Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The hectic life of an Art Textiles Teacher!

Hi all,

I've been very busy of late preparing resources, examples and materials for my GCSE and A2 pupils for their upcoming AQA Art Textiles exams. I'm in my element when surrounded by all my fabric scraps, beads and arty things. It really is a great job and i will really miss it once I leave to become a full time mum in may. I guess that this really is the end of an era.

Most my GCSE girls have decided to respond to the exam question 'Fairs and Carnivals' whereas my A2 girls are opting for either the 'Sea Life' or 'Natural Forms' questions.

To help inspire them I have created these . . . . . . .

This is my GCSE sketch book as it stood about 2 weeks ago. I'll get some more closer shots over the next few days. It contains lots of artist and theme research and lots of technical examples (including applique, patchwork, emulsion printing, sellotape printing, free motion embroidery and heat transfer examples). The girls are not far behind me now with their own responses but this has really helped them to visualise what it is exactly that they are expected to produce.

We are now working mostly on the exam planning and prep stage . . .  making marquettes' of what it is that they intend to produce in their final exams.
I have produced a pouch for my sketchbook, a wall hanging and a circus performer doll (in the style of those made by 'Blue Raspberry Designs' although I am asking the girls to choose one option (as they are not the quickest workers!)

Work in progress!

One of my year 13 girls really wanted to make a mermaid following her research on sea-life so I have made this example as a guide to help her focus her designs. I though my previous mermaid doll would be too 'cutesy' for this project!

To begin with I researched mermaid dolls and found the gorgeous work of 'Noelles Art' - her mermaid dolls are beautiful. I also re-visited the work of  'Jess Brown' to see how it was she assembled her dolls with their cute button shoulders.

Noelle's Art mermaid Doll
Jess Brown Darling Dolls

I made a template loosely based on a Jess Brown doll and then cut out and interfaced the tail. To get the bluey-green colour I used the heat transfer process (ironing fabric painted tracing paper over the fabric) and I just loved the effect it created.

I then drew with biro the scales and tail detail. This was then free-motion embroidered (F.M.E) twice; once with a blue thread and a second time with a turquoise thread. I love to use two colours and two layers of stitches when using F.M.E as it gives such a lovely, sketched finish.

Next I took the shells off a necklace that I picked up in a local second-hand shop to apply to the tail. I was so happy with this purchase as I knew it would be perfect for the job. I added some seed-beads too.

My £1.99 second-hand find.

The completed tail
I made the body using the same fabric and drew the facial details with biro to keep them simple. I painted the lips using acrylic paint. The arms were affixed with buttons.

Next came the top half of her outfit. For this I decided to modify the rest of the shell necklace and to weave small shells (also taken from an old necklace) and seed beads into it.

Before assembling her body and tail I inserted wire to both parts so that she can be posed.

I also added the hair (which was the fiddliest bit yet!) This is made using blue, turquoise and green threads from a mixed pack which school got from 'Pisces' I made her a shell hairband too using more of my necklace shells and seed beads.

Back view - I love the mix of colours and thread types

So here is my finished mermaid. I completed her look with a little silver fish charm sewn into the palm of her hand. I found this knocking about in my crafty bits and knew that I just had to use it somehow.

Her little fish charm
   They will be able to figure out how I created her to them help inform their own work.

I may be employed part-time but at this hectic time of year I spend the majority of my free-time working to produce these examples. Don't tell anyone though but I really don't mind! I see these tasks as a challenge and they really help to stretch my creativity and arty/crafty abilities which is no bad thing. 


No comments: