AS Textiles

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					        AS Textiles
             Study Guide
             Units 1 and 2

   This document is designed to support your
     understanding of the requirements and
    expectations of Units 1 and 2 (AS Textiles).
 If you are unsure of any aspect, or would like
     clarification of any other work you have
produced, please discuss this with your subject
Unit 1 and 2

• Both of these units have equal weighting (50% each)
• They are both similar in structure and will involve the production of a body
  of practical work (usually presented in a sketchbook) and a final piece

The main differences are:-

• Unit 2 starting points are set by the examination board. They will be different
  each year and will not be made known to you until you begin that unit.
• The timings for each unit are slightly different, you may have slightly longer
  to work on Unit 1.
• Unit 2 is an independent unit. You will put into practice the skills learned
  within Unit 1.
• Within Unit 2, you will work for 5 hours, in examination conditions, on your
  development work.
Unit 1 and 2 – Basic checklist

•Written introduction
•Visual Mindmap
•Observational studies (drawings, sketches, photographs, etc)
•Technique samples (evidence of a variety of textile techniques)
•Contextual research (artist/designer/craftsperson study)
•Contextual responses (work of your own inspired by the work of others)
•A Mood Board (if relevant – see your subject tutor)
•Development work (samples/ideas/designs that respond toy your research
and own ideas)
•Final piece ideas/Design ideas (usually a minimum of three annotated ideas
 with test pieces to show your ideas for a possible final outcome)
•Final piece (and photos of this in your sketchbook)

•Unit 1 may consist of more than one project
Units 1 – Detailed checklist
Unit 2 checklist – to follow
                                      Units 1 & 2

Unit 1

Unit 1 will run between September and February. It will consist of:-

• Colour and Pattern – Surface Pattern and Embellishment
• Contextual Enquiry – Constructed Textiles

Unit 2

•Unit 2 will run between February and May. It will consist of a response to ONE of the
starting points provided by AQA

                         Colour and Pattern
                 Surface Pattern and Embellishment

Develop a personal project around the theme of Pattern and Colour. This will
result in a finished outcome that features colour and pattern. The outcome
might be print designs for fashion fabrics, a furnishing item, wall art, giftware or
textile art.

Pattern and Colour can be found in many places.

Pattern in nature
Architectural Pattern
Geometric Pattern
Organic pattern
Traditional and contemporary patterns
Conversational pattern (conversational wallpapers)
Floral pattern
Colour and emotion
Types of colours
                                   Constructed Textiles
                                 (Theme of Your Choice)

 In this project, you will learn how to gather relevant and appropriate visual and
contextual research of your choice, with a focus on constructed textiles. This may be
Textile sculpture, 3D textile art, fashion, fashion accessories, costume, furnishings or textile
installations. This will involve gathering relevant information of the work of others (such
as artists and designers), visiting exhibitions and gathering visual information, primary and
secondary source.

You will also learn a range of textile skills and create your own experimental samples.
You will look in-depth at the work of others who practice such skills and develop
responses to these.

You will develop your own ideas, combining a variety of elements of your work.

You will create a final outcome. Such outcomes might be a fashion accessory, fashion
sample, furbishing item or textile art wall-hanging or sculpture. This may also include
elements of your Colour and Pattern project
Written introduction
Write a short statement in which you introduce your project. You need to include:

Your chosen theme and how you will respond to this
Which aspect of your theme you are going to investigate
Which artists/designers/era/visual sources you might investigate
Why you chose this aspect of the theme and why it interests you

It is usually good practice to plan this out in draft at the start of a project and
Write this up at the end. This should be around 150 words minimum.
                                  It doesn’t need to be long – as
                                  long as you cover the points
                                  mentioned earlier
Example of a good introduction…
                                  Always mention your starting
                                  point (the one you are given at
                                  the start of each unit)
Example of a good introduction…
Visual mindmap
Create a mindmap that explores your starting point. Write down as many words as you
can think of that are relevant to the starting point. You might want to discuss this first.

Make this visual by adding images, sketches, drawings, etc. It will be a quick reference
point and it will make your project clearer.
                                 Observational Studies

There are two types of observational studies – PRIMARY SOURCE
(you record a real object/person in front of you) and SECONDARY
SOURCE (recording objects/people/images from another source
such as the internet). You should ALWAYS include some primary
source work in any project.

Artists and designers use observational studies as a way of recording
what they see, interpreting it in their own way and using this as a rich
source of inspiration and ideas. There is more than one way to draw
– you do not need to be good at photo-realistic drawing to create
some successful observational studies. Within Textiles, students draw
in a range of ways, such as using batik (hot wax), a sewing machine
(with and without thread), collage and mixed
media (textile collage), expressive drawing (using unusual mark-
making tools), quick sketches as well as using traditional media such
as pencil, paint ink and fineliners.

