A2: Proj5 – stage 4 – a larger sample

A2: Proj5 – stage 4 – a larger sample

I created a “single unit” piece based on a motif. the background is mono printed by hand, and there’s an image of a stylized face hand drawn using fabric sharpie pens over the top of the background. the image is based on an image by Jim Avignon.

I combined a tribal motif border around the image of the face. I was influenced by a photo of a tribal patterned top that I found on the internet when searching for “tribal patterns”. also I was influenced by Hundertvasser with the colours chosen, and brightness of the colours. I’d seen “Hundertwasser’s toilets” in Kawa Kawa not far from Auckland, earlier this year, and enjoyed seeing his use of bright colours, and wonky, stylized lines. I’d tried some of his style of work in my sketchbook, and had been using some of the patterns in the final piece in exercises throughout this assignment, so it was a matter of combining them altogether.


originally I was planning to use my gocco printing machine to print smaller versions of the face as a border onto the fabric as a repeating pattern. but I couldn’t get the prints to work properly – I tried over a few days, and tried to fix it but didn’t have any luck. I have printed using the gocco previously though it was onto paper, and I used the gocco ink instead of fabric ink, so that might have been part of the issue also. I think my image was too detailed, and I should have printed it on the black and white printer to get a better source image. I’ve included the sample prints onto paper in my assignment folder, and here, below. the paint was too thick in some areas and too much paint went through the screen. once the paint dried, it did make some interesting marks. but it wasn’t any use for my larger sample. so I had to change my design and hand draw the original image onto the mono printed background instead.





here’s photos of the final print of the larger sample:

without an arm:

final print – I added an arm:


do you feel you made a good selection from your drawings to use as source material for your design ideas? which interpretations worked best? why?

yes, I think I chose an image with a good selection of colours and a graphic element as well as a textured and blended background. I added the face and patterns to make the background image more interesting as I thought it might be too plain without something extra. although I did like the background prints in themselves too. but adding the image also turned the background into a “story” of sorts. if you look at the cloth from a distance, it appears as if the girl is standing next to water – perhaps a lake or stream. in one view she has a border around her face, but it also appears as if she’s taking a photo of herself – a “selfie” of her face, and not looking too happy about it. I thought this was interesting as a comment on how many people take “selfies” these days — showing off themselves, even though they might be in a beautiful scenic area. (though some selfies have a background also — such as tourist photos)

which fabrics did you choose? what particular qualities appealed to you?

I chose calico for the fabric as it had responded so well to the mono prints during previous tests. the weave is thick enough to hold the paint, and still take on the colour. I also like the base muted cream colour and the affect it has on the paint, rather than using a white background.

is the scale of the marks and shapes on your samples appropriate to the fabric? would any of your ideas work better on a different type of fabric, for example, sheer, textured, heavyweight? why? do the marks and shapes seem well placed, too crowded, or too far apart? were you aware of the negative shapes that were forming in between the positive shapes? what elements are contrasting and what elements are harmonising in each sample. is there a balance between the two that produce an interesting tension?

yes, I think the scale of the marks is appropriate to the fabric. I think the print could have also have worked on a plain cotton fabric, and a heavyweight cotton fabric, as it would make it stiffer/more stable. the design is not suited to a sheer or textured fabric though as the paint would not hold properly on the sheer fabric as the weave is too wide – the paint would disappear through the holes. textured fabric would have too much detail already and not be suitable for this design. I was aware of the negative shapes in the tribal border / pattern framing the face. I did this intentionally to make the image more striking and to draw attention to the face. I think the image is in contrast to the background, but this makes it stand out more. the background colours and blends of the prints are harmonised with each other. I think there is a balance between the background and image, but perhaps this is a subjective view.

how successful do you think your larger sample is? do you like the design? have you recreated or extended your ideas from the smaller samples so that there is a visible development between the two? does your repeating design flow across the surface, without obvious internal edges, or do the shapes and marks in your single unit sample relate well to the size and shape of the fabric? do they make an interesting composition on this larger scale?

I don’t mind the design — I think it’s suitable for a wall hanging or perhaps home furnishing fabrics such as sheets or curtains. I think the background print is an extension of the test prints I did, and the image is an extension of some of my sketchbook work. I think the image and scale of shapes in the background are suited to the size of the fabric. I think it makes an interesting composition as it is something different. I didn’t enjoy doing stencils so I didn’t create an repeating pattern sample.