I believe that a portfolio should be practical and beautiful ~ something that will make you proud and shows all the hard work you have put into it over the year. Considering that the main focus is on creating the portfolio, I thought I will give you a bit more of an insight.
This is my wild portfolio - though pretty, it is a bit chaotic, this is my very first one I started over 10 years ago. I have 2 volumes like that, both are leather bound and contain about 80 pages each. My 3rd current working portfolio is an A3 sketchbook and contains all our fabric samples, we have dyed over the past few years and is way more neat, I am happy to say. So, what will yours look like?
Each portfolio will be unique, beautiful and practical. It will be something to show future clients & students, it will be your constant companion in the studio - a reference and recipe book at the same time. I received an email yesterday, by a lovely lady, asking what the portfolio work for the first 2 months will be like in particular. So here we go:
The first 2 months, Fibre & Textiles / Mordanting, are indeed rather colourless chapters. Nonetheless, there is much to do! I will share the portfolio work for the first two modules here to give you an idea of what is to come:
Fibres & Textiles Portfolio work.
Scour all your fabrics/yarns according to the module. If you are working with our fibre box, the yarn and silk fabric won't need scouring, only the Cotton and Linen Fabrics. Always ensure, that the fabric/fibre/ yarn has room to float. If it is squashed in tight, it will not scour properly and you will end up with uneven colour results. If the fabric is too large for your pot, cut it into 1m or even half meters. What ever is best for you to work with.
What needs to be included:
1. Sample of scoured/unscoured fabric/ fibre
- Put a sample of a 10x10cm square, or similar, of the scoured and non scoured versions next to each other, with the recipe used for each, if different.
- Write an observation: What has changed? From feel to look, size to texture.
2. Sample of all other fibres you are thinking of using, if they don't need scouring, just put in an unscoured version of it.
3. Keep a note of pot size and how much fabric/fibre/ yarn you could scour comfortably. This will be helpful for dyeing later on. Keep in mind that heavy linen fabrics will take a lot more space, than silk fabric for example.
4. Consider and test you water option with your pH meter, record, share in next meeting
5. Wind up 10 x 20g skeins
Mordanting Portfolio work.
We are still on the colourless end of the course, but this will change wit the next! For this part now, I like you to create 1-2 pages in your portfolio for mordanting.
- Copy the mordanting recipes into your portfolio, leave a bit of space next to each recipe, as we will add a sample of each textile at its mordant stage, once we start mordanting for dyeing.
- Wind up your yarn into 20g samples. You already did this in the previous portfolio work. I don't want you to have to face 1kg of yarn in one go, so you can do this over time, but do have at least 20 x 20g ready for the next month.
- Make iron water in a small none reactive container - plastic or glass with lid works best, record the changes over 5 days - pictures can be added to the portfolio, if you like.
- Find out if you have a source of iron rich mud near you. If you do, keep that in mind for the next module.
- Find out, if you have a source of plant alum near you, if so, consider the possibilities and bring it to our next meeting.
- Record the pH of your water source, share in next meeting
I hope you like what you see. The next few modules will finally bring the much craved colour to the portfolio, but also a bit more extensive work. I can't wait to see the final results! In case you like to sign up, please follow the link below, though 2024 is almost booked out. We will keep a waiting list going for 2025.
Thank you for reading! Best wishes, Jennifer