Experimenting with Materials and Techniques

For this part of my project I was experimenting with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as high-visibility fabrics, polo shirts and more. Challenging what can be done with this material when used and no long fit for purpose, discarded in the bin. Using these materials and experimenting with modern and traditional techniques for instance smocking along with digital stitch embellishments and decoration.



New Term New Brief….Civil Engineering and Textiles

‘The explore aspects of welsh cultures through Craft & Industry. Consider ethical and Ecological issues whilst also considering innovative responses to materials and processes.  Contemplate the role of an engineer within society including safety and sustainability. With this study the limitations that civil engineers have with their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). How can this be improved inorder to meet their needs efficiently whilst also considering the materials impacts on the environment?’


Cardiff Bay –

Charity Shops –

The people that voluunteered at the charity shops helped alot with giving us information on how they recieve their goods and dispose of unwanted items.  Giving to charity in my mind a  wonderful thing, One mans waste is another mans treasure.

PreFab Clothing PreFab processes and reconditions donated pre-loved clothing and accessories of good quality for re-sale at affordable prices at our shop at 73 Albany Road. Monies raised and generated by PreFab is directly reinvested into the project and into services for homeless people at the Cardiff YMCA Housing Association. This shops stand out from any other charity based shop becasue time and effort is put into the unwanted products to make them more desirable, upcycling is the way forward!

RE-Create- Scrap Store-

Re-create is a play resource centre and scrap store, mostly schools and children centers visiting here to find wierd and wonderful things! Donations of unwanted materials from local busines and industries are sold to public for a small donation to the charity. I have a similar scrap store at home and ofter buy materials here to aid my activities at university.

The Big Pit –

A National coal museum in Wales that still retains many traits of its former role as a coal mine, standing high on the heather-clad moors of Blaenafon. Unfortunately we were unable to take our cameras into the mine itself because of health & safety regulations. Nether the less this has had to been the greatest research day yet, seeing the conditions that miners were in and being told first-hand what it was like working long hours under poor conditions only 50 years ago. A couple of days previousto our visit Jedward had been filming for a children’s program! How exciting!

Cardiff Castle-

Indoor Market-

indoor market isn’t somewhere i visit that often but when visiting i couldn’t help but notice the intricate inspirational architecture found on the arches supporting the roof of the Victorian structure. This building is at the heart of the city, allowing customers to many products such as foods, pots and pans and even pets! People have been trading here hundreds of years preserving a great tradition of trade and culture. I was most astonished by the atmosphere created by passing crowds of people interacting with each other, perhaps bartering over a bargain.


National Museum of Wales –

Some interesting Ceramics found at the National Museumcreated by Welsh aritsts and industries.

The Printed Surface Exhibition – Craft in the Bay 22nd March 2011

Craft in the Bay is a place I love to visit to keep up to date with my artist research and is a great resource for inspiration. The current exhibition was called The Printed Surface, featuring work of artists and designers who had chosen a medium such as glass, metal, ceramics and textiles to develop along with a printing techniques to incorporate into their work for this exhibition.

Rebecca Gouldson
Jackie Field – Beyond The Window Syon Park


Nicole Thoss – Ceramic Picture Box
Dawn Dupree – It’s Never Black & White
Kimberley Scott – Everyday Encounters

Current Work

My current work has allowed me to bring together my skills and techniques learnt from workshop to create a final piece influenced from studying my three objects.




I studied and sketched my objects throughout the term, initially only drawing what I saw and not really knowing what the objects meant to me. I later began to look at my objects more in-dept, I wanted to know why I value them, why did I choose them. I sat down one night and analysed my objects thoroughly and it all became clear and I began drawing in different ways, connecting my emotion to my drawings.

The camera captures time and reminds me of the photograph I have of my past, remembering the good times we’ve had and the places we’ve been. This made me wonder why we need photographs to trigger happy memories and why we don’t need any to think about the bad ones, they are easily prompted by everyday occurrences.

 My pocket watch tells the time and made me think about the time I have had, what have I done with my time, how would I change it and when did time begin? These are all questions I asked my self when analysing my objects.

 The binoculars are used to see time from a distance, perhaps wanting to be somebody else or even somewhere else. Seeing something from a distance and not realising how well you life really is.


This project has taken me on an emotional rollercoaster, remembering the highs and lows of my life experiences, helping me to express my emotions and feelings within my final piece of work. I’ve always been told to write down my feeling and worries but have never pursued it; my final piece explores my feelings that relate to my objects, combining stitch and printing techniques that I had been experimenting with.

I used Bondaweb for my first set of experimentations within this workshop. I painted directly onto Bondaweb with acrylic to paint to transfer a drawn image onto a fabric using the iron. This technique proved interesting and my results look impressive.

