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.



Final Touches and Press Packs

Today was the final day and I didn’t want to leave too much work until today. I needed to finish off my labelling my space and press packs. Initially started by labelling the samples, each label has my name, student number, process, fabric and any additional information. As I haven’t mounted my co-ordaintes together I thought it would be important to label them accordingly. When printing the co-ordinates and when I was making the cushions I did realise that a lot of my designs co-orindate together. I am really pleased with this outcome as I feel that it makes my collection more versatile as there are many options for co-ordinating designs and they can therefore be used on an array of products. I also placed logo labels on the front to create a professional finish to the plain headers.


When putting my space together yesterday I found that I wanted the cushions to be on angles and stood up so they interacted with the hangings. One cushion was propped on a bin so Jenny made a simple right angle to hold the cushion in place. Once painted white it was perfect as it propped the cushion up but went unnoticed on the display.

While Jenny was painting and helping others, I completed my press packs. After the professional practice lecture we had on press packs I have spent a lot of time thinking about how I wanted to display my press pack. I decided to go with pocket-fold invites to hold the documents and materials. I felt that the bright colour went hand in hand with my collection but the clean and simple design remained professional. I finished off the front with one of my stickers to keep consistent throughout all of my work. Inside the press pack I decided to keep it simple. The CV is something that I have developed and used over the past year therefore I updated my contact info, personal statement and I decided to put the dates of upcoming exhibitions on as well. I included a postcard, business card, fabric sample and stickers. I wanted to keep it simple and not over crowd the pack. I feel that all the information that I want to give to a possible employer is easily accessible and clear.


Setting Up The Show

I had decided to leave putting my work up until today as I was concerned about paint etc. Upon reflection I was just nervous about putting it up. It all became very real when i started hanging the pieces and I almost felt slightly vulnerable.

As the worked progressed so had my ideas of how I wanted to display my work. I decided to not incorporate a table as I felt that it would just be a prop that wouldn’t be adding to the work. I wanted to keep it simple and let the work speak for itself. Upon reflection I am glad that I didn’t cram in too much in the space as the bright colours would have become over bearing.


When initially hanging the work up I was disappointed, it just didn’t look right. I became a bit over whelmed by the situation and started panicking. Upon reflection I just need to step back and think of how I wanted to display my work and what I wanted to achieve. A few people helped me look at my space and give me options for displaying it. In the end, it was a simple fix of fishing wire to lower the front hanging. The back hanging was then much more visible and the front hanging was then low enough to interact with the floor cushions. The cushion is currently propped up on a bin, I need to make a quick stand for it tomorrow.


In my original plan, I was going to have multiple rails for my designs. When finding out my space I realised I could spread out slightly wider and this allowed me to put all my designs on one rail. I was pleased that I have put my designs to one side of the display as I feel that people can now properly interact with the designs. I feel that the single rail always them to been seen altogether as one. Tomorrow I need to label the back of the samples with the details.


Hanging 2: Completing the Printing


The final printing is complete. This piece was a bit more of an experimental piece and could be treated as a one of. With this piece I wanted to visually bring in a Korean dining table and combine it with my designs. One of the beliefs I read when researching about Korean dining was that people sharing from the same bowl with have a better relationship. I thought it was such a lovely tradition and belief and one thing that stick with me from my time in Korea was the sheer amount of bowls and dishes covering the table by the time you finish. I included bowls, side dishes, the grill, the control box, napkin box, the spoon, the chopsticks (the correct size), soju glasses, water glasses and beer glasses. I wanted to really show what it was like to dine in Korea.

This print was a tricky one for me to work out how to print as it is two layers with two placement prints on each. I was really please that I managed to get it to work. I feel that this particular pice could be used for an array of things e.g. a table cloth, converted into vinyls for a table top or used as a hanging. This piece is something I would love to develop further as it is deep rooted in my research but also has so much potential for other products. If this was to be used as a hanging, I would develop two other hangings in the same table top design but in different colours with a different design in the background. I was also thinking about vinyl stickers to be stuck directly to a table top to show all the different dishes.

Finished Collection


Today I finished all of the collection. There were some points in the past couple of weeks that I didn’t think I would see this day. I feel that I have a variety of motifs, layouts and repeats. I was going to overlock the samples but I feel that the overlocking may look harsh on the bright colours. I am going to magic tape the designs and either cut them with a rotary knife or pinking shears. Overall, I am pleased with my collection, I look forward to trimming them all.

