For the past two weeks I have been busy taking part in another online workshop with Dionne Swift (wwwwww.dionneswift.co.uk), this time it was Drawing for Textiles. As with the previous two workshops I have done with Dionne the programme is delivered through a series of daily emails which link to protected content on her website. The difference with this workshop is the addition of a Facebook Group to allow participants to exchange ideas and images of their work. This replaced the Flickr groups of the previous workshops and is an excellent idea. Most of the course participants uploaded images and asked questions on a daily basis and the whole page is very interactive and a fantastic way to ‘meet’ the other people on the workshop and to share your work. I think also, that this particular course was populated by a very active and social media savvy bunch of people which helped and made the course feel very intimate and fun.
The course runs over 2 weeks and the first week is dedicated to re-learning about drawing. We were asked to assemble a collection of objects which were to be our ‘model’ for the week. Each day then offered up a specific drawing technique with which we had to use to produce images of our chosen objects. Without giving too much away some of the techniques involved the use of long sticks, overhead projectors and rulers. Work was to be large and by large I mean at least A1 size and preferably bigger and we were encouraged to use as many different mark making mediums as possible. All the exercises challenged conventional thinking about drawing and produced a diverse and vibrant body of work from everyone. The first week rounds off with a nifty suggestion about how to visualise repeat patterns from your drawings; I got especially carried away with this exercise and made 26 different repeat patterns – I could have found more but sometimes you have to recognise when enough is enough!
Drawings from daily drawing exercises
The second week is dedicated to evaluating the drawings made the previous week and to turning them into textile artworks using a variety of machine and handsewing techniques and an embellisher. I don’t actually have an embellisher but it was possible to get a similar effect by hand using felting needles.
Textile pieces from a variety of drawings
Dionne is as always helpful and insightful offering up positive and useful comments on people’s work via the Facebook group. I cannot recommend this course enough, it is by far the best of the three and I have really enjoyed it. Dionne runs her online courses throughout the year, have a look at her website (link above). Thanks Dionne, it’s been amazing!
some other drawings made during the course