I also used Bondaweb as it traditional use for appliqué, to hold fabric into place allowing me to add decorative stitching without the fabric moving.

Trapunto, also known as stuffed quilting. This technique used the appliqué method with stitching around the design and a slit made in the backing fabric. This was then packed with stuffing and stitch by hand to seal it.

 Tyvek is a strong durable waxy paper using in the building industry predominantly and is recyclable. I didn’t like working with Tyvek as it isn’t a texture I like to touch before or after it is heated with the heat gun.

Warp and Weft Exhibition @ Craft in the Bay – 19th Feb 2011

Myself and a good friend had taken a visit to Cardiff Bay, we decided to go look at the exhibition held at Craft in the Bay – Warp and Weft. The exhibition gave us both an insight to contemporary weaving from artists such as Ann Richards, Laura Thomas, Reiko Sudo and many more.

I particularly enjoyed the work of Hiroko Takeda and her use of photographs as initial study to produce wonderful pieces of work.  Her work has strong natural elements within which is something I love very much.

Hiroko Takeda – Fluffy
Reiko Sudo - Feather Flurries
Kathy Schicker – X-ray Dress
Ainsley Hillard - To and Fro
Laura Thomas - Arc
Hiroko Takeda - Black Metal Flower

Felt & paper workshop 31st Jan -11th Feb 2010

Paper Making

I had previously made some paper samples during my foundation year but in this workshop I was experimenting more extensively; creating different coloured sheets of paper and using a range of pulp mixtures, playing and manipulating the paper by embossing, layering, trapping and embellishment. I really enjoyed making a mould for embossing my papers, even thought this was the longest process out of them all it was worth the wait. Below are of few samples of my experimentation with paper and papier mache.

Felt Making

After extensive experimentation and learning about paper making and what came be achieved with it I was ready to move onto another material and process; felting. During the Christmas break I went to an exhibition and saw an artist’s work that was all about felting, knowing and seeing the work it made me more interested in making my own felt than what I was before.

I first experimented with flat felting sheets, these were plain samples so I could then use them as a later date to decorate or add to. This process was also very time consuming and required a lot of work in order to achieve good results.

I experiment with creating text, images and pattern within my felt using the same method as flat sheet felting. I really like the effect of the text on the felt as the fibres at the end of each character fade into the background creating an interesting appearance.

Needle felting was another process I used when experimenting with felt making. Using the flat sheets of felt that I previously made I made a simple pencil case. I first cut out a basic envelope net and from the felt and then needle felted the seams together. Laying the felt onto a foam board and pushing a needle through the felt continuously to mesh the fibres together.

Nuno felting uses finely woven fabrics within the felting. When the fleece fibres get hot and wet the fibres start to shrink and adhere to the fabric. The fabric becomes ruffled because the fabric doesn’t have the ability to shrink with the fleece fibres. The felt become matted and created a beautiful element to the fabric and felt itself. For my samples I used cotton muslin, I found that the fibres and fabric did not matt and blend together as much as I thought they would.

Throughout this workshop I’ve be able to learn new skills and techniques to enhance myself as a textile designer and maker. I have really enjoyed creating using the techniques and will hopefully use them in the near future to create wonderful things.

Print Workshop 17th-28th Jan 2011

My first workshop of the term was screen printing. Throughout this workshop we used photographic stencil techniques to produce positives of images and designs from our drawing books previously made over the winter break. Pigment printing was the first type printing that i looked at in this workshop using pigment inks. They are commercially known as Bricoprint, Polyprint and Helizarine prints.

I printed onto various types of fabrics to see what effects they gave visually; organza, cotton, silks, linen, fancy upholstery and netting materials. I really like my print on brown trouser material that I bought from a scrap store back home. The old fabric fits well with the aged objects that I have chosen for this project and have become some of my much-loved samples to date.


Puff binder paste was a technique I loved using, the printed image rose up as if it was magic. I really liked this technique as it made my prints come alive but felt that the puff wasn’t consistent; some part would be more raised than others and found it hard to be regulate throughout my designs.  

We were also introduced to Mylarfoil technique. This technique allowed a high shine metallic foil to be permanently adhered to the fabric. My samples produced using this technique worked very well and I’m very pleased with them but on some prints the foil is beginning to wear away and would need to be cared for delicately.

Flocking is a technique similar to Mylarfoil as it used a glue paste to print through the screen and was something I’ve always been fascinated by this especially when applied to wallpapers, cards and textiles. My results worked well but to get great results a clean piece of flocking sheet is needed otherwise uneven parts would appear. I love the outcome s of flocking on netting materials mostly.


