Nina's Textile Trail 2

– Textiles 1: Mixed Media for Textiles

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Textiles 1:Mixed Media for Textiles – Assignment 5 – A Final Piece – Video Tutorial Formative Feedback Summary 14/12/16

For this assignment, I chose to have my formative feedback via Skype and this is a summary of the video conversation on 14th December, 2016 from my tutor, Rebecca Fairley.

“Overall this is a considered and well-developed body of work. Your final pieces are interesting and engaging. They are playful, inventive, clever and individual, expressing well a conclusion to this course in mixed media for textiles. There is evidence of a high level of craftsmanship in the final work and throughout the assignment with an innovative use of textile techniques as a print medium.

The work shows a good use of the creative process (drawing, research and sample making) to develop and resolve ideas. Throughout you have demonstrated your ability to use judgement to pick out strong ideas and to create pleasing compositions.

Throughout this assignment you have gathered and used appropriately some valuable research material. In putting it alongside your own work with your analysis you have demonstrated a clear understanding of how looking at and examining the work of others helps to develop your own practice.

I suggest you continue to work on ways to analyse the work of others and reflect on your own creative output. Remain in touch with those feelings that suggest something is going well and is exciting you. Consider print as a drawing technique and look for inventive approaches to textiles.

Pointers for assessment

  • Include all work at assessment
  • Reread your feedback forms to check you have used all the tutor suggestions
  • Look at the learning outcomes and the assessment criteria to judge whether your work has met the requirements
  • Refer to the assessment guidelines on the oca website, Research ▷ By Course Area ▷ Textiles ▷ scroll down to page 2 ▷ Assessment Guidelines: Textiles
  • Aim to organize your work so that the assessor can see the five parts of the course clearly, that samples can be handled easily and your strongest work is seen first

Well done Nina, I have really enjoyed working with you and wish you every success.”



Assignment 4 – Mono & Collatype Printing – Formative Feedback – Reflection

As previously, I enjoyed and found my formative feedback via video useful as I approach assignment 5.   We discussed the work submitted for assignment 4 in general, with Rebecca pointing out the stronger and weaker areas and providing lots of positive comments.

I was reassured that I am doing enough drawing for the course, that it is improving and was encouraged to keep up the practice, perhaps join a life class and ignore any negative voices in my head.

My next step is to expand the critical thinking and reflection of my own work using the same process that I apply to researching other artists.  When reviewing parts 1-4 to determine what to develop during part 5, I will endeavour to be analytical, step back and look at everything dispassionately to decide the best ideas to take forward.

Rebecca also suggested I make a plan, be strict and work to a deadline.

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Assignment 4 – Mono and Collatype Printing – Formative Feedback

Formative feedback via video 5/10/16

Key points

This is a well-organised assignment with a large range of well-executed prints. There is detailed investigation of methods, techniques, placement and colour palettes leading to the production of some considered and pleasing outcomes. I suggest your next step is to review the whole course before making any decisions about assignment five. Write this up in your learning log, being explicit about your decision-making and how you plan to develop the work in the next part of the course.

Summary of tutorial discussion

In this assignment you have investigated a wide range of other art works and used what you have learnt well in your own creativity. The analysis of the research material is of a high standard as you pick apart the work you look at.

Your drawing skills continue to develop, well done for keeping on top of this and continuing to practice. I suggest you push your self to draw regularly perhaps joining a life drawing class and try to ignore your negative thoughts.

I suggest the area that needs most development is your critical and reflective thinking skills – this is where you are studying your own results and make judgments. Try to look at your own work in the same way as you study the work of others. In your reflective writing evidence how you demonstrate visual awareness, design and compositional skills for example. Explain in your learning log how you used discernment to make your choices and develop the work. It is evident you are doing this in practice the next step is to include it in your writing.


Tutor name Rebecca Fairley
Date 5th October 2016
Next assignment due 5th December 2016

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MMT3 Formative Feedback

Formative Feedback  on Assignment three of Mixed Media for Textiles with my tutor, Rebecca Fairley, was by video on 13th July, 2016.  The following is my summary of our conversation.

I was pleased to hear she thought I had been adventurous, pushed myself and she had a sense I had enjoyed the process.  My workbook was a good balance of samples, drawings, photographs and research.  I had been thorough in all elements, used a wide range of materials and produced some exciting samples.

It was suggested that I include the cushion-like cast when sending items for assessment and the vessels cast in stitched bags should be put together as a series, clearly identified as such for assessment, grouped and photographed now against a white background.

Where it may not be possible to send samples for assessment, my photographs illustrate the work well.

