Product photoshoot

As I needed photographs for my New Designers page by tonight I decided to photograph my products today. I haven’t finished my cushions yet so I didn’t photograph all of my product but this is be better rather than missing the deadline for ND.

I took all of the photographs my self with my camera in a photographic studio we have on campus. It was quite small which meant that I could sometimes see the edges of the wall and the white background had marks in some places but I managed to Photoshop them out.

I have also played around with the brightness and contrast levels on Photoshop to make my photographs more lively and bright. Each photograph also has a copy right stamp with the year and my name on.

Those are the photographs I chose from todays shoot.

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I love photography and really enjoyed the task, also seeing my work coming together is very rewarding.


8 days until DEADLINE

When I woke up this morning I didn’t feel ready for today. As I send a second order for new fabric last night I feel like I’m in limbo now, even thought I still have plenty of work to do. As I was sending the order last night I decided to make the backs of my cushions one piece of fabric to save money and make it a little bit easier for me so instead of buttons I will have a zips.

Today’s progress

With the decision of adding zips instead of buttons I had to make new mockups as I had to practise my zip putting skills. While doing the front of the mockup I realised something wasn’t adding up and that my front and back aren’t the same length, I then realised that I miss calculated the front by 10 cm. After a mini break down, because I sent of my order last night, I decided not to dwell for too long and just make the cushion 10 cm smaller on both sides. This also meant that I needed to find a cushion pad that is 35×35 cm and after spending quite a bit of time online and an unsuccessful trip to Ikea I decided to buy the same cushion pad as I have for the 45×45 cm one and just make it smaller. I realise that this isn’t the most ideal and professional option but I feel like I am running out of time and I don’t want to waste it going around shops looking for a cushion pad.


Another stitching task that I undertook today was making a cover for my comment book. I have looked in to getting it done but some of the books were over £30 and I didn’t want to spend that on a comment book so I decided to make my own. I have made a pattern and mockup by tracing the book of on to calico and stitching it together with added seam allowance. The mockup was a little bit tight when the book was closed and the stitching started coming of (top left photo) so for the final one I added extra fabric for the cover. After doing the final cover it felt like a little victory as I didn’t ask Maggie for any help and usually I get a little bit stressed with constrictive stitch. I then finished the book of with a green card instead of pink to make the book look better. After I finished I shows Maggie to ask about the standard of the making and if it is ‘good enough’ and then everyone in the stitch room noticed and some people said they might do the same which annoyed me a little bit as this happens quite often.

Today I have also overlocked my little samples that will go in to my press pack and I have noticed that they aren’t actually that little. The are 12×12 cm or more and I was a bit worried about them being too fiddly as they are on the Panama Flo fabric which is only 150 gsm. I decided to mount them nicely on a piece of card but thought it would be nice to add something on the back, my press pack wallets are A5 and I wanted the card to be that size. I was considering different colour ways but that meant more design work which I wasn’t sure I have time for. I also considered different scale but thought that might not look as interesting on such big card. I decided to write a paragraph on my collection and one sentence about each design it self. I tried with a bulky white box around the text and the white box at 80% opacity and decided to go with the second one as I think it look a little bit more interesting.

I have also started planing what I am going to put in my professional practise presentation and I am actually really exited to do it. I have worked hard over the past 3 years with all of my additional awards and international study/work trips and I think like 15 maximum isn’t enough! I am also considering preparing some information about the awards and traveling I have done with uni in my press packs, I will prepare a little example and show it to one of the staff so they can approve.

Overall I am happy with today’s progress and am hoping for my motivation not to run out now!