I really enjoyed experimenting with the Divoré technique as it made me think of layers which was something I picked up from drawing my pocket watch; having different mechanisms on different layers and only seeing part of those layers from the face of the watch. My results were lovely as the image was shown on the fabric very elegant and faintly, unlike the other prints I’ve made.

Discharge screen printing was a method introduced to us during our workshop lectures. This process enables white or coloured images to be printed onto a dark coloured fabric. This technique isn’t one of my most loved but I do like that the print doesn’t give a surface texture.








 During the course of my two week workshop I took it upon my self to do that little but extra. As I worked my way through the tasks given I was inspired and encouraged by me self and others around me to take my designs and experimentation a little bit further than expected; challenging myself to create prints that had more than one colour and combining techniques together. I experimented with two and three colour printed, editing my drawings on the computer ready to be but onto separate screens.

I love the fabric that my two colour image is printing onto; it worked especially well as the sepia tones go well with my choice of old objects. To liven up this print I printed the lenses of the binoculars a vibrant purple, so that the print wasn’t something you’d expect; old binoculars printed onto old vintage fabric perhaps? Instead I printed old binoculars onto vintage fabric with a twist of intense energetic colour.

My three layer print are something I wanted to experiment with and if I had the resources and time I would have taken more precautions and should have chosen my pigments more carefully as the colours in the print are not pleasing to the eye. However, my print turned out well and is something I’m very proud of.

After I had been shown the majority of the printing techniques I wanted to mix things up a bit and combine them together, or at least try to. I had an idea to produce a print that had a translucent section, this idea emerged from my experimentation with printing and also from looking at the layers of my objects I have documented in my drawing book. I think my samples turned out wonderful and I would like to develop this or add to it with a printed background of cogs and gears or even landscapes; as if the camera or binoculars are looking at those images.

to tell, to see, to capture time…

During the Christmas break we were sent out our next project for term two; ‘The world is full of objects’ where we had to choose three or more objects to study, these objects would be the foundation of our creativity and outcomes.

The three objects that I decided to choose were objects that I had been given, borrowed and bought, they need no electrical energy to work and this was something I liked about the objects, it also linked them together well suitably. My first objects was given to me as a gift and is used to tell the time, my second object is borrowed from a friend that captures time itself and my third object was bought from an antiques market used to see time; an old pocket watch, an old camera and finally some vintage opera binoculars. These objects have a close link to one another as they all represent time; a moment in time shown on a watch face, a moment in time looked through a lens from a distance and a moment in time captured.

These our my three chosen objects that i will be using within my workshops this spring term.

‘Routes’ Exhibition 20th Jan 2011

On Thursday my year group was invited to an exhibition called ‘routes’ at Cardiff’s Oriel Canvas gallery, it was put together by the final year student on the Contemporary Textile Practice course at UWIC.  All seven exhibitors were asked to choose an artefact from a museum and interpret it in a personal, new and contemporary way, making it come alive.

The work that stood out most to me was the work of Holly Flye and Diba Mehrabi because their work has clear and direct links to their own history when explained by themselves; this was especially helpful as I wouldn’t have been able to interpret the work in as great detail as they did.

 Holly Flye’s initial object was a washing board and tin bath which linked well with her installation of girls dresses hung on a washing line. Various techniques such as hand embroidery, silk screen printing, image transfer and digital embroidery was used to embellish her work. Her work was created in memory to the 1966 disaster of the coal tips slurry in Aberfan, Wales. This disaster wasn’t something I hadn’t read or heard about before and it was lovely to hear it from someone whose family was living in the areas at the time of the disaster. Her work, concepts, factual history and knowledge is brought together nicely and is shown clearly within her work and is why it stood out for me the most.

Diba Mehrabi’s work is called ‘Can I have freedom please?’ Her work is in dedication to support the Green protest for freedom in Iran which is something she feels very strongly about. Diba Mehrabi’s work had strong links to her childhood history living in Iran and the struggles her family and many Iranian people were going through. Having to put her own beliefs aside and pretend to believe in another religion because of conflict with government, her and many other alike couldn’t be themselves and have to conform to government rules. Her work consists of hand embroidery and digital printing techniques. Her initial object was a painting of Iranian women looking happy and cheerful, but this wasn’t the case when Diba Mehrabi was growing up and perhaps inspired her to create the work she exhibited at the gallery.

A few other artists work within  ;-

Elan Mererid – Encasement of the organic^

Indre Vrublaiuskaite – Conduit^

Ellis Marjorie Howells – Traced patterns ongoing paper ^

Jaumnee McCormack – Abandonment ^

Lucy Suddaby-Smith was also exhibiting a flash video that she produce called The Story of the ink that reads you.