Observational studies also include photographs. When using
photography as PRIMARY SOURCE you must take the photograph
yourself and wherever possible, print this onto photo paper. Photos
should be in focus and of a good quality.

The most important thing when creating an observational study is
that you must LOOK carefully at what you see. Don’t assume the             Examples of good
shape of the object you are drawing. LOOK at it carefully and
frequently.                                                                Observational Studies…
            Observational Studies

Examples of good Observational Studies…
                                          Experiment with tone,
                                          and mixed media
            Observational Studies

Examples of good Observational Studies…
                                    You create observational
                                    studies by drawing/painting
                                    onto fabric as well as paper
            Observational Studies

Examples of good Observational Studies…
                           An observational study does not need
                           to be of an object – it might be of a
                           texture, a pattern or a surface that you
                           have seen first-hand (primary source)
            Observational Studies

Examples of good Observational Studies…
                             Explain your observational studies
                              with annotation. Use mixed media
            Observational Studies

Examples of good Observational Studies…
                                    Quick, timed drawings or
                                    Sketches are also very
                                    Valuable. Try timing yourself
                                    And see what you get – you
                                    might discover a style of drawing
                                    that suits you.
         Observational Studies
Examples of good Observational Studies…

                   Photography is a good way of recording
                   observations. It should be used alongside
                   drawing and other techniques. When
                   taking photographs, ensure they are good
                   quality and in-focus (not blurred). Print onto
                   photo paper whenever possible.
                                 Contextual research

It is important to be aware of the work of other artists, designers,
crafts and visual resources. You might do this by visiting a gallery
To see an exhibition by an artist, visiting a museum to look at
ancient, traditional or crafted artefacts. This may also be to use
the internet to research the work of others. Whatever way you do
this (and remember, visiting galleries, exhibitions and museums is
PRIMARY SOURCE) you must record this in your work.

When creating a contextual research page (often just referred to
as an
Artist research page) you should include good quality visual
images (primary source where possible). You should also include
artist information
And an explanation of how you feel about their work. Why have
you chosen it? How does it make you feel? What do you like about
it? What does it mean? How has it inspired you? You should also try
and create your own artist response (see next section)

Sometimes it is appropriate to create an artist copy. This is a direct
copy of their work using appropriate media. This will helps you to
Get a feel for the artist’s work and explore their way of working.

You must ALWAYS credit the work of others – never try to pass it off
as your own work! Sometimes, you may find it difficult to find the       Examples of good
name or origin of an artist. You just need to explain this in your       Contextual Research…
                                           Artist response

As well as finding out about the work of others, you need to respond to this work. For example, if an
artist has created a textile self-portrait using the sewing machine, you might choose to respond to this
by creating your own self-portrait, using the sewing machine. This way, you are establishing links to
the work of others without just ‘copying’ it. You are including your own ideas as well as responding to
the work of others.

Every artist response that you do should be analysed and evaluated as to it’s success and potential
for development.

Examples of good
Contextual Responses
         Contextual Research

Examples of good Contextual/Artist Research and
Contextual/Artist responses…

                    Include artist images (more than one)
                    As well as any sketches, drawings or artist
                    Responses (textile or other media)
                       Contextual Research

              Examples of good Contextual/Artist Research and
              Contextual/Artist responses…
                                                Artist responses –
                                                Interpretation of artist
                                                work using
                                                alternative media and

Original artwork

                                      You can include contextual/artist
                                      copies and responses on the same
                                      Pages. Consider a variety of media.
                            Contextual Research

                   Examples of good Contextual/Artist Research and
                   Contextual/Artist responses…
Original artwork

                          Artist responses –
                          Interpretation of artist
                          work using
                          alternative media

                                      Look carefully at the work you are responding
                                      To. Ensure you are interpreting the style, colours
                                      and effect of the original. Always credit the artist.
                                     Contextual Research

                            Examples of good Contextual/Artist Research and
                            Contextual/Artist responses…

Artist response –
copy of artist work using
alternative media

                                                 Original artwork

                                            Thorough annotation explaining you feelings
                                            about the work is important.
             Artist Response

Examples of good Contextual/Artist Research and
Contextual/Artist responses…

         Artist response – creating
         a piece of work using own
         images in the style of that

             You may choose to respond to the work of
             others but add in your own research/ideas/images
           Artist Response

Examples of good Contextual/Artist Research and
Contextual/Artist responses…

           You do not always need to use a named artist. You
           might use objects/artefacts that were created by a
           specific cultural group or as a craft by an unnamed
                                 Technique Samples

During your AS course, you will be introduced
to a wide range of textile techniques. For
each technique, you will be required to
produce at least one sample. This should be
presented in your sketchbook with a clear
heading and an explanation of the process.
Wherever possible, you should always try
and include other researched examples of
this technique. Try and indicate in your
annotation how you feel about your work
and how this might have the potential to be
developed further.

