Assignment Four: Reflections

I enjoyed this assignment very much. I felt like there was more making involved and that is what I enjoy. I did go off on a bit of a tangent with spinning, which I’ve only just touched on before, and I rediscovered macrame and braiding from my distant past.

Overall I’m finding that this course is demonstrating how you can build a textile work from the ground up. Making every part to suit your intentions. I haven’t thought much about making the materials before, including making yarn, and I can see how this would enhance a project.

I wasn’t very happy with my presentation of the yarns though. It would have been more satisfying for me if I could have found a way of looking at them all at once in a pile of a box. Instead I chose to attach them all to card. I have attempted to leave one part free to allow movement to be demonstrated and to touch the yarn.

I haven’t yet mastered the subtle colour and texture section. My colours remained all too intense despite multiple attempts. I needed to take the time and find the patience to use much smaller amounts of diluted colour for a better result.

I was happy with the paper mache yarns. They were surprisingly strong and despite being stiff and holding there shape, they were also malleable, especially when wet.

The wool spun yarns were fun to experiment with, but here I suspect I was more experimenting with spinning that with yarn construction. They were successful but fairly traditional yarns.

The deconstructed yarns were exciting to work with. I wasn’t sure what result I would get as I deconstructed the materials and I love that uncertainty and potential for surprise.

Starting to construct simple forms was very satisfying. It opened my eyes to the potential of braiding and the possibility of building forms for use in artworks, from the ground up.

I’m pretty happy with this unit and I feel I got a lot out of it, that I can apply to future projects.

Assessment criteria review

Demonstration of technical and visual skills

I like to use a wide range of materials and techniques, and believe I am aware of the possibilities detailed observation can bring to a work. I’m not sure how I go really with design and composition. In relation to this assignment I used design elements directly related to the previous works I was observing and they were arranged fairly traditionally.

Quality of outcome

I was happy with the yarns, but as I mentioned above, I was not very happy with the presentation of the final collection. I would rather it had sat together as a single coherent work, rather than mounted on the the thin board and arranged in a concertina book that was floppy and distracting to manage.

Demonstration of creativity

I love to experiment and explore and this is always a feature of my work. I would have to say that my personal voice seems to be about process and surprise, and the final works are somewhat lacking in finish, coherence and concept.


A weak point of mine. I research techniques but probably don’t research artists enough. I take my information from all sorts of sources and continue to not be aware of where I best fit.

Review point: Demonstration of creativity

I think I’ve been a bit limited in my creativity around the yarn making to date. I have only used a limited number of techniques to produce yarn and in the last section I have focussed entirely on trying to spin yarn. I find that I get engrossed in trying to improve a particular technique if I enjoy it and don’t really spend enough time considering other possible solutions. Having said that I think I am quite good at pulling in techniques and ideas from a variety of disciplines in order to adapt and create a technique suited to my current project.

I try to keep my eyes out for ideas from all sources and find that some of the best ideas come when I’m not trying to concentrate on problem solving but have just kept my current project in mind as I go about my day. As far as personal voice goes, I’m not really sure I understand what this means. I can see there are aspects of image making that I gravitate towards, namely serendipity, complexity and colour, but I don’t seem to keep my interests narrow. I have a tendency to leap from one technique to another without fully developing a single one. I’m not sure if this is working for me or against me. It is useful to have a range of techniques to consider when looking at the best way to develop an image, but then perhaps I do end up as “master of none”.

And just because I don’t like to have a post without an image, here is a photo of a textile work from a couple of years ago where I have stitched back into a piece of wax resisted fabric. 😀

Research Point one

I’ve been a bit caught up with other stuff – Ukulele workshop and creating an Ebb and Flow quilt for the quilt show but I need to get back to OCA work. This is the first research point exploring yarn. Viewed 29 Jan 2018

I used to shy away from sparkly fabrics because I didn’t like the idea of metal in the yarn. Not sure if that is actually the case but interestingly on the Lurex web site I could not find out the composition. Trade secret I guess. Anyway I’ve had to come to grips with shine a bit in my ebb and flow quilt which called for sheers. Not lurex as such but I used sparkly nylon organza and tulle which dyed very well in the nylon with Landscape dyes and allowed me to overlap colours in an attempt to make a third colour. It was very stiff and scratchy though, especially after it had been heavily stitched, so I’ll be exploring tissue silk next. I have ordered a 3 mm silk gauze which I hope will be see through enough after dyeing.