Making bags/vessels and using them to cast from was a strong idea to develop.

We discussed the feelings of excitement when a sample is developing well and the importance of recognising that something visceral is happening and go with it.

It was suggested that I keep pushing and exploring the way I use drawing.  Comment on what I have learnt about the samples from the drawing and add comments to reflect what they tell me about the sample’s surface, materials or any ideas that arise from the intense looking.  Draw in exhibitions and other artists’ work.  A continuous blind line drawing would be a good method of looking at Paolozzi’s work in which case, there’s no need to be sensitive about how the drawing reflects his work, its all about the looking.

Continue to develop my learning log by including more depth in the reflection of my drawings and work of others. Keep my learning log professional, be open about practice but not personal matters.

Provide more analysis of drawings and explanation of action – don’t assume an assessor will know why certain photographs are grouped together or what I may have learnt by arranging them that way.

There is evidence that I’m pushing my analysis and have an understanding of the use of metaphor.  I should continue to develop this area.

Remember to push ideas, keep exploring and developing.

I need not have a sketchbook of drawings, a collection on difference sizes of lining paper would be an alternative.  In response to this I explained that having a tactile ‘book’ combining drawings, research and found images feeds my creativity whereas a rolled up collection may not.

Tutor’s Formative feedback

Student name        Nina O’Connor Student number                     513049
Course/Unit            Textiles 1: Mixed Media for Textiles Assignment number            Three
Type of tutorial Video

Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

Nina this is a lively exciting body of work.  You have been adventurous and pushed yourself, making brave decisions that have paid off. You have experimented with the materials to produce some dynamic and curious surfaces.  I particularly like the series of “bags” you have made and then used to cast intriguing shapes.  This could be worth exploring at a later date.   


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

Your drawings are loose and exploratory; there is sense you are now beginning to understand the value of using drawing to deepen your understanding of the samples.  Keep exploring the way you use drawing to look at your own work and the work of others.


Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis  

From this assignment I can see you are developing your analytical skills and using them to develop your work.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis  

Keep your Learning Log professional.  I suggest you add some reflection about your drawings and make links to your own work and your research material at the same time. Reflect on this feedback in your learning log.


Please inform me of how you would like your feedback for the next assignment.   Written or video/audio

Well done Nina, I look forward to your next assignment.

Tutor name Rebecca Fairley
Date 13th July 2016
Next assignment due 5th September 2016


Feedback on assignment

I am delighted with the positive feedback.  During the assignment, I felt more confident and thought there had been a consolidation of my learning.  Its such a pleasure to hear my samples referred to as a ‘lively exciting body of work’.  In the early days of my studies with the OCA,  I felt ill-equipped to meet the challenges and now I feel more capable of working towards a degree and excited about my future practice.   I am enjoying the style of this course, which has encouraged me to be more adventurous and increased my confidence.


I feel so much happier drawing and understand the value.  I see it more as a form of recording or note-taking, rather than a test of my ability to produce a detailed and beautifully finished picture of the whole. However, I do appreciate that drawing needs to be more habitual for me and that conscious and regular exploration will develop my skills.


My analytical skills are developing but as with drawing, a conscious effort needs to be maintained to improve my expertise and remember to use metaphor.

Learning Log

I understand the need to keep my Learning log professional and will make a few adjustments, add reflection, make links to my own work and research material.

Thank you to my tutor for the constructive feedback.

I would like video feedback for my next assignment.



Formative Feedback – Assignment 2

On Thursday 14th April, I had video feedback from my tutor, Rebecca Fairley, which was an enjoyable and positive experience, followed up by a summary of the conversation in writing.

We agreed that compiling a hard copy workbook and then blogging about it has worked for me.   She felt that the workbook was a good balance, professional but also creative and attractive but there was a distinction between the workbook which was more annotation and the online learning log which contained deeper reflection.   We agreed it could be less formal in its writing and that jottings, notes and bullet points which are expanded  upon in the online learning log would suffice but it was important to ensure that all research and critical thinking is included  in the online version which will be regarded as my learning log at Assessment.

The samples showed my willingness to be experimental especially attempting to use wax crayon and beeswax to fill holes from which I had learned.  There was a nice balance between craftsmanship and care in making and a tension between working within my comfort zone with materials I like and trying to push myself.

Research has paid off in the quality of my work.

There is a consideration to colour evident in joining where the restricted palette works well but even using bright colour I have responded to research.  Restrictive colour is a cohesive way of working.   My photographs show good compositional skills. I should follow ‘gut’ feelings of success or concern.

