Author: Rebecca Fairley

How to look at textiles

In this blog post I will be discussing what to look for when examining textile works, these may be art works, pieces of design or engineering. The way you look at textiles is extremely important for a number of reasons. The purposeful examination of your textile research enables you to gain a depth of understanding of individual textile pieces. This analysis is evidence of your academic thinking and a vital component to studying at degree level. Added to this the considered study of individual works assists you in developing an eye for looking at a broad range of work.

The question of development

The OCA course material and the assessment criteria ask and are looking for developed student work. But what does this mean? Frequently in student feedback I am drawing students attention to the concept of development. As a textiles tutor I…

Nina O’ Connor

Nina O’Connor, an OCA Textiles student has recently completed the fifth and final part of Textiles 1: Mixed Media for Textiles. This course takes the student through a wide range of materials and techniques many of which are on the periphery of what is considered textiles. I have chosen to show Nina’s work here because she clearly demonstrates the process in which creative decisions are made and how this pays off in pleasing and engaging works.

Textiles and technology

As OCA textiles students you will have a growing awareness that the subject of textiles is wide and varied. It encompasses fine art, decorative textiles for fashion and interiors and also more functional textiles designed for medical and engineering purposes. The OCA is not in the position to expose you to the practical aspects of innovations in textile technology but having an awareness of the area will help develop your thinking and textile practice.

The 2016 Hepworth Prize for Sculpture

During the Christmas break I had the pleasure of visiting The Hepworth Gallery for a family Twixmas day out in Wakefield. I had heard quite a bit about this new prize for sculpture but had not investigated the artists or their work so arrived open minded and ready to learn.

Traditional textile techniques used in contemporary ways – Part 6: Pattern cutting and tailoring

For this blog post I am looking at the world of fashion, in particular designers who create garments that are pushing the boundaries of what clothes can be. My impression of this corner of the fashion industry is that as it crosses over into art there is freedom to take risks and make creative discoveries in engaging and meaningful ways.

Traditional textile techniques used in contemporary ways – Part 5: mending and repair

I am including the subject of mending and repair in this series of blog posts about traditional textile techniques used in contemporary ways because this practical and necessary skill from the past has been making a comeback in recent years. With the advent of recycling, upcycling and the slow textile movement there is a growing interest in extending the life of garments.

Traditional textile techniques used in contemporary ways – Part 4: Weaving

Weaving is an ancient craft used over the centuries by many cultures to create fabric for the home and clothing. The method of creating structure by interlocking threads continues to be explored and developed by artists and designers a like. In this blog post in the series about how traditional textile techniques are being developed for contemporary sensibilities I will be giving you a taste of how weaving can be at the cutting edge of fashion, design and art.

Traditional textile techniques used in contemporary ways – Part 3: Knitting

Knitting has come down the ages as a means to turn wool and other fibres into useable, usually domestic objects. Despite being a highly skilled activity knitting is most frequently seen as a handicraft and marginalised by the conventional art world into a feminine form of expression. As with crochet the technique has plastic abilities that allow the artist to express freely in 3 dimensions. In the hands of contemporary artists and practitioners both women and men are bringing knitting into galleries and to the forefront of artistic expression.