MMT 5- Tutor feedback

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Formative feedback

Student name      Samantha Gilliam ScottStudent number                   517228
Course/Unit          Mixed MediaAssignment number          5
Type of tutorialVideoCall date 16th sept 2020

Summary of tutorial discussion

Demonstration of technical and visual skills, quality of outcome, demonstration of creativity

Sam you have submitted a good body of work here. 

You seem to be drawn to two areas in your work 3d and graphics. You approach both confidently, you are able to experiment with and manipulate materials well and create interesting forms. You also draw well and can create 2d designs that have a strong visual appeal, with elements well laid out, also using text. There is a fine art approach to your work, I understand that what you produce needs to have meaning to you. I can see your own “personal voice” developing in this unit.  It is good to understand who you are as an artist/ designer at the moment, things might change as you progress and you might become more interested in one area or you might completely change direction in your approach. It is exciting to see !!

I draw to capture what I see in the samples and my style of drawing is based on this. I like to explore different styles and mediums to capture the feel and texture of a piece. I may be quite graphic when drawing my ideas out so as to communicate them clearly.-SGS

The area of colour is something you are probably not quite as interested or confident in. Looking back on your work it is mainly monotone with a bit of colour. This might be something to develop as you move onto your next module, considering colour palettes, how you can change materials with the introduction of colour ( paint/dye/layering of materials…) Also colour within colour, so shades of cream, the introduction of shine or matt colour. You could still work in a monotone way but with a variety of hues and surfaces to add interest. 

I feel I have worked with colour in this unit but the materials used, especially in MMT3 -plaster, plaster bandage, air dry clay, in my opinion for what I was trying to achieve, were best left in their natural white colour. The red text is a bold colour move against the white. I experimented with colour during MMT4 with the collograph prints and painting on glass and also with the coloured paper and cellophane from surface distortion module. I do agree that in MMT 3 and MMT 5 I have gone with a more monotone colour palette but that was a conscious choice.-SGS

You have shown energy in your work, with the different approaches you have trialed but also the techniques and scale of some of the pieces. 

Your final pieces worked well. You successfully explained the 3 figures and how the forms and use of materials changed with the different emotions the figures were feeling. You created some lovely poses and you handled the materials well. I did however feel that maybe the figures became a little over worked? I compared them to some of the very simple fresh ideas you had along the design development path, for example the red stitch floating off the page, the loose wire forms with their shadow, the simple smooth and also lycra fabric casts. Again this is something to think about moving forward with your studies, how do you create a developed piece that doesn’t seem over developed !? how do you retain a fresh and spontaneous feel to your work?  

I did like the simplicity of the wire form before the plaster was added but did not feel that just the twisted wire was a developed piece in itself. I documented these simple pieces with photos and included them in my learning log so the development of the pieces could be seen, they were not meant as ‘finished’ pieces. The shadow play of the wire on the paper was interesting and so I wanted to capture it. The development of the pieces for MMT 5 need more expression and depth to convey what I was trying to say. I still see these pieces as ‘unfinished’ and experimental as they do not have a ‘polished’ finish and there is still room for idea development. Also I wanted to combine mediums and techniques from throughout the Mixed media unit to showcase different things I had learnt.-SGS

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis – 

You continue to present your work well and reflect on your work. 

You started by looking back on all the work you had produced during Mixed Media.  You selected some interesting work and made intelligent connections between pieces. You spent quite a while doing this, making a variety of connections and reflecting on them, this is good practice. You could have taken your work in a variety of ways but you selected a couple of ideas and progressed these until you came to your desired conclusion. I think rejecting the concrete and moss was a good choice, i am not sure how much further you could have pushed this in a short time. The choice you made was a personal exploration that I found enlightening. 

I enjoyed putting all my work together and seeing the contrasts and connections between pieces. I had lots of ideas so narrowing down was a difficult task. I explored lots of ideas in my sketchbook before settling on one. I wanted something to challenge me (working with plaster) and something that had meaning to me personally.-SGS

Your research of designers is very interesting and I can see this feeds into your work. You understand how this all connects. I did suggest that you add a few images of Louise Bourgeois into your learning log. Also think about how the artists have inspired you in this project, do you feel your final outcome captured this inspiration?  

I added photos of Louise Bourgeois’s work and Antony Gormley’s to my sketchbook rather than my learning log and there are also lots of images in my Pinterest board. I do feel my final collection captured this inspiration- abstract plaster form and openness of emotion and feeling (Louise Bourgeois) and the wire human forms reminiscent of Gormley’s work.

Please hold the camera landscape when you film so we can see a spread in your book. 

Well done, I look forward to your assessment submission.

Tutor nameJenny Udale
Date16th sept 2020
Next assignment due

MMT 5- Synthesis and refinement-Stage 7- Reflection

Stage 7 Reflection 

  1. How exhaustive were you in your sampling and how did this impact on the final outcomes?

I feel I was quite exhaustive in my sampling – I spent quite some time reviewing my work from MMT and played around with the work, grouping things together to spark ideas for part 5.

I made samples using plaster, wire, and embroidery – hand stitched, machine stitched, and free motion stitched on soluble fabric. I liked using the plaster in MMT3 – moulding and casting but it was hard to control so I wanted to push myself further by working with this medium again.

Two of my final pieces were working with plaster and one was with clay. Making the final pieces from plaster was my aim, but the sampling proved that I still did not have enough control over the plaster and molds to be able to work this way solely. So, I had to overcome this and work out more ideas to do my final pieces. 

  1. Did you take any risks? If so, what did you learn from them?

I do feel I took risks. Dipping the wire wrapped form, which took 6 hours to make and 80 plus metres of wire, into wet plaster to see what would happen was a great risk, luckily, I liked the outcome. Making lycra molds for wet plaster was also a risk although the outcome was less viable than I had hoped, I feel this was due to the plaster mix not the molds. They had potential to work, although I wonder if not enough air getting through the fabric had any affect. I cannot see this being the issue as the ones I did in balloons were fine and the ones from MMT3 were done in plastic freezer bags where no air was getting to them and they worked. I had to learn to move on and change my ideas as the plaster body forms were not working as I had envisioned.

