Higher Ground

I had the chance to help out an S5 Higher class from St Benedicts today. The two period session allowed me the chance to witness what was being created, as well as lend some advice to the pupils working towards their Highers.

Adele M had already created a concept and an idea for her head jewellery design that was well rounded and considered. She worked on an experimental sampler of her jewellery ideas against different hair colours to test her colour choices. The teal brings out the red in the hair while remaining strong against both light and dark hair.


Valerija had been working on samples inspired by chinese dragon prints and sculptures. She focused on netting and string patterns, as well as experimenting with scaling and colour.


Dillon D worked on body adornment for the lower arm. His original drawings of cogs and machinery were clean, technical, detailed and eye-catching. I advised on trying to bring his two dimensional drawings into the well needed three dimensions. After frilling edges to a side panel, Dillon attached the top and bottom cogs with a glue gun to form a spool.


Mairi D was working on a vine and leaf inspired garment. Her drawings were very detailed showing tied strings, weaving and paneled motifs. She removed a rolled paper tissue leaf that wasn’t quite working and used PVA and paints to create sheets of transparent coloured plastic to cut leaf shapes from. She also experimented with folding paper leaf forms and plaiting wool and string together.


In front of Mairi, Toni W arranges her ideas and samples to form her first sheet. It’s hard to imagine your work collected together until you actually lay the materials out and play around with the composition and the layout. Toni had a lot of great ideas and nicely made samples that had been hidden in a tray, it wasn’t until they were laid out together that we were able to see her steady progress.


Jennifer E is working on about five ideas at once. She jumps from twisting wire, to gluing cloth, to mixing glitter in PVA and plaiting wire. She has lots of ideas which are slowly being brought together to form three ideas for wrist and hand adornment.


And lastly, but certainly not leastly, Mhairi I, beside Jennifer, works on a cloth sample based on a butterfly wing. An old pair of tights wrapped tightly over a piece of formed wire, her sample is skillfully stitched using colourful threads and an awful lot of patience.


So there you go, examples of work in progress from seven S5 pupils studying at higher level. With such an intense course, there is no time to waste, pupils are constantly under pressure to produce samples, experiment and develop their ideas. You can only guess where their development may lead them…

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