Throughout writing my CCS Blog I have learnt how researching can help me in all aspects of creativity. It’s given me the opportunity to grow in my knowledge of critical thinking. From writing my 4 main posts I feel my writing has developed for the better and my understanding of contextualisation has become stronger. The Harvard System has helped me to understand how to write professional references – something I knew nothing about before beginning my blog writing.

If I were to continue with my writing, I would start looking into things that interest me personally, for example various aspects of textiles such as knit, weave, mixed media and print. Exploring different trends in the fashion and interior industry is something I’m interested in, comparing current to past trends. I would want to make my blog more personal to me and my way of working, relating it back to inspirational designers and artists. For example Donna Flowers’ (Figure 1 & 2) blog is very personal to her, which is an aspect I am drawn to. On the other hand I would want to keep it quite academic while I’m at university, as it would help to develop my referencing skills, as well as the context aspect and critical thinking. I like the look of having a busy blog, full of my own artwork and photography, however I like the simplicity of Paige Doran’s website (Figure 3, 2015); it’s sleek and neat. I like the fact you can see all the clear posts down the side of the screen. Her writing style is professional and very clear to read through. Overall I feel the start of my first blog has been very successful, I enjoyed writing about things that I find interesting, as well as having set subjects within the textiles topic to study.



The Fabric of My Life by Donna Flowers (Figure 1 & 2)


Paige Doran’s Blog (Figure 3)





Image References

(Fig 1 & 2) FLOWER, D. (n.d) The Fabric of My Life. [Online] Available from:

(Fig 3) DORAN, P. (2015) Paige Doran’s Blog. [Online] Available from:


Historic Object

Historic objects can be found everywhere, they’re important to society today as they’re a reminder of who and what has gone before us. The world around us is a juxtaposition of the future to come and the past. In this particular blog, I will focus on researching a historical object that I am completely unfamiliar with, exploring the art, material, and finishing behind it. Figure 1 shows an image of a Jingdezhen enamelled ‘vase’ founded in China/Asia. The beautiful illustrations and artwork is described as ‘Famille rose’ decorated with a peach branch and flowers. It’s made of enamelled ceramic, porcelain. The artwork on this piece looks very intricate and detailed, the colours work well together and it appears to have been glaze coated. It was last exhibited in 2008 10 Jan-5 Aug, at BM Galleries 91, Fascination with Nature (The British Museum, 2008).


 Jingdezhen Vase 1736-1795 (Fig 1)

This particular vase, is made from a type of ceramic called porcelain, which is a high-fired white ceramics that’s translucent and gives off a ringing sound when struck. In Asia, it’s usually produced of a combination of fine clay known as kaolin and porcelain stone. ‘By the time true porcelains first appeared in the south, in the early 10th century AD, white porcelains had already been manufactured in north China for more than 300 years’ (Wood, 1999, p47). However both of these types of porcelains were very different. The early southern porcelains were essentially quartz-mixtures, and were very low in the true clay minerals – which meant that they had lower colouring oxides. These small differences were vital to expose the fact that the lower the colouring oxides, the more translucent the porcelain was (Wood, 1999).


White Porcelain (Fig 2)

The arts of Asia have been the object of fascination and admiration in the western world for a number of centuries. The Asian works such as figure 1 have the art style like no other cultural piece. However, Chinese art has been developing for many years, and was once based around various geometric shapes, not forgetting the Chinese dragon. The dragon was said to be a benevolent creature, who held the powers to bring rain, floods, and hurricanes to a land. ‘Exaggeration, a characteristic feature of the style… often became vicious-looking’ (Tregear, 1980, p38). The sculptures and moulds of that style were harsh and bold, they weren’t fluent pieces of intricate artwork, but more like chunky statement pieces. Although this kind of decoration was completely traditional at the time, on the other hand there is another style that many people relate to as having been derived from Asia – something that was a lot more delicate and intricately worked on – china ceramic art. Often the use of leaves, flowers and natural items are involved somewhere. Ceramics like this were considered to be precious items, something only the wealthy and powerful would have the right to own. (McArthur, 2005).