  1. How did your use of drawing and sketchbook help to drive the project further?

I used my sketchbook to hold the photos of my reviewed work groupings which then inspired ideas and drawings which I jotted down. Artist research images that inspired me were also placed there. I drew my ideas out and kept notes. I drew finished samples and prototypes. Exploring ideas on paper is good to push you with the sample making, sometimes the samples don’t work but at least you tried them. 

  1. Which of the artists and designers you researched most informed the project?

Louise Bourgeois was a huge influence, and the sculptures and drawings of Antony Gormley. Combining the wire and plaster was a good mix of influences from these two artists.

  1. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the approach you have taken? (i.e. your working method)

I think one of the strengths of my working process is the artist research. This sparks inspiration in many ways, a theme, a style, a method, a material. It can inform how and why you do something, show new ways and approaches that you may not have considered. 

Another strength I feel is allowing yourself to get a little bit side-tracked, for example shadows of the embroidered words intrigued me in this module and MMT2. Although I have not explored them fully, I have documented them so I can return to them at a later date.

Also for this module, collecting work from throughout MMT and placing different units together, photographing them and just laying them out in groups  helped to spark  new ideas.

Weaknesses of my approach would be having too many random ideas and thoughts. I can get overwhelmed and then it’s difficult to work out which is the best idea. I am left doubting my choice and feeling like I should have chosen the other route and thinking would that have been better, this distracts me from the idea I should be focusing on. Also, I still have a fear of doing it wrong.

  1. Has your work and your approach to it improved through the course as a whole?

I am fortunate to have been awarded mentor sessions to help me manage my OCA coursework, my mentor has helped me gain confidence in my abilities and my work. She has also helped me to timetable my work, so I am more efficient and organised, and has given me advice on how to research. This support has allowed me to improve my decision-making skills and have the confidence to follow my ideas even if I may stray off the objectives a little. I am also more able to justify and back up the work I have made. I have improved with my critical analysis over this module and my Informed artist research, I have more confidence in saying what I think about a piece of work.


Reflection on this module overall (I have reflected on each post as well so this is a summary) 

  • Wet plaster still difficult to achieve results I want
  • Plaster bandage worked extremely well as a modelling material
  • I managed to work through the wet plaster disappointment and find a way to incorporate the plaster in another way – able to change direction and employ new methods when things don’t work out.

I Incorporated many things I learnt throughout MMT:

  • Wrapping and joining – ‘empty’ wrapping – bulging
  • Moulding and casting – plaster and molds, bulging
  • Red on white- images and text
  • Embroidery, hand and free motion sewing, using soluble fabric 

Wrapped bulging pieces – Wrapped wire – Abstract body forms – Bulging plaster samples – Nude curvy monotypes – Red text on white- all the keywords from looking at my previous work.

It was good to look back on past work from this module – mixing and matching pieces of work into collections to spark new ideas. I still have lots of ideas documented that I can return to.

MMT 5 Synthesis and refinement Stage 5 & 6 sorting and prototype/maquette making

The first prototype I made used a technique called looping. I started by making a wire armature of a curvy woman. I then looped wire together to fill out the structure. I then got a bit sidetracked when photographing it as it was creating interesting shadows on the pages of my sketchbook.

Creating the wire form and getting sidetracked with the shadow play again!
Finished wire form wrapped in text and then with air dry clay added

I wrapped a strip of the hand embroidered text on cotton around the finished form and then began to add air dry clay. I felt the clay would give me more control than dipping in the plaster, and would allow more of the red words to be seen. It became really heavy while making and sometimes it was difficult as clumps of clay kept falling off. When it had dried it became a lot lighter in weight.

Finished prototype 1- wire looped technique with air dry clay and hand embroidered text on white cotton strips (like bandages)

I was pleased with the finished result. The clay was bumpy, like fatty skin, the body shaming words could be seen clearly, but, I felt the wire could look better.

2nd wire form- wire wrapping technique

For the second prototype I decided to go back to the wire wrapping technique I used for the sample. This gave a sturdy and more formed structure to work upon. Again I made an armature and then I just kept wrapping, adding a bum and boobs to give it more form.

2nd wire form- wire wrapping technique and red hand embroidered text on white cotton strips

Again, I wrapped the hand embroidered red text on cotton around the body. This time I used plaster bandage to wrap around the wire. I feel this is the best piece because the plaster bandage gave me much more control of the shaping. The wrapping and unevenness has given a good texture, looking like pudgy skin. The words are partially obscured but I like this- a lot of body shaming is done covertly, people sometimes don’t even realise that what they are saying is body shaming, so by covering up the words with the plaster and just letting a bit peek out suggests to me of the way words hurt the ‘fat’ person but are rarely noticed by the person speaking them.

Finished prototype 2- wire wrapped form, plaster bandage and red embroidered text on white cotton strips
Finished prototype 2- wire wrapped form, plaster bandage and red embroidered text on white cotton strips
Finished prototype 2- wire wrapped form, plaster bandage and red embroidered text on white cotton strips
Finished prototype 2- wire wrapped form, plaster bandage and red embroidered text on white cotton strips
Sketchbook page of finished prototype 2

Above is a sketch of prototype 2 done with white pastel, white and silver gel pens on black paper. As the body shaming words cant be seen on the prototype I wrote them all over the background of the sketch.

Sketchbook page and finished prototype 2
Prototype 1&2 together
Sample piece made during stage 3

The sample piece I made was very crumbly but I liked that, it gave the effect of trying to burst out of your skin, taking the hurtful words with you. I wanted to add to it and include it as one of the final pieces.

