I ordered some fabrics from Fashion Formula with a few of my patterns on, I ordered three in little samples and the hedgehog print and a squirrel secondary in fat quarters.
As per a little aim on my brief, I wanted to add some stitch to a couple of them to see how this would look.
I loved how vibrant the hedgehog print came out, and I thought I would love to make that into a proper cushion cover to see how that would look.
On the leaf print I outlined the green leaves with a single line of stitch, which I think is pretty and makes it stand out a little more. Then on the mushroom print I tried completely blocking out a yellow and green mushroom to see how this would look. Overall I think the outline worked better but I do think they work nicely as purely printed designs, which could be added to a little depending on product if it was suitable. The small scale of the print and the actual sample meant the blocked out ones did not look as neat as they could of. I think to improve the outlining I could have tried quilting to raise the shapes off of it a little.
The cushion also worked out well and I think the scale looks pretty perfect for the size of it, I would love to do some more of these to put onto Etsy or something too. Overall I think getting them printed onto fabric was a good idea because it helps to show the colours even better than the paper printouts did, and how the colours behave on the various fabrics. This was just a poly panama as I wanted something quite light and airy, which I think was effective here.
The forestry was somewhere I wanted to get to as it was local but far enough way that it has a different atmosphere and different plants and trees. It also ran next to a river and there were plenty of shrubs and riverside plants to look at as well.
The road loops under the viaduct which is quite well-known in the area, the train runs over it on the Heart of Wales line, between Swansea and Shrewsbury. The forestry starts by the road here so I decided to work around the edges and go into it a little.
I found a range of interesting leaves and plants that I could use as motifs in my patterns. I also found a little broken-down farmhouse which I thought was great, a human structure taken over by nature would be a great habitat for woodland creatures. As I was leaving, I also found this dead tree which had been inhabited by a woodpecker, the hole goes into the tree where it nests and the rest of the holes where the woodpecker actually pecks the tree. There were a few more of these around the forest too and I was only a few metres into it at this point. I did not want to go too far as I did not know the area and there were dropping trees from the heavy winds from the previous few days of weather.
So the next steps were to start some studies of these images and explore the shapes and forms in the work.
On my brief timetable, I planned a local walk to the woodlands to abide with restrctions, but also gather the photos I needed. I have not found the time to go out and exercise much through this, so a good walk was probably for the best today anyway!
I had visions of finding mushrooms in this quite overcast and shadowy environment, but I actually found a lot more textural elements that I liked, finding a lot of different patterns in the bark and the fallen trees.
There was such a variety of patterns in the bark, from the quite straight dents to the long straight parts in the stumps. I also found uneven barks and moss which adds to it even more.
I found a lot of good bunches of leaves for motifs, some of which I had seen before which I expected because the woodland was so close to my own garden, I also thought about how they would look as motifs when I took the pictures, as I want the motifs to have quite realistic shapes and growth to actually resemble the leaves.
The woodlands had suffered some damage lately with the winds, so avoiding these fallen trees was important. I found a lot of small holes around an old fallen stump, I thought this was quite a good little home for some voles or something, and as I was moving around to get a good angle, I saw something move out of the corner of my eye the other side of it. I also found a little battered shed which links with my idea of exploring how animals can make use of ‘man-made’ structures in the wild, such as hedgehogs using sheds. Lastly I found a lot of bonfire type piles, probably just from the farmer cleaning up as there are sheep in the fields next to the woodlands and its where they shelter during bad or cold weather. I also found around 15 nestboxes on the trees, they looked old but I peeked inside two of them, finding eggs from a blue tit and from a pied flycatcher. It would be really interesting to watch activities of these birds, so i’m wondering about setting up my wildlife camera out there somewhere and seeing what I could capture.
The Llyn is such a nice place and has quite a mixture of shadowy woodlands and open fields, a pretty good environment for any of the species I am looking into. I think the images I found were good and the right kind of plants that I wanted, such as the long ones. I think these are good reference images for getting the shape and form right too.
Another place close to home is Dinas Rock, a small woodland walk that changes into cliff faces halfway round, leading to the legendary Twm Sion Cati’s cave. Twm Sion Cati is described as the welsh Robin Hood, many welsh story books tell of his mischief and adventures, resulting in him seeking a hiding place in the welsh mountains, supposedly this cave.
I went with my friend Cody, studying a sound engineering course in USW but also with a keen interest in photography like myself. I focused on leaves and patterns within the nature that I found there, I thought these were really interesting parts of the walk. I was on the look out for insects or signs of wildlife but as this was a hot day during the summer holidays there were more children around than previous visits I have been on where I have seen badgers, squirrels and birds of prey.
Although on a drive later on in the night we saw a great deal of wildlife, including a fox, two baby hares, a barn owl and a hedgehog that needed moving out of the road.