Porcelain tiles (Fig 3)

Porcelain objects were something that initially, was produced for the Chinese elite who admired its purity and durability (McArthur, 2005). Figure 1 is a piece that has been glazed over the top. ‘One of the serious disadvantages in the use of an unglazed pottery vessel for keeping liquids, is the fact that it is porous and will allow its contents to seep gradually away’ (Boulay, 1963, p9). However since then, standardisation has highly grown over the years, and so the equipment used has been developed, meaning that nowadays mistakes like that aren’t made in the pottery industry.

Nowadays, various types of ceramics are used as tiles in the home. The comparisons between the normal ceramic, and the newer porcelain are that; traditional ceramic tiles can be naturally coloured and left unglazed like terra cotta – on the other hand porcelain tiles are composed of fine porcelain clays and fired at much higher temperatures. This process makes it denser, less porous, much harder and less prone to moisture and stain absorption than ceramic tiles. Therefore people would rather choose the porcelain, as they are also durable for indoor and outdoor environmental installations. (FloorFacts, n.d) Overall, porcelain is used in various kinds of creative formats, and figure 1 is a beautiful demonstration of this.






MUSEUM, B, T. (2008) Vase. [Online] The British Museum. Available from: [Accessed 10/12/5].

WOOD, N. (1999) Chinese Glazes. Great Britain: A&C Black Limited.

TREGEAR, M. (1980) Chinese Art. United Kingdom: Thames & Hudson.

McCARTHUR, M. (2005) The Arts of Asia. United Kingdom: Thames & Hudson.

BOULAY, D, A. (1963) Chinese Porcelain: Pleasures and Treasures. Germany: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

FLOORFACTS. (n.d) Ceramic Tile vs Porcelain Tile. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 10/12/2015].


Image References

(Fig 1) THE BRITISH MUSEUM (1736-1795) ‘Famille rose’ enamelled vase [Online] Available from: [Accessed 10/12/15].

(Fig 2) NO ARTIST (1936) White Porcelain Ewer. [Porcelain] In: WOOD, N. (1999) Chinese Glazes. Great Britain: A&C Black Limited, p.48.

(Fig 3) PORCELAIN TILES (n.d) Slaty Porcelain Tiles. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 10/12/15].



Family Photograph

The 1960s was a decade of great change in the fashion world, and known as the ‘most fashion conscious decade in history.’ The various styles of clothing generated a style which can still be identified in fashion today (V&A, n.d). From this point, it was less about fashion being categorised by wealth, and now it’s more about the tastes of society and style preferred.

This is beautiful photo taken by my Granddad, of my Nan and Mum in 1960, in Germany at a restaurant they visited regularly. My Nan told me she was wearing “a flared cotton skirt that was around in the late 1950s and carried on into the 1960s.” She also told me “it was a usual outfit for women in this decade,” personally I think it looks very classy. The 1960s was the decade when the mini skirt was generated, bold prints and bright colours were fully embraced, as well as pastel colours, shift dresses, oversized sunglasses, and pearls. There is a large bold print of buildings and various landscapes on my Nans skirt, with the large chunky belt drawing in her waist and emphasising her beautiful figure. Dressed with the classy white top, the outfit looks very sophisticated and feminine.


Family Photograph (Fig 1)

The forced economy of the war period was a difficult transition to leave behind. This is because the supplies of tradition spinning facilities, such as materials and yarns, were still being sold at government controlled prices. At the same time, the brand new raw and partially manufactured materials had to be renewed of the government price control. (Bruck and Cole, n.d). From this, the cotton industry no longer manufactured on a former scale. The Labour Day has shortened nowadays, factories work to only part of their full capacities, exports have decreased and the prices of textile products have become more expensive.

