Who am I? – In preparation for the presentation professional practice reflection
In leading up to the presentation, I thought it would be I good idea to formally write up a summary of this first six weeks, what I thought it was about, and who I think I am as a designer maker practitioner. I like to get my thoughts down on paper, and hopefully this will be a good way of pulling key thoughts from this to include within my presentation.
This first six weeks has been an eye opener, it’s made me review my own work in a way that I haven’t before, unlike reviewing the final years work, this is personal and pinpoints areas for improvement and areas to challenge. At the moment I view my work as ‘embroidery led by a narrative or concept’ I want to add ‘…to produce skilled and beautifully crafted pieces’, but is that what I’m doing? I want to be a maker but I feel that all I have ‘made’ is a collection of samples of which I’m not sure of their purpose or capability this is something I need to reflect on further within my practice.
What I am sure of is that I love to research. I like digging deeper into subject matters for a narrative that might lead my embroidery samples in a direction that makes them original to me as well as to everyone else, through looking into Craftivism I like the cleverness and the irony that compliments it and want to develop that within my practice; I love the writing that accompanies the research, both the descriptive and analysis pieces, which makes me wonder if I’d like to delve into the critique world. I often look at artist throughout my projects to inspire me if I’m stuck, but never at the beginning as a starting point, this could be interesting maybe in a future project.
The subject that I have chosen this time is Children’s drawings, which has been looked into and done over and over again, but the narrative that goes along with it directly works into my practice, it looks at ‘the notion of parents treasuring children’s work like gold, putting it pride of place on the fridge or framed for everyone to see’ and that by me working from them to develop my embroidery I can physically turn them into gold by using gold work and other forms of embroidery.
When I chose this subject matter I didn’t realise gold work was so time-consuming! So when ‘time’ came up in the first week’s presentation I knew I wanted to look further into it. As an embroiderer I find that just as I’m starting to get to grips with one sample, I’ve then already thought of the next two, so instead of jotting the idea down, I start it right away leaving the other sample unfinished. Does this mean I’m and ideas person or just an eager maker? I think both, I just need to learn to be patient with my samples, jot ideas down and finish them.
I’ve also learnt that presentation is important to me, not just because I want my pages to look nice, but because there is a form of organisation there and I feel that the work you produce is a reflection of yourself. Reflecting on my work from the start of first year up to now, I have noticed a massive difference in presentation. I used an A5 book for my first project and while I was happy with my grade, I didn’t enjoy going and looking back over it, it was unorganised, unlike now where I find it easier to jot my ideas down somewhere else, then present them in my journal in a way that I find organised and easy to review.
I find that I am very self-motivated and want to do the best for me, I like to know I produced work as well as I could, this is because I’m passionate about textiles and I feel that this passion drives me. I’m influenced by places, people around me, events that occur, visuals or even just something somebody has said. I’ve realised I like to take pictures as a way of documentation as well as written explanations, and photography forms the basis of a lot of my work after the initial research, more so than drawing.
I’m finding it challenging to distinguish an identity within my work, a lot of designers/makers are well known for a particular subject or piece of work, but my work changes every time in terms of concept, colour, scale, purpose, only embroidery is a constant so maybe that’s it? It could be the way I research and dig to find something different behind a piece. I know my own work when I see it, but does anyone else?
From the lectures with Rowan on a Tuesday afternoon, I have realised I am quite ignorant to the idea of sustainability. When I choose fabrics and threads it’s because they relate to my subject matter at the time, I don’t consider if they’ve been chemically dyed, or how and who made them, and this is something I want to change, this is a challenge for me in the future.
When asked what my ideal project would be now, I knew straight away, which opened up more questions to be answered. My ideal project would be to develop beautiful haute couture samples, led by a narrative that would contribute to the development of trends rather than follow them, and for those samples to be sourced by someone who could craft them into something beautiful, my aim is to be that person too.