Follow Up Debbie Lyddon book

As suggested by my Tutor in her feedback for Assignment Four I am going to review two images from Debbie Lyddon’s book “Moments of Being”(2016) and discuss what I see, the materials, the techniques and the colours and my feelings and learnings.

The first image is from The Sluice Creek Cloths:

Debbie L 1IMG_8353

Debbie Lyddon image from “Masts and Halyards 1” – Sluice Creek Cloth

Debbie Lynddon “Marsh Shadows”- Sluice Creek Cloth

The Sluice Creek Cloths are a series of seven that are aimed to represent the movement and change of natural process in space and over time.  In the first image selected Masts and Halyards 1 I was drawn to the holes and the space through the holes – the emptiness.   I really liked the shape that Debbie has used and the way she has used two layers of shapes – larger and smaller and different sizes and the effect this creates – the dimension.  The texture created in the work attracts me with the roughness of the canvas linen and the raised surface of the holes.  The surroundings of the holes are made of wire which has been overcast with thread. One can see that the wire has rusted and given the location it would be caused by the putting of the Cloth into the sea to create the rust. This illustrates to me the degeneration of the cloth and makes me wonder about the background to this effect. The movement of the sea could be a factor and the rawness to me of the pounding of the sea.  The sound of the sea and the wildness of the sea are important.  A halyard is a line for hoisting or lowering a sail so to me that uses energy and that is also reflected in the Cloth piece.   The colours Debbie has chosen I think reflect the colour of the sea and the creek in that area.

The second image is from the “Marshscapes Collage #3/16” in ‘Moments of Being’

Debbie L 3IMG_8485I like the subtle colours used in this piece but with the small bright yellow which gives life. The shapes are simple but strong.  The pale colour at the top suggests light that is also reflected in part of the foreground.  Texture is created with the stitching with the straight lines at the top and the wonderful loops in middle and foreground.  The different shades of grey, black and white in the loops creates interest and energy.  The fabric used is linen with wax used in places with scratching. I really like the ruggedness of these collage pieces and the combination of shapes, colour and stitch and I can see me being influenced by Debbie’s work in my own work but in my own context and natural surroundings which are very different.


Tutor Feedback Assignment Four

I received my feedback from my Tutor Rebecca a week ago.  I was very happy with the comments made.  I have reread the feedback document and made notes concerning my strengths and areas for improvement.

Overall Comments

This was the first actual work I have sent to my Tutor(all the rest has been digital) and she was pleased to receive. In summary my Tutor said : My work was well organised and interesting with evidence of investigation.  My learning log was easy to navigate and informative with evidence of both reflective and critical thinking.  I had a level of engagement with the blog posts  and I had put effort into looking and thinking about my creativity and the creativity of others.

My Comment

Was pleased to see that my efforts to really understand reflective and critical thinking are well placed.

Engagement with textile techniques

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity.

In general I showed evidence of purposefully using work from previous sections of the course to develop ideas.  My Tutor enjoyed looking at my experimental materials and my willingness to look outside conventional textile materials. It was suggested that I could have gone further with the tape and eyelet example and to make into a small series. The comment was made that I used a wide colour palter with striking bright tones to subtle neutrals.  It was suggested I continue to investigate materials, techniques and colour and aim to push what I already know to discover new ways of creating textiles.

My Comments

I will take the tape and eyelet example further I think that will be fun.  As mentioned on my blog I will continue to gather research and to experiment with new ways of creating textiles.


Demonstration of technical and visual skills, Demonstration of creativity.

I did not provide evidence of fresh observational drawing for the assignment.  It was suggested I draw regularly and use sketching to study the yarns I have made from my assignment to help develop my drawing skills.  I should do this in a wide range of media including ink, charcoal and pastels in a variety of scales from small to very large at least A3.