Anyway that is a side thought. I didn’t learn that much from the Lurex site other than they have been around for quite a while and that the old video of the models shows the models looking much healthier and happier than the contemporary photos. They did talk about GIMP yarns which are yarns that have Lurex wound around a central core. This is what I’m effectively doing as I’m spinning fibre with a central thread. They did talk about having the core partially showing to change the effect. I have yarn like that with a cotton core and a thin polyester outer thread. It creates an interesting yarn with bobbles of cotton colour showing through the thin black thread. One thing I noted when knitting up with this sort of yarn is that it obscures the knit stitches and creates its own interesting texture. So no good if you are doing a fancy pattern to introduce texture, but good if you like the texture it creates itself.

Wikipedia tries to help with the composition of Lurex but says different things. It could be a core with metal fumed on, or it could be a metal filament with a coating. Viewed 29 Jan 2018

Pretty weird cut and paste image but I like the way the light on the fabric is forming its own pattern.

26 Feb 2018

Not really yarn but I’m going to look at Stone paper here.

This beautiful leaf print was done by my stepmother, Sandra Lacey, on stone paper. Stone paper is made from calcium carbonate from rocks and some sort of plastic binder.

It is really smooth with a low grade shine and very tough. It can’t be torn, only cut, and it combines the stiffness of paper with the flexibility of plastic in a material that feels almost cool and wet to the touch. Because of it’s inability to be torn I’ve found that I can use it for applications not usually associated with paper, like sewing and some of the yarn making explorations. It has a bit of a stretch to it as well and holds it’s folds and creases well. I’ve heard that it can’t be ironed but I did iron it under a cloth with no adverse effects. I was hoping to try and see if I could texturise it with a bit of heat but that didn’t happen at that heat. I will try with a heat gun at some stage. When I used a heat gun on yupo (synthetic paper) it quickly deformed and melted it, which could be used to some advantage I guess. Stone paper is waterproof and completely non absorbent. The plant print above adheres well but does come off on fingers a bit. I haven’t experimented with it with traditional drawing materials like charcoal and graphite, but I will do that in my drawing unit at uni. I suspect that it marks the paper but like using yupo it may wash or rub off. I found with yupo that I could rub in pastel and it would become more permanent. I will try with stone paper which I suspect has slightly more tooth than yupo.

Here I have sewn some dyed shreds of silk gauze on to a background of stone paper. Even with heavy stitching it doesn’t tear through and the needle just glides through it. I have now sewn this on to a pair of pants as a pocket, to put it through the wash and further test its resilience.

This is the back and you can see the stitch holes but they mostly don’t tear through. It provides a nice white background to gauze fabric too, and has retained enough flexibility for heavy clothing, pants, skirt or vest.

Below is from Viewed 26 Feb 2017

About Rockstock

Rockstock is a revolutionary breakthrough in papermaking technology.


Rockstock is the registered trade-name of a ground-breaking high quality, coated paper with outstanding environmental values that prints extremely well using standard inks.(No special inks are required.)

It can be used in most situations where conventional and synthetic paper is used and offers exceptional printing, water proofing and tear resistant qualities. Rockstock claims to be the world’s most environmentally friendly paper.

▪ It is manufactured from ground down waste stone and offcuts used in the building industry.  It contains no wood fibre.

▪ Rockstock has a low carbon emission

▪ It uses significantly less energy to produce than wood fibre paper.

▪ It generates no effluent in its manufacture.(water borne, airborne or solid)

▪ It requires no water,acid, base or bleach during production.

▪ Any trimmings or waste paper from production are recycled to make new paper.

▪ It is both  recyclable and photo-degradable (It is not bio-degradable as it dioes not attract insects or organisms to consume it.)

▪ Compostable (Commercial) where sufficient heat is present to leave only calcium carbonate.