Buddy management 

After I explained to my buddy what we were doing today she asked if she could go and help other 2nd years with painting as they aren’t finished yet and just went. I did need her help but thought that maybe she could do that until lunch and then help me. I did message her that I will need her help after but she wasn’t showing up so I went to look for her. She was just sitting in the heart space doing nothing which annoyed me a little bit. I especially requested her as we spend the whole summer in Malta together and thought it would be easier to manage her but I think she thinks that because we are friends and I am quite relaxed she doesn’t have to follow all my tasks. When she is around she does a really good job but I do spend quite a bit of time looking for her or asking different buddies where she is. I never managed anyone as such so I think I need to be more assertive and tell her exactly where and when I want her.


9 days utill DEADLINE

So today is only Wednesday and I feel I have already done loads this week. I feel very productive and on top of everything.

Today’s progress

I spend a whole day in the stitch room again, today I measured, overlocked and finished all of my samples and it felt like a little victory. I had some many to overlock and it felt like I was never going to finish them but I did! Before I put headers on them I wanted to make it quite clear which ones were going on the rails and needed a hanger and which ones were going the wall for the display and didn’t need a hanger. I images about 4-6 designs going up but after having a chat with Keriene she suggested 12 with additional drapes in between. I thought that would be a little busy as my designs are quite busy so I tried with 8 plus 4 drapes and quite liked how it look. img_6156.jpg

Keriene advised me to put in colour subcategories and overlay them slightly which I wasn’t so sure about.


After I got home I layered them out again and added some scale, colour ways and different fabric to see how it would look and it actually looked quite well. I decided no to go with the colour ways and different fabric but only with the scale which means I need to order some more samples.

I am doing an order for my cushions and alternative colour ways tonight anyway so I can add few and I think it will really enhance this little display.


Buddy Managment 

Today Katie finished painting my wall and it look pretty good. I thought she would be doing the wall all week but she finished today so she helped me with finishing my samples after overlocking. We were doing the ends of overlocking together while she was asking me some useful questions. I didn’t intend to do overlocking this week as I simply didn’t think I will be at that stage yet but it is possibly good to get it our of the way this week. She also came with me to the chat with Keriene where I had about million questions! I think this was quite beneficial to Katie as she could learn quite a lot from the questions I was asking witch were mainly about my space and finishing the samples. Katies also helped me with picking and layering my samples which was fab as I needed a new set of eyes.

10 days until DEADLINE

My task for today was to make the final lining for my basket.

Today’s progress

So ready with my bitten apple print fabric and brown bias binding I was ready for today’s task. I was a little bit nervous before hand as this it the final lining. I carefully cut out the fabric, then constrictive stitch and add bias binding as I did yesterday with the mock up but this time I was going super slow with every stitch to make sure my basket looks professional.

During the constrictive stitching progress I have struggled with the same step as yesterday, the bottom part of the basket. Placing the fabric and matching it perfectly with the top part was tricky but I managed to do it just right. This time I was overlocking after every step, we don’t need to overlock on mockups. I am really happy with the stitching and how perfectly it fits the basket.

The bias binding step is probably the most tricky step for me, especially around the round bits. Even thought I have practised on the mockup and knew what I was doing I was asking Maggie for quite a bit of help. She didn’t help me with anytime stitching but I would just double check after each step if I was doing it correctly. I wasn’t working as individually as I usually do but I really needed the reassurance with the lining today.

In the end this is my final product and I am so happy with the outcome. It looks very professional and exhibition ready!



Buddy managment 

Katie, my buddy is still preparing my wall for the show. I want her to be finished by Friday because my brother is coming over the weekend to help me put up selves and rails and I want the wall to be done. Katie is confident that the wall will be done today or tomorrow which makes me feel more relaxed. I remember how manic is was year year when I was a buddy. I am happy with Katie’s progress however, she didn’t tell me when she finished and just went home without telling me. She messaged me a while after she left but this makes me feel a bit worried that she will do that everyday.

Interim Presentation with our tutors

So today I had my interim presentation with our tutors which was a great practice for when Stephanie, the external examiner comes in next week.

As always I was really nervous but I managed to over come this by writing a scrips of what I wanted to say. During last term I discovered that having a script in front of me really helps me because I miss important stuff out when I’m nervous.