My Comment

I seem to be all to organise myself with my textile work and reflective and critical thinking but with my drawing I do bits on pieces on sketch paper I have a load of sketchbooks and art materials but my approach is disorganised and adhoc.  My approach is I would like to draw a subject e.g. leaves  but then think does that fit in with my current assignment material and the moment is lost.  I really liked my Tutor’s suggestion to sketch my yarns and will do when my folder arrives back here.  I need to use more widely some of my art material supplies.


Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

In this area I have not documented my research into other practitioners which I do almost daily but fail to put in my learning Blog.  Suggestions have been made into how I should approach documenting my investigation and images  as well as look at the OCA textiles Pinterest page.

My Comments

Need to get to work on this I just read and follow textile practitioners as a matter of course but I can now clearly see the gap in my documentation! I appreciate the suggestions made on documenting and analysing this work. I do look at the OCA textiles Pinterest page regularly but once again I have not documented this activity.

Learning Log

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

Tutor happy I am really getting to grips with reflective and critical thinking.  Rebecca thought my framework “A Structured Approach to Reflective Thinking contains excellent prompts. She also thought that my reflective writing was beginning to be more purposeful in the way I look at my own work and the processes I use.  Tutor thinks this is excellent and it is suggested I continue to develop these thinking skills

My Comments

Really pleased with this feedback and I will continue to develop my academic thinking skills.

Pointers for the next Assignment (from Tutor)

  • Reflect on this feedback in your learning log
  • maintain an investigative approach to your creativity
  • use observational drawing as part of the reflective process by drawing your outcomes
  • use research to inspire and influence the direction of your work
  • continue to develop your academic thinking skills

My To Do List from this Feedback.

  1.  Expand tape and eyelet example into a small series. Continue to research and experiment with approaches to creating textiles
  2. Drawing more systematic and focused approach.  Sketch my yarns. Use more varied materials.
  3. Write up research into other practitioners. Follow suggested method of analysing images for Debbie Lyddon book and other materials.
  4. Think about schematically(flow diagram) how these activities all relate to each other so I do not miss doing critical parts.



Assignment Four A Yarn Collection

Assignment Four requires me to address the presentation of my work from Projects 1 and 2 as a collection.  Whilst it is an opportunity to be creative and imaginative I also have to make sure it can travel successfully from Australia to the UK.  I was thinking that I would keep my presentation simple with clean lines.  I note in the description of the Assignment that white or very pale coloured backgrounds are the most effective and contemporary way to present colour and that good quality paper or lightweight card can also make a big difference.

I also note that considering the ordering of the exploratory samples and my evaluation of them and my evaluation of them through my method of presenting are important factors. I should also include copies of the imagery or paper work used to develop my yarns.  This is a major component of showing my ability to translate colour, composition, proportion, and qualities of Part Four.

I need to label the work and order it clearly.

I have thought about various ways to present my work within the constraints of overseas journeys and simplicity.  I have decided to try attaching to sketchbook paper, although I did consider thick tracing paper, and placing for extra protection within  a Clear Display Book with clearly marked labelling.  I had thought about colouring the sketchbook paper but I decided that will not show off the yarn compositions in the best light.

My work will now be posted with Australia Post to my Tutor.

Assign 4 Part 4 Review against Assessment Criteria

Demonstration of technical and visual skills – materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skill (40%)

I think I have used a range of experimental materials in my approach to the yarn formation and that my colour approach has been good.  I have only touched the surface of knotted/macrame and found much to my surprise this really interesting and loads of potential for further textile work.  Drawing out examples of the type of yarn formation I could undertake certainly assisted me a lot. I can do more drawing though.

Quality of Outcomes – content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas (20%)

I think that my outcomes with the actually yarn compositions is satisfactory and a reasonable quality.  However, I can improve more on my written communication of my work. I am now working on my reflective thinking to assist in the development of my creative work.  I should reach the stage where I can use this approach in reviewing the work of others.

Demonstration of creativity – imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice (20%)

I have used a varied range of techniques and materials and that this has stretched me and encouraged me to be more experimental.  I like my sea glass piece and my bark best because they incorporate the natural world.

