The Brief for this project was to design and make a three-dimensional textile wall hanging based on the school’s buildings and grounds. As usual I gave a PowerPoint introduction to me, my work and various aspects of the project including different types of textile workshops the girls would be experiencing as well as inspiration in the form of other artist’s work. St Philomena’s has a very interesting history and was the reason why we decided to use the buildings and grounds as inspiration for this project. The girls all seemed very keen and excited by the project and when we set off around the school grounds to find inspiration in architectural features and flora, they produced a wide range of exciting drawings to start the ball rolling.
Following the outside drawing session, we continued with workshops on silk papermaking, Angelina fibres and water-soluble machine embroidery/stitching. The girls each produced a piece for their sketchbooks and were encouraged to use their drawings as a starting point for these pieces.
To help the girls in the design process, I took images from around the school grounds and produced some examples of how those photos could be used as the starting point for a textile piece.
The girls then used the school computers to take some of their designs and photographs of the school to produce images that they could transfer to copper sheets using ‘Lazertran’ (a material that allows a laser image to transfer to various different surfaces).
Following this was a felt making workshop which explored different types of felt making techniques such as nuno and shibori felt.
Incorporated into this workshop was wirework and beading examples as well as how to make the felt 3D with the addition of fabric stiffener and wire mesh. From exploring all these different techniques, the girls then produced designs based on their original sketch session. I took all the designs and put them together to produce a basic plan for our finished textile hanging with different sections for all the girls to produce.
Over the next sessions the girls then continued with making their different parts of the design, incorporating techniques and being creative to produce a vibrant outcome.
The finished hanging is currently displayed in the main hall of the school.