Friday, 30 April 2010

From patterns to quilts

I came across this designer as she was featured on the, which was originally given to us when I started the blog. This blog is a source of endless inspiration and the person who runs it and updates it constantly deserves a medal. I do sometimes wonder when they sleep.
The afore mentioned designer produces patterns for fabric, quite bold and modern, almost graphic in style. You can see a bit of Orla Kiely in there and a 1960's influence in the strong single colour designs. Whilst reading this designer's blog she mentioned some quilts made with her fabric designs, by a lady called Ashley.
I love the name of her web site, as my brother used to be a photographer when I was a teenager, so I know all about storing camera film in strange places...This person makes the most beautiful quilts in a lovely selection of fabrics some more modern than others, beautifully pieced together, with what appears to be an almost unbroken line of quilting across it. On the backs of the quilts which are often left plain, she has chosen to adorn them with some of same pieces from the front in a block formation.

The location that she chose to photograph her latest quilt in was quite unusual, but I felt it worked really well and gave a more modern look, to what is often viewed as old fashioned pastime.
Within my final major project, I plan to have a quilt made of my remaining samples, as the best ones will be bound into a sample book.

Pick Me Up exhibition

There is an exhibition of graphic art on at Somerset House in London at the moment. Rob Ryan has currently moved his studio there for the duration of the show, so people can see an artist in situ so to speak.I recently read a comment by Rob Ryan where he admitted that he was not sure if he was a graphic artist really. In reality the lines between graphic designers and pattern/textile designers are often blurred with many people overlapping in each direction. Is it really so necessary to label people just to define them anyway? Personally I think it is worthwhile keeping an open mind on these matters.

New Designers Visit

A few other students and myself went along to Islington recently for the meeting about the New Designers show (Preparation Day) in July.
This definately made it all seem a lot more real for us, as for the past few years I have always gone along to look at all the other student's fantastic work- to think that this year I will be there whilst everyone looks at my work is a bit daunting, but exciting at the same time. The information the various speakers gave us was very helpful. As Colchester School of Art and Design won the best stand last year, we have been promoted to a lower level (previously we were on the balcony) with a larger floor space. We are now up there with the big universities as you walk into the show. We were told that they get 17,000 visitors to the show each year, so exhibiting there is so important for future oppportunities. I am currently sorting out business card designs to promote my work, as this is vitally important that you select the best images that portray your work as it is all your visitors will have to remember you by.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Contemporary designers

This gallery features the work of Angie Lewin, Mark Hearld and many others. Angie Lewin has designed a new range of fabrics entitled Hedgerow which has a harmonious, but muted colour palette on a neutral background. This is very 1950's, and retro in appearance, due to the use of strong graphic lines, giving an almost geometric look to the organic plant shapes, and muted colours not dissimiliar to those used in Lucienne Day prints from the 1950's.

Photo Shoot

There was a recent photoshoot of everyone's work by David Lam. This is the first time I have had my work professionally photographed, so it will be interesting to see how they come out. I chose to keep the layout simple by just having my samples photographed flat, with the focus being on the designs.
Whilst being able to access the studios over easter, for the days of the photoshoot, I was able to print over 3 metres of fabric for my chair. It was extremely hard work and I managed to rope in a helper in the form of my son, but I did get it done and even managed to foil over the entire design. As the upholster has now made it back from Europe (volcanic ash clouds not withstanding) I can get my chair upholstered. This is a fundamental piece of my collection and to finally get it realised will be one less thing to stress over. Hopefully it will convey a modern contemporary feel with a luxurious edge due to the foiling. Then it will be time to consider the best way to photograph it, I do have some ideas in my head but will have to ponder on them a little bit longer, whilst I wait for the chair's return.

Modern designs

Stunning, intricate embroidered designs by Neisha Crosland.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Vintage designs made contemporary

This is a current version of a vintage pattern from the Sandersons archive by C F A Voysey, an associate of William Morris. It is in the Arts and Crafts style, and was produced as wallpaper in 1890s. The design incorporates tree branches and squirrels on a neutral background. It is a very bold, strong design which would not appear out of place now, and as it has been currently reproduced, it seems that there is a demand for this style of design. The limited colour palette links in with my own current collection,which was also originally inspired by tree branches and other plant forms in silhouette. I have made a conscious decision to use natural fabrics and keep the background neutral so as to highlight my hand drawn designs- basically the less is more philosophy.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Some Final Designs

This is a detail from one of my designs based on plant forms in the winter months. There is a wealth of interest to be found at this time of year and in particular the silhouette of plant forms against a muted background always inspires me. The plant forms I have chosen to feature in my final collection entitled "Fragile Things" are of the more unusual, sometimes architectural style and shape. By adapting the tree branches into another shape, they almost become completely different to how they started out. It would have been much easier to have concentrated on simplistic tree forms, and I have found many of these designs within my research.

Willow by Prestigious Textiles from

This design is a very simple straightforward tree drawing repeated all over in a selction of muted colourways. It works well, but confirmed for me the idea that I needed to develop my drawings in other directions, moving away from the obvious, something which has took a bit of time but the end result has been worthwhile and looks almost eerily beautiful yet still a little strange.