Context – reflection, research, critical thinking (20%)

I have found that this Part has encouraged me to reflect more and reading Stella Cottrell’s book “Critical Thinking Skills” is giving me a framework to work through.

Part 4 Yarn and Linear Exploration Written Reflection

Undertaking Part 4 started off with me really questioning how I was going to design all the yarns and ended with me excited about the yarns I had created and the potential of these yarns.

I found that drawing examples of the types of yarns I could make in my sketchbook was really useful for freeing up my thinking for the exercises.

I felt along the way that a big light had come on and I could understand conceptually and in actual making how better to approach the work.  I became more open, freer, more experimental in my approach.  I wrote about this in my blog post “Development – Reflection”. My interest in repurposing materials and looking at the natural world for ideas seemed to flow in my work.

I love colour and that assisted me I think in my approach.  I could find a colour I wanted (something like a painter) and then particular texture (type of thread, wire etc) I was trying to create.  In the process I have used different materials like sea glass, bark, plastic foam, plastic sheeting, wire etc and felt good trying these materials.

I think my biggest challenge is managing and approaching my time given outside of study needs, and being able to complete my assignments much faster. In reflecting on this comment I think it is more than that I have begun to understand how better to engage in the tasks and reflect I hope more effectively.  I grappled with how to approach a series of exercises as opposed to other higher education study in the past where I had to do a major essay, research report.  I have had to retrain my approach. I have done this more recently by allocating blocks of time to my study rather than frequent small amounts of time and then distraction.  By focusing on larger blocks of time I can better assemble the materials and then think more creatively with the luxury of knowing I don’t have to finish in 30 minutes.

In addition, the approach I could take from now is to spend more time early on in a Project to elaborate  what I want to gain from critically reflection and the approach that will  best work for me in how to achieve that outcome.  I have identified one strategy and that is the clear allocation of blocks of time. Stella Cottrell (2011)provides a seven step framework for deciding further on an approach and I will work through these steps to assist me.

Reference:  Stella Cottrell, 2011, “Critical Thinking Skills, Palgrave Macmillan


Part Four Yarn and linear exploration Review Point: Demonstration of Creativity

Demonstration of creativity.  This criterion is defined in terms of ‘imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice’.

I feel that I am improving in the demonstration of my creativity. I am less rigid in my approach I think more now of my textile exercises in terms of a creative challenge to find materials I already have or have a different use for example.  To try to be inventive in my approach to try not to be influenced by other work I have seen or seen displayed in books or magazines. To strive to be original that does not mean I have achieved that but that is my aim now. To approach an exercise from the point of view that I can do this but what if I take the idea further how far can I stretch it.

The work of artists that I have been made aware of during the course (English painters I did not know before) and other famous painters whose work I have now examined in a more curious and thoughtful way is helping me to see or think more broadly.  Also traditional themes like Australian Aboriginal artists, Indonesian national artists, the Pacific artists and work by Indian artists now find their way into my book library.

Once I got going on Part 4 and did not constrain myself it was great.  As all my work is shown on my blog I think I could work on being more inventive with my photography. I also think my computer skills with WordPress need improvement and I keep delaying that so I can focus on my course.

I have been challenged by the difference of a textile degree level course and courses I have undertaken at at degree level or above in business and law.  I have had to come to terms with exercises and the ‘making’ I think I am getting better with that aspect.


Exercise 4.5 Collage-inspired Yarn

This exercise is aimed at finding ways to translate making techniques and approaches using collage work into yarn concepts with a focus on flat yarns.

I looked back at my work produced in Exercise 3.4 and selected some for inspiration. These were:

I let the colour and the materials on had on hand direct my approach to this exercise.

First I went to my wire which was orange and bent it around a round shaped bottle to achieve organic circles which I then threaded with silk hand dyed thread. This was influenced by my collage on the lefthand size with the orange and the blue overlay.


