1 December 2013

Stuart Akroyd Contemporary Glass

Today i visited an open day for a local glass artist. My coursefriend specialises in glass on the same course as me at university and she helps out there so went to see them both in action!
I was really amazing - hard work for long hours to produce these pieces!

Here are some photographs from the day!


27 November 2013

Back to Edinburgh

I went back to Edinburgh last week for some more primary research. Now that i know some of the aspects i want to concentrate on, it was a no brainer to go back. We stayed with family in Longniddry and caught the train in each day. We walked alot, and drunk a hell of alot of tea in hotels and starbucks on the upper floors above shops on princes street. We walked the royal mile about five million times and i got loads of photographs. i even managed to fill a small A5 sketchbook whilst i was there which was great!

I also got pretty christmassy as it was the christmas fair and everything around the city was slowly becoming very chistmassy too!

Here is some of my research from the week.

My gran used to walk this close everyday to work in the 60s :)

my muma 

23 October 2013

Surface Design Competition

This month i am taking part in a surface design competition for a famous ceramics company. There are only a handful of people from my university who have put ourselves forward but i know there is so much talent and i would be proud if one of us won!! Of course i would love to win - but it would just be awesome to have this in my portfolio.

We are currently in the photoshop stage. The competition only requires you to submit a jpeg, but we are going to create ceramic transfers and create our own actual plates/bowls/mugs which i think is awesome. You can also create complimentary accessories, so thankyou to everyone who took my recent survey, as i have chosen the three top accessories. These will be printed and made. Again, not to be submitted but looking great in the portfolio, and the tutors are happy to mark it as park of our practical degree work.

Here are my initial designs. you must stay true to your design values so of course im using ink lines that arnt quite straight,and offset colour! I havnt included the entire design as we havnt submitted them yet - you never know who is googling!

Mug & Small plate from my favourite collection so far.


Rhea Clements Design Intern - kinda!

This week - and hopefully every week after this - i am helping Rhea Clements, a local Nottingham based designer, in her home studio. She produces bright and bold knitwear her huuuuge and quite scary knitting machine! She products bags, fashion scarves, gloves, jewellery and much more! Its all really nice and properly made - so im proud to be helping!

We are in the middle of talks for a new photoshoot to promote some products. We have a few locations and 'set designs'  in mind but one idea which will involve natural wool and paint - im excited to get started! Ive thrown a few of my own ideas around and luckily Rhea is really open to suggestions and loves my ideas!

Here is a photo i took today of the table we were working at - so much colour in this room its crazy!

Happy little intern :)

19 October 2013

Gold Lanterns

One of the things i loved the most about Edinburgh is their use of little lanterns. These could be modernised streetlamps, with solar panals and LED bulbs, but no, they keep it old school with these lovely little lamps. they were everywhere and came in all shapes and sizes. The most quirky ones were down alleyways, as the alleys have been extended to include business' over the years, and if you look down a really long one you can see batches of different lantern designs :)

This evenings i have been bondawebbing some basic lantern detail and using this lovely material i found yesterday. Its called Gold Microdot, and the gold and black theme will run throughout this project, as i think it reflects Edinburgh Royal Mile & Castle Hill so well!

using my handwriting again in my work


You can really see the gold that well here :(
Some more experiments coming soon! Need to get into the print room!

NoticeBoard DIY

Today i decide to create a basic noticeboard for my uni room. i have so many pieces of paper and notes everywhere that i need a place to store them!

I have made a few of these before, but only A3 size at the biggest. This one is A1 - 80cmx60cm (ish) so its pretty big!

I have a small uni room so i didnt want to get a big bold print. Just like the clutch bag sizing rule, a big noticeboard makes your room look even smaller, so i went for calico. I know most people turn their noses up at calico, and yes i used it from my stash which i make mock ups with, but i have a bit of a thing for calico at the moment.. its plain.. when im trying to think of designs this pin board wont confuse me.. i just sits on the wall subtlety :D Plus its going to get really colourful once i start stuffing bits of paper into it!

I chose grosgrain ribbon in white, to match the walls, and give the product a bit of texture. also the polyester ribbon can look abit tacky, especially with something as plain as calico! Then i got these lush natural wooden buttons from my local fabric store in felixstowe.

I also used command strips to attach it to my wall. I sometimes put a ribbon to hang it from then hammer a nail into the wall but i want all of my deposit back when we leave here in 7 months!

Im pretty happy with this! Might write a small tutorial. They are so easy and it only took me 45 minutes. 3M Craft Mount is also my new best friend :)

If i can do it then you can too :D

Tutorial will be written up for this one i think! So easy - and gets your papers off your desk :D

18 October 2013

Samples Samples Samples

This evening i am drawing a few things in my sketchbook and thinking about materials. there is nothing i love more than a fabric delivery, and even though these are just samples, it does get me excited! Though, i spent £10 at Merchant & Mills and got what can only be described as 'scraps'. The fabric itself is good value once youre on there though, so hopefully there's enough there to get some little prints onto.