▪ 2 main product ranges 1. S-Class (Sustainable Range) 2. R-Class (recycled range).

Sometimes confused with synthetic paper, Rockstock is neither synthetic nor pulp or fibre based and is termed “Rich Mineral Paper”. Rockstock has qualities of both  pulp and synthetic papers, but more importantly it is much more environmentally friendly than either of the two. The printing qualities and exclusive feel make Rockstock a paper product not seen the likes of previously.

Due to its absorbency attributes, it has superior handling and printing qualities.

It is also water, mist, grease, anti-moth and insect proof*, freezer grade.

Certain products can be heat sealed.

Being foodgrade,  Rockstock STN thermoforming boards are suitable for thermoforming food trays, containers and other packing items.(400-700micron.

Rockstock RPD will aslo”in-mould” label with great printed results.

Rockstock has unusual physical strength and high fold durability.

In addition of up to 81% ground-up mineral waste or CaC03, Rockstock contains a small amount of a non toxic photo-degradable PE resin.

Available in weights ranging from 20 microns  through 700microns in a wide variety of product options.

100/120/140/160/180/200 micron RP paper range

200/250/300/350/400 micron RB Board range

80/90/100 LRD low density range (density 0.8/0.9/1.0/1.1

80/90/100 LPD low density range (density 0.8/0.9/1.0/1.1

20-40 micron Supermarket singlet bags. Rockbag is a range of Singlet bags, bin liners, Trash sacks and Carry bags  made  from different versions of stone paper.

50/80 micron SP range

400/500/600/700 micron STN Thermoform range.

Rocktak is a self ahesive version of RPD stone paper.

Rocktherm DT and Rocktak DT are Direct Thermal versions of Rockstock.

1(*Note: If used for acidic foods Rockstock products with a eg. PE film barrier may be advised).

2(*Note: moth and insect proof by nature of the fact that insects, moths and organisms will not eat or degrade the stone product, rather than some deterrent characteristic or chemical. Hence it is not biodegradable but photo-degradable. To be biodegradable, insects or organisms  need to be able to eat/break down the product. Instead the suns strong UV will after  1 year for paper and 3 years for board in full sun, photo degrade Rockstock back to stone powder ). This is a much cleaner process rather than organisms consuming  doubtful substances in the food chain.

3(Note: Not suitable for Laser Printers or Photocopiers where extremely high heat is generated as this may distort the sheet)

What is Rich Mineral Paper (Rockstock)?

Rich Mineral Paper (Rockstock) is neither pulp nor synthetic made paper. Rich Mineral Paper is a combination largely (80.9%) of mineral powder (Calcium Carbonate) with a small amount (18%approx) of a non-toxic, recyclable, compostable, photodegradable resin (PE) to create an extremely environmentally friendly paper. Boards and other rockstock Products may have different proportions of Stone powder and resin to achieve different performance.

Due to this unique make up, Rich Mineral Paper (Rockstock) is made with minimal consequences to the environment. Not only is Rich Mineral Paper (Rockstock) a “Tree-Free” product, but also does not require water or use of fossil fuel as part of production. This break through product does not require bleach, or use strong acid to lighten or break down the components used to produce the Paper.

As a result the mills have been able to achieve something that no pulp based paper mills have been able to achieve. Rich Mineral Stone Paper mills create no air pollution, no toxic run off and no water pollution. No acid, base or bleach. No Halogens or phalates.

Most of all, it is so rewarding that Rich Mineral Paper does not require the harvesting of trees to produce the many varied products!

Calcium carbonate is an exceptional compound. The chemical formula CaCO3 stands for a raw material that exists everywhere in nature, dissolved in rivers and oceans, melted as “cold” carbonatite-lava and solidified as a mineral, dripstone or as parent material for whole mountain ranges.

Plants and animals need calcium carbonate to form their skeletons and shells, and even modern mankind could hardly imagine life without calcium carbonate. Almost every product of our day-to-day life contains calcium carbonate or comes into contact with it while being produced.

What is Calcium Carbonate?

