Part 3 Reflective Journal

by Dolly

Reflective Journal


Final evaluation


I feel that I have full control to my own project;I chose the inspiration by my view angle, and developed it based my won interesting points in my own way. But at the same time I have to make a clear outline and estimate ahead about how much potential the does topic have to be developed, and how realistic for me to make it successful.

I was planning to make a costume based on the way of sculpting ,combing the elements of theThamesin my proposal .The outcome can be a prop ,a garment or a part pf the costume. But as I developed my ideas with more in-depth research done, I found that theThamesis far more than its form of water and colour .The linking of it’s historical background and people’s interpretation of art and literature works excited me too.

The most influential research I’ve done is about the pollution of theThamesin the Victorian time. People were throwing rubbish and pouring wasted water without thinking the potential risk of batteries and the quality of water the rely on from River Thames. A comic illustration was about a scientist giving a white card to the fatherThames. The card turned into black suddenly because of the polluted water.

Based on that I got the idea of make the use of the character of the poorThamesfather of the Victorian time. With the tutor’s suggestion I had a look of the original illustration of the science fiction <The war of the World>,which described how the alien liked in theVictoria’s mind. Combing the contemporary research of an installation artist’s beam from the southbank , I got the idea of making a short story based on the facts I found. I decided to make a costume for the Thames father’s (who escaped to mars because of the polluted environment he lived ) son- the youngThames. I develop his “alien” look by experimenting the materials inspired by elements of Thames and the look of theThamesfather.

My outcome costume of the youngThamesincluding three pieces: a no-sleeve top, a pants and a accessory. The costume was futuristic looking-with edgy embroidery that abstracted the reflection of buildings and lighting effects along theThameswith shining threads and sequins. The top is made of the reflective fabric ,which reflects the light at night. It’s front pattern is made from 8 pieces that shows the structure inspired by bridges near theThames. The pants is in shining black stretchy PVC ,t he colour wool and threads and sequins on it has reflection-just as in the water. The accessory is based on copper- strips-the shape was inspired by the movement of light that passes the space travel feeling .Those three pieces can represents the Thames well as well has matches the young Thames.

I also tried to connect the plastic pieces which imitates the form of water with heating gun. But plastic is kind of too hard to represent water.


It was my first time to use Indesign. Doing a publication with it is quite challenging to me because I have done graphic design in few time in computer, and i need to decide which to pick up ifrom sketchbook. It’s successful side is I edited the images with the photoshop to make he pages look beautiful, but I didn’t present the whole development of my costume well because of the imitation of pages.


For the time managing part, I decided to make a video initially ,and I even took the video .But time was running out most because of  I spent too much time trying to make a “perfect ” three pieces costume, that I lost the time of full editing the film.

I used my reflective journal to record the ideas and the evaluation after experiments. Whenever I look back I can always find the link between every ideas and experiments.

The main difficulty was to find a in-depth out line and a detailed direction of the project iin the middle of the time. After I did some experiments based on the looks of the water I felt they a vacuum, with no deep meaning. Then I talked to a tutor and she gave me the suggestion to do more historical research and suggested my the bibliographies. After doing the research about the human history of the Thames, I found my direction to focus on theVictoriatime.


I think for the costume part, this project is successful ,because of the well developed idea that combines both the historical and the cotemporary references .But since I also filmed a video by myself by finally don’t have time to edit it well, I feel it’s not quite enough to full fill my expectation. But I decide still continue editing the video for a form of presenting my work.

I’ve learnt some techniques of menswear making and this is my first time to make a pair of pants , thanks to the help of my friend who study menswear in CSM . Dedicated technique is needed for making menswear. I also developed a new embroidery by myself. which is sewing directly upon colour wool to make a effect of light.


If I could do the project again I will start to do the historical and contemporary research of theThamesas soon as possible to fine the clear outline to going on. I also wish to be well prepared for video shooting , and arrange enough time for editing it.



These days are quite intence because there are so much work for me to do- I need  to finish the sketchbook , do the workflow and edit my short video asa well as do the booklet of publication.This is my first time of doing the publication with Indesign. And the most time consuming thing is not putting pictures and text in the software, but to chose the right and most suitable content from all the work I've done in the limited 20 pages. So I decide to finish my sketchbook first and then via comparition i can find the best content for the booklet. I also teach myself about the speecial effect of the Indesign and the Imovie in the youtube,and it was quite useful,as i know how to chage the effect of the pictures and to make them transparent as a layer,ets.I am confident that I will make a good publication but I might can't sleep as I also have a movie to edit..



Finally I finished my costume. It was form as three pieces :a top with relective fabric and a trousers with shining fabric and an accessory .I took the video of the costume today near the south bank which I visited yeaterday.I did the make up on him and he looks great - really as an elf .The pitty was the camara can't take the photo of the fabric well,because it either capture the figure without showing the reflective charateristic of the fabric or showing the fabric without the clear and bright enough figure.I took the film and with the help of torch, I can film the shining top finally on film



Today more ideas are developed through pattern cutting. I decided to devide the front of the top into 8 pieces to imitate the structure of the bridge.It was not easy to match the angle the pattern created on each sides, so I made a modle of the cloth and correct the pattern. Finally it looks great.



With the idea of designing the costume of an alien , I drew the final look of the alien. He, the young Thames was with shining light blue skin and has an elfy ear.His costume should be not only futuristic- with the alien feeling ,but also with the marks of the River Thames.

So I designed the top which has a round collar,and has some embrodiery as the lighting effect of the river. I also intend to add more embrodiery on the pants ,and add some colourful wool to inhence the effect of the blured light.I planned to make thin tubes on he alien's back inspired by the moving lights, but after experimenting the copper , I decided to just cover the accessory with strips of fabric to imitate the flowing of water insted of making it look so futuristic.