Drawing inspired by the glass roof of the Edinburgh Waverly Train Station. At a certain time of the evening one side is in darkness and the other reflects the sunset.

This beautiful offcut is actually the selvedge of Harris Tweed fabrics. I love it because im going to be using some Harris Tweed, but this is such a lovely eco-friendly way to re-use what would otherwise be scrap. That is, if i get round to doing something with it!

My samples. they look quite big here but they are about 3cmx10cm

Love the packaging. LOVE the packaging. I have 100 of these bags at home.. Hmmmm might be nice to print up for some up and coming craft fairs hey!

I want to print onto wool this term which i am very excited about. Im looking into the properties of Oilskin. i was sort of hoping my sample would give me a bit of a better feel of the material but perhaps i need to buy a meter. clever that!

17 October 2013

Teaching Bee

This evening i whopped out my sewing machine for the first time since i have been at uni this year.. and it wasnt for me! My friend Bee wanted me to show her how to make a leather pouch, as a birthday present for her mum. And as its me, we had to do it properly! 
Many people on our course have made lovely leather pouches but they didnt have a lining, which is great for beginners but i like to throw my 'students' in at the deep end. Its how i was taught and at the end you have major satisfaction that youve made something so awesome all in one day!

The leather pouch was created from leather scraps, Amy Butler cotton, a jeans zip and we also made a little tag for the side. Naturally, it was a bee. Bee used my bamboo tablet to create her little bee and we had it printed and ironed in in no time :D I do this everyday for my little business but she was super impressed!

Here are some photographs..

We used wonderclips to keep everything lined up! This part was where we sewed the leather and the lining to the zip.

happiness is a handmade leather pouch!

The Amy Butler lining choice. i think it goes really well :)
YAY! This has made me realise how much i love my sewing machine.. i really need to get some toiles made! 

3 October 2013

Final Year Student!

I am a final year student. I AM A FINAL YEAR STUDENT! We even have the date for our graduation. its too real!

anyway - im attempting to get stuck... whilst everyone else is at secret tinie tempa gigs at the new Students Union, im sat here painting colour palettes from my trip to Edinburgh!

Contextual Research File Started..

Back in Bon.. love this place!

colour applied to acrylic paper, ready to cut out and create a range of palettes!

Using my new Bamboo tablet in my final year work. This will be brilliant for creating hand-drawn templates on photoshop. Last year i drew everything, scanned them in and edited it all on photoshop.. ahhh!

17 July 2013

A Simple Guide To..

I have been working recently on placement at an Academy teaching textiles. Its brilliant - i love it so much!! So i am putting together these guides, and more, so that i can keep them as things i have brushed up on at school. I cant find anything to suggest my uni even does Batik.. and dyeing isnt as easy as it is here. We also have to buy all our own stuff for block printing so now i can make the most of the materials, because i certainly cant afford them in term time!

Just thought i would share my cover photographs :) I might make up little books just to have at the end of my placement!

12 May 2013

More about my amazing University Course!

I Study Decorative Arts at Nottingham Trent University.. if you didnt already know! Here is a promotional video made by the third years, about our course. It sums it up really nicely and i am proud to say i am part of this movement!

The third years are currently working on their final degree shows and also the setup and running of their live trading module, which includes setting up a bricks and mortar shop in Nottingham City Center. I have been given the opportunity to have my products for sale inside this amazing two-week-only pop up shop!! I also had a few items in the last years shop too :)

We go to set up on Saturday. Ill post some more information about this space closer to the time!

The Weekender Bag Progress

Its finished!! Thank goodness. have not blogged my progress because i havnt sat still for like three weeks! But i have finished and i can finally have a nap :D

Alot of coffee was consumed.

The designs are being drawn up for the final screenprints!

Working out the best position on the screens

The screens just after they have been burnt!

some fabric samples for accessories
 Sorry for the jump here - i dont have good photos of all of the fabrics seperately which i know its kinda stupid but yah - here is the finished article! It took me three days of printing and three days of construction and is all from scratch, including piping and handles etc.

The finished bag :)

Feature fabrics for kindle case pockets.

the luggage tag which comes with the luggage bag. It is the purple print on the reverse!

Bag feet. im showing everyone my bag feet.. proud of these haha!

so to conclude although i am quite proud of my creation, i have leart some very valuable lesson which i will take forward with to to third year. i also have a better design placement idea, but hell im not making another bag (They are way too expensive to make).

Thanks for looking!

25 April 2013

Getting Somewhere..

Okay this project is officially driving me insane! Surface design, no matter how concise your idea is, so so broad. i change one tiny thing and ive got a whole new idea of how i can make something.. eurgh!

So basically i am trying to get the look of water-colour and the sketchbook look onto fabric with a screenprint, using methods that would be commercially available. id love to sit there and paint each small part individually but realistically, i cant!

