The China trip that I was chosen for, was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I was selected with fourteen other students to go out and study in Beijing fashion institution and Hebei Academy of Fine arts for eleven days. This was such an amazing opportunity for me to create new contacts and to learn a completely different culture.
It first started with me landing in China at Beijing international airport. We were welcomed with our buddies with scarfs and flowers. Our buddies were there to help us get around the university whilst studying and were there to translate.
Whilst spending my time within the universities, I learned a lot of interesting experiments and techniques on how to make Jewellery in a Textile and Jewellery making workshop. I felt these tasks were very hands on and they were very different to what I study; it was nice being able to experiment outside my discipline. I enjoyed the jewellery making, as I loved forming the different patterns of colours. Seeing the end result of the patterns burning through to the plates was very exciting. It was a long process but it worked out in the end. Whilst I was doing this task, I took quick sketches to remind myself in the future the process. I made little reminders about how long the plate goes in the oven for and the measuring of the powder and water.
We made bobby pins, rings, needle holders and purses. These were some of the successful pieces I did. My favourite design was the purse, I haven’t got the strongest of skills within textiles, but stitching this purse together made me proud of the outcome. I did some sketches on the process of how to do it. It basically explains, that I had to stablelize the purse before stitching and to make sure the metal holder was in place.
I had the opportunity to go to one of the Beijing museums, where it was filled with beautiful Chinese art. The part I most liked was the calligraphy, the strokes of the writings looked beautiful and it was interesting to learn about. On my travels I have seen some of the most beautiful sculptures and buildings, seeing this kind of culture gave me a wider perspective of how I see the world. Everything was different in little ways for example; the people were so kind and generous. They seemed just as fascinated to see the English, than the English are to see the Chinese. I found everything out in China so fascinating, I’ve taken in so much and learned a lot from it. I was even allowed to go see the makings of the backstage fashion show, which was being hosted in the university. It was always something I had wanted to witness and now I can say I have. It was strange because it didn’t seem that well organized, but I’m sure the final result would of been spectacular.
When I went to the Hebei University, I was given the opportunity to learn how to write in Chinese. I wrote phrases such as I love you, Mum, Dad, Sister, Rabbit, Dog, Flower and even my name. The one with my hand in the picture is my Chinese name; I really hope to understand this way of writing because I found it so beautiful to work with. It felt like I was drawing a picture, was a lovely feeling. It was a good way to communicate with to the Chinese. I had many helpers, to teach me this style of calligraphy.
In the Hebei University I was honored to be part of a bonding ceremony of Cardiff Met University and Hebei University collaborating together. We had to wear these beautiful gowns and see the grounds of the university with the president of the university. It was such a memorable day and I was shown the most beautiful architecture and pieces of work that the students had designed.
My overall thought of this trip was the most memorable and amazing experience I have ever had the privilege to study on. I learned some of the best techniques, people, culture and skills to take away with me for the future. I truly found my confidence in areas of subjects I didn’t know I could do and found the passion to want to know another language. I’m so glad a grasped this opportunity and will be forever grateful that I got the chance to go. I will never forget the sights I seen like the Great wall, Forbidden kingdom, towns and the people. I hope to go out to see the friends I made very soon and we’ve even discussed collaborating our disciplines together to create designs, in the nearer future.