Thursday, 18 October 2012

lesson idea: Maurizio Anzeri inspired embroidery

I'm currently doing a self-portrait project with my BTEC Level 2 Art and Design students as part of Unit 2: 2D Mark-Making. We're in the experimental stage of the project so we've been trying lots of different techniques but today we looked at textile approaches. The lesson worked really well so I thought I'd share what we did... 

Starter: How many marks can you make with a pen? 
I was inspired by this blog post by illustrator/artist Jill Bliss and now whenever I'm doing something mark making related with my students I use this as a starter! I like to give a good 10 minutes for them to really doodle and get into it with just the simple aim of making as many marks as they can with just their pen. If I can I like to join in and do my own on the white board too! 

Main: Maurizio Anzeri inspired embroidery
materials needed:
vintage photos photocopied onto heavy weight paper
embroidery thread
I made 2 copies of each photograph so that the students could have one photo for translating the marks they'd made in the starter onto the photograph using a pen and the other to stitch on to, this helped them plan which areas they wanted to place their marks in. We then discussed the work of Maurizio Anzeri and afterwards got stuck in stitching for the rest of the lesson! I think it's best to let them be experimental with the marks they make but it's also a good chance to highlight and explain a couple of simple embroidery techniques that they could use and highlight where Maurizio Anzeri has used them on his work. I did it up on the interactive white board... 
Plenary:Class Exhibition
A chance to showcase what they have done and discuss what else they could do to enhance the image further - embroidery is a slow process so they will be able to take away the work and continue if they are really keen on the technique or want to extend and push themselves further! 

My students really enjoyed sewing and it was nice to have a lesson where we could all sit down and have a conversation at the same time as working. We discussed everything from the sort of sewing they'd done in school to imaging people looking back at photographs of us in years to come and them looking as old fashioned as the photos we were using do to us! As always if you try the lesson, or something similar, we'd love to hear from you about how it went!
- Claire 

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