Prototype 3

I added more embroidered words on cotton to this one. It is so crumbly and fragile and I feel it might disintegrate further over time.

prototype 3

The three final pieces

Final 3 pieces

Final 3 pieces
Final 3 pieces

I want to include a little background on my final 3 pieces so they can be viewed in context.

Body shaming is ‘the act or practice of humiliating someone by making mocking or critical comments about their body shape or size‘- Oxford definitions

I am overweight- or fat, huge- I’ve heard every name either shouted at me as abuse or as underhand ‘helpful’ comments, such as ‘you would be pretty if only you lost some weight’. In reality the helpful comments are just as upsetting as the comments meant to hurt me, although the people making the helpful comments have no idea they are actually body shaming. And shaming is what it is, I am ashamed of my size, even though a majority of my weight has come from having certain medical conditions. I hate buying clothes, I hate eating out, I hate going to the dr’s because every ailment is always referred back to the fact that I am fat, I am made to feel embarrassed and ashamed, all of the time. Words hurt me, I take them inside of myself and they become a part of who I am.

Society has such narrow beauty ideals and standards.Thin and pretty is what we should all be aspiring to, trying to live up to the airbrushed images of ‘perfection’. Social media has brought with it a whole new level of body shaming culture. I won’t take selfies and you will rarely find a photo of me on my facebook or instagram page- I just couldn’t bear any unkind comments. Judgements and assumptions are made of my eating habits and health, what I should and shouldn’t wear, what diet I should try as ‘it really works’, all under the guise of being helpful, all, in actual fact, are body shaming.

Fat shaming is counter productive- a 2019 study (Pediatric obesity) showed teasing kids about their weight is linked to increased weight gain well into adulthood. It can also cause other serious problems such as, anorexia, bulimia, low self esteem, self harming and mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

My work throughout MMT has evolved into exploring this subject. Bourgeois’s work inspired me to really delve into this at a personal level, experimenting and letting my inner demons come out to play, in a creative and cathartic way. My personal opinion is that my work should have a meaning- I don’t see the point of doing something just for the sake of it. All the artist research I have done throughout ATV and MMT has led me to this- I cant connect to something that has no meaning, it does not inspire me or educate me in any way and I don’t want to create work to simply comply with the exercises in the modules- I want to push it further, take it down my own path and put my personal spin on it, as, this way, I learn more on every level.

So, the story of my three final pieces- Prototype 3 (wire form dipped in wet plaster) is actually the beginning. She is trying to escape from the visible words of hurt clinging to her. She is curvaceous but not as big as the following pieces. She wants to burst away from those words but they are already starting to bond to her, to become a part of her. The soluble embroidery words are bolder and central- the basis for all the other words- the core of the subject- OBESE.

The 2nd piece is the air dry clay on the looped wire form (prototype 1). She is learning to carry the weight of all those hurtful words- they have not sunk all the way in yet, most still visible on the surface but slowly they are becoming part of her.

The final piece (prototype 2, plaster bandage over a wire form) shows how all the hurtful words over the years have become a part of her, layers of words building up just like the fat, creating lumpy scar tissue where the words can barely be seen. They are hidden by the layers and creases of her body.

Final 3 pieces

MMT 5 Synthesis and refinement- stages 3 & 4- sample making and recording outcomes

I have decided to work with plaster to create abstract curvy nudes with the inclusion of red text, on the theme of body shaming. I started off with samples from MMT 3 moulding and casting and MMT 4 wrapping to spark some ideas.

Playing with samples from MMT 3 moulding and casting

I had previously hand stitched words onto white cotton strips, now I tried free motion embroidery on soluble fabric.

free motion embroidery on soluble fabric to create text
free motion embroidery on soluble fabric to create text
free motion embroidery on soluble fabric to create text

I liked the idea of the embroidery in my sketchbook- in reality it was difficult to sew the words at this scale,It took ages and my sewing machine started smoking and had to go in for repairs! When rinsing the soluble fabric away the words got a bit twisty and some were difficult to make out what they said. I do like the shadow play possibilities though which links back to work from MMT1.

Hand moulded air dry clay with imprinted word and wire wrap

I then hand moulded a nude shape with air dry clay and imprinted the word FAT on it. I outlined the imprint with red colour pencil. I liked the subtlety of the small word but its not really mixed media. I played with red wire shaped into words and attached to the sample but it didn’t look great- it looked messy and amateurish.

Hand moulded air dry clay with imprinted word and wire wrap

Playing with the wire encouraged me to make some wire wrapped forms, linking back to MMT 2 when I made the empty spoon wraps. I tried to incorporate red wire words around the human form but again I felt it just looked messy.

Wire wrapping to create human forms and cocoons
Wire wrapped curvy nude with red text

I made a bigger wire wrapped form- 80 metres of wire! I really like the effect but even with the red text, again it’s not really mixed media.

Wire wrapped curvy nude with red on white text
Playing with samples and embroidered text

I messed around again with some of the new samples and some from MMT3, utilizing the red embroidered text and some red text on white cotton. I then decided to make more plaster samples to get abstract body forms. I was disappointed when half the samples refused to set- I am not sure whether its the intense heat we are having or whether the plaster was too runny- although I tried to keep the consistency of the plaster the same. I made two moulds from lycra material- I cut the abstract forms and stitched them together, I felt that this would give me some level of control over the shape and hoped it would work as the lycra was closely woven and if the plaster worked in tights last time I was hoping it would work in the lycra. One set, albeit rather softly and crumbly but the other didn’t set at all. I made shaped moulds out of bubble wrap but those didn’t set either. I decided to take one the wire body forms and put it inside a stocking and pour plaster on top- this gave quite a good result- the bottom half was very rounded and ‘fat’ and the plaster had attached to some of the upper wire as well. I liked the contrast of the plaster and the wire but this sample looked a bit like an angel which was not what I was going for. I dipped the smaller wire form into the plaster but that looked even messier than when it was just wire, the plaster did nothing to relieve that! I then dipped the bigger wire wrapped form into the plaster. The plaster oozed around it, adhering in places and slipping off in others, covering some of the text on the cotton strips. When it was dry I dipped it again adding another layer of plaster which I likened to another layer of ‘fat’. This result was much more pleasing- layers building up, still showing the body underneath, half covering the hurtful words. Definite potential I think for taking to the next stage.