              Examples of good
              Technique samples …
         Technique samples

Examples of good Technique samples…

                             Include plenty of researched
                             examples as well
                             as your own samples
         Technique samples

Examples of good Technique samples…

                             Try and match the
                             colours/style to the ‘theme’ of
                             your project
                               Technique samples

                  Examples of good Technique samples…

Describe the process of what
you did
                                   Mood Boards
                                                          Colour chips

Mood Boards are used by artists and designers to help
Summarise their relevant research and ideas before
progressing onto design work. They are most
commonly used in the design industry (especially
fashion, furnishing and textile design). As you begin
your project you will probably gather a lot of research
– a mood board should include the most relevant of
this. It might also include a piece of artwork that you
can created that is going to inspire your development
work. You might also include inspirational words,
fabrics, materials and found items. You should try and    Colour chips
add colour chips. These are small examples of the
colours that you would like to use for your work. They
may be on paper, fabric or indicated by other

Overall, it should sum up the ‘theme’ of your project.

It should be well presented on A4, A3 or A2 board (A3
is usual).

It is not always suitable to produce a mood board,
but you will probably find it helps you o focus your
                                   Mood Boards

                       Examples of good Mood Boards…


Fashion Mood Board.
It may include some
of your own artwork,
as well as research                                    Inspirational
images                                                 patterns

                                                         Own artwork
                               Mood Boards

                       Examples of good Mood Boards…
                                                       research that
                                                       has been

Fashion Mood Board.
Add relevant
colours, fabrics and
                   Mood Boards

           Examples of good Mood Boards…

                                                  Colour chips


                                           Fashion Mood Board.
                                      Development Work         Examples of good
                                                               Development work …
Once you have gathered your research,
experimented with techniques and responded to the
work of others, it is time to start developing your own
ideas. This can be difficult to explain. I often see this as
a bit like making a big snowball. You start off with one
idea. For example, you may be looking at natural
forms, have gathered research of this, looked at the
work of William Morris. You have experimented with
block printing and batik. To develop your work you
need to input your own ideas. So, in this example, you
might choose to create your own William Morris style
pattern, suing your own drawings of flowers and
plants. You might create this first as a print. You may
then develop this by creating another sample but in
batik. You might then develop this further but creating
a sample that combines print and batik. You might
create another sample that is the same, but in a
different colour way/ All the time you do this, you
should be reflecting on what you have done and
refining it (improving) it) as it progresses. DON’T be
afraid of making mistakes. Unless you try things, you
will never know how they will work. Some of the best
pieces of work I have produced are ‘happy
accident’. There is no set right or wrong way to
develop ideas, as long as you show that you are
taking your research and experimentation work and
using this to inform your own ideas.
                             Development work

                      Examples of good Development work…

Try developing a technique
by combining it with other
                              Development work

                        Examples of good Development work…

Try re-creating an image in
Different media
                                 Development work

                        Examples of good Development work…

You might have lots of ideas
you want to try out. Work
through these and then
progress further with the best
ones. This is called refining
your ideas
      Development work

Examples of good Development work…
                                    Final piece/Design Ideas

As you draw the project to a close, you will need to
indicate your ideas. You should develop a minimum
of three final piece/design ideas. These should
indicate a potential final outcome and include
detailed annotation that explains your thoughts. The
annotation should also clearly indicate how this will be
made, what materials will be used and how it is
constructed. You should include as much information
as possible and should include test pieces. Test pieces
are small sections of the
fabric/material/surface/decoration of your design.
They demonstrate that you are trying your ideas out
before you begin your final piece. You might even
have more than one test piece for each

It is very easy to rush this stage of the process as the
deadline proves closer and closer – try to spend time
on this section as it is a really good way of pulling a
project together successfully.

                                            Examples of good final piece/design ideas…
                             Final piece/Design Ideas

                 Examples of good final piece/design ideas…

Try and be as thorough as you
can – include notes, diagrams,
test pieces, sketches,
measurements, etc
                                            Final piece

Your project should develop into at least one final outcome/piece. Within Textiles, you may choose
from a variety of outcomes. You might choose to produce a fashion piece, a fashion accessory, a
textile design(s), a home furnishing outcome, a piece of textile art, a textile illustration, a decorated
object, etc. The limits are only really restricted by your imagination. Good planning is important
when creating a final piece. In some cases, you may be asked to complete this in exam conditions,
so you will need to be prepared.