To connect with my feelings a bit more, write them down.  Having a good eye and understanding how things look is innate.   Its good to recognise and comment if you have that eye and understand composition and balance.  She commented on the sensitive use of materials in joining and could see that I understood the aesthetic of combining certain materials.

As I had observed, Rachel commented that I haven’t drawn enough.  I should draw an interesting sample as soon as I’ve finished it using blind continuous line drawing.   A You Tube clip was recommended to help with this.  Drawings should take between 5 seconds and two minutes.  Rebecca is not interested in my drawing but in my looking .  Blind continuous line drawing demonstrates that you’re looking carefully and is often very expressive.  Use variety of materials, pencil, charcoal, crayon and ink, even scissors, to cut out a version of what I’m looking at .  Do crazy things like pencil on stick, finger in sand or shaving foam and take a picture of it.  Have fun, loosen up and get away from pencil.  My drawings are fine but do 5 -10 more of my samples for Assignment 2 and add the drawings from workbook to blog if they’re not there already .

Make sure there’s progression in next assignment lots of sample drawing and say what I have learnt from the sample while I was drawing.  Using blind continuous line drawing to look closely at samples, say what’s learnt, eg. shape, pattern, colour, placement, composition.

USE drawing as a tool to do close study work of samples.

My research is good and broad minded,  I had looked at the recommended artists and found others.  Continue to talk about what’s valuable and important to me as I did with Ed Rossbach and Judith Scott, relating observations to my own work.

Learning log shows good, honest reflection which I should continue to build on, developing ways of saying things, bringing in how I feel.  I was reminded to use metaphors and recommended to look at an academic book, Visualising Research.

I need to add reflection on the Ted Talks recommended by Rebecca in my previous feedback to Assignment 2 which were viewed at the time but not noted in my learning log.

Formative Feedback summary sheet 


Student name Nina O’Conner Student number 513049
Course/Unit Textiles 1: Mixed Media for Textiles Assignment number Two
Type of tutorial Video    


Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

This is a well-organised body of work demonstrating a professional and mature attitude to your studies. This is a summary of the video call we had this morning.

  • There is consideration to colour, texture and composition in your sampling. With a more restrained colour palette in your joining samples that works well. There is more freedom in colour with the wrapped samples that picks up the research material you have examined.
  • In the work there is evidence of risk taking, in particular with the samples using crayons and bees wax to fill holes and several items of your wrapped work.
  • The workbook is carefully organised and a pleasure to look at. As your online learning log develops keep the writing in your workbook to annotation and notes that you can discuss in depth on your blog.



Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

This assignment requires a bit more drawing of your samples as we discussed. Try to draw each interesting sample after you have made it as a way of learning about its properties. You do not need to make a complete study, pick an area or characteristic to observe. I suggest you start with blind continuous line drawing in a wide range of media. Add images of your drawings to your Learning Log and reflect on what you have learnt by closely observing the objects.


Blind continuous line drawing



Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

For this assignment you have found some interesting a relevant research material that demonstrates your broadminded approach. There is evidence that you are able to take what is important to you when looking at someone else’s work and translate this into your own creativity.


Learning Log

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

Your Learning Log is written articulately and with honesty. There is evidence you posses self-awareness and are able to recognise when you need to push yourself. I suggest you add your reflective thinking of the TED talks I recommended in my last feedback.


Suggested reading/viewing


Visualizing Research: A guide to the research process in art and design. Carol Gray and Julian Malins published by Ashgate.


Assignment 2 and 4 Assessment potential

I understand your aim is to go for the Textiles Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, providing you commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the potential to pass at assessment. In order to meet all the assessment criteria, there are certain areas you will need to focus on, which I will outline in my feedback.  


Pointers for the next assignment

  • Reflect on this feedback in your learning log
  • Continue to take risks and be playful in your creativity
  • Draw your samples more regularly
  • Continue to be broadminded in your research investigation
  • Maintain the development of your language when discussing your own work and the work of others


Please inform me of how you would like your feedback for the next assignment.   Written or video/audio


Well done Nina, I look forward to your next assignment.


Tutor name Rebecca Fairley
Date 14th April 2016
Next assignment due 13th June 2016

My Reflection:


Video feedback suits me better than a full written report which I might misinterpret or fret over.  On submitting this assignment, I felt I had raised my game, having put into practice what I thought was expected of me and was delighted with the comment that it was “a well-organised body of work demonstrating a professional and mature attitude to your studies”.