Calcium carbonate accounts for more than 4% of the Earth’s crust. As a result, the three calcium carbonate minerals – calcite, aragonite and vaterite – are among the most important rock-forming minerals. And rocks are not the only calcium carbonate deposits in nature. Almost all stretches of water and countless plants and animals contain huge amounts of calcium carbonate as well. These natural resources are linked by the calcium carbonate cycle.

Plants and animals absorb calcium carbonate in water, where it exists in most cases dissolved in the form of calcium hydrogen carbonate Ca(HCO3)2, and use it to build up their skeletons and shells. After their death, mussels, coccoliths, algae and corals form sedimentary deposits on sea-beds. And the rock forming process is set in motion.

The first stage is the sedimentation process, from which chalk and limestone originate. Chalk is a poorly compacted sedimentary calcium carbonate rock, whose diagenesis is incomplete.

A completed sedimentation process results in the formation of limestone. If the sedimentation process takes place in magnesium containing water, a dolomitization may result. Part of the calcium ions in the crystal lattice are replaced by magnesium ions, leading to the formation of dolomite


Marble is a metamorphic rock resulting from the recrystallisation of limestone under high pressure and temperature. Whether chalk, limestone, dolomite or marble, all carbonate rock is subject to erosion. It dissolves under the influence of wind, temperature and water, and the cycle is ready to start anew.

The World of Calcium Carbonate

Calcium carbonate rock occurs throughout the world and is readily available. This explains why it has been among the most widely used raw materials for more than 5,000 years. The Ancient Egyptians built their pyramids out of limestone. However, the mining of industrial minerals is possible only in a few deposits world-wide. Extraction is only worthwhile if the purity, whiteness, thickness and homogeneity of the stone is appropriate, and even then intensive treatment is necessary to process top quality natural calcium carbonates (ground calcium carbonate (GCC)). Precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) is a synthetic calcium carbonate, which in most cases is produced industrially by means of recarbonization.

Information about Calcium Carbonate from:

What are Coccolithophores?

What are Coccolithphores? Tiny coccolithophores have had a big impact on the planet over time. Though they are single-celled, these photosynthesising organisms are enclosed in a mosaic, or  cage, of microscopic plates that make many very beautiful to look at. The plates are made of calcium carbonate, which the coccoliths pull from the surrounding water. As these small organisms live and die in their trillions, they bequeath their tiny plates to the ocean floor where they form rocks such as chalk and eventually marble. Over geological time, coccoliths have removed significant amounts of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping to keep Earth cool as the sun grew hotter.

Caroline Sharkey Workshop

This weekend I attended a workshop run by Caroline Sharkey, who is an Australian textile artist. It was under the banner of the Tasmanian Quilting Guild but she does not consider herself a quilter but rather a Textile artist.

A small quilt of hers entered in the SAQA trunk show 2014. Viewed 8 Jan 2018

This workshop was concerned with a technique she has developed for making a new fabric to work with.

Fragments of fabric are applied to a stiffened background and then covered with a water soluble vilene and heavily sew down to keep the fragments in place. The water soluble is then washed out and the resultant fabric has new colour and texture.

The butterflies and sequins are included to play to a quilting audience I believe.

This fabric was then combined with other fabrics to create a final 2 D work

This is my work in progress at the end of the workshop. I have left the background carpet in the photo because it goes quite well. 🙂 Here I am using this technique as part of a background to try and showcase my hand and rust dyed fabrics.

Assignment three – Reflections

Reflection on Colour Communication assignment:

I expected to really enjoy this assignment and I did. Colour is the thing that brought me to quilting, then to bead making, and subsequently to Tafe and then Uni. It was my pathway into art and the thing that still gives me the most pleasure in creating. Choosing colour for quilts was always my favourite bit, and then learning colour mixing in painting really opened my eyes to the possibilities of experiences all nuances of colour. Even as a child colour fascinated me. I remember pondering over my experience of colour as compared to others and wondering if everyone in fact saw the same colours, or whether what I learnt to call red was the same as what others learnt to call red. As it turned out both my sons are colour blind and so my question has been answered. What they see as red is not the same as what I see.