COLOURS OF HATS-Rrflection before going to final design



I visted the Thames barrier yeaterday and took some photoes .Then today I did the experiment of doing embrodiery inspired by the lighting effect of the river. I bought some colour threads and the reflective colour and colour wool from the CSM campus and add them toghther on a piece of blact fabric. I sewed the twisted and zip= liked thread layers and layeer , sometimes combing them with the sequin cut from the reflective paper and the wool.The effect of shining thread sewing upon the wool was really good. It absolutely imitates the blured and some how abstract light upon the Thames. And the sequins of colou shining paper are just like to express the building along the river in an expressive and abstract way. The black fabric as background made a good contrast of the shinig things above.I decided to add this effect in my final outcome.



Today,a friend took me to see the installation art by Ryoji Ikeda-(spectra 4-11 Augusr:dust-dawn).It was a huge light beam near the Westminster tube station, for memorial of the outbreak of the First World War.

The installation is peaceful, with houllow sounds aroung ,like a company music.people are attracted to see it .Actually I can see it when I was at oldstreet station but I just thought it was a normal light beam which not far away.

The light beam passes me the feeling of UFO ,I think I can combine it with my project,because it was not far from the Thames River.


6,Aug,2014 Tuesday

I cut the red plastic paper to imitate the flowing of water.I twisted them and put them on the manequin.The looks was cool because they passes the feeling og water.The problem in my mind was how to repeat them in a real costume-as I was ues the pins to pin them on mannequin and i need to think a way to fix them.The are obviously not easy to sew.

I also add the fabric some-the fabric with colourful sequins on the water-liked piece I did yeater day.They went well actually ,but the problem of the plastic piece was it was really uncomfortable-via model.So I need to find a way to make it more wearable ,by adding fabric?I'm not sure as it was not easy to bend the plastic to form as I want, and if I used the hear gun too close to the mannequin, it will burn the plastic skin of the manneuin.



Today , I did the experiment with pieces of the plastic ,tried to imitate the look of the water of Thames. I found a book which has the pictures of thames and I cut the transarent plastic ,using the heat gun to connect them together.The finished out come looks futuristic, and I also got inspiration from the designer Iris Van Herpen,who used 3D printing to create the land, water , fire, air series . I had a look of hr water series for refference and my outcome was quite different as her, it was not so transparent and not so clear as water.I think I can combine the other materials on it , or paint or spray colour on it.


29 JULY 2014

Today ,I draw 10 ideas of the final outcome trying to combine the ideas with materials that I found in the CSM library. I also inspired by the book called Magic Pattern ,which introduces the way to make 3D format clothes. Some drapping and the combination of different shaped patterns can create the dramatic effect of 3D looked garment.  

I also inspired by the artist (south bank sculptures) which is quite simple but refelct the surrounding environments along the Thames River.So I think about making the ooutcome which might be able to reflect or coordinated with the surrounding environments.

Moreover , I had a look of the history of the Thames river and went to the Maritime Museum last Saturday and found the importance of Thames River back to a hundred years ago that was the centre of British's trading.So I got the idea of making something about the workers work along the riversides.

Besides, I want to research about wether there are tales related to the Thames and find out a god represent the river.

The form and colour of the river is important,too.I took pitures along the river and the colour of the river goes well with the lighting effect along sides and the colour of the sky that JMW Tuener noticed and painted them hundred of years ago.  

I also want to play with the scale of the materials to make them vary from small to huge size.And I can make small statue and use the materials to surround it.              

I used the paper to replace the overlapping fabrics and made the model which can be twisted and tranform and took photo with a model dressing it. 


28 JULY 2014

I went to CSM's library today,tried to find some materials that has possible link to my project.I want to start to do some experiments of materials this week.So I listed some key words in my mind for helping me find the materials, which are

waves , reflection , ripples, colourful ,twisted , movements.

I found some of the material which are like metal honeycomb-shapeed nets which can twisted and change form.Another interesting one was the    fabric which are overlapped but when you hold it higher it will extend as a net . I also found somthing like the pitching of metal sequins and the recycled colourful glasses.I think I can use them to imitate the form and shape of the ripples and their colours. 


27 JULY 2014

I visited the National Maritime Museum today.There were some introduction about the Thames's trading history and it was quite important in the 19s century.(HISTORICAL REFERENCES!)  


26 JULY 2014

Today I went to the CSM's library to find some books about the history of the Thames,the information about JMW turner and the manufacture of the materials.

I found the book Maigic Pattern quite interesting and I could make some 3D sculpture-liked garment with fabrics.

A photography book calles Along the Rivers contains not the Thames but the people near the river .So I'm thinking that I can use something symbolic to represent the Thames .


Week 1

We write about our proposal of the 6 week project this week.

After writing the part two reflective jrounal  we figured out what we have learnt from the previous seven weeks and thus use the experience we got before to inteprete this new project.I've learnt about the skills of researching (from the aim to the results) to doing sketches ,using different materials and collecting refferences in a short time .

I got the initial ideas from a photography collection called hipster in stone.

For this project I attempt to visit several places like the National Maritime Museum ,the V&A Museum and the Thames river.

I got the initial idea from the photography collection called hipster in stone.It is a series of statue with modern clothes and accessories on.It is really a interesting way to combine the soft clothes with tough sculptures and the clothes gives the staues new characteristics.So I am thinking about to do this in a contrary way-breaking the line of making costume by fabric but to trying make it by other materials ,i.e. plasters. I intend to explore more materials with the research going on,and the final out come could be a prop, a set or a costume.



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