18th October 2013
Following a successful three-day visit to London as part of their Textiles studies, A-Level students have summarised their experience:
An early start and a few hours of travel seemed worth the wait when we entered the palace grounds. With our luggage in hand we may have looked like the ultimate tourists but after leaving it off in a spare palace room we had the fantastic experience of meeting an ex JCG student Ruby Le Galle. Ruby is studying At the Royal school of Needlework inside the palace grounds and we were lucky enough to have her show us around some of the ground and around her school. Ruby, with the help of her fellow students and tutors, showed us what fascinating work they got up to. Time and dedication was shown in the students’ work and even though not all of them were there to talk about their work it didn’t matter as the work spoke for itself. The work was inspiring and admirable and left many of us with thoughts and ideas about our future and our future work. The palace itself is filled with history and culture; the structural surroundings were extremely helpful to us AS girls and our upcoming task ‘Structure’. Being able to take photos of and see in real life what the palace had to hold was a truly unforgettable experience. To top it all off whilst exploring the palace gardens, we were lucky enough to meet and get photos with X factor ‘celebrities’ Jedward. This was the icing on top of the cake. This first day of the trip gave us an insight of the experiences we would have throughout the trip. Unforgettable and inspirational!
On the Thursday morning, we went to Alexandra Palace for the Knitting and Stitching show. There were hundreds of stalls set up and loads of artists showcasing their work which was incredible to look at. We were given enough time to look around and buy any thing suitable for our visits books and to talk to any artists that we particular liked the work of, for example Tileke Shwarz as we studied her as an artist at GCSE so it was very interesting to meet her in person. The AS group were given the chance to listen to a lecture by Isobel Hall, who displayed us her work which she had done using PVA, new pastes paint, material and different forms of paper. Her work included small diaries and a ballerina box which was amazing. In the afternoon we spilt up in groups for our workshops, One workshop was on creating a beaded choker, it was all organised and set out really well. We were given an hour to create beads by gluing different materials, tissue paper and strings and wrapping them around a straw so then we could easily place the bead when dry onto the necklace. It was a lot of fun yet very easy to do. I thoroughly enjoyed the day!
At the Knitting and Stitching show in the afternoon we were split up in groups for our different workshops. The second workshop was the Felt Lace workshop with Cathy Unwin as the tutor. We were familiar with making felt, but Felt Lace was a brand new technique to us all. Making felt lace is a delicate process, which benefits from some previous experience of felt making. It was a very time consuming technique and it needed regular checking throughout the workshop to ensure that the piece was holding together. Even though we only had an hour to complete the sample, I was pleased with my outcome and progress in the short period of time! I really enjoyed learning this new technique as it has inspired me to experiment further.
On the Friday we had an amazing opportunity to meet with an ex Victoria college student, now a designer for high end fashion labels in London. James Hillman has his own brand and his work has been shown at London fashion week. James spoke to us about his journey from leaving school and how he got to where he is now; we were able to look at his previous season design collections, mood boards and his portfolios. Meeting with James was inspirational and he gave us a lot of advice including things he would have done differently if he was able to do his A level again. We all really enjoyed getting an insight into the fashion industry and it was extremely helpful and an interesting experience for us.