I found the Buddy system to be a very smart and direct way to help and learn in the same time and I took advantage of it every single day. Two weeks seems a perfect time frame as well. It should be mandatory for every course!
For how much the tutors talked about being an intense and hard working two weeks, day one took me by surprise anyway. We moved tables, chairs and displays the whole day. Actually by the time I started unscrewing the boards with the drill at lunch time, it was almost relaxing! Even though I was in comfortable clothes I understood I had to wear something even more appropriate. This was also the day I met my buddy, Kyah Moore, a lovely person and a professional artist. We introduced ourselves and immediately set an appointment for the next day to start cleaning her wall and fill the wholes in preparation for the painting. After finishing to put down all the panels in our room, though, I actually managed to get her wall done. Cleaned the wall, taped the corners, did filling and sanding, ready for the paint. I did paint a wall before but never did a proper preparation with the appropriate materials, so I started my learning process right away.
While my classmate was painting the wall, I spend the second day in the stitching room doing the headers for my buddy’s samples. If you are precise it is an easy process but to make sure I was doing it the best I could, I had to consider a few important elements: the size of the stitch, the colour of the thread, if to stitch from border to border or leave a cm space from the edges and at what distance to stitch from the fabric. And seeing a few other girl’s headers I’m happy I took a moment to consider this details accurately, which resulted in a professional look.
IMany third years were in the stitching room preparing their samples and it was very interesting to hear them chatting about each one’s different choices in materials or other things for the final show. Since I spent many hours in there, I was was listening about or asking something new every day:
- I didn’t know about the letters and how textile students would send their CV’s to companies. Or about the choice to include some fabric samples or usb’s containing the portfolio. I really liked Kyah’s semi transparent/opaque letters where you could partially see the designs of her samples through, it stand out. I might consider it for the next year.
- Contrado seems to be the favourite place to buy fabrics from,, around 3-4 days delivery and have 40% off for students. In my internship at Ciment Pleating I met a student who was using Bags of Love instead, which I found out to be identical to Contrado but without the discount. Well, I bought the swatches and I’m happy I can actually familiarise already with the different fabrics. They are very helpful because they show the name/s of the fibre/s and the % used. You can actually have the feeling of the fabric and see how the same design changes throughout the different fabrics.
- I also noticed that most of the girls had the same headers, even though some were using a drown side and some the plain on, so I asked how so. I discovered that they are sold in packs of minimum 50 pieces so the girls were putting money together and divide them to only have the 30-35 needed, including spare ones in case something would go wrong.
- I also asked about what they would advice me to work on this summer in preparation for the new year. To my surprise, everybody kept insisting on how important it is to focus on the essay because once the year started I wouldn’t have much time for it anymore. This was for me a very important thing to learn since I thought that focusing on the future collection would be the priority.
- I found out about the stickers on the headers, and saw the first business cards.
Once finished Kyah’s samples she didn’t need me anymore for the day so I asked everybody if they needed me and ended up helping ironing and taping Jenny’s samples with Kim.
My buddy was well organised and already ahead with her work and she didn’t need me for the rest of the week but asked me instead to help her friend Emma for whom I stitched the headers the same way I did for Kyah. Emma used a very strong colour palette that stick in my had. I admire the impact that had on me and I love some of her samples. I then spent the rest of the day helping Steve to raise and fix some panels around the sink, and a few other girls with minor jobs on their samples. The last hour I dedicated it to continue helping Jenny. I found out she had 400 samples to sort out. It was kind of mind blowing the huge difference between Jenny’s work and the total amount of 30 samples actually required from everybody for the show. I knew she had a business but it still felt a lot. After investigating I found out she had more or less the same amount of designs but she ordered them in more colourways, hanging each colourway together in a waterfall display in a rigid header. She explained me how they are sourced from recycled materials and has a magnet mechanism that allows her to take away or add samples. A more expensive but long lasting and reusable headers than the cardboard ones used by most people.
The fourth and last day of the first week I spent it helping a a bit Jenny but mostly painting with Cookie the common spaces of the degree room and cleaning around. I’m so excited in imagining myself in the new room from September, having my own space. I already pictured myself in Francesca’s space drawing and losing myself watching out of the window. And with this smile on my face I started my weekend.