Final Field Reflection

The Degree Show

My degree show is a real accumulation of my three years at CSAD. The work itself was inspired by one of my university trips and behind the work I have used all the professional skills I have developed throughout my three years. I feel that my time as CSAD has not only grown me as a designer but as a person. I will be leaving CSAD with a developed outlook on the world and my professional capabilities.

The beginning of this project was a chance for me to reflect on my recent trip to South Korea. I was delighted to write a brief based on my experiences in South Korea because the trip was a real turning point for me. Being in South Korea was my third trip away with university and on the trip I was given a lot of freedom to explore and work with fellow students. Theses opportunity made me realise that I am capable to work abroad and that is now something I am seriously pursing. This summer I am looking into an Internship in Malta.

The Research

When reflecting on my time in South Korea, the dining experiences I had were the most memorable. When I was dining in South Korea I realised they had a lot of traditions and I enjoyed engaging in them. The dining experiences are fond memories because they were so social and interactive. I wanted to bring back the social aspect to the western market. I wanted to combine the two as much as possible.

During my studies, I have been undergoing the Met Award and attended workshops on Cultural awareness (combined with my other trips)  it has sparked my interest in combining cultures. When in South Korea, they have very strong traditions that sets their culture apart from other Asian countries and I started the project by researching further into this and seeing how I could bring them into my work. When researching, I was interested in finding out the origins to the traditions surrounding the way they dine. I was particularly interested in how they dine on the floor and share dishes. I was inspired by their belief that sharing from one bowl makes a relationship closer. I combined these findings with issues that I had been reading about in the western world about loneliness and over eating. When making my floor cushions I did research into floor cushions we have in the west and thought a way mixture of two. Therefore, I made the cushions out of a dense of foam and made them slightly off of the floor than the cushions I was sitting on in Korea. The cushions allowed me to bring in the importance of the concept of dining on the floor into my display and allowed me to display the co-ordinate designs and colours.

Within my display I wanted to visually display the chaos of the Korean dining tables I experienced. The tables were always covered in an abundance of dishes, glasses and tableware. The large hanging was to show the social aspect of Korean dining. When in South Korea I realised they have some of the toughest working weeks in the world and the dining and drinking experiences are so social as they are a way for the South Koreans to have a releases from these stresses. This hanging as an experimental piece for me separate from the collection. I wanted to experiment with big prints being used as textile art. Within my brief, I wrote about looking into table tops and I developed onto taking the table top and using it to create art for the walls of the restaurants that my designs are intended for.

The colour palette was something I was particularly fond of. I feel that its bold and put together an array of colours. The colour palette stayed the same from the beginning of the project all the way to the end. It was inspired my the paintings on Korean architecture and their tradition of using five colours to symbolise different aspects of life. I feel that this colour palette shows a growth in my own confidence. Some feedback throughout university is that I need to use my colour palettes more and I have noticed that I tend to move towards pastel and lighter palettes. I am pleased with the colours and how I achieved them in printing and dyeing.

Design Development

My designs stemmed from my drawings and photographs I took while in South Korea. Each motif in my collection was hand drawn and then scanned into illustrator. I have found this is my style of working. I like bringing in my illustrative drawings into the collections but also like the freedom of editing them in illustrator. I feel that it allows me to experiment more with colours and layouts as I don’t fear losing or ruining my drawings. I also use illustrator to make accurate repeats and separating the colours in the designs ready for screen printing. I find the journey that my drawings take to turn into a design, from hand rendering to digitally editing and then back to screen printing creates my own personal style.

Printing and Dyeing

I feel that this project is just the beginning of my designing life and I feel that I have just found what I love doing. Screen printing and dyeing fabric is undoubtably what I want to be doing. I have spent endless days down in the print room and I have loved developing my skills and learning new techniques each day. The stress of printing did take its toll on me a few times but I couldn’t imagine creating my collection in any other way. I have a real sense of achievement from printing and dyeing my whole collection and I feel I have only scratched the surface of printing.

Within the collection I really pushed myself to create prints that had multiple colours and layers. The prints always took longer than I expected and as I was working through the collection I found I had a deeper understanding of the process. I think the main reason why I love hand printing is that every print is different and the texture you can achieve from each print gives the designs another dimension.

I hadn’t used the dye baths too much previously and I primarily used Direct Dyes. I was apprehensive of the process but once I started I wanted to learn more. I want to experiment further with different dyes and fabrics.

Many hours have been spent in the print room but I have loved every moment.

Now that I have finished my undergrad I want to look to the future. The most recent project has proven to me that I haven’t finished researching, learning or developing and I now want to continue on to Masters. When starting my undergrad I wouldn’t have thought a MA possible but I have grown so much in CSAD I am ready for the next step.




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