During this year I aimed to complete and pass the course whilst learning new skills and developing existing ones. We began the year with the project Identity and throughout the year we completed Organic Part 1, Organic part 2, Capture and our FMP which was the 8th and final unit.
A few pictures of some of the workshops we did throughout the year.
The theme of our FMP was “The World Around Me”. To begin with we used mind maps and research to create a wide range of ideas that we would then developed further. We also discussed it as a group. I had specific routes I wanted to go down for example architecture, decay, insects and faces. I came up with individual ideas for each area and how I could develop them.
The thing I was most excited for was the freedom we were to be given during this project. We were able to choose where we were to go to find primary research and artists to research. I also looked forward to further develop skills we previously learnt in the year like the various types of print. I also liked the textiles workshop in Identity where we used image maker to print our image on fabric and then we worked back into them using stitch. I found this very interesting so I wanted to use this somewhere in my FMP. I feel that I can further develop my time management, independence & confidence. The way I plan to do this is to gain more experience, volunteering & staying in education.
Summary of research
I used a variety of sources to research my FMP theme. I got both primary and secondary research from my trips, pintrest, the internet for secondary sources, the museum and books on butterflies that I have at home.
The trip to Newcastle was organised for us to gather a variety of primary research and to find inspiration for our FMP . We visited 3 different galleries/museums, the Great North Museum, the Biscuit Factory and the Baltic. The Baltic is the biggest contemporary art gallery in the UK and the space was vast. The pieces that I liked most were Rodney Graham’s cinema photography pieces especially the one where he sprinkled flour onto an old typewriter because I found it really interesting as all he used was an old typewriting and flour to make this landscape scene.
The Great Northen Museum held some really interesting displays and exhibitions. I found the insects and the cabinets they were displayed in very intresting and inspiring. These greatly inspired my FMP.
The Biscuit Factory was a long static walk-around gallery in which I found a variety of different types of art. There was a lot that linked closely to my developing FMP ideas like the birds and butterflies created by Naomi Greaves. They were inspiring because they were in the style of pinned butterflies in cases, each one was unique and numbered. I really liked the big thick frame they were displayed in as it really outlined them. This is what I wanted to incorporate in my own work.
I also did quite a lot of my own photography to gather primary research. I got pictures from our trip to town and also from the Kendal Museum.
I researched the following artists: Julie Mehretu, Naomi Greaves, Mariana Popova and Yumi Okita. I was mainly influenced by Mariana Popova and Yumi Okita because their focus was insects made from textiles and fabric and this was exactly what I wanted to do. There are clear links between my work and theirs for instance I also used textiles and my focus was insects.
Experimentation and development
What workshops that I took part in were experimental drawing, detailed drawing, etching, photoshop workshop and the felting workshop. Although I’ve done felting before it was a brief introduction so the workshop with Annie made the stages and process very clear. I enjoyed this workshop most because it’s quite abstract and hard to get the details in so you have to go along with it.
I started creating test pieces and then samples. I used felt and textiles and the felting process which included using a variety of wool and putting it through the traditional felting technique.
Quite a lot went wrong because we had problems with how best to cut the butterflies out. We had three possible options: we could use a sheet of felt with the pattern and felt butterfly in then cut afterwards OR use half felt a plain felt sheet and then cut it out and then felt on the detail OR use half felted felt and then cut out the shape of the butterfly using a stencil and then felt on the detail. This ended up being the best option because it kept the shape of the butterfly and the detail.
· How did planning and completing your development samples and producing a proposal help you with your final outcome
I used the traditional wet felting technique, the process of making needs little equipment, however the process itself is quite in depth and there is many steps to it. The stages are split into three: Stage 1 – laying out the wool, Stage 2 – Wetting & Rubbing, Stage 3 – Rolling & Ringing. When the felt dried I was able to stitch back into the butterfly’s, stitching into the butterflies gave them detail that the felt couldn’t give. I then attatched antenna again with the stitch. whilst making nothing went majorly wrong however I do regret not taking as much time on some of the butterflies as I feel some could’ve had more detail. I solved this by adding the detail with the stitch. I am extremely please with my final outcome because it turned out how I envisioned and how I wanted. My initial idea was to have it displayed in a scientific display case and I was able to do this because the museum let me borrow a proper display case and I think it really affected the final look of the piece quite dramatically because if they were just on paper it would have lost that dimension.
Throughout this whole project i’ve enjoyed being able to have the freedom to create a personal piece of work that will be eventually displayed in the open exhibition. I feel this gave me a purpose and drive to get my final piece done in time. I really enjoyed all aspects of this project especially experimenting with the felt and making my sample pieces as it was an opportunity to get to know how to work with the felt and to find out what works and what doesn’t. If I was to do this project again the main thing I would have changed would be to keep upto date on all blog work, doing this I would have had more time on my practical work. I decided local butterflies was going to be my theme as I thought this would create an interest for many people and may provoke people to maybe purchase my piece.
This is my final proposal for my butterfly case. The butterflies will be made rom felt and the case is borrowed from Kendal Museum. I did this to show an overall plan of how it will be made, what it will be made from and how it will look. It’s important to plan so that it helps in the making process because you can look back on the process, source images and colours I will use.
This is my final outcome. The small butterflies are created from felt, each one is individual, they are all actual local species and their names are beneath in Latin. I am very pleased how it turned out and if I were to do it again I would spend more time on each individual one because I feel some have less detail than others.
I used the traditional wet felting technique which involves 3 stages:
Laying out the wool:
- place your mat onto your towel
- start to pull the wool and lay on your mat all facing the same direction
- one that layer is done pull the wool and place it in the opposite direction
- once both layers are done you can begin placing the felt to create your design
Wetting & Rubbing
- place the net over the top of your felt piece
- pour hot water onto your piece
- using washing up liquid rub with 3 fingers in a circular motion starting from the middle and working your way out
- when your felt is completely flat (with no fluffy edges) pull off the net
- flip your felt piece, place the net over the top and do the process again
Rolling & Ringing
- roll up the felt in the wicker mat
- roll approximately 30X
- unroll and turn the felt in a clockwise direction
- keep going until you are happy with the size of your felt
- if necessary dunk the felt into the hot water and throwing it onto your mat
- squeeze and hang to dry
- when dry I then cut out my butterflies from the original piece of felt.
This was my third time using the process and I got better each time. I feel I was ver familiar with the process and what to expect from it.
All problems were solved during creating the samples so making the final felt butterflies was a very smooth process. I continued to use my source photos to support my work and this is important to do clear detail from the real butterflies.
There are clear artist links in my work as I was mainly influenced by Mariana Popova and Yumi Okita because their focus was insects made from textiles and fabric and this was exactly what I wanted to do.
I plan to display my work in a wooden display case with glass cover and create Latin name tags under each butterfly. Next week I am going to focus on my written evaluation and I would like to finish displaying my work in the case.