I am using a techinique called Halftone. Its usually used to built up shading and shadows on a print, with a screen. You can use a program that changes a colour picture - a poster for example - into four halftone images, so you can print a bit like CMYK. anyway i quite like the look of halftone and it looks graphic, and it picks up detail that a block shape cant..

I didnt know if i wanted to halftone the birds over digitally printed splodges.. or what... infact im still not sure i just need a cup of tea and to look at a whole bunch of designs! But i could make hundreds of different ones!

This is the first image that i have made all day that has kinda made me sit here and be like.. okay we are GETTING SOMEWHERE! yay!!

I know the blue doesnt really go with the magpie but the plan is to make it like a colour palette - a large splodge and bird in blue, large in purple, and a slither or line of orange, that sort of thing, so that it is in keeping with the colour palette but in a different way. it could go completely wrong; i wont know until i burn my screen tomorrow and give it a test run!!

The result of todays work - after lots of hand drawn and photoshop work, i made this using paint and microsoft word (giving up on understanding abobe)

The thing that worries me is this is not like anything i have done before. I dont see any links or patterns in my work.. apart from drawn line. Ive never done anything that looks this digital before!

21 April 2013

Colour Splash & Technique work

This week i have been trying to figure out my colour palette and also figure out what my pinpointed technique or subject matter is.. urghhh still not very excited at the thought that all the work i have done so far is for nothing so this aspect of the project is kinda going nowhere!!

Here is my first colour palette.. in splash form! Im going to do them all like this because its pretty and my 'thing; is watercolours.. even though these were Acrylic paints.. watered down.. because i can ever get watercolours the right colours.. if that makes sense! TOO MUCH COLOUR!

I dont know what the call this one. I also dont think i will even use it, It is too bright and in your face and also as im writing this ive remembered i forgot to even do a splash of the main background colour i intend to use..


This is todays work :)

Very Summery Colour Palette; Too bright i think but might mix some colours in the print room and re-decide :D

16 April 2013

Project Development

Today i had a tutorial with Kathy, our head of the Decorative Arts course and a specialist in all aspects of Textiles & Colour. This happens weekly and sometimes i leave feeling stressed out and even more confused, but sometimes i leave feeling like.. okay you know what, i know what im doing!!

And today i came out with a whole new view on my project.. not good with only three weeks to go! So the screen i was going to be creating tomorrow; yeah thats straight out the window; instead i need to go back to the drawing board and draw some more little birdies; doing something more interesting apparently! I need to choose whether i want my birds to be all on branches, all in flight, all hunting, searching, building nests etc, so that i have something a little bit different in my work, different to all the millions of other bird prints out there!

I think this will take me another week, then i can create my screen and get printing!

Also digital printing is now unavailable as one of the machines has broken down and the other one is fully booked til the end of the year. woopsy!!

Ill write again when i have some drawings of my new work; hopefully this should help with colourways too!!

In the mean time, i am making a toile for a weekender bag in calico. I am using Amy Butler Weekender Bag pattern at the moment. I know its not my own pattern, but its one that i love and i know it works. i need to start with something kind of simple, something someone else has designed first so that i can understand more about pattern making. If you cant beat them, join them! For now anyway. I need to create this perfectly, including feet, poppers and piping, before i use the fabric i have created... Urgh i just know something is going to go wrong :(

12 April 2013

New Project - British Birds

My new project is self-driven. We had to create our own brief.. which is kinda scary!
I am currently working from drawings to create my second fabric collection. I thought i would share a few of my drawings and ideas! Im thinking classic british birds, onto eco-friendly unbleached linen, with screenprint and resist dye techniques. Im back into the studio next week where hopefully i can get some techniques started and hopefully have a collection sorted by the end of the month! Things move too quickly for my liking.. But i cant work properly until i have the pressure of a deadline looming! Really bad habit i know :c
Kingfisher.. with fish!
Kingfisher Colour-ways in ribbon.

Embarressed to say that i dont know what bird this is! I just found it in a magazine and it didnt say!

One for Sorrow; Two for Joy.

Some quick ideas!

The Travel Collection

I think i would like create travel collections with my fabrics; there is something luxurois about designer travel cases, whether its travel wallets, makeup cases or full weekender bags. It all adds to experience of a weekend away! I think some of this has something to do with the way i was brought up to be honest! My Mum is a woman who always travels first class and refuses to go on the London Eye without a glass of champagne (Okay, this one is my fault, i took her on a champagne flight for her birthday and now she cant go back to a normal flight!). She always has lovely weekender bags and accessories.. It really does complete the experience!

The plan for these fabrics, i would like to make two weekender bags and perhaps some travel accessories. I think i will only have time to create one, i always set myself too much work for the timescale. But we will see how it goes, and how annoyed a get with my sewing machine!!

Thanks for looking at my blog :)

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