Creating abstract plaster forms using lycra moulds, shaped bubble wrap moulds, wire form inside of stocking, stockings and balloons and wire wrapped forms
Abstract plaster forms- top left to right, small wire wrapped form, wire wrapped form placed in stocking, stocking, bottom row left to right-lycra mould, stocking, and stocking with imprinted word

Like I discovered in MMT3, plaster is very difficult to control! I just had to use a selection of materials for moulds, tie and wrap them into some sort of body shape and hope for the best! I don’t feel I was as successful with the plaster shapes this time around, half didn’t set and the ones that did were very crumbly.

Abstract plaster forms, top 2 from stocking moulds bottom one from a balloon
Abstract plaster form samples with embroidered text

I added strips of the red free motion embroidered words to several of the moulds before pouring the plaster in but this was unsuccessful- it disappeared entirely and left a pink hue on the plaster.

Abstract plaster form samples with embroidered text and shadow play on the plaster
Abstract plaster form samples with embroidered text
Abstract plaster form sample (wire form put in stocking and plaster added) with embroidered text
Wire forms dipped in plaster


I love playing with plaster due to the smooth coldness of its surface once set, but I have absolutely no control over the outcome of the pieces. While this is fine for experimenting, its not so practical if I have a certain idea or shape in mind. I really thought the lycra moulds would work well and although one came out of the mould it was so crumbly so lost the top of the shape it did have. I am sure the plaster not setting properly has something to do with the heat as I used the same plaster as I used in MMT3, I was consistent with the mixing and allowed 48 hrs before removing the moulds like last time. It was disappointing as I was keen to make the samples I had drawn in my sketchbook but they were just not up to standard. I dont have the time or plaster mix to do more experimenting on these samples unfortunately.

All was not lost though as I really like the wire forms dipped in plaster and think they have potential for development into my final pieces. I have ideas for using plaster bandage or clay as well to give a little more shape and form and including the text samples.

MMT 5- Synthesis and refinement- Stage 2- Research

Louise Bourgeois

Louise Josephine Bourgeois was born in Paris on 25th December 1911. Her father, Louis Bourgeois and her mother, Josephine ran a tapestry restoration business. Louise studied mathematics, physics and chemistry and then later on she studied calculus and geometry at the Sorbonne. She then turned to art in the 1930’s, becoming a student at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. She met art historian Robert Goldwater in Paris and they married and moved to New York in 1938. They had 3 sons together.

Bourgeois’ early work was mainly painting and print making, which were often very personal and symbolic. She began sculpting in the late 1940’s. During the 1950’s and 60’s she became very interested in psychoanalysis which was to have a huge impact on her work. She stopped exhibiting for a while during this time. Louise Bourgeois was not widely recognised as an artist until the 1980’s, even though she had been creating work for over 40 years at this point. She was the first woman to have a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 1982. It was this work that brought her into the spotlight and it was after this that she created her giant sculpture ‘Maman’ and also returned to printmaking-using dry point techniques the most she created over 1,500 prints in her life. She created art in many different mediums, including painting, drawing, writing, sewing, carving, assemblage, sculpture, and printing.

Louise Bourgeois was a very emotional and anxious woman and most of her works were a way of dealing with the struggles and emotional baggage in her life. She used her work as a way of ‘working through’ her issues. 

“I need to make things. The physical interaction with the medium has a curative effect. I need the physical acting out. I need to have these objects exist in relationship to my body”-Louise Bourgeois

“These works do not illustrate…they are an exorcism…that is what I am after…to dig and reveal”-Louise Bourgeois

Her father’s ten-year affair with the young English tutor who resided with them, Sadie Gordon Richmond, seems to have impacted nearly every aspect of her work. His betrayal of the family and the pain caused to her mother, who she was extremely close to, left feelings of anger and abandonment and feelings of hatred towards the mistress. I watched several documentaries which showed her anger and venom towards her while smashing pieces of her work. 

“She turned me into a wild beast”-LB and “The motivation for the work is a negative reaction against her [Sadie]…it is really the anger that makes me work”-LB

Many of the themes of her work are explored again and again through the years in various mediums such as abstraction, body parts, figures, spiders, and spirals. Personal influences on her work seem to include jealousy, anger, loneliness, fear, abandonment, sexuality, anxiety, motherhood and birth, good mother/bad mother, and possibly losing identity of who she was after becoming a mother.

Louise Bourgeois cannot and should not be moulded into any movement or category of art- her works are far too diverse and prolific. She studied under many artists for example, Yves Brayer, Marcei Gromoire and Fernand Leger, and although she learnt much she was very much aware of “the necessity to develop one’s own style”-LB. Bourgeois herself declared that she did not see herself as a surrealist although she was exposed to the movement by artists such as Andre Breton. I feel that although she experienced many movements and artist influences throughout her life, she had a very strong personal voice which guided her work.

She was still making work well into her 90’s and used to hold ‘Sunday salons’ at her home for young artists to come and meet her and discuss their work with her. She died at the age of 98 in 2010.