The confirmation that there is consideration to colour, texture and composition in my sampling is pleasing, and whilst I have always felt an affinity with colour, it was good to have demonstrated an eye for it here.   As previously mentioned, focusing on a paper compilation of my learning log really helped me to approach the choice of materials and overall presentation in a more discerning way and with more consideration for the detail. I felt that the aesthetic success of careful thought and sensitivity to colour, texture and composition inspired greater creativity.


Drawing has been my nemesis and I was aware that there needed to be more in this assignment. However, I do feel there has been a definite shift.  My attitude to drawing changed during the assignment and by the deadline, the lack of drawing was more to do with poor time management than fear, which is a step in the right direction.  I can see that close observation through drawing is a valuable means of studying a sample in detail and have moved away from the feeling/thought that my drawing needs to be a comprehensive rendition of the the object having taken an hour or more to complete!  I think I have developed a more confident and comfortable mindset to make drawing my focus throughout this assignment.

I will photograph and add the drawings already completed to my online log and draw a further 5-10 samples trying to restrict each sketch to less than 2 minutes as suggested in my video feedback.  A tough call which might be helped by thinking of drawing as a form of note taking.  I will reflect on the blind continuous line drawing youtube clip recommended.


During this assignment, I felt I had gained a more practical understanding of the relevance and benefits of pertinent research am pleased to have demonstrated evidence that I am able to take what is important when looking at someone else’s work and translate this into my own creativity. (Rebecca Fairley).

Learning Log

The positive comments on my learning log are welcome and I will add the reflective thinking of the TED talks recommended in the last feed back.

Suggested reading/viewing

Visualizing Research: a guide to the research process in art and design. Carole Gray and Julian Malins published by Ashgate was recommended  but that as it is aimed at Level 3 students, I need not buy it but look for excerpts on online.  It is available at the local UCA library so I will borrow it, (see if I can make sense of it!) and reflect accordingly.

Pointers for the next assignment

Glad that these are similar to the areas I had identified for development during the next assignment I will endeavour to draw more regularly, continue to take risks, be playful in my creativity, broadminded in in my research and continue to develop reflective language.

I would like video/audio feedback for my next assignment.

With thanks to my Tutor for the positive and helpful feedback and my peers for their support, I’m looking forward to moulding and casting.








Formative feedback for Assignment 1 by video

Available since September, 2015, I have just taken advantage of having my feedback for Assignment 1 via video and I can thoroughly recommend it.  We can choose to have all our feedback in this way with a summary of our conversation, rather than a full written report, if we wish.  Although I have never skyped anyone before, the discomfort I was expecting was overcome in the first 10 seconds and a very productive conversation ensued.

My tutor, Rebecca Fairley, encouraged me to keep developing the language I use in my critical and reflective thinking, to use metaphors such as ‘feels like’ or ‘gives the impression of’.  I was reassured that whatever I think it can’t be ‘wrong’ as its all about drawing out my own understanding of the subject.

Keep research broad-minded and identify what I don’t like and question what I am learning from it.  It is important to play with things I’m not drawn to, to have a go at things I want to resist and ask whether I can offer a different perspective.

We discussed the meaning of ‘placement’ as I had asked if it was ‘composition’.  It is more simply ‘where something is placed’.  So where I position the pleats on a piece of paper would be placement and composition would be more about emotions and how all the components make you feel.  Using a particular material would create a different feel and composition.

I was reassured that my drawing is fine and the more I do, the more my pencil/eye co-ordination will improve, enabling me to make quick sketches at galleries etc.  Blind and continuous line drawing were suggested.

My samples were well constructed and I had looked outside the coursework suggestions which had involved risk taking. (much to my relief!).  Risk taking is likely to produce more things that don’t work which would show I’m pushing myself, so pursue ideas that seem ‘weird’.

I had commented that I didn’t really understand how to address my assessment feedback from A Creative Approach which indicated “one of my main strengths is the variety of potential ideas explored in research but that the outcomes are not as strong as the supporting work I produce”.    Rebecca explained that sometimes the playfulness is lost which affects the creativity and that it is important to collect all your ideas and record them in written or drawn form.

Rebecca commented that my photography helps her to see what I see and that I should remember to write down all my observations, not taking anything for granted.

We discussed my realisation that I needed a pen/pencil in my hand to think and work creatively and agreed that it would mean a duplication of work when recording the same on my blog.  Although it might feel irritating at times, I’m relieved to have come to that conclusion instead of repeatedly thinking about digital versus paper learning logs.