After the war, no one seemed particularly interested in glamour at first. (Barth, n.d). Nonetheless fashion developed, and in the 60s it was the time where women began to show off their figures, whereas back in the 1920’s they would wear clothing that resembles their wealth rather than their style. ‘The female form was less curvaceous and remained non-committal until the 1920s, but skirts gradually shortened and legs become more exposed.’ (Garland, 1970). Younger girls are looking older because they’re buying clothes that show off their figure, I personally feel like children are growing up too quickly.

Women’s hair has changed over the years, in the 30’s it would usually be tied back and neatly tucked to the face, but as time progressed through the years it was more fashionable to have volume and the higher the hair the better. ‘Bouffants, beehives, roller sets and backcombing (teasing), flick-ups, afros, Mia Farrow crops, long flowing hair and headbands.’ (Adams, n.d). My Nan’s hair is in quite a basic style in this particular photograph, and even though she grew up in a family that made their fortune building their own family run hotel in Germany, she was never the type of lady who needed the newest styles. I know that as my mum grew up, when she was in her teens she had the ‘page boy’ cut – which wasn’t particularly current at that time period either.


 Hairstyles (Fig 2)


Hairstyles (Fig 3)

‘The globalisation, and often the standardisation, of fashion was already evident in the 1960s with the worldwide impact of denim jeans and casual T-Shirts.’ (Blanco, n.d). Social change was a large reason as to why clothes were able to be produced quicker and to a higher standard. Employability for various designers in Germany fluctuated, people didn’t know whether their jobs were safe, money was never for definite and the value of clothing was different from how it is now. (Barth, n.d). Ways of dressing reflected various different cultures and those people were able to have an identity through their style. Therefore, on the other hand the sexual revolution also developed during this time period and out came the appearance of mini-skirts and hot pants – in my opinion these are items of clothing that will never get old.

In some ways I personally would have loved to be born in the late 1950s, things seemed a lot easier and there was no technology to distract you like it does so often nowadays. People communicated with each other properly, fashion was more sophisticated and classy, and children dressed like children. Everything was how it should be.






V&A (n.d.) History of 1960s Fashion and Textiles [Online] Victoria and Albert Museum. Available from: [Accessed 16/11/15].

F. BRUCK and GEORGE F.COLE (n.d.) The Cotton Industry in Germany. [Article] The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Vol. 92, Social and Industrial Conditions in the Germany of Today (Nov.1920), pp. 99-105

BARTH (n.d.) German Fashion Design (1946-2012) Germany: Distanz Verlag GmbH.

GARLAND (1970) The Changing Form of Fashion. Great Britain: The Aldine House.

W. ADAMS (n.d.) Hair Styles of the Last 100 Years. [Online] Social Serendip. Available from: [Accessed 16/11/15].

BLANCO (n.d.) The Fashion Reader: The Postmodern Age. Berg: Oxford International Publishers.


Image References

(Fig 1) FAMILY PHOTOGRAPH (1960). Nan and Mum [photograph] In: Family photo album

(Fig 1 & 2) HAIRSTYLES (n.d) SOCIAL SERENDIP 1960s onwards. [Online image] Available from [Accessed 16/11/15]

Javanese Batik (Indonesia)

Where Batik was first founded is a difficult question to answer; the process is an ancient one. However it is said that “Batik emerged as one of the great art forms of Asia” (Elliott, 1985, p22) and is popular in Japan, China, Indonesia, Africa and Europe. It’s an old Javanese word that means “to dot” or “to stipple” (Hayes, 2008). Due to the fact Batik is one of Indonesia’s most developed art forms, various designs have been progressed over many years with multiple uses of colour and shapes. It’s one of the most beautiful meaningful forms or art in Indonesia, so much so, that the clothes themselves are symbolic of values; not just the patterns imprinted (Kerlogue 2004). In this blog I will focus on developments in Batik manufactures, their colours and symbolism.


