. On the other hand if I visit the UK I also spend time in UK libraries and museums doing research. It is rare if I have the opportunity to meet other OCA students and tutors at the UK based study days.

It is not, as some people assume, an 0n-line study program. Each student receives a manual of projects and is assigned a tutor. After each series of projects, these are parceled off the the tutor for comment. When all projects are complete, all the projects are mounted and displayed and parcelled as a whole and sent to an assessment centre (in the UK), for an external examiner, to give the student an overall grading in keeping with university level education.

There are no research facilities in English where I live, in Spain.  So I often wait until I visit the UK and factor in study-time and order books in advance from local libraries. Normally they are very accommodating, wherever I happened to stay, they will send them ahead to a local branch.

One problem that arises due to my location outside of the UK, is that, despite having a reading list, (at least with the study for the coursework  for A Creative Approach To Textiles), there were times when a book was either restricted by the publishing house for posting to certain countries, or the book was out of print. The OCA administrators, tutors, organisers should consider this when publishing a reading list that covers  globally located students.

The internet is a huge help for research, in fact I couldn’t have done the course work without it. The OCA’s student webs pages have been criticized by many students for being difficult to access and interact with. Enclosed with the course material that I received is an A4 page about how to log on and share information! I brace myself each time I have to upload notes. I have in the past tried uploading my work to the site for tutor feedback, and spent two hours navigating the site, it used to be incredibly slow and cumbersome to work with. There have been a number of recent modifications which have helped a little. I don’t know of any student that uploads their coursework to the OCA website.  That is one reason most students keep a blog of their work. WordPress and Blogger are extremely easy to navigate and keep track of and can hold a lot of images without difficulty. I can not fathom why OCA have such a cumbersome system.

Fortunately the Textiles students also have a Facebook page to ‘chat’ and share information. If they have queries about their work and blogs, usually there is a student who has been down that route and can offer advice. If a student can’t attend  study days, which are arranged at various locations  (always in the UK)  then the social aspect of the course is lacking. I can see that UK study days  can be a chance to meet other students and tutors and exchange ideas.  Tutor support relies mostly on feedback from the work you have already done, I have never met or spoken to my tutor, Rebecca Fairely.  I’m aware that some students and tutors can chat on SKYPE. I would find that a huge advance for distance learning students to be able to interact with their tutors regularly, I like the idea of a face to face conversation where you can discuss project work,  research or queries.

Mixed Media for Textiles is broken down into five sections, each section has a number of projects to be completed.

Part One: Surface Distortion

Project 1 Folding and crumpling

Project 2 Tearing and cutting

Project 3 Heating and fusing

Project 4 Scratching and embossing

Project 5 Puncturing and stitching

Part Two: Joining and Wrapping

Project 1 Joining

Project 2 Wrapping

Part Three: Molding and casting

Project 1 Molding from a surface

Project 2 Casting the internal space of a vessel

Part Four: Mono and collatype printing

Project 1 Monoprinting

Project 2 Collotype printing

Part 5: A final piece

This final sample is to bring all the learning, research and work from this course, to a conclusion. To have the freedom to combine methods or choose materials we particularly enjoyed working with, and perhaps extend them further. A time to show off the skills learned and methods you employed. The format is as with the other projects, that is showing your research, sample making, recording outcomes and sorting.

One of the facets of home study is a feeling of isolation and occasionally lack of motivation. There is no one to ask if  you are not sure of the suggestions in the course manual or whether the standard of your work is heading in the right direction. I don’t find it helpful when a tutor suggests that you go your own way, and that there is no right or wrong way to interpret the manual. Then when students send in their assignments for assessment, some have said the criticism can be keen and brutal. I know of 3 students who left have courses  due to their frustrations with interpretation and feeling they were not having adequate support. The dilemma with the OCA distance learning programs, and which one has to adjust,  is that tutors are not available full time, they are only paid for a certain number of hours and only work on particular days.

Happily the Mixed Media for Textiles is a new course. From my initial reading, it seems very strategic and well planned and it has been written by Rebecca Fairley, my current tutor.

When it comes to referencing and working from internet information,  students have to be wary and careful of their sources and be rigorous about quoting references about information, other peoples work and methodology. Also it is really important that if you use another artists photograph or discuss their work, to seek their agreement to using information or imagery before publishing it on the internet in a blog.

Artists Interviews Lanzarote: Tatum Chick

Hello. What is your name and age?

I am Tatum Chick. I am 12 years old and the youngest member in the Sunday Shooters club. I would like to thank them for allowing me to be part of the group.

Where are you from originally?

Solihull, Birmingham, UK.

How long have you lived on Lanzarote?

I moved here the day before my 2nd birthday, so I have been here 10 years.

What did you do in the place you lived before?

I slept a lot, ate a lot and cried a lot (according to my mum anyway)

What brought you to Lanzarote?

Mum and Dad came here to start a new life in the sun

What is your favourite thing about Lanzarote?

Lots of interesting things to photograph

How and what made you interested in photography?

I like to see things differently through the camera lens. My photography allows me to let others see what I see through the images I shoot.

Have you always been interested in photography?

Yes

What work do you have at the Elements exhibition in Barstro?

I have 4 pieces on display. My favourite is the photo of my dog standing on the wall of my house breathing on the moon. It is a very unique and original photo

Are you working on anything else?

Yes, the local bar Los Tr3s, Las Brenas is going to allow me to display all my work for everyone to see (and buy if they like it) in the main lounge. This is really exciting but I am also very nervous in case people don’t like it

Is there usually a theme to your work or is it random?

I take photos of everything. That is the advantage of a digital camera. If you don’t like a picture… delete and its gone, move onto the next one

Obviously you dont offer courses on the island, but what is your next step?

No, I don’t teach, but if anybody would like to teach me how to become a better / professional photographer then I am a willing student

What is your goal for your work?

For people to see what I can do with a camera. Hope that they will like my photos and maybe buy some so I can make some pocket money to buy my mum flowers as she is always very supportive and comes to do interesting photo shoots with me

What would you like to achieve in the future?

I would like to go to university and become a professional photographer. I have always liked animals, so maybe one day I will get to work for NatGeo or Greenpeace

Who or what is your inspiration / muse?

I really like Betty Rawson. She takes a normal photo that anyone could take and with a bit of magic and skill makes the ordinary … extraordinary

What is your scariest art moment?

I don’t really have one, but taking a photograph of my mum first thing in the morning is always a frightening experience !

What, Where or Who would you like to photo?

I would love to photograph Zac Effron on a beach, sunbathing … mmm. My mum says she would chaperone me for that photo shoot … not good !!!.

Thank you Tatum. Good luck with the exhibitions, I’m sure we will all be following your career with interest.

Tatum Chick
Tatum Chick
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