Your final piece should be well-produced and it is important not to rush this. Make sure that your final
piece is a response to your research and development work. Look at it as you produce it, is it a
satisfactory response to all the work you have produced so far? A final piece does not have to
represent every piece of research or development that you have created, although all of this
research should have been considered for you to have got to that point.

You may need to provide plenty of your own resources for your final piece, especially if you have
something larg-scale or specific in mind.

Always include good quality photographs of your final piece in your sketchbook. This will help them
to be matched up again, should they ever be separated. I have also found, in my own experience
over the years, that sketchbooks keep well (I still have mine from university) but final pieces tend to
get broken or separated over the years. Also, if you have good photos of your final piece in your
sketchbook, you need not carry it around to interviews.
           Final piece

Examples of good final pieces…

                          A final piece may take the
                          form of textile art of a wall-
                          hanging. It should be a
                          response to your sketchbook
                                     Final piece

                          Examples of good final pieces…

It may take the form of
a large textile sample
           Final piece

Examples of good final pieces…

                                 It may be a fashion
           Final piece

Examples of good final pieces…

                                 It may a furnishing item.
                                 You may have other
                                 ideas for a final piece.

At the very end of the project, it is time to look back over what you have done and evaluate it.
Evaluation is an essential part of learning – unless you identify the successful areas, how will you be
able to extend this next time? If you don’t identify and reflect on what went wrong, how will you
avoid these mistakes next time? An honest evaluation will get you marks and will also help you to
improve as an artist/designer. In your evaluation, you should include:

Brief description
Describe your project brief and theme. Briefly describe your reasons for choosing this.

Describe what you have done from the initial research stages to the final piece. Describe your
feelings about your work as it progressed. For example, What primary/secondary research did you
collect? Where did you get this information from? What observational studies did you do? Why did
the artist’s work inspire you? What did you do well? What did you change/adapt? Why? What
would you improve?

Summarise your feelings about your work
Summarise the things that you have done well and the things you might improve next time. What have you

A separate file titled How to Write an evaluation (Textiles) for you to print out is available from the
Centre’s website.

 Make sure you spell and
 grammar check!

Examples of good

 Make sure you spell and
 grammar check!

Examples of good

Throughout your project, you will need to annotate. To annotate is to add useful written commentary to
your work. It has more than one purpose:-

• To explain your processes and thoughts
• To demonstrate your understanding of the subject/theme/context
• To demonstrate your ability to analyse, reflect and evaluate

You should always check the spelling and grammar of your annotation. In most cases, annotation is
hand-written but in some circumstances, this is typed. If you have difficulty completing this, for specific
reasons, please consult your subject tutor as they may be able to make special arrangements.

It should be added as you work through the project. It is not good practice to leave this until the end. It
should be personal and reflective and NEVER copy and paste from the internet/books. Any direct or
indirect quotations should be referenced. Annotation should be evenly spread throughout your
sketchbook. You do not need to write a lot, but you need to ensure you are commenting on your
feelings about the work, and not just describing what you did.

Always reference any sources you use (books, magazines, websites, exhibitions)
                                           Hints and tips

• Always stay on top of your workload – art is not a subject you can ‘cram’ at the end. Any rushed
work will be obvious and your grade will suffer accordingly. Your AS/A2 coursework needs to
completed by May, and therefore a certain amount of focus is needed to get work completed by
this point.

• If you study more than one art subject, you will need to take extra care to be organised with your
time. You may find you have deadlines at the same time.

• Textiles is not an easy option, as you have probably realised. Use free periods and Art Club
sessions to work in the Textiles studio. As long as a teacher is available to supervise, you may be
able to use the textile equipment. You will be expected to produce work outside of normal lesson
time, so it is important you make the most of access to equipment and resources. The VAC has an
open access policy although supervision may be required when using machinery/equipment
(check with your subject teacher).

•Don’t be afraid to ask for help – this study guide has been planned to be as clear as possible, but
you may need clarification. A member of Art staff will be happy to answer your questions.

• Always ensure you hand work in by a set deadline. Deadlines are there for a reason and are not
informal. Your pass or fail may depend on your ability to meet deadlines.

• Art and design, in any context, is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Whether you
choose to study this further, keep it as a hobby or work within the creative industries, a certain
amount on enthusiasm and passion is required. Keep open-minded when learning new creative
skills as you never know where they might take you!
Good luck!

Deadline for Unit 1: Thurs 10/02/11
Deadline for Unit 2: May (tbc)