The next collage-inspired yarn was made using some florist ribbon and some dyed scrim.  This was attached using the sewing machine. Inspired again by my multi coloured collage.

img_8328The third piece was made up of neutral colours layered influenced by my collage in the bottom right hand corner above. There is hessian as the base with hand dyed blackish cotton fabric layered and cream tape placed on top.  Also secured by machine stitch.


img_8329Fourth I took a piece of my hand dyed orange primatex cotton and a piece of wrapping cord I made with turquoise scrap fabric very narrow and zigzagged this to the orange cotton by machine. The orange and blue combination like my collage piece.

img_8330The final piece I made was inspired by my blue collage in the top righthand corner above. I layered blue hand dyed tape followed by some of my hand dyed cotton fabric and finally a shiny ribbon type thread which I attached by using a large running stitch.


Overall, my focus was on a ‘ flat’ construction in the yarn designs.

Exercise 4.4 Deconstructing colour as yarn

This exercise aims to select and explore new and appropriate making and deconstructing techniques to translate lighter and more transparent qualities into my yarns.

I am going to revisit exercise 3.3. my semi-transparent still life colour stripes.  The exercise requires me to develop ideas from my strips and apply methods of deconstruction etc to capture the lightness, colour, energy of my stripes in a small series of yarn designs and yarn concepts.

For easy reference here is my exercise 3.3. stripes.  I think the colours are exaggerated and not pale enough for exercise I have done a new set of stripes.


The new painted exercise using the colours on the original exercise 3.3 on the right hand side above is shown below.

img_8310I collected some materials from around the house that reflected both the colour palettes and the qualities in my watercolour strips. I found this fun.

The first item I found was a packet of plastic shower caps which to me had the light and delicate colours of the watercolour strips.  I deconstructed the shower cap and cut it into strips.  I then knotted these and then I looked at the elastic part which had been cut off and decided to plait the two pieces together roughly.  The photo below shows the shower cap before I deconstructed it and the two yarn formations.


For more detail of the yarn pieces the photos below apply.  I like the way you get a transparency with the plastic on these pieces. First photo the knotted strips.


Second photo the elastic pieces around the shower cap.  The effect of these pieces is interesting because of the almost frill type edges.

img_8316Next I was looking for an open transparent effect and wove some orange wire using a rough lock stitch I had seen in Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn’s book “A Tale of Two Stitches”.

img_8317This has potential use for weaving or thread darning in a macro sense.

I carried on and looked at some hessian off cut I had and decided to deconstruct this by pulling out threads and fraying the edges.  I looked at the threads that had been removed and decided to do an elongated knotting.  I was trying to capture the openness and delicacy of the painted watercolour.  Did I succeed?  Well I like that I deconstructed the hessian but the delicateness of the watercolour is not really there.


To try to achieve the transparent and delicate effect I looked around and found some bubble wrap which I cut and using a cream (as in no colour) I did a large running stitch through the middle.  This has potential for threads being threaded crosswise as well as vertical.  I thought this achieved my attempt at delicacy.

img_8326Lastly I found some tape that had been wrapped around something that had come into our house it was painted with delicate wash of paint.

img_8323Next I tried to remove some of the painted colour with some very old colour remover and also decolourant (also very old at least five years) but I was only partially successful with the removal as you can see below.

img_8324Interesting how the same piece of tape can throw different shading on a black fabric as opposed to white paper!

Reflection – Development

I read Rebecca Fairley’s great article on “The Question of Development” this morning and I thought about the contents  in general and specifically.  I have undertaken several workshops with Nancy Crow a very important free form quilter from the USA who has worked in the area since the late 1970s.  Her work is displayed in Art Galleries and Museums in USA.  Nancy travelled to New Zealand where I was living until recent years for the workshops (Nancy loves New Zealand). She made us each do our designing directly on our own eight feet by eight feet design wall – auditioning fabrics, cutting out shapes, being aware of colour connections, lines and figure and ground.  Nancy sees “Art as a process of Discovery and not knowing ahead of time exactly what you are making”.