I spoke about how I wanted to do all natural dyeing and hand print at first but then released how difficult it would be to stick to a strict colours pallet. I also spoke about the cyanotype workshop I have done and Sasha’s drawing sessions and about the work I have produced for this. By this time in the project I felt like the work I was producing wasn’t really mine so I decided to stick with digital which is what i know best.

I showed them my prints from when I printed with fruits and veg and why and my primary research in London and drawings from it. I also talked about the mark making designs I painted.

What I needed help with the most was to point me in the right direction in terms of what style I should be doing and I am happy to say that they picked the one I enjoyed doing more, which was the realistic drawings of fruits. Before the presentation I was expecting them to like the mark making style as both Helen and Ana (my tutors for this presentation) have more arty/abstract background and preference. My inspiration for the mark making style came from a Pinterest and they mentioned that it might be too similar. However, my other style which includes more realistic drawings is more creative and that no one else in the class was doing it where as a lot of people were doing mark making and abstract.

I also said that I want to improve and experiment with my backgrounds as now they were very plain. My idea was to take some of the work I did in Sasha’s drawing session and put them as background with low opacity on but they had a different idea. Helen suggested buying some classic picnic fabric such as check and dot pattern and drape it and then put my fruits on it and paint that as a life style. I really like this idea but I am a little bit worried about drawing from life style as I have never done it before. I might go to some life drawing sessions to help me with the right proportion and scale of the fabrics and items. We also said that I might play around with the idea of the fruits or veg being in a bowl or different fruit or veg s as a fruits and veg salad.

Helen also mentioned that all of my designs are looking very similar in terms of different using similar repeating patterns. I mostly used straight and half drop patterns with my square being one motif. She suggested adding different items within the square such as different fruits and veg and their leaves or put them on bushes or even things from the picnic it self so baskets or grass and wild flowers. I really like this idea because it will make my collection more interesting and happy.

Another thing I could do to improve my designs and repeated patterns is photocopying my paintings and playing around with that, not even sticking them down but photographing them and having fun with the cut outs. For my repeating pattern improvement I will be looking through my folders from 1st and 2nd year which will refresh my memory. This will help me get that wow factor that every designer wants.

Ana mentioned that I have quite a lot of artist research which is good but not a lot of products research so I will spend few hours on that too. I am going to London on Thursday and I am planing to go to Kings Street and going in to shops to get some primary first hand research done. I want to looked closely at different scale and designs they put on each product. Knowing that I want to digitally print my collection I ordered fabric samples which I put in to groups with paper clip. I know what each group of samples is but they advised me to present them nicely so the examiner knows I thought about my market and substrates I want to use.

They both also mentioned that I should try and get the detail of each fruit more closely if I am going for the more realistic look.

So I have a busy to do list but I think if i try to do some of each I will get the sense of what I want to carry on with and will be able to tell the examiner more about my work and where I am planing to take my collection.

Bespoke made to order Commission instruct or command (Professional Practice)

Bespoke is made to order

Commission is instructed or commanded


Tracey Kendall : Wallpaper


Anna Kyyro Quinn : Wall panels

Wool manipulation in a smoking manner


Lou Gardiner : Embroidery artist

As a marketing tool she made a cape using free machine embroidery.

Embroidered Kettle Chips which were then translated digitally and printed on to packets.


Sam Pickard : Interior Fabric

Screen printer combining with digital.


Michelle House : Printed Textiles

Works for CAA Gallery in London.


Kate Bond : Surface Pattern

Cushions, lampshades. Recently she transferred her water colour paper manipulation and digitally printed


Be prepared for people to approach you, especially during New Designers. Prepare speeches or leaflets. (Look at your notes from elevator pitch from those extra workshops you’ve done last year)


Commission ToolKit

1. Clarity

2. Simplicity

– remove as many barriers, talk money and be clear



Some people might be open to tell you how much money they are willing to spend some people might be less willing to share their budget

Quote is not an estimate, you must communicate with your client what is your cost before production.