Javanese Batik (Fig 1)

The process of batik isn’t a particularly difficult one. Areas are sectioned off the material by being covered with melted wax, or by drawing the pattern. Once the wax has hardened the fabric is then dipped into the dye and left to dry. The selected areas that are covered in wax are going to repel the dye, and will be left in the original colour of the fabric. Prior to the implementation of modern day techniques, the cloth was pounded with a wooden mallet or ironed to make it supple so it could best receive the wax design. Historically, once the material was soaked in the dye a “steam bath is used the set the dye. Several lengths of fabric are steamed together” (Krevitsky, 1964, p8). With the finer machine-made cotton available today, the modern way to dry dyed materials is easier. This led on to opportunities to create finer patterned batik prints.

“Apart from the technological inventions themselves, daily life in the 19th century was profoundly changed by the innovation of reorganising work as a mechanical process” (Buescher, n.d) The technology change, on one hand, therefore had a large impact on life at home for the workforce. Their work became a routine for machinery, rather than an art with their hands; they were not needed for their skills, but for their numbers. On the other hand, it was the beginning of new opportunities for fresh garments to be mass manufactured. It was essential to the industrialisation that grew throughout the 19thc, it broadened the workers opportunities to travel, developing their skills in other ways.


 Batik: fabled cloth of Java (Fig 2)

According to Kerlogue 2004, not many Javanese people understand the importance of the Batik pattern, people that do, will almost certainly refer to the patterns appearance, rather than definitions behind them. Similar to this it’s the same today; a high majority of people don’t focus on the history behind the artwork they’re buying, it’s about how appealing something is. Particular patterns in the Javanese print involve various symbols, which can portray moral or spiritual meanings. “While all batik motifs have association and meaning for some people, it is the designs of the Central Javanese palaces, which are the most well documented.” (Kerlogue, 2004, p76). Symbols such as butterflies, wings and feathers, that have been used in the batik prints have meanings which are said to have been related to the Hindu-Javanese philosophy.

Batik from Courts and Palaces, Sarong Signature: L. Metz, Pek. Pekalongan c. 1890-1900 (Fig 3)

Throughout the 19thC, colours also had specific properties. “Batik from courts and palaces included over thirty-five pieces ranging in date from the 1860s to the 1930s. The layout emphasized the role of culture in batik design.” (Welters, 2006, p1). Values of textiles throughout this period were important. The colours were very different from what would be used today, and resembled various things. Batik from courts and palaces included deep reds and rich golds; historically the colour gold was expensive to resource. Colours as well as gold, such as white and yellow were also valuable – they represented the colour of jewelry, treasures that only the rich could afford. It wasn’t until the 1920’s that these colours came into production slightly, therefore it wasn’t something that was regularly traded around the world like today (Kraamer 2015).

From reading up about the Javanese Batik design, it’s made it clear how much technology and machinery has changed over the years. Batik is a beautiful design that takes time and care to produce.







ELLIOTT, I.M. (1985) Batik: fabled cloth of Java. Harmondsworth: Viking.

HAYES, J. (2008) Indonesian Textiles. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 26/11/15]

KERLOGUE, F. (2004) Batik: design, style & history. London: Thames & Hudson.

KREVITSKY, N. (1964) Batik: Art and Craft. New York: Reinhold Publishing Corporation.

BUESCHER, J. (n.d) Innovation and Technology in the 19th Century. [Online] Available from: [Accessed: 26/11/15]

WELTERS, L. (2006) Batik from Courts and Palaces: The Rudolf Smend Collection and Batik Fashion/American Style. Textile, 4(3), pp. 368-375.

KRAAMER, M. (2015) Textile & Sustainability in 19thC and Early 20thC Europe.



Image References

(Fig 1) V&A (n.d) Skirt Cloth [Online] Available from:   [Accessed 06/10/2015].

(Fig 2) BATIK: fabled cloth of Java. (artist and date not known). [Batik]. Elliott, I.M. (1985) Batik: fabled cloth of Java. Harmondsworth: Viking.

(Fig 3) BATIK FROM COURTS & PALACES (2005) Sarong Signature: L. Metz, Pek. Pekalongan c. 1890-1900 [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 28/10/15].