I looked at Louise Bourgeois’ work in the very first exercise of ATV. I had never heard of her before and I remember not thinking that much of her work at the time. Two years on with a lot more knowledge and a better understanding of what art is- I am fascinated by her. The many different mediums she worked in is extraordinary. She produced an enormous amount of work during her lifetime. Her delicate red watercolour paintings of the female form hold such emotion, expressed with just a few brushstrokes. What really draws me to her work though is her brutal honesty in every piece she created. She used her art to express and work through many deep issues of anxiety, depression, and fear. Her whole soul, her innermost demons, thoughts, and feelings have been translated into tangible objects, set free on the world. Through her work she has dealt with thoughts and issues that most people would not want revealed let alone displayed for the whole world to see. She was not afraid to work with her shadow self in her art as a way of drawing those issues and fears out of her head, into the open in order to confront them in a tangible way. By bringing her demons into the real world, by acknowledging them and making them real she was able to exorcise them and bring peace and maybe healing to herself. It’s no doubt that her intense interest in psychoanalysis enabled her to visualise and express these emotions in a creative way. This way of creating gave her insights into herself that most people would be afraid to deal with. She also was not afraid to tackle issues of sexuality and womanhood in a time when this was not acceptable in society. She was not afraid to tackle issues and have her voice heard. There was an exhibition of her work at the Scottish natural gallery of art in 2014. It was titled ‘A woman with no secrets’ which to me is very apt- her whole life is revealed within her work and I can only respect an artist that can express such raw emotion and expression in a few strokes of a brush. 

I chose to look more closely at Louise Bourgeois because I could see links with my own work. Her red and blue watercolours of the human form reminded me of the red and blue curvy nude monotypes I created in MMT4. Themes of abstract body forms, prints, plaster works also resonated with work I had made throughout MMT. Having something to say and not being afraid to express and confront those personal experiences through art influenced my decision to go with a body shaming theme for my final collection. 


Youtube-Louise Bourgeois and Pablo Picasso: anatomies of desire

Youtube- Secret knowledge Tracey Emin-Louise Bourgeois

Youtube- Louise Bourgeois- A prisoner of my memories

Youtube-New perspectives on Louise Bourgeois- Moma live

Book- Louise Bourgeois by Ann Coxon, Tate publishing 2010 ISBN 9781854378828

Other artists I looked at:

Antony Gormley- I found several links between Bourgeois work and Gormley’s work which are in my sketchbook.

Henri Mattise

Robert Michael Jones-

Barbara Licha-

Images of their works that inspired me are in my sketchbook pages below

Gormley, Licha, Raboczky
Similarities and links between Bourgeois and Gormley and Bourgeois and Matisse
Bourgeois, Gormley and Matisse

My MMT5 Pinterest board here

Mixed Media for Textiles-Part 5 Synthesis and Refinement- Stage one Review

Stage 1 Review-

While waiting for work back from my tutor so I could make sample collections to photograph I went through my learning log and printed off images of work that I enjoyed making and created a fold out sketchbook page with notes on links and ideas between works and some ideas for development.

Fold out sketchbook page of ideas
Fold out sketchbook page of ideas
Fold out sketchbook page of ideas
words that emerged from the images

There are definite links emerging on bulging, red text on white and embossing and embroidery. The body shaming theme is also very strong. I also like the cement and embroidered/felted moss pieces- further development of that idea at the time of making was to up the scale of the pieces using plastic bottles and drinks cans as the molds with a theme of nature taking over pollution. I am not sure if there could be enough development in this- yes, I would make larger pieces but the method would basically remain the same. I feel that the body shaming theme- bulging, plaster, red text, embossing, embroidery could be developed further with more experimentation and range so I am leaning towards that idea.

Sample collections-

Strong red and white colour theme, bulge, wrapped, abstract body forms
Strong red and white colour theme, bulge, wrapped, abstract body forms
Strong red and white colour theme, bulge, wrapped, abstract body forms, text
Strong red and white colour theme, bulge, wrapped, abstract body forms, clay imprints
Abstract plaster body forms, red text
Abstract plaster body forms
Enclosed, wrapped, cocooned
Abstract plaster body forms mixed with embedded concrete and moss samples
Abstract plaster body forms mixed with embedded concrete and moss samples, soft knotted body form- hard moss embedded concrete
Abstract plaster body forms mixed with embedded concrete and moss samples
wrapped, looping, enclosing, encasing, cocooning, entangled threads, primary colours, plastic and soft padding
delicate stitched leaves, hard embedded mossy concrete, organic
abstract plaster forms and pinprick drawings- white on white, smooth plaster, raised tactile pinpricks- drill holes in plaster??
smooth cold plaster and burnt holes- burnt holes in plaster?
smooth plaster with textured and coloured materials- cross cut corrugated card over smooth plaster- interesting combination
white on white, subtle embossing
white on white, embossing, crinkling
folded card, concrete and moss- look at Artecology website again- making sand casts from folded card shapes and then pouring concrete in
folded card, concrete and moss- look at Artecology website again- making sand casts from folded card shapes and then pouring concrete in

My two favorite parts of MMT were part 3 moulding and casting and part 4 mono and collotype printing. I really enjoyed using the plaster and cement in part 3, materials I had never used before and which seemed quite scary. What drew me in I think was the fluidity of a material that then became hard, smooth and cool. Playing with shaping the plaster within plastic bags while it was fluid, and not knowing what to expect when it was set was quite freeing- I had no control over the pieces. When pairing concrete with fabric, thread, felted moss- all soft materials, I was enchanted by the contrasts.

In MMT 4 I liked the images produced by trace monotype- a fuzzy, blurry, soft line and little bits of extra ink picked up from the pressure of your hand, creating depth and texture in the print. I enjoyed the endless possibilities of monoprints with stencils and masks, creating curvy ladies layered with bold type.

From looking at all my MMT work what comes through strongly is the white and red colour scheme and the abstract plaster, curvy nude prints and the red text.

Mixed media for textiles-Formative feedback for Assignment 4

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Formative feedback

Student name      Samantha Gilliam ScottStudent number                   517228
Course/Unit          Mixed MediaAssignment number          4
Type of tutorialVideoCall date 29th June 2020

Summary of tutorial discussion

Demonstration of technical and visual skills, quality of outcome, demonstration of creativity

Again you have submitted a committed body of work here Sam.

