MA Design Futures – Batik Scarf Project (April 2018)


Alongside my exploratory research for my Design Futures Masters, I was determined to build upon Textiles skills developed during my undergraduate degree. To kick start my practical development, I decided to emerge myself in a batik project. As part of my research I have asked the question, What is a surface? Along with Why is the original surface inadequate? As a surface designer I find that I’m drawn to both colour and the idea of pattern, resulting in me looking for objects with an applied decorative layer of some sort. So to me a surface is an opportunity to creatively document the places I encounter everyday and when travelling.

Batik (wax drawing) is a simple Indonesian resist techniquethat requires the maker to first melt hot wax until it’s a trans-parent liquid consistency, before then using a tjanting tool todraw with the wax over a surface. In my case I decided to draw using the hot wax directly onto white silk bamboo fabric. The hot wax consitancy requires the handler to work at a steady pace, yet quick enough to not let the wax cool too much, but also at a speed where precision isn’t rushed.

My inspirations for this collection of 4 scarfs, were flowers and leaves linocut by myself shortly after a study trip to Jaipur, India, mixed with lines from an earlier mark making session. What I appreciate about the batik and silk painting method, is that it’s all up to trial and error in the beginning, which pushes you as a maker to be more experimental.




MA Design Futures – Circular Tiles (March 2018)

This project was sparked off by the minimalist and maximalistdesign styles and the questions, when is something too much and when is something too little? The something being applied surface pattern design, this collection of marks originally inspired by traditional Korean circular roof tiles, was spotted whilst at theNational Museum of Korea. The original tiles were just so deco- ratively carved that I wanted to try drawing in a more expressive way without too much detail, that I then split into 3 layers of design.

I wanted to experiment with the idea of when is a pattern design too little and when is pattern design too much. I decided to carry out this experiment on Illustrator by layering scanned in caligra-phy brush drawings, as can be seen in figure 21 below. However Irealised that the outcomes of this task are open to interpretation due to everyone having a different levels of taste and expections.Although I’d like to continue to experiment with this idea further.

Screen printing is a process which I have practised for years and take a lot of enjoyment out of, it’s so versatile with lotsof opportunities to layer with colours and prints. It also worked well for this mini collection, exploring both minimalism and maximalism in applied surfaces. With my three layers of designs I decided to create two collections of multiple layered prints to observe the effect that the apply- ing of additional layers does to the original look, although this didn’t really work out in this particular experiement.





MA Design Futures – San Francisco Botanical Batiks (February 2018)

This batik squares project was inspired by trips to San Francisco, USA. Whilst exploring a new city I like to photograph, paint and draw the sights around me. The warmer climate in California allows botanical plants to flurrish across the city. This creates a great contrast of colours and shapes when situated alongside vibrant houses with a great amounts of attention to decorative detail, creating a never ending circle of inspiration. Previously I have used the Batik techniques, however I felt thatit would be beneficial to work on my skills as well as to give myself a real sense of mark making freedom and uninterrupted focus. To create the six final pocket square samples, I used a variety of different sized tjanting tools, to construct elaborate designs inspired by a assortment of my initial and further developed paintings. Creating these six pocket squares full of my favourite drawings, is like constructing my own creative snapshot images that capture my highlights and experiences.


Working with traditional process allows me as a maker to emerge myself into a task and to fully appreciate the calm- ing mindfulness of working with a hands on process, whilst creating work that is of high value and meaning to myself. Although I wonder is there a way for me to successfully pass on what I personally feel and take away from making these batik squares? Or would the consumer need to experience it them- selves to acknowledge? Or is it that consumers who like to buy bespoke items find purpose and meaning to these pieces purely because they’re unique and due to the fluidity of the Batik process no two pieces would ever be quite the same as each other.