BRIEF – Explore my current attitude towards starting a new craft area using technology.
I am approaching this section of Digital textiles with a mix of excitement but also fear. For Assignment 3 I learnt some very very basics of photoshop but immediately felt frustrated by my limited knowledge and lack of skill using the software. I am always keen to learn new things but time, as ever, is a pressure with everything else I have to prioritise and I feel to get to grips with something like photoshop I need a concentrated amount of time to ask myself “I wonder what would happen if I did…” and actually absorb the information rather than being distracted by other thoughts.
In terms of the future and the implications on my own practice. Yes, quite simply I do believe it is the future. As technology advances in all other areas of our lives so will the applications for design but it is up to us as creative designers, and not just software operators, to see how software can be manipulated and “asked” to produced something unique and probably more significantly, something that could never have been possible by hand due to time constraints and/or accuracy required. I do however, still believe there is a place for hand skills and the best outcome would be to combine the best of both. Use the technology to our advantage but not to be a slave to it.
Ahead of starting this section of digital textiles I attended a short workshop at the Knit and Stich show as an introduction to Digital textiles title Digital by Design run by Rose St Clair who lectures at Goldsmiths.
WORKSHOP – Digital by Design
Introduction to digital textiles at The Knit and Stich Show Alexandra Palace Oct 2014
In the first section of the course we were introduced to transfer (sublimation) printing starting with the basics using paints, paper and crayons for creating images by hand and also experimented with some resist techniques. This then led onto designing digital images for textiles on the computer (using GIMP) exploring repeat patterns and colourways and also introducing textures. (Rose explained GIMP was a better software programme for textiles than Photoshop and it was also free but I have not been able to download it due to possible viruses). These were printed onto Heat transfer paper and printed using the heat press.
Rose explained how these techniques combined hand and computer techniques – hand drawing/painting, scanning and printing and also designing on the computer, printing and then hand stitching.
It was, of course only a short introduction but even then I could see the flexibility these 2 methods might offer….if only I had Photoshop and a heat Transfer press. Again, I felt frustrated that my creativity could be restricted by the lack of equipment
Just a couple of photos of the workshop – it moved so fast and I had to concentrate so hard that I forgot to take pictures.