Textile Design encompasses a very broad range of materials, techniques and processes, including a growing number of interdisciplinary approaches. These comprise woven, embroidered, knitted, printed, painted, dyed, manipulated, embellished and constructional methods. These are utilised to produce a great variety of textile outcomes that include costume and fashion design, accessories and body adornment. The range is increasing as new materials and technologies emerge.
In the first year, students are introduced to a wide range of techniques and processes in order to develop knowledge and understanding of designing fabrics. The focus is on surface pattern design and constructed textiles. There will be time to experiment and explore lots of possibilities for idea development and outcomes, including working in 3D. Students will also be introduced to using PhotoShop to aid the development of digital print designs and fashion illustration.
The second year of the course seeks to build on the knowledge from the first year and develop the ability to work independently through a sustained investigation. This will be personal to each individual student and their own interests. There is also an introduction to screen printing and the heat press to create professional results, as well as the option to utilise our weaving looms and knitting machines for those interested in constructed fabrics.
It is recommended that you have grade 4 or above in an Art or relevant Technology subject. However, being open to experimentation and to trying new things, as well as having a creative outlook, an interest in fabrics, fashion, interiors or design and a willingness to work hard is highly valued.
Textiles develops design and making skills and is good for entry onto any creative or Art & Design based degree course. We have students who are now theatre & costume designers, photographers, fashion designers, footwear designers, interior designers, fashion assistants and teachers.
Students have gone on to study degrees at institutions including Central St Martins, Royal College of Art, London College of Fashion, Royal School of Needlework, UCA (Farnham, Epsom), UAL (Kingston, Camberwell), Manchester Metropolitan, Bournemouth, Falmouth, Brighton, Winchester and UWE (Bristol).
There are 4 assessment objectives which assess how students: develop ideas in response to contextual references, explore and select a variety of media, record observations, develop ideas and produce final outcomes. This is formally assessed internally, and moderated externally at the end of two years.
Assessment is 60% portfolio and 40% externally set assignment
Portfolio Component: Work for this component requires students to research, explore and select appropriate techniques and ideas that support their own emerging art and design practice with that of historical and contemporary references. This is a practical portfolio following a theme that will be negotiated with the teacher, but should be of personal relevance to the student. A contextual illustrated project report is also submitted as part of this component to explain connections and record ideas. The aim is to develop students’ ability to investigate and research art and design in depth and respond creatively to their findings. Students will be required to resolve their ideas in the form of an outcome from within a fashion, costume, interior or art-based context.
Externally Set Assignment Component: The externally set assignment is the culmination of the A-Level course. Students will be given a preparatory period during which they will develop practical ideas relating to their chosen question. After this, students will produce their final outcome over a 15 hour timed period.
The studio fee of £60 per year covers most of the materials that students will require. Students may wish to purchase additional craft materials to develop additional skills within their area of interest. There will be the opportunity to take part in a residential trip to Venice.
During your time in Art, Craft & Design you will be given the opportunity to go on trips to galleries and locations to enhance your experience through looking at the work others and engaging in practical activities away from the classroom. We believe that these experiences are vital to your development as an artist and would urge you to take these opportunities whenever you can. To see more photos from our trips please look on our Instagram page.
One of the key experiences we offer is our annual trip to Venice at the start of the second year. The students who come with us get an amazing experience and come back having developed their practice and understanding and with a body of work which really pushes them forward as photographers and artists. Below is a sample of just some of the work produced during or as a result of this trip.
As well as the work you produce for your A level, you will be given opportunities to enter local and national competitions and engage in projects outside of your normal studies. We regularly have talks from universities, artists and companies to give you a broader understanding of future options and if you decide to pursue Art past A level, we will work with you to put together your portfolio and prepare for interviews.
We also offer enrichments within the art department, such as Professional Art Practice, to help develop your skills and give you a broader experience which will benefit your future ambitions. To learn more, please have a look at our enrichments guide.
Our Head of Department, Tom Cops will be happy to help.