Diaries Of A Textile Student: Week 1

For those of you who may be new, or unfamiliar with my blog, I’ve just gone into my second year of university studying Textile Design – specialising in Fashion Knitwear. Year 2, as expected has already been very full on, it’s only 1 week in and I’m already buried under work, deadlines, samples, research trips and the most daunting thing, the prospect of placement year. Having said that, I have only cried once this week, where’s my gold star.

So with second year being a particularly busy one, I wanted to keep track of what I’m getting up to, my creative direction, different modules and the whole process of me applying for a placement year next year! What better way to do it than on my blog – I’m hoping to make this a weekly occurrence, providing I can fit it in!

Being on a creative course, this means that a lot of the things I get up to are very practical, therefore it was no surprise that first thing on Monday morning I was chucked into the knit room learning all the new and exciting machinery that I’ll be working with. For my first project, (which I will refer to from now on as my Technical Block), I’ll be using the domestic knitting machines. Luckily, I’ve had previous experience with these from using them at college, so it was no surprise that I was steaming on ahead and by the time my first lesson back had finished, I had already produced a whole range of samples. Teachers pet, I know. This week I recapped some of the basic skills including ladders, lace holes, ombre and stripes – don’t worry from here on in the knits will be much more exciting I promise. If you are interesting in seeing my samples, head on over to my textiles Instagram: @textilesbyhan

Like most projects, I needed to come up with a concept. Now, it has been a very long time since I have come up with one of these, 5 months over summer meant I literally arrived back having forgot how to mind map! A family trip to Devon over the summer has been the starting point for all my ideas, with my concept forming into one that is based around patterns found in the sand/sand dunes and generally ‘sandy‘ textures, professional sounding, I know. Don’t worry it is a lot more exciting than it sounds. Of course the first thing I did once creating a concept was head straight onto my Pinterest and scour the wide web for design, artist and photography inspiration. I aim to look into 2 artists a week – 1 artist that particularly caught my eye this week was Sara Cwyna, a New York based photographer with such an interesting style, that reminded me of the curved structure in sand dunes – hence why I looked into her. You’ll begin to notice through these posts that everything I come up with, create and look into will all be linked in some form or another – it’s the basis of a strong project.

Alongside creating a mood-board of imagery, I have also created a colour palette, which I always find to be such a struggle, mainly because I’m far too indecisive and want to use all the colours! Being a textiles student, colour is a crucial part to any of my work, so the earlier I establish one, the better. After an afternoon playing around in photoshop, I came up with a set of colours that I will be working with throughout this 8 week project. It’s important to me that the colours complement each other well, so that when they sit together, they look like they belong – which I feel as if I have achieved with this particular colour palette.

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My first week back has been primarily dedicated to research, finding an abundance of primary and secondary imagery, and really establishing what message I want to get across through this project. I’ve always been interested in constructed textiles and also 3D textiles, so throughout my Technical Block I hope to find a balance between the 2 creating a collection of samples that reflect this idea.

Alongside the creative project that I’ll mainly be discussing in these posts, I also want to take you through my application process of applying for a placement next year. So basically, a placement year, is a year where I will go out into the industry and work, gaining experience and setting me off on the right foot for after graduation. This week has been a very productive one in terms of placement – with the first thing being cracking on with my CV – which I later took to my personal placement coordinator, who thought it was a very strong placement CV. I’ve always struggled with talking about myself, this is mainly due to lack of self belief (which I’m working on), therefore writing a CV is literally my idea of hell. But after getting such positive feedback, thats the little boost I needed to believe in myself and to believe that it might actually be possible for me to go into industry next year. When applying for jobs, I also need a cover letter (again, I’m dreading writing this), but next week I plan to get cracking on it, give it my best shot so that within the next week I can begin applying for placement opportunities. I’ll be sure to keep you all updated on the progress!

I hope you have enjoyed the first instalment in my textile diaries – I’m very excited to keep you all in the loop and also see my progress. Next week is already looking like a busy one, I’ve just been informed that I have to have 20 experimental knit samples by Friday, with only 1 day in the knit room, stressed just thinking about it…

All my love,

Han xx

6 thoughts on “Diaries Of A Textile Student: Week 1

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