During this assignment I expanded my knowledge of colour mixing. I found the matching of colours quite challenging but there was definitively a learning curve and with time I had a better idea of what colours and amounts were needed to achieve the hue I was after. I realised that tone was also quite important in matching and used complementary to darken colours and white to lighten.

I discovered that blending colours with thread was possible and opened my eyes to how this colour matching could be further translated into textile. I used some of my new knowledge in parallel with dyeing work I was also doing and had much more success than previous in getting colours that I wanted in fabric.

The digital programs that created palettes gave me a better idea about creating the particular colour by looking at their breakdown into CMYK, and also suggested harmonious palettes based on a photograph. I had been trying to match colour in the landscape but found that what I thought I was seeing was not in fact what the digital program saw. It turned out to be a tool I will continue to use.

Seeing the nuances of very pale colour in the glassware was also a different experience for me. Previously I tend to gravitate to bright jewel tones but here I found pleasure in the subtle shades and flecks of colour amongst the glass objects.

Working with collage and colour suggested ways of translating this to fabric, and how applying blocks of colour could be used in textile work. I am currently using the technique of translating a photo into fabric collage and then using the new fabric created to further manipulate to create quilt blocks. I’m excited by the potential for collage, and translating some of the collage techniques I tried into fabric. I did feel I didn’t have quite the range of techniques and composition I would have liked in the final collages, as I chose quite a simple composition to work with. There would certainly be more work for me to do in this area.7

So all in all I feel like this unit has really moved me forward in working with colour and helps me to consolidate colour knowledge that I have from a number of sources.

I found the display element to the assignment challenging, as clean presentation is not my forte but I did find it surprisingly enjoyable and again it got me thinking about presentation in the context of some of my other textile work.

Reflection on work against assessment criteria:

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

I tried to use a wide range of materials and techniques within the brief, and closely observed the colours to try and analyse their make up. I did find that I imposed my own ideas of colours on to the actual colours present and I tend to gravitate closer to the primary jewel tones than colours often really are. My compositional skills are a bit limited and I find I struggle here and often tend to choose the simple composition because I don’t manage more complex compositions well.

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

I used knowledge gained within in the course and previous knowledge to develop the colours for the works which I was happy with in the main. More work could have been done on the watercolour works and the collages, but I felt they were presented in a coherent manner which illustrated each exercise without additional words. Not sure there was much conceptualisation of thoughts on my part in these exercise and the idea communicated was fairly straightforward analysis and enjoyment of colour.

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

I love experimentation and so always try to push the boundaries of the brief to create works that come into being by partly serendipitous means, creating works that come not from my imagination but as a function of the process. This creates an excitement and sense of exploration for me, that makes me get up early in the morning to see what the dyepot or the kiln or the printing press can reveal. At the moment I would say that my personal voice is not well developed as I leap from one technique or process to another, although chance and serendipity in my work is a constant. For this assignment there was more restraint in my attempt to complete the exercises as requested but the final inclusion of the watercolour lakes did show my love for process driven art sneaking in to the book.

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

As always I tend to research process more than other artists work, which is a limitation of mine, as I find that other artists work can send me in new directions and lead to the creation of new work. I reflect on what I am doing and try to evaluate the success of communication of my idea or concept. I can overthink some aspects of this and in effect sterilise my work to the point that the inclusion of conceptual elements overshadows and destroys the aesthetics. Not so much in this assignment which was more straightforward but in other works.

Rebecca Baumann

When I was in the city heading to the Japanese Grocery store I noticed a colour artwork high on the wall in the mini shopping mall of Trafalgar Place.

As I was thinking about colour for this unit I photographed the work and went to the internet to find out it was by an artist called Rebecca Baumann.

On her website Viewed 31 Dec 2017 there is an article about this type of artwork which is called Automated Colour Field,-Consuelo,-‘Automated-Colour-Field’,-essay-from-NEW11-exhibition-catalogue,-2011.pdf

In this article Cavaniglia discusses Rebecca as having researched the connections between colour and emotion, and an artwork like this is referred to as describing a ’24 hour emotional cycle’. Each little colour chip flicks over every minute or so creating a constantly changing interplay between colours.