This morning I also took the large design to cyncoed and heat pressed it. Its come out really well so tonight I am going to wash it out. I think the best option for me is to do this at home so I can keep it clean. Unfortunately, some of the Devore designs that I wanted to include in my collection didn’t come out very well. So the only devore in my work will be the hanging, this is disappointing but I have learnt to except that this is how printing goes sometimes.

Devore Printing

IMG_7670The Devore paste is on!!! I am going to leave it over night to rot away the fibres and first thing tomorrow I am going to Cynceod to heat press it. The next challenge will be how I wash out and dry this much fabric? I am so far really pleased with this outcome. I feel like it is bright and bold but has the transparent edge of a room divider. In South Korea, the traditional buildings would be made of wood and the walls are covered by a waxed paper so the buildings would be breathable in the winter. I loved the aesthetic of the light coming through the foldable windows and walls. Therefore, when thinking about products for a contract market I thought about room dividers and playing with light. I feel this design has the bright and bold colours of the collection but still holds the aesthetic influenced by the Hanok. IMG_7673

I also printed my large canvas print. I wanted to show that the prints could be mounted to create wall decor. I decided to display this design as the building is the City Hall, Seoul which has a rich history. The City hall was built when the Japanese held control of South Korea and has a lot of culture and political meaning. When I was in Seoul I went to a few history museums and got a glimpse into their rich and long history. I wanted to make sure that I had included some reference to it as it is such a huge part of the heritage.


Printing the Hangings

Today is the day I started printing the larger hangings. I did a lot of prep today so I feel like I didn’t actually get that much printing. I made sure I had enough pigment mixed up and gummed the print tables. The three fabrics all ironed out together was oddly satisfying to look at. I decided to start with the Devore hanging as I needed extra time to allow the Devore to dry and to take it to cynceod to use their heat-press. I started by measuring out the design and bolting the guides on the edge of the print table. I printed onto a resist paper to allow me to line up the repeat.

IMG_7649Due to prep taking me so long this morning I started to panic and messed up my repeat. I was devastated. It was such a simple thing to fix but this was the first time I had really messed up. Steve and Jenny really helped get set back up to start again. I took a 15 minute break to get some air and a coffee. I am my own harshest critic so it was a learning curve for me to step back and except that things don’t always work but thats fine. Upon reflection, I started to rush and just wanted to get it done when really I needed to go and take a break. IMG_7651Coming back with fresh eyes I started again. Jenny stayed to help me finish the three colours on this design. I was so grateful that she did that, I was able to go home and not worry that I hadn’t finished it. I was really pleased with the outcome of the printing and I am looking forward to get the Devore paste on it tomorrow.  I had a real sense of achievement nearly finishing a four layer large repeat print. IMG_7662

Constructing the Plinth and Exhibition Space

Today I was very fortunate to get some help to put up the rails and make the plinth. I wanted an unusual plinth size as I wanted to emulate the ideal of everything being low and being seated on the floor. Due to the cushions being relatively large I went with a plinth of 90cm X 150cm. I was undecided on how high to put my rails but when I finish my larger pieces next week I can lower the rail if needed. I have also painted a piece of doweling to put in the bottom of my hangings to weight them down. I feel it will help them hang straight and since I am next to the door it will stop them from swaying about too much.  Above the designs will be a canvas that will be used to show how the work could be mounted and used as wall decor.

Final Collection: Printing the Cushion Fabric #2


As well as the sides these are the tow designs that I selected for the tops of the cushion. One design has the modern architecture while the other shows the more traditional Hanok. Both designs are bold and bright which does cause the issue of printing a white layer under the pigment. As seen in the top photo I was rather pleased when completing these designs as they were fairly complicated for me to print. Both cushions were finally printed on Cotton Moleskin as I wanted them to have a softer feel in comparison to the other substrates.

Final Collection: Printing for The Cushions


Today I continued on printing the final collection but also started printing the pieces for the floor cushions. When deciding the designs to go on the cushions I wanted them to be a mixture of the architecture designs and the patterns. I want the cushions to showcase the possibility of combining the prints. In the above photos it I am just putting in some finishing touches. I can now start to construct the cushions over the weekend.