Sarah Wilson was one of two Student Creative in the academic year 2015 / 2016. The aim of the initiative was to offer all students at the AUB an opportunity to create work inspired by the MoDiP collection. This could be in any discipline with any creative outcome from physical art work to film or acting production. The MoDiP collection and / or the museum's practices had to be at the heart of the project and the work needed to be displayed either physically or digitally after a period of 20 weeks. A small bursary was provided to assist with material costs during the project and the remainder was paid on completion.
The resident was expected to keep the MoDiP team updated with progress reports on a regular basis either through email or face-to-face. They were also expected to write three blog posts during the process which follow below. The project not only helped MoDiP work closely with an AUB student, it gave the student a live brief and an opportunity to demonstrate their professional practice beyond their academic requirements.
Sarah's first blog post - introduction
I am in my third year of studying a degree in Textiles at Arts University Bournemouth, and excited to be working as a Student Creative for the Museum of Design in Plastics. For the next four months, I will be using items from the collection specifically from the years 1950-1959 as inspiration and a starting point for drawings, resulting in a collection of digitally printed 1950s style patterns on fabric, which will reflect on the artefacts I choose to study.
I am planning to use items from this era, as it will be interesting to explore the domestic use of plastic from the 1950s and the history of a particular decade. By using the date filter on the MoDiP website, I will easily be able to find pictures and object numbers of the plastics I need, as well as request them from the archives to use as a primary resource. I aim to draw and photograph these, as my initial drawings will be used as part of my digital designs later on in the process.
Here are some examples of my previous work, focusing primarily on digital print and embroidery.
Small colour collages
Digital print with hand stitching
CAD embroidery piece
Digital print with Irish embroidery
Sarah' second blog post
As I wanted to focus my project on 1950's domestic plastics, I carefully selected ten items on the MoDiP website search from the era that I felt had the most interesting shapes and could work together in a printed design. There were 777 plastic objects to choose from so it was challenging to narrow it down to such a limited amount, however the colours of the plastics were also something I wanted to take into consideration and this made the decision a little easier.
To begin with, I went into the museum and observed the ten objects that I had chosen, drawing out the smaller details and general shape of each one. As well as this I photographed them, making sure that I could recall colour information and any other necessary details later on.
I created a colour palette by picking out colours from the photographs of the objects that I took when observing them in the museum. From these colours I picked six that complimented each other and would work well together.
At this point I began to recreate some of the objects by collaging their basic shapes and playing around with the different colours chosen and seeing how they worked together in smaller groups.
After establishing some colours and creating some basic designs, I was able to scan these and put them into a program where I can transfer them to stitch designs that are sewn by a computerised machine.
I plan to continue with my digital print patterns and get them sent away for production soon, on their return I will be stitching into them using CAD embroidery (as above) and hand stitch methods.
Sarah's final Blog post - Overview
This is my final blog post for the student creative programme with the Museum of Design in Plastics. The exhibition of the student creative work was installed in the museums glass cases on Wednesday 13th April 2016 and will run for a number of months.
Initially I proposed to design and embellish three digital fabric designs involving the ten objects from MoDiP that I studied, alongside a few collaged pieces of the objects. However, the outcome of this project was four digital designs embellished in different ways, including a maximum of nine of the objects that I studied.
Colour is such an important part of my work - I gathered the palette for my digital designs from the original objects that I studied in the museum. The designs are very bright and eye-catching and this is something that I wanted to achieve, as it would attract people to the exhibition from across the library as well as to the museum's collection itself.
The stitch embellishments into the fabrics are mostly done by machine (at four minutes turn around time) but these are carefully designed and placed, which takes a lot of time as the piece is so large (60 x 185cm).
Similar to this were the small CAD stitch pieces of the plastics I studied, which I then appliqued onto one of the digital fabrics. These took much longer at around 40 minutes turn around on the machine and then I had to seal the edges and stitch these pieces on.
The hand fringing on the placement print of the pepper shaker is interpreted from the small texture on the black piece on the top of the object. This is also something that took hours, but was added to give the piece another layer and element of texture.
Working on a brief that I set myself completely outside of my university work has been such an exciting experience and I have really enjoyed it! As well as this I have been really encouraged by the work I have created using the MoDiP collection and would recommend the experience.