Before each module begins, I like to reflect on my previous work – the subject matter I explored, the medium I chose to explore it with, the style I go with, the colours I used, the quantity of work I was able to produce and so on. I do this to ensure that my next project incorporates something that would differentiate the final piece from anything I had made before and also to try and encourage myself to try different creative routes before I settle down on an “ultimatum” for third year and my final piece. I also enjoy going through these mediums and cherry picking the ones that I enjoy working with, so that in my final year, I would have found my selection of mediums that bring me the most enjoyment so that my final degree piece could be composed of my strongest and dearest facets.
As of this point in time, I have tried (chronologically, followed by ticks or crosses depending whether or not I enjoyed the processes):
First year: Digital work/comic ✔️, sculpting/set design ✔️, painting ✔️, zine-making/editorial ❌, sewing/plush-making ✔️, animated gif making ✔️, comic-zine-making ✔️, latex work ❌, bookbinding ✔️, digital work/editorial publication ❌, linocut and printmaking ✔️, pottery ✔️.
Second year (as of now – 04/03): Fashion design ✔️, costume making ✔️/❌, paper mache ✔️, paper engineering ✔️, lasercut ✔️, screenprinting ✔️, stampmaking ✔️, risoprint ✔️, photo editing ✔️, digital collage ✔️, acrylic sheet layered painting ❌, abstract art ❌, modelmaking ✔️, sculpting ✔️, installation-planning/set-up ✔️, woodcarving and stonecutting ✔️/❌ (in theory ✔️, my experience with it ❌ but I’m not counting them out just yet).
With 2 modules still remaining, there might be even more entries added to these lists, especially considering there is a whole new entry that came in between modules, which, works as a great segue to the second part of the post – my experience with a new medium – weaving!
I’ve always been exposed to weaving as it is quite prominent as an art form in Lithuania, especially considering how relatively early in our history it was developed. Most pieces of work, even nowadays, follow tradition and work as a tool for preserving the art of traditional Lithuanian weaving.
However, the style of it never truly seemed to resonate with me as I found it to be quite.. too true to source material, as opposed to innovating the traditional craft while still retaining elements of culture and tradition within the newly-created pieces. I guess one way to put it would be that it seems a tad stagnant as a medium back in my country. However, seeing innovative approaches to weaving has really opened up my eyes to how much potential the medium actually holds (which might also be why I’m all the more not that impressed by modern weaves that follow the traditional style too much), so much so that I decided to give it a shot myself!
The artist that had the most impact in this turnaround is Marion Weymes, or @mualamakes on Instagram. They’re understanding of colour, composition and the medium itself really fascinated me, so much so that I started looking into more woven pieces, coming across other creatives in the field, discovering more routes that weaving can take you.
Seeing such colourful and innovative approaches to something I always considered to be reserved for tradition really opened up my eyes, so I bought a weaving loom online and gave weaving a shot! I initially was planning on creating my own loom using a picture frame and some nails but I figured it would be better to have a professionally made tool as that would not only allow me to better understand the process but also introduce me to the intended way of creating woven pieces and get the hang of using a tool like that for the future!
For my first piece, I had considered doing what every person does for their first project – a single block colour weave or at most – a pattern that could help me get the better of using different colours within a piece. But.. where’s the fun in that, I thought and ultimately decided to go for something that was rather challenging but very awarding in the end.
I watched a single video of the process and went straight into it, figuring everything out myself using the knowledge I had acquired through the video. Weaving too tightly, losing count , not securing the warp with a weft on top, not planning some bits out were my key issues with the project and something I should keep in mind when I start my next weave. Overall, I am very happy with how it came out, especially with how much more the fish looks like a salmon than it did originally, less so like a carp.
I obviously had to simplify the design as remaking the entire piece, little particles and other details included, would’ve been close to impossible, especially considering this was my first attempt at it! An easy fix with the details would be applying some embroidery, however, I think I will leave the piece as is as I don’t think it necessarily needs that, but a good thing to consider for future projects, no doubt! Scaling could also be a good thing to consider in the future as I think had I done the piece on a bigger loom, it would’ve been much easier to get the details down, naturally.
Overall, I think I learned a lot about weaving from my single attempt at it and I’m surely going to use it for a future project, perhaps, if Developing a Visual Narrative allows for it, I will go down that route! Weaving holds great potential in terms of sizing, complexity, way of making, subject matter you can touch upon with it and the aesthetic element of it. A great medium I am willing to return to in the future.