I can see you have taken the time to fully immerse yourself in this assignment, you have understood what has been asked of you and produced a good body of work. You answer what is required of you but also take your ideas further, researching different designers and looking at other techniques that can develop your work on. Sam, you should be pleased with what you have produced, you have shown some really good experimentation of techniques, materials and processes. There is a good quality in the skill of the techniques, you have taken time to research this and improve where you can. For example the good quality press and also finding out about tetrapack.

I enjoyed experimenting greatly with this unit. I have done monoprinting on a Gelli plate before but had not tried the other techniques. Investing in the X-Cut to print the collographs was definitely worth it and will be used lots in the future. I did quite a bit of research of different techniques and methods for collograph and found a useful workshop on line, I was interested to try the tetra pack technique and it gave really good, clear and precise prints.-SGS

You have presented your work well. Thank you for the video, it has really brought your work to life ! It gives me an idea of the scale of your work, the colours are clearer and I can see the texture and details on the prints. It is a real positive to show all this, well done.

The colour in your prints in the video did seem better than in the static shots, i think this was because i could see more tones and details, this breaks the colour up a bit and gives it more depth. The scooter and the landscape with the silver leaf were more successful in the video. I still feel though that on the whole your use of colour in the painting on glass and landscapes is not as sophisticated as your handle of texture and pattern within print. Working within a tonal palette worked better for you, for example the John Ross style picture and the pebbles.

I didn’t really enjoy the painting on glass. I think maybe if I tried an abstract painting it could have worked better. The brief said choose 5 images to replicate on glass so I chose 5 photos I had taken. The colours were a bit brash, I only had primary colours and black and white so had to mix my own colours so it was hard to get the correct colour. I didn’t feel this exercise was particularly successful but trying the technique was new to me so I am glad I was able to play around with it. –SGS

The development of the ladies was successful , the original line drawn prints are beautiful and the pick up from the pressure of the hand ( dappled areas) really adds to the quality of the figure. You then developed these using text and also silhouette very successfully and confidently ( for me the least successful was the painted figure in the text, the colour and techniques didn’t sit so well together ) 

Totally agree that the painted figure within the text did not work, The flesh colour was way off and it did not work within the text, but I felt it was worth experimenting with.– SGS

It was great to see you again looking back to past projects and bringing ideas forward in new ways. This is a sophisticated development of ideas.

The bulging and ‘fat’ theme started in MMT 2 and has progressed further into each module. I feel I have managed to develop the ideas within the different mediums.-SGS

The development of the pebbles also worked very well, you produced some interesting prints here. Be careful not to be too “finished” with your samples, I think you have such a free experimental style, don’t over perfect an idea.

I wasn’t aiming for finished pieces with the pebbles, they just printed really well! I wanted to add the silver leaf as I liked the use of it in Brenda Hartill’s work and have never used it before, so it was a bit of an experiment that worked out.-SGS

You could have played with scale a bit more, from what I can see most of your prints are roughly the same size? The intensity of the small scale motifs repeated in the calotype was an exciting relief.

I did mainly work in A4 size for the monoprinting but the nudes were done at A5. I also had varying size plates for the collographs, A4, A5 and smaller but I agree, I could have experimented a bit more.-SGS

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis – 

You are writing well in your learning log. Your work is presented well here. 

The video worked well ( pls don’t turn the camera half way through though ! ;-))

Please add thumbnails of the artists that you also looked at, I am interested to see what you are looking at.

I have gone back and added some thumbnails of the other artists I looked at-SGS

Well done, I look forward to your next assignment.

Tutor nameJenny Udale
Date29th June 2020
Next assignment due7th sept 2020

Textiles 1: Mixed media for textiles Part 4 mono and collotype printing: Recording outcomes

Recording outcomes

  • Did you find the artists influenced the direction you took? If so how did this transpire? 

I liked the abstract imagery of Brenda Harthill’s work and her use of gold and silver leaf and the detail of her textures. I did some of my collograph prints intuitively, letting the materials lead me rather than working from drawings to try and achieve this type of texture orientated feel. For example, the forest print and the trio print of flowers, rocks and sky was mainly concerned with creating as much texture as I could, applied in a semi abstract manner.

I was inspired by Henri Matisse for his monoprints of the female form and Paul Gauguin for his technique of trace monotype, which led me to doing the series of curvy ladies monotypes.

  • Discuss how the printmaking went for you. Was there anything you particularly enjoyed or anything that particularly challenged you?

I enjoyed the trace monotypes or back drawings. They were quick and simple but the quality of line and the unpredictable pickup of excess ink created really strong prints. A simple quick sketch on the back of the paper created a print that looked like it had been well planned out and executed rather than a 2 minute sketch. The challenging thing for me was remembering to reverse the image- in most cases it just didn’t happen, I am not sure why I had such a problem remembering to do it. Most prints came out ok anyway but a few would have been greatly improved by reversing the image first.

Also the collograph plates made from tetra packaging, mount board and wallpaper which I mixed and matched really excited me. The plates printed the detail so well using the intaglio method. I know that the course material asked for collaged plates and relief printing but I found my collaged plates printed nowhere near as well as using the intaglio method.

  • How well did you compose and craft your prints?

A lot of consideration went into the nude lady with text prints. Placements and knowledge of the use of stencils and masks were key to achieving the prints I wanted. Also with the mix and match loose collograph plates, composition was very important for creating a well-balanced print, in colour and structure.

  • How would you describe your use of colour?