-Time (labour) – how many hours?

-Materials (fabric, thread etc..)

-Overheads (phone, electricity etc..)

-Marketing (photography, etc..)


-Then double it!


Design Fee

-10% of agreed overall price

-OR – separate standard daily/hourly rate



The Brief 

-Ask lots of questions

-Where is the piece going ?

-What size is the space?

-What sort of colours?

-What sort of materials, fabrics or substrates?


Proposal & Sampling 

-Communicate well with the client

-Present the project in person

-Deliver a ‘package’ with includes:

Mock-ups, drawings, fabric samples, colour samples and/or a ‘mood board’ etc..


Display & Installation

It is easier to let the client sort out the installation so you are not responsible for anything that goes wrong. If you are doing the display and installation make sure you add that in your costs.



–Shipping abroad? Customs and Excise

-Insurance – insure the total value

-Packing – Package well


Contractual Right

made sure you protect our self with contracts


Case study, Sanctuary Space, Bristol Royal Infirmary 

Design brief part 1

-not overtly religious space

-for all faiths and for none

-multicultural and interdenominational

-a refuge away from the emotional hassle of the hospital and the hustle and bustle

Who got the gig?

Ptolemy Mann – famous weaver, hand dyes all her yarn, her work is all about colour. She had background in weaving but because of her interest in colour she is now a colour expert.



Today’s lecture was very interesting. We had a lot of business and commission related lectures but I feel like Anna has approached this matter from a different angle. She shared some inspiring artists with us which I will later on research in to even for artist research.


Resilience & Well being workshop

My first workshop of the year and oh how much I have missed them! I really struggled last term with the workload as I wasn’t motivated at all but this term I love my new project and have more motivation. This is why I haven’t actually attended an SU workshop since when I have received the Cardiff Met Award.

This workshop is one of the requirements for the Health and Well-being award but also fits in to my project and sort of my life perfectly. As mentioned before I had a rough time last term and the thought of doing a resilience workshops was really good for me.

We talked about a lot but the most beneficial for me was creating My Personal Resilience Tool Kit

Our task was to discuss the 4 sectors of it and write down what we already do in one colour (black) and write down what else we could be doing in a different colour (red).


Maintaining Physical Health

-following Youtube workouts, focusing on dance workouts because I love to dance

-swimming once a week with a house mate

-try to eat healthier, prepare mean (good for finances)

-do more steps in a day (I have got a tracking app on my phone)


Social Support & Conecting 

For this one we have done a PEOPLE BINGO activity which was so fun and interactive. We had to find people who lives in halls, support Rugby team other then Wales, can tell a joke and many more. We went around the group and asked, I also needed caffeine and asked cashiers in Starbucks (next door to the SU) and went in to the SU to get more boxes ticket. I am happy to say that I was a winner for this exercise with one other boy within my group!

-being surrounded by people when needed

-being nice to people

-being supportive

-not needing approval from some people 


Flexible Thinking and Mindfulness

Again we have done an activity where we had to write – I am fast and efficient and then 1-19 under each letter. This was an easy activity as writing the sentence first then numbers was not hard. Then we had to multi task so write letters and numbers at the same time – I, 1, a, 2, m, 3… which was so much harder. By this activity Jo wanted to show us that our brains are not made to multitask.

-taking breaks, mental and physical through out the day, especially on more academic days like dissertation or blog writting

– having a go at the 8 week programme?


Positive emotions

-notice the positiveness

-Greatness dairy (at the end of each day write 3 good things)




After this workshop I felt really relaxed but also motivated. I really want to work on my bad habits to improve my creative and none creative development. I think out of all the tasks I could be doing the greatness dairy seems the most doable. I think it will help me feel more happy and recognise positiveness in even more things.