Reading Rebecca’s article and reflecting on my time with Nancy I can see more clearly the approach to development of my work.  How I should be approach the course – the wonder of discovery, playfulness, the energy this approach creates, the excitement. I need as Rebecca says the ‘space to think.’ I also need to get into the habit more of writing it down (as mentioned in a previous post in Part 3). I need to be mindful of  the point that the ‘form the development of your work takes will change from project to project.’


Exercise 4.3 Re-interpret, re-invent

This exercise looks challenging and is aimed to assist me in the employment of colour and mood translation in materials and yarn; re-invent and re-interpret an approach to building structures  and research and keep technical notes on my processes.

I will be developing a series of yarn designs and simple textile constructions in response to my colour work in Exercise 3.2.

In Exercise 3.2 my chosen image for my yarn wrap was a painting by Nicolas Poussin. The painting depicts a mother and father and seven young children.  I was attracted to the richness of the colours in the painting, particularly the beautiful blue and the dusty pinky colours.


First I looked in my thread box for inspiration.


I was mindful of the threads I had used in exercise 3.2 but thought I would experiment further with a thicker string thread and fine shiny threads (similar to some in exercise 3.2) for exercise 4.3.

So I looked at some of the colours in my exercise 3.2 and decided to plait using fine shiny threads. It is difficult to capture the work because it is fine I have used in the second photo a macro lens but this somehow distorted the colours!

The second piece I decided to go big and used a piece of large cotton string and covered it with embroidery thread in a organic way and then loosely plaited the three yarns. It is not even but paint on a surface is not always even distressed or weathered textiles is not always even I was looking for an interesting finish.


I was required as part of exercise 4.3 to research a means of working with yarns to create some simple textile or constructed forms.  I decided to look at macrame/knotting.  I researched some books on the subject (referenced below.  I  was interested in creating a constructed form that was interesting I did not want a ‘paint by numbers’ type approach.  I was trying to see how this would fit into innovative textile work in the future.

I started off using a fine width string and got hopelessly caught up in the knots!  I decided I had been too ambitious and so selected a much thicker piece of cotton string and took it more slowly whilst still trying to keep it interesting.  I thought if I wanted a precise piece of work it was more to me like doing a one day workshop and making a macrame pot hanging so I tried to be less precise.  This is my first piece.  It is based on an overhand knot and the shade is like that is my old Master’s painting.


My second piece is based on a flat knot using the shade of yellow in my Old Master’s image.  I could see this being used in textile pieces to add a three dimensional effect even like the suggestion of an insect. I used bamboo twine for this piece.


I have compiled the beginnings of a research file on knotting/macrame and will add articles that interest me.  I have found a fabulous online shop which happens to be in Queensland but has great Australian, UK and Japanese strings and threads.

I have also located a new magazine which is produced in Singapore which has all sorts of macrame and weaving type work.


From this exercise I tried to build on my experimental threads in Exercise 4.1 and 4.2 and to think of the yarns in some ways as texture and paint colour.  I think that I am developing.  In that I am attempting to unfold, grow the potential of yarns, to change the form or expression of the yarn  to unveil future treatments. I could spend enormous amounts of time working on just Part 4 of the Course.  I could really try to stretch it further but time is not on my side right now.  I think keeping the Research File has potential for me to dip back into this area to bring out further my ideas.

If I did Exercise 3.2 again I would try to find an Old Masters painting with less array of colours so I could focus more on just a few colours in my interpretations. I would also plan in advance and dye some of my string to give me more options for knotting work. I did not realise when I first read the Exercise 4.3 how many activities there were to be considered. I would like to explore some of the other ways of working with the yarns including braiding. I did not have a macrame board so found securing the top threads was difficult for the knotting/macrame work. I would also like to master the knotting  and use more unusual yarns like wire, natural vines and incorporate other items like shells and seaglass. I have investigated getting a small drill to enable me to thread or put wire through shells and seaglass. I find these items on different beaches on the Queensland and New South Wales east coast.


Rougerie C, “Amazing Macrame”, 2016, Search Press

Carey J, “200 Braids to twist, knot, loop, or weave”, 2007, Quartro Publishing