For the test plates in both projects I stuck with black or blue, my thoughts being that detail would show up better with these darker colours. For ex 2 project 1, drawing on the printing plate, I mixed my colours to match the photos I was working from. The trace monotype curvy ladies started in blue as that was the colour ink I had left on the plate. I then switched to red as red and white were dominant colours in MMT2 wrapping and joining when I initially looked at body shaming by wrapping dolls. The red, white and black prints of the nudes with the text created strong, dynamic images. The collograph print colours were sensitive to the theme of the image, for example the stones were a mix of greys and grey blue. The beach stone print was printed with the colours of sand, rock and sea. The shore find prints were inked separately allowing for many colour choices, but, I still used colours that worked well with each other.

  • Did you come up with any ideas that you may want to develop in the future?

Yes. I can see a wall hanging maybe with panels of the different curvy girls, some positive and some negative images, using the stencils and masks. Taking this further I could use the negative prints and have negative, body shaming words on them and the positive prints could have kind, affirmative words on them. Maybe it could be double sided so one side was positive and one side negative.

I also liked the mix and match collograph plates. These could be used to create a repeating pattern for fabric maybe.

  • Do you have any ideas about how to use these printing methods in combination with the other sample making exercises in this course?

I am curious if I could collograph on fabric- whether the detail would show up enough. Also if I could collograph onto paper clay or air dry clay to create blind embossing, but I am unsure in what context this would be.

  • How did you use drawing within this part of the course?

I did not use drawing all that much. Some of the first prints from project one had interesting details that I then drew in my sketchbook, for example, the fishing net and the cross cut corrugated card. I drew from the photos I used for the drawing onto the plate exercise so that I had a template underneath the glass to follow. I also used drawing to create the 4 nudes I used for the painting on the plate exercise and the stencil exercise. For some of the exercises I preferred to work intuitively with the materials rather than working from a drawing, placing objects, papers and gels directly onto the plate and arranging them until I was satisfied with the composition. I drew freehand straight onto the back of the paper for the trace monotypes and I liked the spontaneity of the line and the little corrections showing up. In hindsight, I may have been better off drawing my ladies first so that I could then reverse the image.

  • Would you consider using printing to develop ideas in your sketchbook?

Yes, definitely. I have used lino cut prints in my ATV sketchbooks a couple of times. I also created coloured, textured pages to use for collage by using the Gelli plate to create monoprints which I then cut up.

Textiles 1: Mixed media for textiles Part 4: Mono and collotype printing Project 2: Collotype printing

With collograph the inking can either be relief or intaglio or you can combine the two. Relief is when you ink and print the surface of the plate, either burnishing by hand or by rolling through a press. Intaglio is when a print is made by inking the recessed areas of the plate, so you would apply the ink really well ensuring you get in all the lines and layers and then you wipe off the surface layer of ink, just leaving ink in the recesses. You can print intaglio by hand but much better results are achieved by using a press as more pressure can be applied.

Collograph plates can be made from mount board which is then cut into, revealing different layers to print from. Or, it can be made by collaging items onto a piece of card and printing the textures from those objects. Or, you can combine both methods.

I had tried collograph in the past and not had good results as I didnt have a press. So, I bought myself a X-cut X-press die cutting machine to use as a print press. There are lots of videos on YouTube about using this machine as a press which I found very useful to watch.

X-cut X-press

Although this video is for using the X-cut with a lino cut it gives good guidance for how to use the machine as a press

Ex 1 Create a collage block

Hessian/jute string, cotton thread, organza,tulle, fishing net, lace, muslin,hessian,stiff mesh and onion net test plate 1
clean, clear defined prints- Relief print 1
Crumpled tissue paper, corrugated card, textured sticky back vinyl, Ikea drawer liner, bubble wrap, skeleton leaves, pencil shavings, rice, lentils, spaghetti test plate 2
clear, defined print- Relief print 2
Sandpaper, ceramic stucco, acrylic modelling paste,X-panda print,dried hydrainga flowers,torn card,tin foil and textured card test plate 3
Clear, defined print-Relief print 3
Textured card test plate 4
Not as clear as other test plates but the texture has shown up- Relief print 4

I did all the test plates as relief prints. I got some good, strong prints, especially from the materials on plate 1 and the dried rice, lentils and spagheti on plate 2. What I really liked about plate 2 was the embossed markings left by the dried pasta and rice on the extra paper I had laid down to collect any excess ink.

I am going to try and keep the embossed image in mind as a technique to try out and maybe combine with other collograph prints in the other exercises. I enjoyed experimenting with found objects and materials for this exercise, finding things I may not have though off for using with a collograph.

I ran out of PVA glue pretty early on and due to Covid-19 I could not find some anywhere- I think parents were going craft mad to keep their kids entertained during lockdown. I managed to buy some Liquitex gloss medium and varnish and that seemed to work just as well, it was just much more expensive!

Ex 2 Polyfilla block

Polyfilla test plate 1 – using embossing tools, sculpting tools, credit card, bubble wrap and wire brush to create texture
Polyfilla relief print 1- I wasnt that pleased with the results, there is texture there but it is quite subtle
Test plates using, modelling paste, gesso, ceramic stucco and stencils
Ceramic stucco through stencil- really good result, good detail
Modelling paste through stencils- again, good quality prints, lots of detail
Ceramic stucco through stencil, nice, detailed print
Modelling paste with rubber stamps stamped into it for texture- good prints, not as detailed as through the stencils

The polyfilla I used on the first test plate was an old tube with just a little left in it. It was quite thick. It was easy to put texture into it but I found it didn’t print very well- this might have been because I built the layers too high and they were not all the same height so when it went through the press only the highest areas printed well.

I had modelling paste, ceramic stucco and gesso and some Ronseal filler (much thinner and smoother) so I combined those materials with stencils to make test plates. They were all relief printed but they all came out really well- very defined and clear and showing lots of texture.

Ex 3 Collotype collage prints

Plate 1- seascape- organza, tissue paper, corrugated card, textured card stock, tin foil, tulle, brown parcel paper
Based on this photo

Plate 1- I forgot to reverse the image-again. I drew out the image onto cardstock then traced it so i had a template to cut out the materials.