Lastly, I asked about the first exercises in Assignment 2 as I thought producing five samples for each question was a bit simple and didn’t give me the opportunity to explore my creativity.  As part of my research, I had looked at the work of Andy Goldsworthy and Alice Fox, and wanted to explore joining with stitch.   It was pointed out that I probably could produce lots of lovely stitch samples (true) but that the exercises were more about thinking.  To think more scientifically about the join, how did it move, did it keep the pieces flat etc.   It was suggested to use more unusual materials and explore their potential.  I see clearly that for me, exploring stitch would be the easy route and I would learn more by exploring more unusual materials.  So as mentioned above, find things I don’t like and have a go at those, rather than the things I am drawn to and then question what I can learn, what are the materials telling me, to learn from what I am looking at.  Its all about the thinking.

I was encouraged to look at Ted Talks, a collection of lecture videos on a huge range of subjects.

I am a people person and it was so much better for me to have a two-way discussion about my work, face to face with my tutor, rather than reading a written report which I might misinterpret or view negatively.  Thank you, Rebecca, for a valuable, positive and productive discussion.


The above was my summary, the Tutor’s is below.  Fortunately, my understanding of the conversation agrees with hers!

Formative feedback

Student name Nina O’Connor Student number 513049
Course/Unit Textiles 1: Mixed Media for Textiles Assignment number One
Type of tutorial Video

Overall Comments

Nina you have made a great start to this course, fully engaging in the activities and thinking carefully about the different stages in the creative process.  It was a pleasure to discuss your work and progress during our tutorial this morning.  

My response:  Thank you, I am enjoying the structure of this course and found formative feedback via video a positive experience.

Assignment 1 Assessment potential

You may want to get credit for your hard work and achievements with the OCA by formally submitting your work for assessment at the end of the module. More and more people are taking the idea of lifelong learning seriously by submitting their work for assessment but it is entirely up to you. We are just as keen to support you whether you study for pleasure or to gain qualifications. Please consider whether you want to put your work forward for assessment and let me know your decision when you submit Assignment 2. I can then give you feedback on how well your work meets the assessment requirements.

It is my intention to have my work assessed.

Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

You have constructed your samples with care and sensitivity, collating them effectively using photography.  There is evidence of risk taking in the materials you have used and the way you have put samples together to explore them.  Continue to be broad minded in the materials you use and the ways you use them.  We discussed briefly the next section of the course, Joining and Wrapping – remember to look for interesting and unusual materials to act as joining materials.  And then spend time considering and understanding your samples.

Thank you, I enjoyed using photography in this way and found it helped me see more.  I understand that the more broad minded I am in the selection and use of materials will show more evidence of risk taking and result in deeper learning.


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

You have a good approach to drawing and I can see this will develop as you practice and learn what the drawing is for.  Don’t be frightened to create your own style.  Use your pen but also experiment with other mediums like ink, chalk, collage, etc.  Try out some drawing methods like putting your pencil at the end of a long stick, blind continuous line drawing and drawing moving objects. There is good use of scale in your work with some larger drawings.  Continue to experiment with scale perhaps using a roll of wallpaper liner to get some really big drawings down.  Aim to draw regularly with a loose expressive style.  

Thank you.  As mentioned, I feel as though I have turned a corner in my attitude and approach to drawing and the need to work with a drawing implement in my hand and will take your suggestions on board.


Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis  

Your research is well organised and with evidence that it links to the exercises you have done.   Try to analyse you research material a little more.  Spend time looking and thinking about what you see.  Pick a part the work to learn what it has to offer you.  Work at using a wide range of words to describe what you see and how it makes you feel. Talk about placement and composition in relation to any artwork or designed article.  Use metaphors to help you express what you see and your understanding of what you see.  Remember there are no right or wrong answers.  

I will continue to work on improving my analysis skills and vocabulary.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis  

Your learning log/blog is well organised and easy to navigate. There is evidence you are beginning to think critically about your own work – learning from what you have made and what you are writing.

Reflect on the tutorial and this feedback in your learning log.  Ask your self what you have learnt and what you can take forward to the next part of the course.

I am pleased with the formative feedback received and have confidence in my abilities to follow the suggestions made.  I understand the importance of working with unfamiliar materials that may be ‘out of my comfort-zone’.  The differences between ‘placement’ and ‘composition’ are clearer.

Suggested reading/viewing


Here a link to TED talks and the selection of talks about where ideas come from

Thank you.

Please inform me of how you would like your feedback for the next assignment.   Written or video/audio.

I would like video feedback next time.

Well done Nina, I look forward to your next assignment.


Tutor name Rebecca Fairley
Date 14th January 2016
Next assignment due 14th March 2016