Friday, 23 March 2012

Tired after a busy day

Today, I feel as if I have been on the go, all day long. 

The plan was to find a computer with Adobe Illustrator and work out how to draw motifs on this package; go to my History of Art tutorial and give my presentation; and then meet with Lauren and Mollie to do some laser cutting of acrylic. 

The first part of the plan fell apart, because I could not find a vacant computer at university, that had a scanner available, and the Illustrator package.  I went back to the textile workshop, and fortuitously, found a copy of the Cloth & Habitable Space specification, left lying around.  I spent an hour reading the assessment specification, reflecting on my project and working out sensible questions that arose from the assessment schedule. 

- Conduct experimental work that explores textile processes in innovative way.
I'm worried about laser cutting - because of my limited computer skills in this package, access to computers and laser cutter, access to materials.

However, Mollie showed me how to draw an image in Illustrator, and I might be able to run with the single banksia leaf that she demonstrated, just by adjusting scale, and repeating in different forms.  Also, later, the technician had some good ideas how I could apply my ideas, and make them work on acrylic. 

To make the experimental work innovative, I might combine laser cutting and print; laser and stitch; stitch and print; or maybe use stitch to create a screen print.  Or maybe print on acrylic/acetate.  Lots to be innovative there.

- Translate practical and theoretical knowledge of textile histories from different cultural contexts into innovative contemporary outcomes and ideas.
Which cultures use laser cutting, devore, print and stitch? What is the history of these respective techniques? 

- Synthesize ideas and theories from other practitioners to inform own practice
Find out banksia leaf symbolism/textiles; and oak leaf symbolism/textiles
Look up laser cutting artists and installations
Find Selvedge and Textile Journal of Cloth & Culture.

- Reflect and respond to critical feedback from peers
Feedback received has been helpful.  "Stronger concept required; focus on one idea; research more laster cutting artists/installations; consider use of key word 'simplicity'". 
So, concept has developed into "homesickness".  Valuing the differences of being here in Aus, but missing home.  Want to make positive work about Aus, while including a symbol of home.  Maybe link Banksia leaves with an oak leaf from home (UK). 
Drop 'simplicity' completely.  Or change to 'simpler'. 
Work in monochrome.  Or use a pattern with a single motif.

As we need to document our work clearly, and research and experiment extensively, I need to set up some files to create order for my research.  I think the research listed above will give me plenty to be thinking about this weekend. 

I then moved on to my History of Art tutorial.  I was the first to give my presentation to the group, on the subject of Representation of Women in Art.  I burn a lot of nervous energy, and prefer to get presentations over and done with.  Miraculously, I was spot on with the timing - 20 minutes precisely, and I think it went ok.  The whole group provide written feedback, give their notes to Elizabeth, our tutor, and she reviews them and adds any further points they have missed.  This is the first time feedback received has included written details from the tutor, and I think this is excellent.  Peers tend to be quite gentle with feedback, and Elizabeth seemed to write a lot during my presentation.  I receive the full written feedback next week. I hope I met all the criteria.

Then I moved on to the wood workshop, where Mollie and Lauren had got started on their laser cutting.  Mollie had some lovely flower shapes cut out, and Lauren had created a page of laser cut beads for her fashion project.  The technician, Nick, used my banksia leaf to try out, and it cut perfectly. He also told me how to use a border design to wrap around a perspex box so that the border wrapped over the sides onto the top. He also had suggestions for how to etch the design, as opposed to cut it, which gave me another range of ideas to explore.  The only limiting factor is my computer skills.  The techs only set up the laser cutter to work - they don't do the design stage for you (unfortunately).  I have lots of ideas but very limited computer design skills. 

But at least I have a range of ideas for exploration.  Having done all this, I came home, Jim met me at the bus stop, and I collapsed with exhaustion into a chair.

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