Plate 1- best print Relief method

I used Water based printing inks. I mixed them to get the colours I wanted.I printed this plate 4 times , twice on cardstock and twice on Snowdon printing paper (dampened). Both times the 1st print had too much ink so detail was lost. The 2nd (ghost) print both times came out better. I did expect a lot more detail to show up so was a little disappointed with this plate.

Plate 2- polyfiller, modelling paste and gesso
Plate 2- best print relief method

Plate 2 was polyfiller and modelling paste. I found this one to have texture. The first print was still a bit heavy with ink but detail did show up. The ghost print showed up the texture really well. I did get a halo effect around the rocks- this happens when you have different heights on the plate but I quite like the effect.

Plate 3- corrugated card cut into
Plate 3- best print relief method

Plate 3- corrugated card cut into with a craft knife. 1st print was heavy on the pate, ghost print was better. A lot of detail has shown up but I am not keen on the print, it looks a bit childish.

Plate 4- textured wallpaper, tulle, scrim, hydrangea petals
Plate 4-Intaglio method

For the 4th plate I used the Intaglio method. I applied all the ink and then wiped areas away. I found this gave a much better level of detail and texture. I like the wallpaper I used on the tree trunks as it looks like bark. I did this plate freehand with no sketch, I wanted to be a bit more intuitive with the materials. I was going for a sort of ethereal forest scene.

Although the course says to do 4 prints I felt I was not finished experimenting. The prints I had done are ok, but I really felt I wanted to play some more with different techniques to really get a handle on the subject. I watched some videos and this is when I came across Sally Hirst’s collagraph online workshops. In the ones I watched she just uses different gel mediums to create the plates, so I thought I would have a go.

Top left plate-clear gloss medium, gesso, modeling paste with thick embossing powder. Bottom left plate-acrylic wax, modelling paste, ronseal smooth finish filler. Both abstract plates, free hand without a sketch

print from bottom left plate above. It was not a good print so I added some gold leaf (inspired by Brenda Hartill) to try and make it better. Not sure it works!
Bembridge beach photo
ceramic stucco, polyfilla, modelling paste and gel medium through a stencil. First print a bit heavy on the ink.
Intaglio method- added silver leaf to the sea to highlight. Ghost print really picks up the detail of the pebbles on the foreshore
modelling paste and ceramic stucco on mountboard
Intaglio method- silver leaf added
Seascape with textured wallpaper collaged onto plate
2 prints from above plate- intaglio method
Detail from prints

Really like how the textured wallpaper has printed as so much texture has been achieved. Some places are a little blurry- I found the dampened watercolour paper used tended to make the inks bleed a little no matter how much I blotted it.

3 separate plates made to print together- top and middle wallpaper collage, bottom dried flowers and seed heads
The inked plate, 2 prints-intaglio method- the bottom one has really bled on the paper, I used the same watercolour paper as above
Detail of above print
Detail of above print

The watercolour paper bled badly again, I soaked it for a shorter time and blotted with tea towels but it just seems to hold the water and make the inks bleed out. I do like the idea of making smaller plates and then mix and matching them to print a trio.

At this point I found the Handprinted UK blog and they had an article on Tetra pack collographs which really interested me. I went back through some of my sketchbooks (Assignment 5 ATV and my personal ‘pebbles’ sketchbook) for inspiration and decided to have a go. I combined the tetra pack plates with mount board ones and wallpaper ones to get a good range of textures. I made them all as single, loose plates so they could be mixed and matched to print.

Pebbles sketchbook inspiration
ATV 5 sketchbook inspiration
Separate collagraph plates from tetra packaging (top) mount board (middle) and wallpaper (bottom)
Pebble stack 1 -wallpaper
pebble stack 2 mountboard
pebbles wallpaper and mountboard
pebble ring 1 mountboard
pebble ring 2 mount board
pebble detail
shore finds 1 tetra pack, mount board and wallpaper
shore finds 2 tetra pack, mount board and wallpaper
shore finds 3 tetra pack, mount board and wallpaper
shore finds 4 tetra pack, mount board and wallpaper
shore finds 5 tetra pack, mount board and wallpaper
Shore finds detail

I had so much fun with these! Each piece is small so doesn’t take long to make and you can mix and match them. The tetra packaging (I used the inside of a milk carton) is just so easy. I drew my shape on it, cut it out and added detail by scoring and cutting away layers. The quality and detail when its printed is really clear and precise. The mount board also worked extremely well- I used the same technique as for the tetra packaging. The wallpaper ones were cut to shape and then mounted on card (I used easter egg boxes) and cut out again- this was just to give them a bit of extra stability.

Shore finds 5 with silver leaf on pebble, mounted and framed
Silver leaf added to pebbles
silver leaf detail
silver leaf detail


I learnt so much on this project. Due to the Covid-19 virus a lot of amazing artists were posting online workshops, either for free or greatly reduced. Sally Hirst, Carol Nunn, Handprinted UK are just a few I found really informative for this part of the course. I feel I soaked up so much knowledge and experimented fully with a huge range of techniques. My collaged collagraphs didn’t come out as well as I expected at the beginning- too much ink, layers too high but once I started developing new techniques and materials I found the quality of prints got better. The paper also mattered- the watercolour paper was 180gsm, but even if I just dipped it in and out of the water quickly, it still retained too much and then the pressure from the press made the ink bleed out past the plate. 160gsm silky touch office card worked well without wetting. Snowdon printing paper 300gsm worked well taking the print when damp but while drying it tended to distort and curl up a bit.

The X-cut X-press was amazing. There is no way I could have got such good, detailed prints by hand burnishing so I am glad I bought it. Experimenting with different pressures gave differing results. I liked a slight indentation around the tetra pack plates and the mountboard and wallpaper and for blind embossing I used as high a pressure as I could to get deep impressions of the words from the plate.

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